// THE IMAGINATION THIEF — Literary Fiction with a touch of Magical Realism and a dusting of Horror.

LitFic

These five tales’ front covers featured in “Words with Jam”

 
Thank you to “Words with Jam”, for featuring these five front covers in its article on designing book covers:

http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/2016/04/working-with-book-cover-designer.html

by Jane Dixon-Smith of JD Smith Design. Jane designed my four novellas’ covers. She also did a super-cool job of both paperbacks’ interior designs, as can be seen via the “look inside” displays of

The Imagination Thief
and
The Platinum Raven and other novellas.

In both, the Rockwell font on the front covers is echoed in the running headers, footers, chapter titles and section headings of the printed interiors, around Franklin Gothic font for the text itself.

I’m looking forward to her continuing the same design scheme for the paperback interior of the upcoming novel The Beasts of Electra Drive, as well as for the covers of this novel’s print and electronic formats. In line with the imagery established on the existing five tales’ covers—featuring eyes, faces, and night-time skyscrapers in locations relating to the stories’ urban settings around the globe—The Beasts of Electra Drive will include the Los Angeles cityscape and skyline.

The “Words with Jam” article appears in connection with the publication of Jane’s recent book The Importance of Book Cover Design and Formatting.

Rohan Quine's five front covers in "Words with Jam"

Rohan Quine - book covers - literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror

New review of The Imagination Thief

 
A big thank you to novelist Andrew Wallace, for saying generous and finely-written things about The Imagination Thief:

his new review of the novel appears here

and is quoted from here.

“These sequences are incredibly powerful, richly poetic and unique. Rohan Quine is a very insightful writer […]. The freewheeling structure allows the author to dip in and out of different narratives and styles, worlds and fantasies. It also enables him to explore multiple genres, often within the same sequence […]. I often like to mention other similar books as a ‘way in’ for review readers but there is nothing else like this novel and that is my best recommendation.”

I’m pleased to have the amoral element of my narrator Jaymi pointed out to me, quite correctly. (I hadn’t 100% registered it myself before now, which is probably telling.)

Review by Andrew Wallace, of Rohan Quine's "The Imagination Thief"

 

Trisexual genre confusion at Foyles: shelved in LitFic, Fantasy and Horror

 
Let’s keep physical bookshops in business: these 5 tales are all on Foyles’ delightfully solid wooden shelves, which are still just as sturdy and woody and horizontal as they ever were, despite the world-dominating wispiness of the Internet. So if you haven’t been to Foyles’ beautiful new flagship book-palace in a while, drop in next time you’re in the West End (107 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT), pick up some good old-fashioned paper pages full of magic, and help make sure those bricks-and-mortar stores keep on doing the work of the angels.

Being literary fiction with a touch of magical realism and a dusting of horror, The Imagination Thief and The Platinum Raven and other novellas are shelved not only among the LitFic in the Fiction section, but also in the Fantasy/SciFi section and the Horror section too—all these being on the first floor. (See snapshots of all three shelves, below.)

Or for a less brutally 3D trip to Foyles, The Imagination Thief is at:
www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-imagination-thief,rohan-quine-9780992754907
and The Platinum Raven and other novellas is at:
www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-platinum-raven-and-other-novellas,rohan-quine-9780992754914

I should add that many kind reviews, some of a quite breathless enthusiasm, are available to demonstrate just what perversely high doses of imaginative nourishment and moral guidance are available through these little tomes. Yes—barely a dry seat in the house, one might almost say! Here they are:
Press and reviews for The Imagination Thief
Press and reviews for The Platinum Raven and other novellas

(Fuller list of retailers at www.rohanquine.com/buy.)

Rohan Quine's “The Imagination Thief” in Foyles' Fiction section

Rohan Quine’s The Imagination Thief in Foyles’ Fiction section

 

Rohan Quine's “The Platinum Raven and other novellas” in Foyles' Fiction section

Rohan Quine’s The Platinum Raven and other novellas in Foyles’ Fiction section

 

Rohan Quine's “The Imagination Thief” in Foyles' Fantasy/SciFi section

Rohan Quine’s The Imagination Thief in Foyles’ Fantasy/SciFi section

 

Rohan Quine's “The Platinum Raven and other novellas” in Foyles' Fantasy/SciFi section

Rohan Quine’s The Platinum Raven and other novellas in Foyles’ Fantasy/SciFi section

 

Rohan Quine's “The Imagination Thief” in Foyles' Horror section

Rohan Quine’s The Imagination Thief in Foyles’ Horror section

 

