Thursday, 18 December 2014

WINNERS OF THE SOUTH WALES SHORT STORY COMPETITION 2014





We are pleased to announce the winners of the South Wales Short Story Competition. Congratulations to Andrea Wotherspoon from Caithness in Scotland. Her entry Breaking the Surface was the judges' favourite. 

Hayley Cox, senior publishing coordinator at Candy Jar Books, said: "The response to our competition once again has been breathtaking. Entries have come from all over the United Kingdom. We are truly a national event and we are especially pleased that one of our Celtic cousins has won the top prize."

Following a lengthy and difficult judging process, twelve short stories have been chosen for publication including Andrea Wotherspoon's winning entry. 

 
Sarah Evans (Welwyn Garden City), Tony Mayle (Alton) and Jane Collins (Bridgend) have also been highly commended for their entries. 


Winner
Breaking the Surface by Andrea Wotherspoon 

Highly Commended
Confessions of a Delinquent Daughter by Sarah Evans 
The Moon (and Back) by Tony Mayle  
The Fisherman’s Voice by Jane Collins 

Shortlist
Crisis Meeting in Hell by Jonathon Macho 
Finding Confidence by Linda Poole 
Imaginary Friends by Cheryl Powell 
Reality of Guilt by Rob Tye 
Saved By A Wallet And Some Salmon Teriyaki! by Danny Harris
The Painted Nails by Helen Chambers 
Trunk by Molly Jarvis 
Tulips by Holly Miles 

The book is due to be released in early 2015.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

TOMORROW'S WORLDS: WAR OF THE WORLDS


Another side step. Mark Brake, the author of Mark Brake’s Space, Time, Machine, Monster (featuring sections on Doctor Who) reviews the second edition of BBC 2's Tomorrow’s Worlds – a programme about the history of sci-fi. 



The greatest alien invasion in history began on bicycle.

HG Wells planned The War of the Worlds as he,“wheeled about the district marking down suitable places and people for destruction by my Martians”, as early as 1896.  It’s intriguing to picture him mapping mayhem as he declared his intentions to,“completely destroy Woking – killing my neighbours in painful and eccentric ways – then proceed via Kingston and Richmond to London, which I sack, selecting South Kensington for feats of particular atrocity”,(indeed, it’s South Kensington that is haunted by the sound of the Martians howling,“Ulla, ulla, ulla, ulla”in Wells’ finished story).

It’s the exquisite violence of Wells’ imagination that marks his genius. And it’s this delicious balance between the suburban and the alien that is the focus of the second episode of Dominic Sandbrook’s Tomorrow’s Worlds: the Unearthly History of Science Fiction. Sandy, as viewers have come to affectionately know him, almost adopts a space/time/machine/monster structure to this series, but instead of ‘monster’, and as an historian whose expertise includes the Cold War (he’s written a biography on McCarthy), he’s sticking to what he knows most about - invasion paranoia!

Sandy opens this second programme with War of the Worlds, the key Victorian sci-fi work he conveniently skipped in episode one, as it would have ruined his thesis.  He correctly identifies War of the Worlds as the most enduring alien invasion myth of the 20th century.  Wells’ story was essentially copied many times, and adapted directly by Orson Welles in his famous radio broadcast in 1938, when broadcast radio was only 20 years old, making the programme exceptionally innovative, daring, and all the more scary to listeners (Sandy omitted to mention that Welles’ radio version was a Halloween broadcast, making it even scarier).

Another reworking of the War of the Worlds myth was the 1996 movie, Independence Day.  As Sandy says, compared to the original, Independence Day is totally overblown.  Quiet suburban streets are replaced by a ‘drama’ played out in the seats of power, with the world’s landmarks taking a twatting (the film’s director, Roland Emmerich says they took great delight in blowing up the White House).  But Sandy is right when he suggests that this big budget demolition lacks a psychological punch.  When you remove the invasion from suburbia, you lose the sublime tension.  It seems that Spielberg was well aware of this, as both Close Encounters and E.T. do the job brilliantly.

And this brings me round to the topic of Doctor Who.  A few years ago, I was speaking at a London Science Museum event with the Doctor Who writer (among other things!), Paul Cornell.  When the audience asked us about the contribution Doctor Who made to science fiction, I was surprised to hear Paul say that he didn’t think Doctor Who was science fiction.  He thought it was about ‘galaxy and chips’.  I was delighted with this response.  So much so that we’ve used it in our Science of Doctor Who show ever since!

