Felix Romsey's Afterparty
By Tim Thornton
The Afterlife's biggest rock festival is interrupted when headliner John Lennon vanishes; now promoter Felix Romsey has to get him back
Publication date: June 2018Buy
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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.
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Tim Thornton was born over 40 years ago in Darlington, England. At the age of four he started drumming on things and, despite his parents bribing him with a guitar, has rarely stopped since. In 2005, after years farting about with pop groups of varying genre and gruesomeness, he began drumming for onetime DJ and producer Fink, who promptly added bass player Guy Whittaker and became a band. The trio have toured relentlessly and released five studio albums for Ninja Tune, including 2011’s Perfect Darkness, described by the BBC as "a writhing, surprisingly meaty addition to the over-crowded singer-songwriter genre". Along the way Tim did what most drummers have threatened to do but have rarely managed: write a novel about being an obsessive alcoholic superfan. The Alternative Hero was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009, described by The Guardian as "the indiest book of all time"; a second book, Death of an Unsigned Band, followed in 2010. Tim regularly writes for The Huffington Post.
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.
- 20th July 2018 What does everyone think of the novel?
I've had some lovely comments from readers who have either finished, or who are a good way through the book. Which is great!3rd July 2018 Playlist - plus, has everyone received their novels?
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…8th June 2018 Delivery - SOON!
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…17th May 2018 LAUNCH PARTY - 14 June
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…11th April 2018 The moment it starts to become real... cover design
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..…15th January 2018 Felix's "Back To Mine" Mix
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!…17th December 2017 Long time no hear... 2nd draft DONE
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…29th August 2017 Editing, editing, editing...
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…17th July 2017 Gone to Editor!
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?
No.…18th June 2017 We've done it!
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…6th June 2017 Me talking on Matthias Hombauer's podcast
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…10th May 2017 Felix - the festival poster
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…24th April 2017 We streak past the 50% mark... and 2 more excerpts... and Fink posts about the campaign... and stuff
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.
Backers…1st April 2017 Felix on the Huffington Post
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…28th March 2017 Welcome - and thank you!
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.
Karsten Dines Johansen