Rohan Quine's “The Platinum Raven and other novellas” in Foyles' Horror section

Rohan Quine’s The Platinum Raven and other novellas in Foyles’ Horror section

Snippet from upcoming novel The Beasts of Electra Drive, in indieberlin

 
I’m very grateful to ‎indieberlin‬, for revealing the first snippet of the upcoming novel The Beasts of Electra Drive, at:

www.indieberlin.de/music/introducing-rohan-quine.html

The Beasts of Electra Drive will be a prequel to all five existing published tales. As such, it will reveal the origins of seven lead characters who appear in those tales. The particular snippet that indieberlin has kindly excerpted happens to be from mini-chapter 76 “Jaymi creates the Platinum Raven’s soundtrack”—part of the genesis of the character called the Platinum Raven, whose subsequent exploits unfold in The Platinum Raven only.

This is in connection with indieberlin’s pioneering underground celebration of literary love, the Indieberlin Book Fair this Saturday. It’ll be taking place in Berlin, and also via the literophone‬ (for which no booth could be too fluffy, as explained here).

The Beasts of Electra Drive’s synopsis and strapline are at the bottom of this page.

'The Beasts of Electra Drive' by Rohan Quine, in 'indieberlin' 1

'The Beasts of Electra Drive' by Rohan Quine, in 'indieberlin' 2

'The Beasts of Electra Drive' by Rohan Quine, in 'indieberlin' 3

'The Beasts of Electra Drive' by Rohan Quine, in 'indieberlin' 4

 
Strapline for The Beasts of Electra Drive by Rohan Quine

From Hollywood Hills mansions and Century City towers, to South Central motels and the oceanside refinery, The Beasts of Electra Drive spans a mythic L.A., following seven spectacular characters (or Beasts) from games designer Jaymi’s game-worlds. The intensity of those Beasts’ creation cycles leads to their release into real life in seemingly human forms, and to their combative protection of him from destructive rivals at mainstream company Bang Dead Games. Grand spaces of beauty interlock with narrow rooms of terror, both in the real world and in the incorporeal world of cyberspace. A prequel to Quine’s existing five tales, The Beasts of Electra Drive is a unique explosion of glamour and beauty, horror and enchantment, exploring the mechanisms and magic of creativity itself.

 
Synopsis of The Beasts of Electra Drive by Rohan Quine

Jaymi is an independent games designer living on Electra Drive in the Hollywood Hills. Opposed to him are his former colleagues at Bang Dead Games. Their mounting competitiveness regarding his own extravagant game-creation reaches a point where they attack him physically with a flying drone.

Bang Dead is preparing the global release of a game called Ain’tTheyFreaky!, centring on five tabloid-flavoured social-media “Newsfeeds” for the victimisation of certain people by others—the “Gal Score”, “Guy Score”, “Trivia Score”, “Arts Score” and “Cosy Score”. Jaymi decides to fight back, for self-protection and to counteract this game’s destructive effects.

He takes an irrevocable step: after creating Amber, the most dangerous of the characters (or Beasts, as he calls them) who will populate Jaymi’s project The Platinum Raven, he releases Amber from that game, such that Amber slithers out from Jaymi’s computer monitor. Appearing human, this now-incarnated Beast is sent to stalk Ain’tTheyFreaky!’s creators in real life—developer Dud Guy, visual designer Kelly, IT boss Ashley and programmer Herb.

While Amber terrorises them, Jaymi creates a second Beast, Evelyn, a woman of ease and freedom, from his project The Imagination Thief. Incarnated too, she joins Amber in sabotaging a Bang Dead venture in the physical world.

As Jaymi’s output spawns three more titles—The Host in the Attic, Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong—he jumps into the creation cycles and subsequent incarnations of five more varied and human-seeming Beasts. These are Shigem, Kim, the Platinum Raven, Scorpio, and his own simulacrum the Jaymi Beast.

After surviving a gun drone attack, he decides his Beasts’ missions must escalate: they will infiltrate the substance of Ain’tTheyFreaky!. Evelyn, Shigem and Kim therefore sneak into one of its visual environments (a mythically seedy Downtown L.A.), where they target the game’s casually-programmed cruelty in tempting players to wreck the lives of the street queens of Violet Street. Shigem shames Herb into secretly working for Jaymi instead; and Kim persuades Ashley to join Jaymi likewise.

Then five Beasts collaborate to sabotage Ain’tTheyFreaky! at code level. Turning its own server farm into a fabulous nightclub, they break the game down into its constituent glyphs and pixels, and send these barrelling up the cyber-pipes into the tanks of the neighbouring refinery.

