The Afterlife's biggest rock festival is interrupted when headliner John Lennon vanishes; now promoter Felix Romsey has to get him back
Felix Romsey’s Afterparty is a rock festival with a big difference. Put it this way: this year’s lineup includes Elliott Smith, Minnie Riperton, Serge Gainsbourg, Kurt Cobain, Whitney Houston, Michael Hutchence and, making only his second live appearance since his death: John Lennon. It’s the Glastonbury of the Afterlife; the place where dearly departed music fans can let off steam to the sounds that soundtracked their lives, and where late rock stars can be rock stars again. Flamboyant, acerbic promoter Felix Romsey and his amiable assistant Adrian “Podge” Jones frantically ride the anticipation among the capacity crowd and a backstage area chockful of celebs; with the stakes this high, they’d be anxious even if everything were running smoothly.
But lately, things have most definitely NOT been running smoothly. The recently-arrived David Bowie has been snagged by a rival promoter, and Felix has reason to believe that a plot to oust him as the Afterlife’s preeminent rock impresario is afoot. And when headliner John Lennon, just as he’s drawing breath to sing his first note onstage, vanishes - no, I mean really vanishes - Felix and Podge have no choice but to find out who’s behind the sabotage, and to try and rescue their star attraction – and their festival’s reputation – before it’s too late. Early in their search they run into the inscrutable Jane Brown, who at first encounter seems little more than a Lennon superfan, but proves to be invaluable, introducing Felix and Podge to the chilling possibility that their quarry mightn’t be up here, but in fact, down there…
Felix Romsey’s Afterparty is a novel for anyone who’s ever heard the cliché “the great rock festival in the sky” and spent a few fleeting moments wondering what said celestial festival – and indeed, the reality it inhabits – might really be like.
Felix texts me at 8.30am to say John Lennon will be early.
I wasn’t asleep. I’d been awake since about five, going over a few things in my head, ruminating, worrying. I poured myself some coffee at six, gazed over the lake, watched the sun come up. As usual, a pretty underwhelming experience. It hovers near the horizon for a while and then just plops itself into the sky, like someone’s flicking a switch somewhere. Perhaps they are. Then I turned some music on, did a bit of pacing. I’ve become very good at pacing. I finally lay back down at about ten to seven, but no sleep came. I’ve only had four hours, but of course that doesn’t matter. We don’t need sleep, but people do it anyway.
So Lennon was supposed to arrive at eleven, but now Felix says half nine. Everyone’s always early around here. Drives me nuts. I’d better get my shit together. I sigh and swing my feet out of the bed onto the perpetually fluffy white carpet. It always amuses me, this carpet. Actually, that goes for the interior of my whole house: it’s like some display home for a Floridian housing development. Yellow walls and pastel sofa covers. Too many cushions. Nondescript art in rubbishy gold frames. Glass coffee tables with those horrible curvy metal legs that I always bash my ankle on. Felix says this is the kind of stuff they give you when they don’t know what you really want. Fair point, I suppose: I never did have a particularly strong sense of home style.
But my wardrobe, they got right. Decent jeans and some combats, Doc Martens, a couple of jackets: a reasonable denim, a bashed up leather and a geeky blue blazer with a few badges. Then an acceptable selection of rock T-shirts, including – coincidentally or not – one from a festival Saffron and I actually went to. So I don’t have to fake anything there, at least.
I dive into the shower. We don’t need to wash, but people do it anyway. For me it’s one of the few things I actually enjoy; it feels real, calming, and it’s free, obviously. I’ve been known to shower for many hours. Today I allow myself a diplomatic fifteen minutes and then I’m ready to throw some clothes on, but I stop for a moment to glance in the mirror.
This glance reveals a curious crossbreed. The hair is from that brief moment in my late teens when it had both texture and gravity on its side; dark brown with the slightest hint of sun-bleached red, it flops in the right places and stays back if I ask it nicely. But I haven’t the faintest idea what’s going on with the body. It’s relatively tanned and the shoulders are broad, but there’s back hair, which is totally wrong, and an unbelievably horrible beer paunch that nothing will shift – and believe me, I’ve tried. To make matters worse, whichever dipshit selected the T-shirts didn’t account for this bulge, and they’re all size medium. Everything but the festival shirt makes me look like an out-of-shape A&R man. Just as well nothing needs to be laundered.
What does everyone think of the novel?
Friday, 20 July 2018
I've had some lovely comments from readers who have either finished, or who are a good way through the book. Which is great!
Playlist - plus, has everyone received their novels?
Tuesday, 3 July 2018
Happy summer's day to you all... firstly, I hope by now everyone will have received their books, or the email with the e-book. If not, please email email@example.com and ask the very nice people if there's a problem.
Assuming you've received the book and assuming you're enjoying it... please remember to leave me an Amazon review on this page! Reviews help almost every aspect of the book world…
Delivery - SOON!
Friday, 8 June 2018
If you've ordered the paperback it will be with you very soon, probably Monday (if you're in the UK). You might get an email saying "your Clays Ltd order will be delivered on" etc, but apparently with no information about what it IS. It's my book! So don't go nuts reporting spam, and so forth.