When Peter Capaldi was asked by The Guardian newspaper why Doctor Who had kept its sense of wonder for so long, the Twelfth Doctor gave a similar response to Paul Cornell, “It is this relationship between the domestic and the epic.  The sense that there's a bridge, that a hand can be extended, and you can step from the Earth, from the supermarket car park, into the Andromeda nebulae or whatever”.  It’s that sublime tension again.


The book, Mark Brake's Space, Time, Machine, Monster, also examines how sci-fi helped build the world in which we live. It is is available to buy now from Amazon and the Candy Jar store.


Thursday, 27 November 2014

BLACK FRIDAY

We love a bargain, and what better time to grab one than just before Christmas?

To showcase our shiny new online shop (and to join in with the Black Friday fun) we've taken 40% off all of our released books for today only. Don't miss out!



Sunday, 23 November 2014

TOMORROW'S WORLDS : MISSING A PAST

Mark Brake, the author of Mark Brake’s Space, Time, Machine, Monster reviews last night’s Tomorrow’s Worlds – a programme about the history of sci-fi. Next week is a Doctor Who heavy episode. Don’t miss it!




On TV, no one can hear you scream.

Or at least that’s what it seemed like last night, as I screamed enthusiastically at historian Dominic Sandbrook’s presentation of Tomorrow’s Worlds: the Unearthly History of Science Fiction, on BBC Two.

Dominic did a reasonable job of guiding us through the science fiction of space, the first theme of this four-part series. But as his focus was film, I felt his theories were left a little lacking in leaving out a lot of the fiction that had inspired the movies.

Witness Dominic’s account of the roots of sci-fi. The origin of it all, he says, comes from tales of trips to the Moon, from the likes of Jules Verne. You can see why Dominic took this tack.  Verne’s book was very influential on one of sci-fi’s first ever films – Le Voyage dans la Lune, a 1902 French silent movie, directed by Georges Méliès.

And yet the first Moon stories of sci-fi were published in the 1630s, over two centuries before Jules Verne, and way before the days of cinema.  Both Somnium, by Johannes Kepler, and A Man in the Moone by Francis Godwin (the Bishop of Llandaff in Cardiff!) were lunar journeys that involved meetings with alien life. Dominic says the cool thing about Jules Verne is that he got the maths right.  Well, Johannes Kepler was Imperial Mathematician to the Pope! Kepler really got his maths right. He was the man who gave us the laws of how the planets move in orbit about the Sun!

Perhaps the programme’s biggest problem was ignoring the influence of that Shakespeare of sci-fi, HG Wells.

Dominic suggested that Star Trek was Victorian in its attitude to other peoples and nations. But, that most influential of the Victorian writers, Wells had warned against such an attitude with The War of the Worlds, a cautionary tale about empires swanning around as if they owned the place.

The programme also suggested that Victorian sci-fi had put man at the centre of the Universe. And yet, the era’s most influential work, The War of the Worlds did exactly the opposite; humans are faced with the technologically superior and invading Martians (I suspect Dominic is conveniently keeping this Wells tale for the next episode on ‘Invasion’).

Next up, Dominic introduces the movie masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Its author, Arthur C Clarke, was determined to move humans from their assumed centre of the cosmos, according to Dominic. And yet Clarke’s entire approach was greatly influenced by Wells who had quoted Kepler when he said of alien life, “But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? … Are we, or they, Lords of the World? … And how are all things made for man?” In other words, who’s boss of the Universe?! Clarke was following a line started by Kepler, and carried on by Wells.

Still, even though the programme missed out on this longer fictional view for the sake of film, it was nonetheless thought provoking.

The link between the sea and space was conjured up in the programme’s account of the James Cameron movie, Avatar. The film’s main planet, Pandora, presented an ecology very reminiscent of deep sea ecology on Earth. This is no doubt influenced by Cameron’s journey to the Mariana Trench; he’s the first person ever do a solo descent to this deepest part of the ocean.

Science fiction began in the days of Shakespeare. It was Kepler who had first encouraged the building of ships fit for space.  In the last few minutes of the programme, Dominic claimed the desire for space has fizzled out.  No doubt the script was written and filmed before the ESA Rosetta mission successfully plonked a lander on a comet speeding at 40,000mph, much to the adoring delight of the world on social media!

I look forward to the next three episodes; on invasion, robots, and time travel respectively.  Hopefully, people will come out of Tomorrow’s Worlds wanting to know and read more.


