Tag Archives: book

How was 2021 for you…Mark Stay

Author, scriptwriter, podcaster & more…Mark Stay gives us the lowdown on his year and plans for 2022, plus some music, film & book recommendations…

The highs & lows of 2021…
The highs… Going back to the movies has been great (even if we’re often the only people in the cinema wearing masks). We kicked it off by seeing the Lord of the Rings trilogy on the big screen, which our kids had never experienced before. Just magical.


Also managed to write more this year than any other. A couple of books, a few short stories, and a bunch of screenplays, and there’s also a TV thing happening that I can’t talk about. It’s been a productive year. I prefer to keep my head down and write rather than wail on social media these days. That’s where the lows are.

Read any good books lately…
The audiobook of Rutger Bregman’s Humankind kept me sane over the summer. Humanity is not as bad as we make ourselves out to be. I can also recommend the audiobook of Seth Rogen’s Yearbook, which is hilarious, though your mileage may vary depending on your tolerance for stoner stories. I’m in the middle of a proof copy of Caimh McDonnell’s This Charming Man, the second in his Stranger Times series, which is joyful page-turning, gripping fun. Highly recommended.

For research, I’m listening to Get Tusked, which is about Fleetwood Mac making the album Tusk after Rumours became the biggest album in the world. Things get a wee bit strained as you can imagine. For film nerds, I loved My Life as a Mankiewicz, by the late, great screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz. One of the most gleefully gossipy books about movies you’ll ever read.

Films & TV series you’d recommend a watch over the Christmas & New Year break…
I know the Ted Lasso thing is in danger of being overblown, but it really is like a warm hug. I got into it during the second lockdown and it will help restore your faith in humanity. You can balance that with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which we’re loving, though we can only watch one episode at a time as they’re such despicable people.

Only Murders in the Building is the best thing Steve Martin has done since Bowfinger, and as a whodunnit it really keeps you on the hook. I’m really looking forward to Peter Jackson’s Beatles three-part documentary Get Back. I suspect I’m going to be watching that on hard repeat.

In our house, Christmas officially starts when we all gather to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol, and there’s a rumour that Disney might finally be releasing the full version with the song When Love Is Found.

Heard any good music recently…
Ocean to Ocean by Tori Amos is my favourite album of hers since Scarlett’s Walk. Some of the best stuff she’s ever done. Wet Leg are a cracking duo from the Isle of Wight. They’ve only released two songs — Chaise Longue and Wet Dream — and they’re both belters. I stumbled across the video for Rumors by Lizzo and Cardi B on Apple TV and it’s like an R-rated version of Disney’s Hercules. It has to be seen to be believed and the song is an instant classic. And as a longtime Floyd fan I was delighted to get the CD of the 2019 remix of A Momentary Lapse of Reason (MP3s just aren’t the same). To hear Nick and Rick on the album as they should always have been is a real treat.

What have you got planned for next year and beyond…
Busy year in 2022. My new film Unwelcome comes out on St Patrick’s Day in the UK and the USA. And the third of the Witches of Woodville books — The Ghost of Ivy Barn — is out in May. Hoping to do more festivals and book events and actually meet people!

Anything else to add…
Unwelcome Trailer: 

You can discover more about The Witches of Woodville books and even get some free short stories here: https://witchesofwoodville.com

Everyday Kindess short story collection raising money for Shelter

Everyday Kindness is a charity anthology of short, fictional stories of kindness, edited by LJ Ross. These uplifting tales of hope and of small, everyday kindnesses are intended to support wider, positive mental health goals and foster wellbeing through the act of reading tales of goodwill inspired by others. Featuring authors across the spectrum of literature, some international bestsellers and award-winning writers amongst them, this is a unique collection of words.

All proceeds from the book will be donated to Shelter, a charity that helps millions of people a year struggling with bad housing or homelessness.

