Who EU Talkin’ About Willis?!

Show me a good Tory and I’ll know you’ve been bewitched by the devil.

Quote taken from my Granddad, who hated Tories and everything else in the world.

 

I’m not usually a political person in the sense that I’m too cynical to trust anyone; all governments are murderers, all politicians are out for themselves, and I am too punk rock to comfortably embrace the establishment. Or maybe I’m delusional? I’ve been booked to perform my live show at Tony Blair’s old school; a future Prime Minister may be in the audience. I migh demand a knighthood and see who makes good on my request…but can a performing art fat punk like me ever accept a knighthood? I’ll probably be a hypocrite and strut around with my medal, demanding everyone call me SIR KIRKLAND OF CICCONE like Ben Kingsley when he’s starring in straight-to-DVD masterpieces.

Anyway, with all the uncertainty in the world I wanted to assure everyone that I intend to remain amazing. In all seriousness, though, the human cost aside…I’m worried that without EU funding we’ll see a lot of small press publishers struggle to get funding. The small press system has been essential in my development not only as a writer but as a person, the ideas of authors who put out their novels via a small press publisher seeping in my brain, motivating and developing me in ways that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. Authors such as Kathy Acker, who was a huge influence on Riot Grrrl, has been a big symbol for me of fearlessness. And of course YA/MG authors who have been influenced by small press publishers (you cannot tell me that Francesca Lia Block, who wrote Weetzie Bat, wasn’t influenced by the alternative scene) have gone on to sign major deals and put out their ideas to wider audiences. The underground always becomes mainstream, different voices are always important – even in YA fiction.

Not every author is a best-seller. Some are just grateful to get their ideas to an audience.

These publishers need money. And I hope in a post-Brexit world they’re supported, because they deserve it. It’s tough enough for the publishing industry in a time when libraries are being cut, librarians made redundant, and our audiences finding solace in their touch screen phones rather than a book. I hope everything goes well now that we don’t have our EU safety net. I’m genuinely worried. I understand why so many people went against the Remain Vote and we have to abide by it. But the consequences may be more far-reaching than we all suspect.

Meanwhile, I’m still looking for a brave and inspired publisher to take on my new YA book. It’s the best book I’ve put my name to and deserves a publisher with vision and guts. It’s doing the rounds and the process is a slow one, but of course I’ll tell everyone when (if) something happens. I’m writing in the meantime. Don’t worry! You’ll deffo get new stuff from me at some point.

I’m coming to England as well later this year for something I’m not allowed to talk about right now, so that’s cool. Basically I’m out and about everywhere there are books and audiences. Funding for that hasn’t been cut…yet! Oh that’s a bit downbeat sounding, isn’t it?  To counter that depressing last ling, here’s a photograph of me being fabulous.

DV IMAGE

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