Kelly’s unrepentantness prompts Jaymi to send Amber to kill her. Amber is arrested, but escapes. Amber, Scorpio and the Jaymi Beast kidnap Dud, then tie him to the transmitter mast above the Hollywood Sign. Those same raw glyphs and pixels are refined into something of creative enchantment, when the tied-up Dud is forced to watch them billow from the refinery’s smoke-stacks into a visionary “screening”—all re-programmed to constitute the substance of Jaymi’s games instead. The Jaymi Beast himself then kills Dud on the mast.

As Jaymi Peek sends his Beasts back through the monitor to be permanently sealed into his games (thus escaping blame himself), he feels re-integrated. He also knows he has sabotaged something globally destructive, while creating riches that will unfurl in those five titles.

Publications of Dan Holloway’s & my Foyles presentation in LBF week

 

Thanks to Words with Jam and ALLi for publishing the presentation I gave at Foyles in London Book Fair week with Dan Holloway. Words with Jam have included the text of my talk there, as part of their generous account of the issues he and I presented regarding how literary fiction can flourish alongside more commercial categories of fiction in this ever-unfolding digital dynamic of publishing:

http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/2015/05/london-book-fair-fringe-at-foyles-part.html

Dan’s performance at Foyles was of his brilliant poem “Because”, whose text appears there and on his blog too.

ALLi has also kindly published that presentation of ours: mine at  and Dan’s at .

Text of Dan Holloway's & Rohan Quine's 17-04-15 Foyles talk, in 'Words with Jam' 1

 

Text of Dan Holloway's & Rohan Quine's 17-04-15 Foyles talk, in 'Words with Jam' 2

 

Text of Dan Holloway's & Rohan Quine's 17-04-15 Foyles talk, in 'Words with Jam' 3

 

Text of Dan Holloway's & Rohan Quine's 17-04-15 Foyles talk, in 'Words with Jam' 4

Text of Rohan Quine's presentation in Foyles 17-04-15, on June 2015 ALLi blog 1a

Text of Rohan Quine's presentation in Foyles 17-04-15, on June 2015 ALLi blog 3a

Text of Rohan Quine's presentation in Foyles 17-04-15, on June 2015 ALLi blog 4a

 

JJ Marsh’s review of The Imagination Thief at “Book Muse” and “Words with Jam”

At the review site Book Muse, crime novelist JJ Marsh has just reviewed The Imagination Thief:

http://bookmuseuk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-imagination-thief-by-rohan-quine.html?m=1

Many thanks to her, for her sharp and generous receptivity to my strange tale there. I like the perceptive fun of her comparisons, too—to Burroughs, Björk and sherbert dabs, among other enticing things.

Her review is also in the Reviews section of the current (June 2015) issue of Words with Jam magazine: http://www.wordswithjam.co.uk/p/june-2015-issue.html.

***

“Another difficult to classify book, but that’s precisely why it works so well. Part literary fiction, part fantasy, it is a surreal experience which makes the most of its equally offbeat location. With a cast of unforgettable characters and a central premise both intriguing and epic […].

[…] In Asbury Park, New Jersey, an abandoned holiday resort, preparations for the strangest and biggest show on earth continue. They encounter an eclectic bunch of characters; lovers, enemies, slaves and masters, all of whom provide Jaymi with a wealth of material. But information is power, and more than one person wants access.

The swooping eloquence of this book had me hypnotised. Quine leaps into pools of imagery, delighting in what words can do. The fact that the reader is lured into joining this kaleidoscopic, elemental ballet marks this out as something fresh and unusual. In addition to the language, two other elements make their mark. The seaside ghost town with echoes of the past and the absorbing, varied and rich cast of characters.

It’s a story with a concept, place and people you’ll find hard to leave.”

 Jill Marsh's review of Rohan Quine's 'The Imagination Thief' in 'Book Muse' 1

 

Jill Marsh's review of Rohan Quine's 'The Imagination Thief' in 'Book Muse' 2

The Imagination Thief in “Books and Films” article in indieberlin

 
The Imagination Thief has appeared, in cool company, in the article “Books and Films” in indieberlin, about publications whose words are mixed with film in one way or another:

http://www.indieberlin.de/indie-lit/books-and-films-writers-who-also-make-videos.html

 

Rohan Quine in Polly Trope’s article 'Books and Films' in indieberlin 1

The novel’s text remains self-sufficient, standing fully alone in its dead-tree paperback format. But as a close echo and instantiation of many central events in the story itself (involving lenses, film, broadcast, mirrors, iconography, self-images and multiple self-identities), the novel’s ebook format also includes optional audio-visual elements alongside the text. The four different kinds of audio-visual content living inside the ebook are:

(1) at the start of each of the novel’s 120 mini-chapters, one single hyperlink to that particular mini-chapter’s Video-Book version (which also resides here online, in the second main menu above, at I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX or X);

(2) at the start of each mini-chapter, a second single hyperlink, to that particular mini-chapter’s Audio-Book version (which also resides here online);

(3) spaced throughout the novel, 11 single hyperlinks to its 11 short Films (which also reside here online); and

(4) in each mini-chapter a couple of embedded stills from those 11 Films (taken from here online).