Authors include: LJ Ross, Adam Hamdy, Alex Smith, Alexander Gordon Smith, Alison Stockham, Anne O’Leary, Barbara Copperthwaite, J.D. Kirk, C.L. Taylor, Caroline Mitchell, Chris McDonald, C.K. McDonnell, Claire Sheehy, Clare Flynn, Darren O’Sullivan, David Leadbeater, Debbie Young, Deborah Carr, Emma Robinson, Graham Brack, Hannah Lynn, Heather Martin, Holly Martin, Ian Sainsbury, Imogen Clark, James Gilbert, Jane Corry, Jean Gill, J.J. Marsh, Judith O’Reilly, Kelly Clayton, Kim Nash, Leah Mercer, Liz Fenwick, Louise Beech, Louise Jensen, Louise Mumford, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Marcia Woolf, Mark Stay, Marcie Steele, Natasha Bache, Nick Jackson, Nick Quantrill, Nicky Black, Patricia Gibney, Rachel Sargeant, Rob Parker, Rob Scragg, S.E. Lynes, Shelley Day, Casey Kelleher, Sophie Hannah, Victoria Connelly, Victoria Cooke, Will Dean.

“A win/win when it comes to making you feel good – the stories will do just that, and buying this book will help homeless people.” – Val Mcdermid

“Jack Reacher is a wanderer by choice. Others are homeless through no fault of their own – illness, the loss of a job, the loss of a partner. We need a better system. Buy this book and you’ll enjoy some great stories, and you’ll help Shelter – our best advocate for housing fairness.” – Lee Child

“What a treasure trove of stories! Each one has a different style and I enjoyed all of them. A highly recommended collection for a good cause!” – Glynis Peters

“I loved every page! Each story was the hug I needed, and the stories from this amazing collection of talented authors were told with poignancy. Exactly what the world needs right now.” – Jessica Ryn

Live Well Every Day: Your Plan for a Happy Body and Mind

Dr Alex George is an A&E & TV doctor. He has been working in A&E as an emergency doctor throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and has become a well-known and respected figure amongst healthcare professionals in the UK, bringing the nation accessible and reassuring advice directly from the frontline.

Alex is on a mission to make mental health education compulsory in schools, and has become prolific throughout the UK in his campaigning with charities such as YoungMinds, Anna Freud Centre & Mind, witha goal to ensure mental health sits alongside the likes of Maths and English on the curriculum. Alex has now been appointed by the Prime Minister as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to the government.

love island dr alex George tik tok healthy cookbook eating health psychology every size happy mind

Alex is a resident presenter on ITV’s Lorraine, has presented for Watchdog and also appeared on Celebrity Masterchef. Alex is also a fully qualified Level 3 PT.

Find out more about Dr Alex:
Instagram @dralexgeorge
Twitter @dralexgeorge
TikTok @dralexgeorge
YouTube: Dr Alex George

love island dr alex George tik tok healthy cookbook eating health psychology every size happy mind

Signed edition

Book review – Get Your Head In The Game by Dominic Stevenson


Despite timely and important books like this one, mental health is still a taboo in many football clubs as the author himself discovered when trying to interview players for his book.

Containing insightful and at times entertaining (football fanatic and bestselling crime writer Val McDernaid gives a wonderfully entertaining interview), the book is a must read for any football fan and anyone interested in mental health and well being ie all of us hopefully.

Plenty of footballers past and present open up and give their personal experiences including Chris Kirkland, Sam Hutchinson and the Secret Footballer.

The final part of the book gives some useful, practical tips on improving your mental health, many tieing in with attending football as a supporter.

Timely and easily accessible this book goes a long way to opening up the discussions on mental health and general well-being in football, from both the players and fans perspectives.

A Free Book and Chocolate Giveaway You Say?

Local author Mr Stay has asked me to pass on his sincere thanks to all who came to his online launch party for his new book The Crow Folk last night. He is currently slumbering on a desk near the radiators in the Reference section, muttering something about Caimh McDonnell’s scarecrow hair haunting his dreams.For those who could not attend, or simply wish to enjoy the whole thing once more, you can do so here…
Be warned: They start singing at around 55 minutes in…
The Thank Yous…Mr Stay should also like to pass on his sincere thanks to Caimh McDonnell for compering magnificently, to Ian W Sainsbury for the joyful sing-a-long-a-pub-knees-up at the end, to Emily and Kai for tech support, Dominic King for bringing us to the world via the BBC, to Sara Cox for her sage advice in the run-up to launch, to Claire for her lovely veg, and to George for once more reprising the role of Pumpkinhead. 
Book/choc giveaway and FREE short stories…We are giving away signed books and chocolate. As a subscriber to this newsletter you are automatically entered into a draw to win one of five signed/dedicated copies of The Crow Folk and a special branded bar of chocolate…
 
The draw will be made on 28th February.
The terms and conditions can be found here.