The book, Mark Brake's Space, Time, Machine, Monster, also examines how sci-fi helped build the world in which we live. It is is available to buy now from Amazon and the Candy Jar store.


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

HAPPY BONFIRE NIGHT


Happy bonfire night! As a special treat here's an extract from one of our latest books featuring the man of the moment: Guy Fawkes.



A dozen of the King’s Guard had chased him to the end of a long stone corridor. He was cornered now in passages deep beneath the Houses of Parliament; the building that he’d come to destroy. There was nowhere left to run.

Breathless, he turned to face his pursuers, sizing up each of them and searching for a weak link, weighing up whether there was any way that he could fight his way out. The guards, each of them protected by their leather coats and iron breastplates, stood four across and three deep, cutting off any hope of escape. They held half-pikes that were thrust menacingly towards him. He didn’t stand a chance.

He thought about his partners in this scheme and wondered whether they would have more luck. It was certainly a great shame that they’d no longer be able to see their mission through. 

And all because of that strange little old man. 

He recalled the last few moments, considering where it had all gone wrong.

Their plan had been simple, but the effect would have been devastating. A blast that would have been heard around the world. 

He’d hidden in these cellars for days with little water and even less food, but none of that had bothered him as such small sacrifices would be worth it in the end. And he’d come so close, too. Today was to be the day. He had gone through his final checks: examining each wooden barrel, each fuse, and making sure that nothing could go wrong. Through their connections they had managed to secure the ideal location: a huge disused cellar located directly beneath the House of Lords. Right where they needed to be! The planning had taken months, years even, with thousands of pounds spent and countless favours called in, all of which would have soon borne fruit. They wouldn’t have known what had hit them.

His surroundings were filthy; his dust-covered cloak shrouded his scruffy clothes, and his normally smart boots had been made dull with dirt. Scraps of food were lodged in his moustache and his bushy, reddish-brown beard.

When he checked the contents of the last barrel, his cloak had fallen from his shoulder, exposing a thick, powerful arm. On his forearm was the scar he’d been given in a knife-fight but above that scar was a more intriguing sight altogether. A mark that he always kept hidden, unless in certain and familiar company; the inky tattoo of a quill, a mark that each of his co-conspirators also boasted. The mark of the Brotherhood.

He had examined the fuse one final time, thinking with pride how it was him who had been chosen to complete this, the most important of tasks. Those thirty-six barrels, filled to the brim with gunpowder, which would change history. And it was he who had been chosen to light the fuse. A single match that would illuminate the city and bring with it a new beginning. This king hadn’t understood them. It had fallen upon his brethren to make a change.

He remembered looking at his pocket watch. The time had come. So much firepower would not just demolish Parliament but also most of Central London. The blaze would light up the night and burn for a year. People would long remember this day and sing songs about it. And him? Well, they were sure to make effigies of him and chant his name. He would have been a hero.

If only it wasn’t for that old man. 

He recalled how, in his final moments of preparation, he had been startled by a voice from the darkness. He’d thought he had been alone.

‘Penny for them, Guy?’ the voice had said.

‘Huh? Who’s there?’ He recoiled in fright, shocked that someone had been lurking in the shadows.

‘Your thoughts, Guido,’ the invisible voice replied. ‘A penny for them?’

An old face had then moved towards him out of the darkness. The face belonged to a man, a rather pleasant looking old man, who was only just taller than the wooden barrel that he’d hidden behind.

‘I don’t know who you are,’ Guy replied. He felt calmer as he realised that the stranger carried no threat. ‘But you can’t stop this. You’re too late. This is my destiny!’

He had taken a match then and, kneeling by the slow-burn fuse, had deliberately, poignantly, struck the match and watched as the bright flame threw the cellar into light. 

‘I’m afraid, Mr Fawkes,’ the old man had said, ‘that there will be no fire in the sky tonight. I cannot let you succeed again. Not this time.’ He’d then swiftly blown out the match before adding, ‘But you are right about one thing: the world will remember you.’

Dumbfounded, Guy had done nothing but stare blankly at where the wrinkled face had been, holding the spent match as it had smouldered in his fingers. Coming to his senses, he’d then reached out, snatching at nothing but a handful of darkness. The figure had vanished. 

It was then that dozens of heavy footsteps clattered on the stone outside the door. Then a loud crash as the doors had burst open and sent shards of wood flying across the room as the King’s Guard charged through. 

He’d run for all he was worth, but there was no way out. His escape route was blocked by a bolted door.

He evaluated the scene again. This isn’t how it was supposed to happen. Who was that old man? And how did he vanish into thin air?