Anyway - if you are so inclined - feel free to take a daft photo of you with said book…
LAUNCH PARTY - 14 June
Thursday, 17 May 2018
It’s been a long time coming. It’s almost two years since I closed my mighty laptop with a thunderous clunk, having finished the first, rather ramshackle draft of Felix Romsey’s Afterparty.
And it's almost one year since we hit the crowdfunding target, which is of course all down to YOU.
So I’m delighted to be able to say: Felix - in its full rewritten, and edited, and rewritten, and edited…
The moment it starts to become real... cover design
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
My novel FELIX ROMSEY'S AFTERPARTY is almost ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world, so it’s time for everyone to see the cover design...
Great design job done by Mark Ecob, I'm sure you'll agree. I really dig the surfing cherub, which will be more prominent on the back, and I think I'll be using it as an emblem here and there.
We have a launch date for the novel..…
Felix's "Back To Mine" Mix
Monday, 15 January 2018
How long is it since you've made a proper, old-school compilation, or "mixtape" as they're currently, and often misleadingly, known? Me, it's been a while. In the 90s it was the go-to thing you did, when courting a new Special Person. I guess it follows, therefore, that I haven't done one since about 2003. It's surprising what you forget about them: the little rules (no artist gets two songs!…
Long time no hear... 2nd draft DONE
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Greetings everyone: hope you're all well and up to your eyeballs in chocolate/mince pies/mulled wine/insert-name-of-favourite-pre-Christmas-indulgence-here.
I haven't been in touch for a while, and unlike many I-haven't-been-in-touch-for-a-while messages I have a totally definitive and non-ambiguous excuse for it... I WAS ON TOUR. A bloody great long exhausting but actually quite brilliant European…
Editing, editing, editing...
Tuesday, 29 August 2017
Editing can be a queasy process. I can already tell that the editor who's been assigned to Felix is excellent: measured and often quite bold suggestions from someone who clearly knows what they're doing. Naturally, being a musician, I'm comparing it to the comments of a record producer - "Why don't you do it like this?" "Have you ever thought of changing the key?" "Does it have to have a guitar…
Gone to Editor!
Monday, 17 July 2017
That feeling when you send your completed manuscript to your new editor for the first time... is it a little like sending off your child for the first day at school, leaving you to spend the rest of the day nervous that they're going to come home either crying at how hideous it all was, or so grown-up and changed beyond all recognition that you're the one who bursts into floods of tears?
We've done it!
Sunday, 18 June 2017
I wanted you, as fantastic novel supporters, to be the first to know... WE'VE DONE IT! That's right, with your amazing assistance we've hit 100% funded with almost two weeks to spare. That's really quite amazing.
Sorry to sound all Churchillian, but this is not, of course, the end - not even the beginning of the end - but it is perhaps the end of the beginning. Fully funded means the work starts…
Me talking on Matthias Hombauer's podcast
Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Greetings all - and welcome to those who've recently funded the novel - you are, of course, awesome.
83% funded right now... 127 backers... less than a month to go so please keep on speading the word!
Matthias Hombauer, as well as being a great photographer, a jolly nice chap AND a Felix-supporter (and a very generous one at that) has also made his own excellently put-together PODCAST... and…
Felix - the festival poster
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Even festivals in the Afterlife need a bit of promotion. Below is a fabulous depiction of what a Felix Romsey's Afterparty poster might look like... based on the line-up for the year in which my novel is set.
I think you'll agree it looks bloody brilliant, and I'd like to thank Dawn Kelly for her great design - she also did the graphics for the short film The Five Wives And Lives Of Melvyn…
We streak past the 50% mark... and 2 more excerpts... and Fink posts about the campaign... and stuff
Monday, 24 April 2017
Once again, a very large and Easter-chocolate-filled THANKS to everyone who has sent their hard-earned pounds/euros/dollars/etc virtually winging their way towards the Unbound bank account in support of Felix Romsey's Afterparty. As I write we are hurtling towards a nice fat 53% funded, which - before even the end of the campaign's first month - I'd venture is a pretty rocktastic result.
Felix on the Huffington Post
Saturday, 1 April 2017
Greetings - and THANK YOU to those who've just supported Felix Romsey's Afterparty, you really are ruddy marvellous.
This is just a quickie to say I've penned a new Huffington Post blog about why the blithering heck I decided to write a novel about rock festivals in the Afterlife, and you can read it by clicking these magic words right here.
I went to Unbound's - the publishers - office on Thursday…
Welcome - and thank you!
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
We launched the campaign for my third novel FELIX ROMSEY'S AFTERPARTY yesterday and I must admit I'm overwhelmed (and slightly relieved) at the response. We're currently 23% funded in just 24 hours... that's almost A Percent per hour (forgive me for the massively technical maths lingo). But with these crowdfundy things, it's often a marathon, not a sprint, so it's up to me, with your kind assistance…
These people are helping to fund Felix Romsey's Afterparty.