The second big announcement is that Mr Stay will be launching a quartet of short stories featuring the mysterious Miss Charlotte. Starting in March and released monthly, these stories will be exclusive and FREE to all subscribers of this newsletter. More details will soon be forthcoming!
Don’t Forget to Get Your Free Books From The Woodville Village Library…As a subscriber to this newsletter, you are automatically enrolled as a member of the Woodville Village Library as as such you are entitled to download FREE eBooks! Click here to get your books now.
 

That’s all from the village of Woodville for the time being. As always, please stay fit and healthy and happy reading!

Miss Araminta Cranberry
Head Librarian
Woodville Village Library

Online Book LAunch for THE CROW FOLK Feb 4th

The launch will be happening online on Facebook and Youtube on Thursday 4th February, 7-8pm GMT (11-noon PST, 12-1pm MST, 2-3pm EST, 6am next AEDT, 5am next day AEST).
YOUTUBE
FACEBOOK
The dress code is 1940s Home Front and our Master of Ceremonies for the evening will the wonderful Mr Caimh McDonnell — author and stand-up comedian of some repute.

If you cannot make the launch party, then fear not: it shall be recorded and distributed across all the usual social media channels.

We look forward to seeing you on the evening in your best bib and tucker. Until then, don’t forget to order The Crow Folk at all the usual stockists here.

Sincerely yours,
Araminta Cranberry, Woodville Village Head Librarian

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – MARK STAY book launch for ‘The End of Magic’

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM at Harbour Books, 21 Harbour Street, CT5 1AQ Whitstable

A very exciting event indeed! On the 15th February we’ll be celebrating the publication of ‘The End of Magic’ by Mark Stay! We’ve been expanding our sci-fi and fantasy section in the last year or so, and with this we’ve seen new faces, found some fabulous new titles, and now we get to host our first fantasy event with a fantastic author!

You know the drill, right? But this time we’re switching it up a little bit, because The End of Magic takes you back to a time when magic collapsed, and to celebrate this book the right way we’re encouraging all guests to give it their best shot and get into their magic-inspired costumes! Mark himself will be greeted by a special visitor (which you will not want to miss), and for every copy purchased on the night Mark will be donating £1 to Nordoff Robbins – a brilliant charity changing lives through music. We’ll be kicking off the evening at 6.30pm, and it’s all completely free as always! Be there, be in costume, and be ready for a truly magical evening!

‘There are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again…

This is not one of those stories.

The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose…

Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.

Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone.

Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever.

Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

The End of Magic is an exhilarating wild ride, by turns epic and intimate, funny and dark, and perfect for fans of Jen Williams, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.’

Fifty Gigs In A Day 2019 – MARK STAY book launch for ‘The End of Magic’

Facebook event page

Friday, February 15, 2019 at 6:30 PM – 8 PM at Harbour Books, 21 Harbour Street, CT5 1AQ Whitstable

A very exciting event indeed! On the 15th February we’ll be celebrating the publication of ‘The End of Magic’ by Mark Stay! We’ve been expanding our sci-fi and fantasy section in the last year or so, and with this we’ve seen new faces, found some fabulous new titles, and now we get to host our first fantasy event with a fantastic author!

You know the drill, right? But this time we’re switching it up a little bit, because The End of Magic takes you back to a time when magic collapsed, and to celebrate this book the right way we’re encouraging all guests to give it their best shot and get into their magic-inspired costumes! Mark himself will be greeted by a special visitor (which you will not want to miss), and for every copy purchased on the night Mark will be donating £1 to Nordoff Robbins – a brilliant charity changing lives through music. We’ll be kicking off the evening at 6.30pm, and it’s all completely free as always! Be there, be in costume, and be ready for a truly magical evening!

‘There are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again…

This is not one of those stories.

The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we’ll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose…

Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he’s stuck in a rut.

Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.

Oskar is Rosheen’s younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone.

Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever.

Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.

The End of Magic is an exhilarating wild ride, by turns epic and intimate, funny and dark, and perfect for fans of Jen Williams, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.’