As the article shows, however, this is only one way in which text and pixels can dance together: the permutations of their dance will only increase, as bandwidths grow and virtual reality shimmers ever closer down the cyber-pipe towards us all.

Rohan Quine in Polly Trope’s article 'Books and Films' in indieberlin 2

As a genre bender on Triskele Books’ blog

 

May our genres be ever bent, if they wish to be so. A little piece called “Genre Bender” has appeared on Triskele Books’ blog, and warm thanks to them for having me there:

http://triskelebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/iaf15-genre-bender.html

This piece first appeared in the catalogue for Triskele’s event at Foyles the other day: http://triskelebooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/indie-author-fair-2015-author-listing.html

 

Rohan Quine as Genre Bender in Triskele Books blog

Second video interview by Ingram, at Foyles

 

Alongside the recent day of literary delights at Foyles in April (part of the London Book Fair’s Book & Screen Week) organised by ALLi and Indie ReCon, the book distributor Ingram Content kindly let me rabbit at them in another video chat about these five tales:

Click here for video: Ingram interview with Rohan, April 2015

Many thanks to Ingram’s Andy Bromley for the interview. A transcription of it is further down this page.

 

Transcription of this Foyles interview, as edited:

The name is Rohan Quine and the main title of the book is The Imagination Thief, and there are also four novellas called The Platinum Raven, The Host in the Attic, Apricot Eyes and Hallucination in Hong Kong. So, five titles so far—working on number six.

Well, marketing works best with a sleek, single genre. So for that reason I carefully selected three cross-genre categories … just to make things real easy for myself! [The five tales’] DNA is Literary Fiction, but there’s also very much a touch of Magical Realism going on in them, and a dusting of Horror, let’s say.

They’re a love-bite to the world. The world needs slapping across the face, for treating people as badly as it does, in many cases. I’m lucky just to be able to sit here and speak with some vague coherence, as I may be, but many people are slapped very hard by life in very many ways. And I think life sucks for doing that to people. I don’t know why it does it to people (nobody does, we none of us know, do we), but it does; life really beats some people up. As well as elevating and embracing others. It’s just this grand, messy, strange, glorious machine that we’re in. And we’d better love it as best we can, because we don’t have much choice over which machine we were put in: we were dropped into this one, whether we like it or not!

There are some supporting characters that I don’t have any part in. They were just useful to the plot, and in one or two cases I sort of took them from real life or melded different people in real life, to make them.

[By contrast, concerning the ten lead characters in the five tales (namely Alaia, Evelyn, Jaymi, Kim, Shigem, Angel, Pippa, Amber, the Chocolate Raven and the Platinum Raven):] there’s part of me in all of those [ten leads]. So, there’s a joyful sassy street-wise woman called Evelyn, there’s big-time part of me in her. And there’s a depressive dreamer [Pippa], a quiet dreamer who sits on her high-rise balcony alone, saying nothing, looking out, absorbing all she sees around her; even she’s somewhere in me too, I love her. And there are many other characters: there’s a dark, fierce sort of character [Angel, a.k.a. Scorpio], all kinds of shades of characters, light and dark, high and low, and I’m somewhere in all of [those ten], yes.

It’s a slow burn, because of what I write—slow but sure. In other words, certain authors (whom I greatly respect) are writing in categories where there is more of a ready-made community—or rather, to be more precise, a community that’s more accessible through established recognised channels. If you’re barmy enough to write what can loosely be called literary fiction, [on the other hand,] that’s less easy; that element of the task of doing what I’m doing here is less easy. It still happens, but over a longer slower-burn time-scale!

