The books are here, my hand hurts from signing and I'm drowning in biscotti, how are you?
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Hello, pre-orderers extraoirdinaires! Publication day is a mere 29 days away. Which means my life has become exciting and somewhat ridiculous.
The books are here, and they're beautiful
I cannot believe what a stunning job the designers have done. Take a peek at the video.
I'm signing books...COVID-safely
Of all the things this virus has taken away, I don’t think my not being allowed…
This Party's Dead: Cover Reveal
Monday, 22 June 2020
I am excited to say I've just been sent the cover design for This Party's Dead, and I wanted you early pre-orderers to be the first to see it.
Isn't it pretty?!
The cartoon is the work of Mexican cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada. He was the first to draw skeletons wearing clothes and partying, and later Diego Rivera started using the image in his murals, which led…
The Death Lollipop Lady
Saturday, 2 May 2020
So, this is weird. We're all locked down, facing our mortality on a daily basis, many of us coping by becoming Really Very Serious about sourdough. One thing no one seems to be doing to cope is having the, "if I die" conversation. Below is an interview with the brilliant Amy Pickard, who runs Good To Go, a "get-your-shit-together-before-you-die" business. No one likes a death reminder…
An interview with Jesse Karmazin: the doctor who is injecting his older patients with teenage plasma
Friday, 21 February 2020
Hello, preorderers of This Party's Dead! I hope you're all keeping safe and well, and that this intense and seemingly unrelenting death reminder we're all experiencing hasn't turned you or anyone you know into a quivering wreck. I have attached a picture of my dog for those of you who will be comforted by the sight of a perfect little dummy who has no idea what's going on.
Anyway. Please allow…
The publishing elves are making a book for you
Wednesday, 22 January 2020
Is it still appropriate to say Happy New Year? Well it's too late now, I've let slip my wishes. I hope that since December 31st you've been happy.
I have a secret to tell you all. I know under "Manuscript received" it says "Publication date: TBC", but I can confirm a rough one has been set, and it's February 2021.
Why so long?
The answer is that there are a whole…
120%, you say? Have an interview with standup comedian Dr Phil Hammond
Monday, 16 December 2019
Hello This Party's Dead subscribers!
I have several things to tell you and they're all exciting. ALL OF THEM.
- I didn't make a huge deal of it at the time, because I was busy drinking champagne in my pyjamas, but the book sailed over the 100% preorder target a while ago. THANK YOU. That was you, that was. You'll be rewarded with my eternal gratitude and also a book, hopefully around summer…
I made you some bones out of sugar and filmed it
Tuesday, 29 October 2019
First of all, as you'll have been informed by now, the book has SAILED over its preorder target and will be dropping on your doorsteps sometime in 2020. That, and "before Waterstones gets it" is as specific as I can be right now – but the manuscript deadline is less than five weeks away. So excited, and I love you for being here before it's even finished. THANK YOU.
Second of all, Unbound…
94%, a book giveaway, and did I tell you about the time I nearly fell off a tomb?
Sunday, 6 October 2019
Hello and no I'm still not over getting hit in the head by a corpse, HOW ARE YOU?
I have three things to tell you:
- I had an essay about the Turning of the Bones, Madagascar's death festival, published in Human Parts (oh god, that was such a good name for a publication before I came along). It opens with me teetering on the roof-edge of a tomb. Check it out – press play at the top of the…
Judge this book by its cover.
Thursday, 5 September 2019
Hello, early subscribers to This Party’s Dead!
Just a quick note to let you know Unbound have let an artist loose on my book, and produced this beautiful Cover Art print:
And as is customary in our conveniently consumerist culture, if you want it, it's yours. A brand new pledge level, 'Cover Art Print' sits right there between 'Read With a Friend' and 'Death Get-Together'. So go ahead and…
I got hit in the head by a corpse. That's just who I am now.
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
I am currently in Kyoto hiding from a typhoon, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to update you via the medium of VIDEO - complete with music and clips from the various death festivals. I didn't get footage of my getting hit in the head by someone's long-deceased relative – apologies.
