Monday, 26 October 2015

Meet The Team From Access All Areas

Morning everyone

With just under three weeks to go the Brilliant Books Benefit, I thought I'd take the opportunity to introduce the authors of the Absent Ticket Book to those who may not be familiar with them.

Most are part of the Independent Publishing scene - either small press, self pubs or e-book publishing - though one broke through to the High Street ranks fairly recently and the rest will surely follow if the standard of the writing in Access All Areas is any guide.

The book has sold 25 copies so far, so that will buy us, oooh, a box of Dickens with the royalties, so please, give us a hand. 

We need a laptop projector and we need to buy books enough to give EVERY child we work with a book or two to take home. A Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Asterix, a Captain Underpants or a Judge Dredd Graphic Novel, something similar. 

Nothing heavy, nothing offputting. I was set back five years by being forced to read Hardy at eleven. No wonder kids reach for their PS4 consoles when confronted with that stuff, forsooth.

Many, many children we work with have - unforgiveably, imo - never read a book out of the classroom.  

And it isn't just boys. 

At the last school we worked with, the four toughest cases of reluctant reading we faced were girls.

So please. ALL profits go to the project. I paid for the covers etc out of Green Wizard, my publishing business. Every Access you buy means that a child takes a book home to read. 

And one day, they might be passionate enough to buy YOUR books *wink*.

Amazon UK customers - Buy Here customers - Buy Here!

So here they are, the cast of Access All Areas

1. Sally Anne Wilkinson

Sally Anne is a go-to author of mine, yet she's never published. She writes short stories for Storgy and other websites and seems content to do so at the moment, though she has the talent to write a superb novel. 

Drier than a desert wind and with a highly fashionable, almost anorexic writing style, I cannot remember a story of hers I haven't enjoyed even if, thematically, its not my thing. It's the writing! Sally-Anne makes her debut on stage on Benefit night too. Looking forward to that one.

2. Brenda Perlin

Unless you've been living on another planet for the last six years, you'll have heard of Brenda Perlin. 

She writes faction - fictionalised accounts of her life and times, a favourite genre of mine. One of her books in particular, Burnt Promises, is well worth a place on any discerning bookshelf. 

A massive supporter of the Indie community and one of the most prolific readers I have ever met (and a great friend of mine), she is about to host her first book signing for #1 bestseller LA Punk Rocker at legendary LA bookstore, Book Soup on Friday at 7.00pm. I only wish I could be there.

3. Phil Pidluznyj

Another massive friend of mine is Phil Pidluznyj, better known in local circles as a lead singer in various bands, including Submarine and New Apostles who headline the Benefit night. 

He submits his debut short story to the anthology and already it's getting plaudits from the readers - as well as tears. It's dark, stark, topical and controversial - well worth a read.

Oh. And he's the co-designer of Brilliant Books and the chief facilitator of daily activities on the project. 

4. Katie Oliver

Katie needs no introductions. She's a huge success story and I'm massively proud of her. Author of six extremely popular chicklit novels, including massive bestseller Prada and Prejudice, she's recently found herself on the shelves of British supermarkets and bookstores - a dream for all of us and she's living it. 

I've been a friend of Katie's since she appeared on The Wizard's Cauldron all those years ago and long may she be so.

5. Clare Stevens

Clare is a Nottingham based author, freelancer and Creative Writing tutor who teaches groups of people facing mental health issues and disabilities amongst other things. A blogger and survivor of breast cancer who blogged prodigiously about her experiences, I met Clare while supporting Phil's Creative Writing course at Central College. 

Here, she writes a terrific - and highly topical - story about refugees fleeing conflict. Well worth a read and a terrific woman worth meeting.

6. Lorraine Devon Wilke

Another great friend of mine who rallied to the cause. Writer of one of my favourite books ever, classic family saga, After The Sucker Punch, (and I have read a LOT of books), Lorraine can also be found commenting on matters Indie on the Huffington Post. 

An accomplished photographer and musician too, she's one of those multi-talented people who leave you kicking yourself. I still cannot understand why she's not on Richard and Judy's ample sofa, but one day, she will be.