***

 

Ingram’s previous video interview with me at Triskele Books’ IAF in November 2014, which had a slightly more behind-the-scenes focus on the writing itself, is also online, along with a transcription, at:

Click here for video: Ingram interview with Rohan, November 2014

 

Video interview 17-04-15 with Rohan Quine by Ingram, 17-04-15 Foyles - 2

 Video interview 17-04-15 with Rohan Quine by Ingram, 17-04-15 Foyles - 1

Giving talk at Foyles with Dan Holloway

 
On 17 April 2015 at London’s most iconic bookstore, Foyles, Dan Holloway and I will be capering about onstage for your amusement, while making a serious point or three, during London Book Fair week:

to watch the video of us, click here.

That’s during the ticketed, less boozy part of the day. But a bit later we’ll be tucking into the carrot-juice, no doubt, after selling some books at http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Events/Detail.aspx?eventId=2519. It’s free to attend, so do come along for some fun and to pick up any springtime reading that may tickle your fancy, including my five tales: https://www.rohanquine.com/buy

***

…And (looking back on the event now) a grand time was had at Foyles on the 17th. Dan and I were provided with the title “Should Literary Fiction & Poetry Be Protected?”, to which our response comprised his beautiful rallying-cry of a poem “Because” (whose text is here) preceded by my talk (whose text is further down this page and also here). Here’s the video of us:

 

Text of my part of our talk, “Should Literary Fiction & Poetry Be Protected?”:

“This is an exciting era, with new digital possibilities opening up every month, it seems. And that’s fabulous. It sometimes feels as if we’re hardly in control of those developments—and that in itself is fun, and it’s probably good for us too. But we can still influence a few things, to some extent, sometimes. Which means it’s incumbent on us to try to do so, if we can discern a way of steering those things for the better—such as making sure this brave new publishing arena is fully on view and celebrated in all its variety. So here’s a question, just to throw into the mix.

One characteristic of this era is that secret and mysterious non-human algorithms increasingly act as virtuous spirals of market power, perhaps more than ever before. But let’s stand back from those less-human processes and consider an equally important, wider question. That question is: how can we ensure the longer-term good health (financial and cultural) of a sector of human endeavour whose richness and interest depend on the flourishing of a diversity of fiction categories, and not just the handful of categories that happen to sell at the highest volume? Solving this would benefit many electrifying writers whose voices would otherwise go unheard; but more importantly, it would also benefit readers and the wider culture.

It goes without saying that all fiction categories are created equal in themselves, with equal value and loveliness. But in both independent and traditional publishing these days, titles in literary and cross-genre categories are under more pressure than ever to justify their existence in terms of purely commercial competition with more mass-market genres. Pure market forces are fine, as far as they go. But they do seem to be this digital dynamic’s main source of oxygen, so far; and their nature just happens to ensure that only certain kinds of content tend to get organically promoted, for any given level of time or effort or money that’s available to be expended. And those kinds of content are all fine and beautiful in themselves (just as much as the more literary fiction categories); but the resultant incompleteness in the picture of the kinds of creative output that are really being published is something that should be revealed and addressed.

It’s often lamented that the variety and quirkiness of places like London’s Soho and Downtown Manhattan have suffered a big diminishment in recent years, as unique venues have been priced out and pushed out by well-lit, well-heated new branches of favourite high-street chain-stores that are already popular and well-trafficked everywhere else too. Echoing that gentrification process, the combination of retail algorithms and the media’s frequent focus on sales-oriented reporting tends to cause commercial fiction categories (beautiful as those are) to push literary fiction categories out of comparable visibility, to a greater extent in independent publishing than in traditional publishing. This is not the fault of commercial fiction authors themselves—of course not. But in any field, if certain categories of activity in that field have a tendency to end up effectively hidden from general view, then the landscape of that field starts looking quite a bit less richly varied than it really is. Unnecessarily so: this doesn’t need to be the case, if we put our heads together to address it.

Many a Starbucks branch has displaced many an indie coffee-shop. Both make equally excellent coffees and both are equally attractive in their own different ways. But what shall we and the media come up with, in order to make sure that the fiction-category equivalents of the small indie coffee-shop—e.g. literary fiction (including its more envelope-pushing varieties, but not only these)—can remain commercially viable, alongside the Starbucks-level profits that more commercial categories of fiction are already smartly achieving through independent publishing? New organisations, new coalitions, perhaps? All fiction categories are created equal; but in this current exciting era some categories tend to get edged out of visibility, in independent publishing at least, in favour of other ones. And this edging-out is a powerful shaper of the culture: so prevalent, that it’s able to hide in plain view, like an elephant in a room. Dan and I would therefore like to shine a light on this elephant! (It’s over there…)

I’ll close by saying that in urban planning, clever zoning innovations are sometimes introduced, to preserve or adapt the character of a retail district, in order to maintain its variety (but without being too restrictive on businesses large or small). Is some media equivalent of such zoning possible here? These innovations must surely be achievable … and they must be achieved, proactively. We just haven’t found them yet. So let’s find them!”