Deciding that he’d rather go down fighting, Guy pulled a dagger from his belt and braced himself for the fight that he knew would end his life. He steeled himself to charge but stalled as the wall of soldiers parted suddenly. 

Will they really let me through? 

His optimism was short-lived. A heavy rattling was followed by the emergence of two soldiers rolling a small cannon into the gap that they had created. Clearly they were taking no chances with him. Then, reminiscent of himself only moments before, one of the guards knelt and struck a match, lighting the fuse. Seconds later there was a loud bang.

Guy Fawkes saw it all in slow motion. The dagger fell from his hand as the cannonball flew through the air towards him.

This was it.

His time had come.

Read more in Tommy Parker: Destiny Will Find You!






Monday, 27 October 2014

ZOMBIE JIG AND JIVE AND OTHER CREEPY TALES


Vampire babysitters, zombie best friends and demonic rabbits are just a few of the creepy characters to appear in a fresh new collection of short stories for children available just in time for Halloween.

Fantastical and fun, Zombie Jig and Jive and Other Creepy Tales has been written by Karla Brading and beautifully illustrated by up-and-coming artist, Carie Martyn. This collection of seven short stories for children will put a smile on your face and send a shiver down your spine.
 
 


 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

CANDY JAR PUBLISHES CLASSIC





On the fiftieth anniversary of the film’s release, and to mark what would have been its author’s ninetieth year, Candy Jar Books is re-issuing the official novelisation of Stanley Kubrick’s classic Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Preserved by the US National Film Registry in recognition of its cultural importance, rated by the American Film Institute as the third funniest movie ever made, provocative, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Dr Strangelove is a cinematic landmark.

Included in this new edition is a never-before-published short by Peter George about Strangelove’s early career. Offering an insight into the character’s background, and slyly alluding to the real-life figures which inspired the creation of him; this ‘exclusive’ new content is a fascinating addition to the Strangelove legend.     

Despite its status as a comedy classic, Dr Strangelove… was inspired by a far more downbeat source: Peter George’s novel Two Hours to Doom (Red Alert in the USA). A solemn look at the madness of Mutually Assured Destruction, Two Hours… was considered so chillingly accurate that it was used as a tactical training document on both sides of the Atlantic.

Kubrick was so impressed with the novel that not only did he buy its film rights, but he asked George to adapt it for the screen. George, alongside Kubrick and Terry Southern, was Oscar nominated for his work in doing so, a process which had transformed his grave forewarning of nuclear Armageddon into the raucous and biting satire that we know today. George was the natural choice for the novelisation which he started before the film was completed.

Much of what is iconic and influential about the movie originates in Two Hours… The real-life hotline which connects the US president to his Russian counterpart was installed in response to anxious readers of the book; meanwhile, the code ‘CRM-114’, which Kubrick enthusiasts diligently search for across his films, is first to be found in George’s Two Hours to Doom.

And George once again pushed his story into unexplored territory, developing many scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film, and fleshing out the narrative.

Sadly, he took his own life in June 1966, just a year after his Oscar nomination, for reasons that haven’t yet been understood but will be explored in the publication of his biography.

Candy Jar Books is an independent, Cardiff-based publisher, and was approached with George’s work by his son, having previously commissioned a biography of the late author. Dr Strangelove…, the official novelisation, is the first in a series of re-issues that will ultimately see the entirety of Peter George’s back catalogue in print.

With a Blu-ray set of Kubrick’s work, the Masterpiece Collection, also being released this year, the time is right for an important part of the Strangelove story to once more be made available. Head of Publishing for Candy Jar Books Shaun Russell said, ‘We are delighted to be publishing such an influential and ground-breaking story. Dr Strangelove… is part of the fabric of our culture, and to be able to share the novelisation with the world, particularly in such a landmark year, is a privilege.’

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is published by Candy Jar Books and is available in paperback from December 2014. Pre-order now!



HOW SCIENCE FICTION HAS SHAPED THE WORLD WE LIVE IN

OUT NOW!

Jam-packed with aliens and time machines, spaceships and cyborgs, Space, Time, Machine, Monster explores how sci-fi helped build the world in which we live.

Of the fifty biggest-selling movies of all time, most are sci-fi films. Ten million viewers tune in each week to watch Doctor Who. And in the ever-expanding world of computer games, sci-fi titles rule. Yet our futuristic world was imagined long ago. Dreamt up in the minds of movie directors and classic sci-fi stories. And now it's the world we live in. How did THAT happen?! As space tourism becomes a reality and the first human to live to 1000 has already been born, it's about time you found out!