7. Rae Gee

The Queen of Steampunk, as she is affectionally known in our circles, Rae is a massive supporter of Brilliant Books and will be joining us as a host in February.  She's also the author of three novels and a novella and an advocate for LGBT themes in writing.

In Access, she writes a superbly entertaining story which crosses Ingmar Bergman with Bill Hicks, if that's possible (like most of the cast here, she's a BIG music fan), and it's a cracker. Looking forward to meeting again, Rae!

8. Lynne Morley

Lynne is another alumni of Phil's CW course on a Wednesday night at Central College. A fanatic genealogist, she has just published a book tracing the life of her ancestor, Thomas Dames, who was transported to Australia not once, but twice!

A proper enthusiast, a lover of life, and someone whose mere presence can cheer up a statue with a pessimism problem, Lynne spends her time writing, tweeting and, er, travelling the world for her travel blog, which is rapidly gaining a following. 

9. Annie Lyons

Annie is another of those mega-popular Carina authors who write the type of sweetness-and-light chicklit that sells tankerloads across the world.  UK based, a bestseller and reputedly an extremely nice person (which is the most important thing), she is fanatic about reluctant reader intervention and asked to be part of what we're doing here.

We were proud to publish her reminiscences about how and why she started reading and we're delighted she came on board. Thank you, Annie - your support is much appreciated.

10. Georgia Rose

Regular followers of this blog will know how much I like and respect Georgia. She's the writer of three splendid romantic suspense books, including the recently published Thicker Than Water, which have the almost unique attribute that they can be read all the way through by blokes. 

Georgia has already hosted a Brilliant Books session and is down to come back in February - she's a big supporter of ours. I can't say enough about her. That's Poppy the pooch,'s Georgia...

And finally, little me. 

If the terrific Lelani Black is reading this, I wrote the story I included in Access All Areas for you after the comments you made about Criminals in your last review. You are right, actually...

I'd also like to thank Nelson Suit at Kidlit hub, Inkspokes, and Karen Emma Hall of Kidliterature for their support so far. You are terrific people.

Thanks for reading and remember - a society that doesn't read is a poorer one than one that does.

Cheers, Mark

Amazon UK customers - Buy Here customers - Buy Here!

The Scribes of Seely meet the Lady Mayor of Nottingham

Brilliant Books Benefit Night
Chameleon Art's Theatre, Nottingham
November 13th at 7.30pm
Three bands, including the New Apostles
A performance poet named Curtis Sabin
Readings from Sally Anne Wilkinson and Mark Barry
Bar. Raffle. Prizes. Smoking bit.
Tickets a fiver - all for the project.

Details all over this blog (last two posts)

Phil with son Alex - fanatical reader and alumni of Brilliant Books :-)


  1. Nice post... and great collaboration. Thrilled to be included and grateful you are all doing such wonderful things.

    I wish much success to this Brilliant Books project and I hope it will inspire more kids to read all over the world.

    Thanks to the team for all your hard work. And Mark, for your kind words and everyday laughs!

  2. What a wonderful bio-post for us all! Thank you, Mark, for not only being involved in such an important, meaningful organization, but putting your time and money behind this particular avenue of its forward motion. I'd have written a novel in support of such a worthy cause, but was happy to share my little story about learning to love books. Hope you sell tons (I'm telling all my friends!) and are able to ably continue all your good work. Thanks for the nod, my friend.

  3. Poppy gets the best photo award! Ha ha. Just saying.

    1. Thank you Brenda - she was highly suspicious of me placing the book know what they say about never working with children or animals - haha!

  4. I feel mightily honoured to be among such exulted company Marky and I'm loving your cap - is that new? And is it doing the job of keeping you warm during these Autumnal days? I think we should be told.

    Come on everyone, whether you are going, were going, would like to go or never had any intention in going to the Benefit Night this is all for charidee folks so please run along to Amazon, dig deep and shell out an incredibly reasonable amount to sample the work of all of these writers...thanking yew Gxx

  5. Sooper post, love the pic on Twitter, too :)

  6. This is an awesome post! It's an honour to be among so many wonderful people all of whom are backing one amazing cause. Keep up the good work!

  7. This is so cool. What a wonderful project, team, and cause. I wish you all the best.