 

Here’s Dan preparing to perform from memory (photo by Kathleen Jones):

Dan Holloway & Rohan Quine, Foyles, 17 April 2015 (photo by Kathleen Jones)

 

Here’s me blethering (photo by Carol Cooper):

Rohan Quine & Dan Holloway at Foyles, 17-04-15 (photo by Carol Cooper)

 

And here’s a moody close-up (photo by an anonymous underground star writer):

Rohan Quine at Foyles 17 April 2015 (photo by Polly Trope)

First video interview by distributor Ingram

 

The world’s biggest book distributor, Ingram, patiently sat through three minutes of me wittering at them on camera about these five tales last November. This is their nifty edit:

Click here for video: Ingram interview with Rohan, November 2014

Many thanks to Triskele Books for arranging this filming at their I.A.F. in November. A transcription of my on-camera babbling appears here below, further down this page.

 

Transcription of this video, as edited:

I guess it’s that I’m aiming to push imagination and language towards their extremes, basically—so as to explore the beauty and the horror and the mirth of this predicament called life, where we seem to have been dropped without sufficient consultation ahead of time, I would say. And there’s three basic questions that I keep in mind, while I’m doing that.

First, how can I illuminate the world (to the best of my abilities), using language in new ways and old ways, so as to leave the world just infinitesimally better than it was before I did so? That’s the first thing.

Secondly, how can I aim and attune these ears to our highest aesthetic potential, and then bring down the richest results from there that I possibly can, and then give those results the truest and most beautiful form that I can give them?

And then thirdly, how can what I write make an honest account of the darkness and pain in the world, while being a vote for life at the same time—and hopefully even just a blast of fun along the way! But I do need to embrace that dark side as well and not shy away from it but integrate it into the light and the richness and the magic, which of course it is in real life.

It’s a blast to reach into here and to create (to the best of one’s abilities) the most interesting, the richest, the most explosive and unusual and complete account of how this, as an instrument, reflects that—and hopefully not just within here, but thereby do it so well as to draw out something more universal that will then connect with everyone else as well. But my first duty is to what’s in here; and more specifically, to the way what’s in here interacts with as much as possible of what’s out there (as is within my powers!).

And the way the results then transmit themselves out into the world is secondary. It’s important, and it’s a different set of abilities that one has to hone (marketing and all that); but really the centre of it, the key, the rich beautiful explosive centre, is the creative stuff, and that’s an absolute blast.

Basically The Imagination Thief seeks to illuminate the darkest and brightest corners of human imagination, and then to wring as much beauty as possible out of this harshly-designed life where we’ve been dropped, and then to interrogate that beauty with sensuality and rigour and humour.

***

Ingram’s subsequent video interview with me, at Foyles, is now also online, along with a transcription, at:

Click here for video: Ingram interview with Rohan, April 2015

 

Video interview 17-04-15 with Rohan Quine by Ingram, 17-04-15 Foyles - 3

Video interview 17-04-15 with Rohan Quine by Ingram, 17-04-15 Foyles - 4

Another slice of The Platinum Raven in indieberlin…

 
The cutting-edge Berlin-based magazine indieberlin has kindly published a second slice of The Platinum Raven, from chapter 12 “The pug among the struts, in the pale blue strait-jacket”:

http://www.indieberlin.de/indie-lit/more-from-the-platinum-raven-by-rohan-quine.html

In last week’s slice, we met Scorpio. This week, we meet two others in that nightclub tower of shadow, up there in the mountains of Dubai: (1) Amber, who is the continuation of Rutger Hauer’s lethal character in The Hitcher after those cameras had stopped capturing all that sexy evil in the desert; and (2) the Platinum Raven herself, the kind of Icon of Platinum Perfection whose back-story is never known. As for me, I thought perhaps I’d stay behind the billows with my breasts pointing upward and my groin pushed out, with my right hand skyward and my left hand on my hip, eyes wide in the silver staring softly through the mirror mist unblinking (if that’s fine with you?). —There again: the thunder on the left. Did you hear it?…

For more of all three characters (as well as the Chocolate Raven, plus the original Raven who started it all), there are many snippets from the novella, both as text and as video, here.

Reviews and interviews for The Platinum Raven are here. Its synopsis is here, and three longer tasters from it are here.

And for a mere snip, you can pick it up in paperback or as an ebook, from most retailers, via the links here and here.
 