Aimed at nine to twelve-year-olds, Space, Time, Machine, Monster provides a breakdown of science fiction, and it’s place in technology development and popular culture.

Get your copy now.





Wednesday, 1 October 2014

CANDY JAR GOES GREEN AND CLEAN!

Candy Jar Films recently completed a video project for Cardiff-based landscaping and groundwork specialists Green and Clean Landscapes.

Featuring an interview with owner Sean McCarthy, the promotional video features an example of one garden project completed for a client from start to finish.

You can watch the video here:


Green and Clean Landscaping Website

If you need to promote your company and stand out from the crowd, please get in touch to find out how we can help.

Please visit our website here: www.candyjarfilms.co.uk

Friday, 12 September 2014

BOOKS FOR THE BEACH

With Barack Obama, half the world’s press, not to mention several warships in town, Candy Jar decided to escape the chaos of the NATO conference and hit the beach. Clear blue surf, white sands and not a soul to be seen as far as the eye could see…

Embedded image permalink

Well, not exactly. Cardiff Bay Beach is the annual transformation of the heart of Cardiff Bay into a fairground/urban beach the summer. With the world’s eyes on the city, this year the beach’s opening was extended another week, and Candy Jar were invited to pop down the road and run a stall.



With books in hand and authors in tow, the team manfully shouldered the responsibility and spent the week at the simulated seaside – pirates, sharks and water zorbing included. Thanks to the good people of Cardiff Bay Beach for approaching us, to all of our authors who helped out, and to everyone we spoke to over the course of the week.  


CANDY JAR AUTHOR GETS DRAMATIC

Poet, pamphleteer and socialite, traveler, horticulturist and man of god and letters, the Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley was one of the best-connected figures of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, with friends and correspondents ranging from William Wilberforce to Marie Antoinette. But few of his circle were more influential than Hannah More, arguably the most popular female writer of her day, not to mention a famed educator, philanthropist and a major figure in efforts to abolish the slave trade.


Now a film on More’s remarkable life is in the works, and Professor Christopher Stephens, author of The Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley, the first biography of this singular gentleman, will be playing her long-time friend and neighbour. Professor Stephens spent ten years researching the eccentric, extravagant and generous life of Thomas Whalley, uncovering the voluminous range of his correspondence, the layout of his self-built mansion in the Mendip hills, and the course of his many travels throughout Europe. Having been a staunch and vocal champion of More’s often controversial work, the Reverend Doctor is bound to play an important role in the film, and in Professor Stephens the production will have an actor who knows his part inside out.

Hannah More is being produced by Redcliffe Films, and The Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley is available here.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

WAR HEROES' REUNION



80 Bletchley Park veterans have returned for a reunion 75 years after the War.

Eileen Younghusband, author of One Woman’s War, joined eighty of her fellow veterans at Bletchley Park this week to mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of operations beginning at the site. The code-breaking and intelligence operations conducted at the mansion are credited with shortening the Second World War by ‘two to four years’.

For many decades after the end of the war, employees of Bletchley Park were so tight-lipped about their top-secret work that Churchill labelled them ‘the geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled’. However, with a major new film on their operations soon to be released, recognition for, and interest in, the team that cracked the enigma cipher is at an all-time high.

Eileen herself joined the war effort when she was nineteen, in 1941, and served as a Filterer Officer on RAF bases across the country.  Her own story went untold for years, she, like her colleagues,  having signed the Official Secrets Act; it is now available in One Woman’s War, an autobiography that is a testament to the invaluable work of the WAAF in the fight against fascism.

NEW ROYAL ON THE WAY


Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are expecting their second child. The future prince or princess was announced on Monday, just two months after the first birthday of the couples’ first son, George. The Queen is said to be delighted at the news.

As with her first child, Kate is said to be suffering severe morning sickness, which has led to her pregnancy being announced early. However, at the opening of a new study centre at Oxford University, William reassured the crowds that the Duchess was on the mend.

One well-wisher is Candy Jar’s own Colin Edwards, photographer and author of A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family, who said that he was ‘thrilled’ that baby George would soon have a new playmate. A regular at royal walkabouts, he added, ‘I hope that, next spring, after the baby is born, I will once again be able to meet and congratulate the Duke and Duchess on the new arrival.’