Here it is. (Some links are showing copyright issues because of about 30 seconds of a song. Madness…
Do you realise what you've done, you legends?
Wednesday, 19 June 2019
You bunch of absolute legends. Do you realise what you’ve done? Your collective preorders have added up to 70% of the target I have to reach to get a publication date for This Party’s Dead.
GREAT WORK, TEAM!
As a thank you, I have included a little extract from my chapter on New Orleans at the bottom of this update – if you're wondering how to dispose of bodies in…
Your father never called me from Heaven
Saturday, 6 April 2019
It's 36°C (96°F), but my weather app says it "feels like" 44°C (111°F). I have a sweat tear dribbling down my cheek, but I refuse to go inside. I'm on a rooftop in Bangkok, and tomorrow I'll be heading back to Gloucestershire where the temperature is nine times lower. If I'm going to update you on the latest festival for the dead in THIS PARTY'S DEAD, I'm going to do it up here: 50 floors up in a…
100 rejections and other updates
Friday, 4 January 2019
Hello, Happy New Year, and I hope you enjoyed the Nepal chapter. Here are a couple of updates from me, your friendly neighbourhood death-festival-visitor:
New Years Resolution: 100 rejections
My friend Anita Gill told me about an excellent idea that I've taken on as a New Years Resolution: to aim for 100 rejections in 2019. Article pitches, book ideas, essays, short stories, fellowships, residencies…
There are no death festivals in winter. Off-season's greetings!
Tuesday, 6 November 2018
Can you imagine how terrifying autumn must have been to early man, seeing as God has apparently decided he's done and that everything can just die now? No wonder that period is packed with death festivals, they were probably bargaining not to be next. What I'm saying is: as far as I know, there are no death festivals in winter. I guess no one ever thought to have once since by that point everything…
A death festival in Sicily (insert obligatory Godfather quote here)
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
I am so on theme with my non-round-numbers roundup. It's day 201 of crowdfunding THIS PARTY'S DEAD, I have 179 backers and the funding is at 34%. All horrible uneven numbers. In case the title and the enormous video at the top weren't clear, this update will be about my upcoming trip to Palermo, Sicily. On Sunday I will once again be leaving my dog (and husband) for a death festival, this time in…
Monday, 10 September 2018
Greetings from Vermont, where I am being all lovely and liberal while sitting in a vat of maple syrup. Obviously.
What I'm actually doing is spending a month walking from my room to the food hall to my writing studio at Vermont Studio Center, the largest artist residency in the US. There are 50 of us. We applied, we got in, we write all day, and sometimes we do karaoke. If you're so inclined, you…
It’s not pronounced ‘nipple’
Thursday, 23 August 2018
Probably didn’t need to tell you that; none of you are Donald Trump, after all.
Hello from Nepal, is what I’m trying to say.
I'm writing to you from the attic room of a 200-year-old Newari house in the Kathmandu Valley. I’m here for Gai Jatra, my second death festival: it’s a procession of people who’ve lost someone this year, led by a cow. If a cow isn’t available, “a boy dressed as a cow…
A quarter of the way there!
Monday, 16 July 2018
Hello readers! As you know, I like round numbers, but don't like them to be the boss of me, so here is my 24% update.
Here's what's happening behind the scenes of THIS PARTY'S DEAD:
- I've just had an article featured at the top of Medium detailing three death movements that are booming in the west, all with strikingly uniform demographics - followers of Santa Muerte are overwhelmingly…
Biscotti, chocolate and dead people (this is how I say hi)
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
I was going to do an update when I reached 20%, but then I remembered that pleasing round numbers aren’t the boss of me, so here is my 19% update.
I just want to say thank you SO much for pledging for This Party's Dead, and in return here are some behind-the-scenes tidbits:
☻ Those of you who pledged to have me bake you traditional Sicilian ‘bones of the dead’ biscotti,…