Crush UK, One Act Plays For Boys and more to follow...

It is with some disgust that I have today been met with the realisation that I haven't posted on this blog for a full two months. The reasons are quite simple: I've been busy editing and publishing, which is why I've had to take a break to stop by now and give an update on exactly what we at Beaten Track have been up to during this brief period of apparent absence.

Firstly, there was the launch party for 'It's A Game Of Two Halves', held at The Dog House in the historical and, it has to be said, rather fine city of Norwich. The weather was glorious; The Dog House staff went 'above and beyond' to make us all feel welcome, and Mr. Frederick RJ Hartman conducted himself superbly. The venue was packed and it took a good two hours (and more) for Fred to reach the end of the book-signing queue.

It is fairly safe to say that 'It's A Game Of Two Halves' has been well and truly launched, in spectacular fashion. Alas, it's a shame the same can't be said of Fred's beloved team's current season...

Following this, we published the UK edition of 'Crush', the excellent debut novel from Laura Susan Johnson. Now, I have to be honest and tell you that I didn't read 'Crush' prior to agreeing to publish it, but I did have the commendations of my proof-readers and 'assistant editors'. However, there comes a point when the editor really has to read the book they are editing, and I'm not sorry about this - it truly is an amazing story. Anyway, I'm not going to bleat on, because the following GoodReads review, by 'Andrea', really does say it best:

This novel surpasses almost every book I have ever read; I'm not entirely sure I could say I 'enjoyed' reading it, as the subject matter is at times very moving and upsetting. However, I have rarely, if ever, come across a book written in such a way that invoked such powerful reactions and emotions within me as a reader.

A bold, stunning, hard hitting, harrowing and yet delicate and tender story of two men who had been in love for a very long time, but had denied themselves each other due to fears of how their small town society would react. There are some very difficult to read passages dealing with child abuse, animal abuse and the emotional scars and impacts this has on the protagonists' lives later on; they are described quite graphically but are in no way gratuitous.

I have to confess that I had never been more convinced that a story would not have a 'happy ending' than I was reading this novel, yet the characters were that well written that I couldn't help hoping, against all odds, that love might triumph.

I won't tell you which won out - I'll beg you to support this fabulous author and purchase/read the book yourself!!

Next up was 'One Act Plays For Boys' - a first collection of plays published by playwright David Hughes. In this volume, David offers up five of his plays written specifically for small casts of boys, the motivation for which comes from his extensive experience as Head of Drama and Theatre Studies in an award-winning performing arts specialist college - a role that has inspired him to produce original and exciting work for groups of young people, aiming to cater for those students who might struggle with the classics, and also for establishments that find existing performance pieces too difficult to stage within the school / exam context.

As the word 'volume' implies, this is just the first in a series, with 'One Act Plays For Girls' due for publication before the end of 2012. Throughout the series, the plays are accompanied by character descriptions, staging ideas and diagrams, making this an incredibly useful addition to any drama department 'library'.

This is Beaten Track's first educational text, and we are pleased to confirm that we accept school / local authority purchase orders (details can be found on the Payment Options page of our Online Shop, or contact us for further information). We are also offering one free copy for every 20 purchased.

I was privileged to be the first person to read 'Damaged Angels' - the second book by Larry Benjamin, author of 'What Binds Us'. (Thank you, Larry. Keep being fabulous.)

From the publisher (Bold Strokes):

The 13 stories in this collection give voice to the invisible, the damaged: the drug addicts and hustlers, the mentally ill, the confused, and the men who fall in love with them, all of them bravely trying to make a place for themselves in the world of unbroken men. Their worlds are sometimes the mean streets of decaying cities, sometimes the great beyond and, once, the earth itself.

Often dark, always evocative and lyrical, these stories delve into the lives of men clearly less-than-perfect and explore love in the context of disease and oncoming death as in "The Cross," drug addiction, as in "The Seduction of the Angel Gabrielle," and mental illness in "Two Rivers."

These stories explore the possibility that less-than-perfect is sometimes perfect.

I'm 80% of the way through and at this stage can only advise that you buy a copy! I'll be giving it a full review just as soon as I'm done (and have time).

On a final note, we currently have seven (possibly eight) books in varying stages of pre-publication, some with release dates as early as next month (November - National Novel Writing Month), so rather than cramming any more info into this, I will commit myself by confirming that there WILL be at least one more post before then to tell you more. That said, what I will tell you now is that one of these is the sequel to my novel 'Hiding Behind The Couch' (published earlier this year), so I thoroughly recommend you read it in preparation! (Please.)


  1. I'm so tired I can barely hold my head up but I wanted to say, very excited to read the blog this morning :) I want to buy Champagne and Larry Benjamin's new book asap. Sounds like a great read!

  2. Yes - Larry's book is wonderful and I think you'll really enjoy it (I reckon he'd like Crush too). It looks like Damaged Angels is only being released as an ebook, so the Bold Strokes link above should take you straight to it (don't quote me on the ebook bit, though).

    I'm not sure if you can get the paperback of Champagne still, as it's the first edition and the publisher is no more / was in the UK. I haven't spoken to them in a while, but I think they still have paperback copies. Unfortunately I can't re-publish as a paperback until I know that all of the original print run has gone.


Post a Comment