No doubt Colin will become a familiar face to the child, as he has been to the past three generations of the Royal Family. Having presented one of his photographs of the infant William to Kate, at a walkabout following their marriage, he is already looking forward to the new royal’s first public appearance. 

SCHOOL KIDS PERFORM CANDY JAR TITLE AT NATIONAL COMPETITION


BookSlam 2014 saw hundreds of primary school pupils from all over Wales congregate in Brecon for a children’s literary bonanza. Over two rounds, dozens of schools competed to wow the judges with their enthusiasm for their favourite books. The children of Broadhaven School ran out the eventual winners, having impressed with their discussion of Nina Bawden’s Carrie’s War and a dramatic presentation of Silent Mountain, an adventure story with an ecological twist by Candy Jar’s own Michelle Briscombe.

Broadhaven’s headteacher, Mr A Williams, was delighted with his students’ success: ‘Our pupils got in touch with Michelle Briscombe… to say they would be presenting her work in the BookSlam competition. She wished them the best of luck, and her words obviously had the desired effect!’

BookSlam is an annual event ran by the Welsh Books Council. Medi Jones-Jackson, Children’s Books and Reading Promotion Officer for the council, was delighted to see the children ‘brimming with enthusiasm’ for the chance to analyse and perform their favourite books. Candy Jar is very proud to have played a part in inspiring the pupils of Broadhaven, and would like to congratulate them on their success (and impeccable taste)!

To find out what they’re so enthusiastic about, click here.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

CANDY JAR BOOK FESTIVAL COMES TO A CLOSE!

We’d like to say a big thanks to everybody who was involved in our Candy Jar Book Festival!

© Candy Jar 2014
We began the festival on Saturday (August 2nd) with a How to Write a Winning Short Story workshop at Cardiff Central Library with Andy Frankham-Allen and Laura Foakes. This workshop was extremely interesting and was a great introduction to our South Wales Short Story Competition.

The following Saturday (August 9th) Mark Brake, author of Space, Time, Machine, Monster and TV presenter, John Chase entertained young Doctor Who fans with The Science of Doctor Who. Jon’s Doctor Who rap had the kids dancing in the aisles.

© Candy Jar 2014
On Monday (August 11th) Lynda Nash shared her personal experiences of creating children’s pre-school book Danny Down the Drainpipe. After reading the book aloud she encouraged the kids to create their very own book.

On Tuesday (August 12th) Laura Foakes and Emma Taylor, author-illustrator duo of The Liars’ and Fibbers’ Academy, wowed and amazed the audience with their shocking untruths in How to be a Fibber Extraordinaire.

© Candy Jar 2014
On Wednesday (August 13th) Manic Mondays author Michaela Weaver shared her wisdom about all things literary in her creative writing workshop. Thanks to all those who turned up!



© Candy Jar 2014


On Thursday Eileen Younghusband BEM (August 14th), author of One Woman’s War and Men I Have Known, dazzled the crowds indulging the secrets of the WW2 Filter Room, and shared her memories of how women helped to win the war. We had a big surprise for Eileen, when Britain’s Got Talent candidate Nathan Wyburn unveiled and presented his portrait of Eileen created from a collage of images.

Also on Thursday in Monsters, Magic and Michelle Briscombe Michelle discussed the horrible monsters and mystical magic in her book Silent Mountain, and got us all thinking about our favourite magical books and monstrous characters.

© Candy Jar 2014
On Friday (August 15th) Benjamin Burford Jones and Andy Frankham-Allen talked about how monsters and mirrors have played a role in their writing, and royal enthusiast Colin Edwards shared his exclusive, intimate photographs, memories and stories of his meeting with the Queen Mother, the Queen, and Princess Diana.

We closed our week (Saturday August 16th) with Anthony Ormond, who talked about how the concept of time travel has inspired books, television and films over the years, and how this impacted his book Tommy Parker: Destiny Will Find You!

© Candy Jar 2014
We’ve had a fantastic week. Thank you to everybody who came down to say hello, and we hope that you enjoyed our events. We hope that the festival will have been the first of many over the years!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

THE SCIENCE OF DOCTOR WHO



To celebrate the start of the Candy Jar Book Festival, critically-acclaimed author and science wizard Mark Brake will be entertaining guests with The Science of Doctor Who, a free kids show to that explores the ins and outs of one of sci-fi's most loved universes.

Making an appearance alongside Mark will be rapper and TV presenter Jon Chase, who will be providing his own fun-filled perspective on Who's science.