"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine, in "indieberlin - 1

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine, in "indieberlin" - 2

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine, in "indieberlin" - 3

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine, in "indieberlin" - 4

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine, in "indieberlin" - 5

The Platinum Raven appears in indieberlin…

 
My thanks to that publication of underground Berlin cool, indieberlin, for publishing a slice of my novella The Platinum Raven.

This is Scorpio’s experience of working as a transgender prostitute on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, aquiver and alone again and hurting with the rawness of a squirt of flesh and nerves among the concrete and steel and the plastic and the gasoline that threatened and addicted him:

http://www.indieberlin.de/indie-lit/excerpt-from-the-platinum-raven-by-rohan-quine.html

Yes, there’s something Christmassy for all the family, in The Platinum Raven.

For more of my little Scorpio, there are many snippets from the novella, both as text and as video, at https://www.rohanquine.com/the-platinum-raven/teasers-for-the-31-chapters-of-the-platinum-raven

In The Platinum Raven, Scorpio is a dancer in that nightclub tower of shadow, up there in the Hajar Mountains beyond the desert sands of Dubai.

In the same or other lives, he also happens to be the character named Scorpio in Apricot Eyes, as well as being the character named Angel Deon in Hallucination in Hong Kong and in The Imagination Thief and (in a different way) in The Host in the Attic.

Reviews of The Platinum Raven are here. And for a mere snip, you can pick it up in paperback or as an ebook, from most retailers, via the links here and here.

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine in "indieberlin" - 1

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine in "indieberlin" - 2

"The Platinum Raven" by Rohan Quine in "indieberlin" - 3

In Michelle Elvy’s article “Creating Other Worlds”

I’m grateful to Michelle Elvy for including me in her article “Creating Other Worlds: Fantasy and Adventure on Page and Screen”, at Awkword Paper Cut, where she shines a thoughtful light on the varied flavours of five authors’ approaches to creating fantastical things:

http://www.awkwordpapercut.com/writers-on-writing/creating-other-worlds-fantasy-and-adventure-on-page-and-screen

I talk about the DNA of these five tales, and their oblique relationship with the categories they get slotted into—literary fiction and magical realism, plus a dose of horror. With merciful brevity, I also touch on that weighty philosophical question, the difference between a plant and a weed…

 

Rohan Quine in 'APC' - 1

 

Rohan Quine in 'APC' - 2

 

Video of performance in New Libertines show

It was a pleasure to perform a slice of mini-chapter 17 “Sound & Vision” from my novel The Imagination Thief, on 1 August 2014 in the New Libertines show called “it only hurts the first time” at the Old Fire Station in Oxford, organised and introduced by our generous host, the New Libertines’ MC Dan Holloway. A video of that very slice can be seen below, plus a couple of shots showing us both bathed in an appropriately absinthe-green light.

The film showing on the screen beside me throughout the reading is “JAYMI 17”—a film that appears on the title page of the ebook edition of The Imagination Thief and also at https://www.rohanquine.com/video-books-films/12-films/, featuring me as the novel’s narrator Jaymi Peek and Jen McFaul as Angel’s Baby Doll. The film’s audio-text is at https://www.rohanquine.com/video-books-films/12-films/film-audio-text/; and the novel’s mini-chapter 17 (from which that text was taken) is at https://www.rohanquine.com/ebooks/vbooks/vbook17.php.

I was chuffed to be performing alongside many other lovely words, from Dan Holloway, Lucy Furlong, Rebecca Woodhead, Alice Furse, Davy Mac and an anonymous underground star writer—plus the music of the band Superhand. For more info on Dan’s New Libertines, see http://thenewlibertines.wordpress.com.

Rohan Quine in Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Dan Holloway in his 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Shall be performing in New Libertines show

Delighted to be performing in Dan Holloway’s upcoming New Libertines show on 1 August 2014 – “a showcase of bold, brave and brilliant dark corners of the literary world. The New Libertines stand for human experience in its glorious, messy, complex entirety, and stand against everything that is blank, bleak and brutal, one-dimensional or slick in contemporary culture, especially current literary culture. With roots that spread to burlesque, Beat, fin de siecle France and ecstatic mystics, before slapping its influences around the face with a knuckle-dusting of postmodern wit and Modernist anger, New Libertinism is a celebration of light in dark corners, desire in the face of boredom, despair hidden beneath the underskirts of affluence – of everything it means to be human.”

For more info see our host/MC Dan’s page and the Old Fire Station’s page.

Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

Dan Holloway's 01-08-14 New Libertines show

My “Undercover Soundtrack”: 26 links to music behind these 5 tales

It was fun to be prompted into a journey through some of the music that helped in the creation of The Imagination Thief and the four novellas, through being on Roz Morris’s “Undercover Soundtrack”:

http://mymemoriesofafuturelife.com/2014/07/02/the-undercover-soundtrack-rohan-quine/

There I mention Kode9 and the Spaceape, Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Marc and the Mambas, The KLF, The Orb, Ministry, Sinéad O’Connor, This Mortal Coil, Bauhaus, Bronski Beat, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Erasure, Suede, Bryan Ferry, Genesis, Soft Cell, Roxy Music, Donna Summer, Kim Wilde and Diamanda Galás, and was given space to link to no fewer than 26 YouTube pages that add up to a feast of aural pleasure—so get those headphones ready (no tinny little built-in laptop-computer speakers allowed!). Thank you, Roz.

 

Rohan Quine's music at Roz Morris's 'The Undercover Soundtrack' - 1

 

Rohan Quine's music at Roz Morris's 'The Undercover Soundtrack' - 2

 

Rohan Quine's music at Roz Morris's 'The Undercover Soundtrack' - 3

 

On blogtalkradio show “WebbWeaver Books”

A big thank you to the charming CK Webb of blogtalkradio show “WebbWeaver Books” for letting me rabbit away for a pleasurable half-hour, as you can hear at:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/webbweaverbooks/2014/06/15/webbweaver-books-proudly-presents-author-rohan-quine

After CK’s introductory shout-outs and then a brief audio hiccup with my own Skype set-up (which would never have happened to James Bond), my sound settings start treating me properly at timecode 07:02. Our chat circles around my spooky little novella The Host in the Attic, which is a hologram of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, digitised and reframed in cinematic style, set in London’s Docklands in a few years’ time. I start reading a couple of passages from the novella at timecode 18:31—involving such delights as the corridor walls and floor suddenly becoming made of wet-breathing grey meat bellowing in vicious pain and impaled by a dozen twitching meat-knives, plus one of the more unnerving ceiling-hatches I’ve come across, and the allure of the attic-dwelling hologram that grows ever more terrifyingly corrupt, while its evil owner’s appearance remains forever just as sweet and youthful as the day when he was filmed as the model for that hologram…

All in all, good family fun. For a quick synopsis of The Host in the Attic see here, and for retail links see here.

 

'WebbWeaver Books' interview of Rohan Quine, by CK Webb - 1

 

'WebbWeaver Books' interview of Rohan Quine, by CK Webb - 2

 

'WebbWeaver Books' interview of Rohan Quine, by CK Webb - 3

 

'WebbWeaver Books' interview of Rohan Quine, by CK Webb - 4

 

 

The Imagination Thief at Debbie Young’s Independent Bookshop

Courtesy of Debbie Young, these 5 tales are happy bunnies to find themselves propped up on a delicate little cake-stand in the sunny village window of her online Independent Bookshop at:

http://www.myindependentbookshop.co.uk/DebbieYoung

One of Amazon UK’s Top 1,200 reviewers as well as talented and versatile writer, Debbie’s website is at http://authordebbieyoung.com; and her detailed review of The Imagination Thief is at http://authordebbieyoung.com/reading/reviews/directory-of-book-reviews/the-imagination-thief-by-rohan-quine.

 

'The Imagination Thief' by Rohan Quine, at Debbie Young's Independent Bookshop

 

Interview on Lichen Craig’s “Fireside” podcast

Cheers to Lichen Craig in Colorado Springs, for interviewing me in depth as part of her literary “Fireside” series of podcasts at bit.ly/Fireside201.

It was a pleasure to be grilled with sparky fun, engagement and intelligence, as we chatted about the nature of the world, the darkness and brightness of life, literature, and a sensible dose of silly stuff here and there as well – along with the four novellas and The Imagination Thief. If you listen carefully, you can hear the quiet, reassuring crackle of a cosy log-fire behind us, throughout the interview, which is a delightful touch: in reality, the two of us were thousands of miles apart, communing through a Google Hangout, but there was a log-fire crackling in our hearts nonetheless, of course!

 

Rohan Quine on 'Fireside' podcast with Lichen Craig - intro page

Rohan Quine on 'Fireside' podcast with Lichen Craig

ROHAN QUINE (photo by Safeena Chaudhry)

ROHAN QUINE (photo by Safeena Chaudhry)

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Film and TV Acting: Those New York ’Nineties

Film & TV Acting

Films inside ebook of novel “The Imagination Thief”

Films in The Imagination Thief (novel)