The event will take place 9th August at Cardiff Central Library at both 12pm and 2pm. Bringing the perfect blend of charisma, humour and education into the mix, people of all ages can enjoy the dynamic duo's unique method of entertaining kids with a little bit of a twist.

Over the years Mark has already written a number of books closely related to the event's topic, including Space Hoppers, Really, Really Big Questions about Space and Time and The Alien Hunter's Handbook. His latest book, Space, Time, Machine, Monster has just been released by Candy Jar Books and serves as an irreverent look at how science fiction and the good Doctor have impacted and changed our lives.

If you'd like to know more about the festival, click here.

Monday, 4 August 2014

SECRET PROJECT ANNOUNCED BY ANDY FRANKHAM-ALLEN!

SecretOur very own Andy Frankham-Allen, author of Companions: Fifty Years of Doctor Who Assistants speaks about a very exciting upcoming project:
It’s very difficult to talk about a project that isn't allowed to be revealed in the public forum, but over the next few months, until it’s officially announced in December, I shall tell you what I can.
The process of securing the rights for this project took only a matter of weeks, really, such was the level of trust between the licence owner and I (and my publisher). You see, this property we now have the exclusive rights to is something very important to a lot of people, my publisher and me included, and we know how important it is to get this right.
And yet, in spite of the sheer weight of responsibility on us to get this right, we just knew we can do it. In some ways it feels like we were born to make this happen. Will it be hard work? You betcha. Will we be taking it seriously? You betcha. Will we be having fun? Abso-fracking-lutely!
adam-and-georgina
© BBC 1966
My first task was to assemble a team of authors, who would normally have much more freedom, but this being the opening gambit, I had to set up a very specific shopping list for each of the first four books. Fortunately, this list proved to be another fun enticement for the authors who have joined us at this early stage of the project. With this part now completed, it’s become a case of writing the first batch of books. I’m writing the first, which I can reveal the title of: The Forgotten Son.
By the time of the official announcement the plan is to have the first three books, at least, in the bag. We’ve started talking about the style of covers, and I have to say it’s going to be very exciting. We’ve talked about the tone of the series, and likened it to Adam Adamant Lives! meets The Avengerswith a dash of Danger Man thrown in for good measure. We even have two (maybe three) different phases in mind for the series, three distinct periods in which to set it and utilising the same characters. What does all this mean? Well, obviously I cannot possibly explain any more than I have, but when all is revealed it will make perfect sense.
For now it’s time to start proper work on The Forgotten Son. Already Phil Raymond is feeling a chill in the air while he walks near Golitha Falls in Cornwall, and he’s not sure it’s the weather he feels…

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

THE CANDY JAR BOOK FESTIVAL... COMING SOON!

We are very excited to announce that this August we will be launching The Candy Jar Book Festival!

Featuring our top authors, the festival will be based in Cardiff’s city centre from Saturday 9th-16th August, with events taking place at nearby locations including Cardiff Central Library, WHSmith, Cardiff Story Museum and The Plan. Throughout the week there will be appearances from:

  • Eileen Younghusband (One Woman’s War and Men I Have Known)
  • Mark Brake (Space, Time, Machine, Monster)
  • Anthony Ormond (Tommy Parker: Destiny Will Find You!)
  • Colin Edwards (A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family)
  • Michelle Briscombe (Silent Mountain)

And many more...

There will be plenty of opportunities to meet and chat to authors as they host creative writing discussions, workshops, subject talks, and readings. Keep an eye on our website and this blog for more details.

Avid readers and aspiring writers of all ages; we welcome you to come down and say hi. We look forward to seeing you!



Friday, 18 July 2014

WATCH OUR ROYAL PHOTO VIDEOS!

One of our most recent publications, A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family by Colin Edwards features exclusive photographs of members of the royal family over several decades - taken from the perspective of a royal watcher enthusiast, offering intimate and candid pictures of our monarchy.

With a strong focus on HM The Queen, Lady Diana and HM The Queen Mother, the book also includes photographs of HRH Prince Charles, Kate Middleton and other members of royalty.

We filmed a series of interviews with Colin, which you can watch here:




 

You can watch more videos on the Candy Jar Books YouTube channel.

Candy Jar Books


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SOUTH WALES SHORT STORY COMPETITION RETURNS!

After the success of the South Wales Short Story Competition in 2012, Candy Jar Books is once again offering aspiring writers the chance to have their work published for the very first time. This year the publisher has teamed up with Cardiff Libraries to make the event even bigger and better!

In 2012 the winning entry was awarded to Laura Foakes for her story The Countess and the Mole Man. Since then Laura has been working closely with Candy Jar and in July Laura's debut novel for children The Liars' and Fibbers' Academy will be released.

Laura said: "I entered the South Wales Short Story Competition at the last minute (with an old story) never thinking I would win. When I was asked for further passages of my book I swear I floated home and the train had nothing to do with it. I write every day and also attend two local writing groups for inspiration, motivation and fun. I'm passionate about getting children to read for sheer enjoyment, and still pinch myself most mornings that Candy Jar has given me the opportunity to be published."

Laura Foakes with the 2012 winning entry, The Countess and the Mole Man

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at the Cardiff-based publishing company, said: "Since 2012 we've had a number of success stories at Candy Jar, with one of our books even winning the People's Book Prize. We are extremely committed to encouraging new talent and hope the public will take the time to participate."

The South Wales Short Story Competition is currently accepting submissions. Entrants are permitted to submit up to two short stories and these can be a maximum of three thousand words. The competition is open to all unpublished writers.

Hayley Cox, senior publishing coordinator at Candy Jar, believes that short stories are an excellent way for writers to perfect their craft. She said: "The discipline and imagination required for creating and structuring a good short story is excellent practice for an aspiring writer. The experience winning writers will gain will be invaluable in preparing them for future publication."

All submissions must be received by 5pm on Saturday 16th August 2014. The competition is £2 to enter. The winner will get a Kindle Fire, and all shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology.

Entries can be sent via the website: Candy Jar Short Story Competition

Alternatively, they can also be posted to: Candy Jar Books, 113-115 Bute Street, Cardiff, CF10 5EQ.

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Friday, 30 May 2014

BEEFEATER IN THE PAPERS!


© Candy Jar Ltd 2013

Geoffrey Abbott, author of From Butcher's Boy to Beefeater has received fantastic coverage in some of the nation's most popular newspapers. These include The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Express, including many other local prints.

Receiving the title of 'Most British Man Ever' and 'Britain's Most Patriotic Man' from The Daily Mail and The Telegraph respectively, the Mail reads: "Incredibly, despite a highly eventful life, Mr Abbott has found the time to write 24 books - the latest of which is his autobiography - 'From Butcher's Boy to Beefeater'."

As well as this, Geoffrey will also be interviewed on ITV Border for an upcoming report on his life.

Providing an excellent chance for Geoffrey's retrospective and inspirational story to become more public, the book follows his journey from his early teenage years of working on the milk crate, and spending 35 years in RAF, to finally serving as a Yeoman Warder - or Beefeater - in the Tower of London itself.

Candy Jar Books are proud to play a part in telling Geoffrey Abbott's story, which is available to order from our website. Click here to order now.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

COLIN EDWARDS ON NBC TODAY!

Colin Edwards, the man behind 'A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family' appeared on NBC's Today Show on saturday to spread his love for the British Monarchy.

Interviewed by Ben Fogle himself, Colin spoke about his experiences meeting the Royals, including Diana, Princess of Wales. He says he came to develop a rapport with Diana, who would speak to Colin at every opportunity during her various public walkabouts. "She said, 'Colin, the boys love your photographs," he remembers.

Click the image below to link to the video.



Friday, 25 April 2014

ROYAL WATCHER ON HIS OWN PUBLIC TOUR!

Colin Edwards, author of the recently released photography book, A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family, is now on his own tour of the country to showcase his book to the public.

Colin Edwards proudly presents his book.

Now at 73, Colin is able to share a passion with others that he has enjoyed for over 50 years. From the very first moment his interest began during the H.M The Queen's coronation in 1953, he has devoted his time to meeting and photographing the Royal Family at a variety of public events and walkabouts.

In doing so, Colin has created a fascinating historical archive that captures the House of Windsor in some of their most endearing moments. Primarily featuring the three most popular Royals of the 20th century, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales, the book is perfect for any budding Royalist, with personal anecdotes providing insightful context into the photographs and their subjects.

As part of the promotional campaign for the book, Colin is now signing copies at a variety of sites. These include:

  • Mold Library - Wednesday 30th April
  • Wrexham Waterstones - Saturday 3rd May
  • Chester Waterstones - Saturday 24th May
  • Macclesfield Waterstones - Saturday 7th June
  • Rhyl Library - Tuesday 10th June

More confirmed dates are to follow. If you'd like to know more about the book or to purchase a copy, visit us at www.candyjarbooks.co.uk, or at the book's website at www.candy-jar.co.uk/royalfamily.html.