This spring and summer has been incredibly busy so I am putting several updates all in one place for you. First, coming up I am very exited to lead a session with Elmaz Soyal at the Princes Trust Institute Art Enrichment Residential in Downing College, Cambridge. If you are a teacher in the arts in the UK, the PTI Enrichment summer residential is a wonderful programme, and there are many opportunities for funding, so do have a look at their link.
Though I am a writer I’ve always enjoyed teaching and it is a real honour to have worked with the PTI over the past year. Every session is really engaging and fun, you are surrounded by other people who are passionate about teaching. It is so rewarding and truly special.
Second, I launched my horror walks in March, and it has been great fun sharing horror film history with so many people! On my most recent walk I was nervous and lucky enough to have an international walks guide from Germany come along. It was great to share hidden spots in London that I love. I’m excited to say that as of today I’ve rotated the walks on offer which includes a walk through the Notting Hill area, so if you are interested in enjoying a walk this summer, please hop over to my Guided Walks page and have a look. Summer is an amazing time to explore the city, and a few tales of terror!
Speaking of horror, I am pleased to say my upcoming Horror Book is in the hands of a very capable editor for the summer, so hopefully I will be able to share some official news with you soon. I know I have been secretive about it, but it is my first monograph so I’m not wanting to jinx anything. What I can say is that I love this book and I think it will be really exciting and enjoyable for all.
In the meantime I am contributing to a book on Foucault, Lacan and the Body which is coming out in 2020. This is a more academic book than a popular non-fiction, with a focus on how these theorists uniquely reconsider how we relate to and understand the human body. I will keep you updated in the meantime and hopefully offer a snippet on my website.
Have a marvellous summer everyone!
Now that it is March I am officially launching my guided Horror Walks in London!
I was fortunate to host a preview walk with the women of the Fulham Chelsea WI. We explored their local borough with my “Chills of Chelsea” walk at the end of February, which was full of fun and frights. While you may know Chelsea to be the home of Dracula author Bram Stoker, the glitzy King’s Road was a once a horror haven, graced by iconic British horror actors like Christopher Lee and Vincent Price.
I encourage you all to check out my new Walks Page to find out more and see some of the other walks on offer. I am launching three walks this summer – including “Chills of Chelsea” – but keep your eyes peeled as the list will continue to change. I do have bookings already so please get in touch if you have an event or date in mind.
I hope to see you soon!
I have enjoyed quite a bit of traveling over the past few months, including two trips to Scotland: first, to the Nairn Book & Arts Festival, and second to Edinburgh for the inaugural presentation of the McCarthy Award at the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh. Both were wonderful experiences, and I want to extend congratulations to Dr. Kristin Hussey for winning the 2018 McCarthy Award!
On December 5th, I am giving a talk on the history of medical photography at the Prince’s Trust Institute Inspiring creativity through mixed media event. If you are an educator interested in mixed media and photography, booking is still open for the event. For more on the Princes Trust Institute and the work they do with teachers and students, please visit their website.
In the meantime, I’m busy researching my upcoming book on British horror cinema, stay tuned for information on that.
Looking ahead to the New year: I am pleased to announce I will be leading a series of London Horror Walks. I’ll have information up in January, and you can feel free to contact me directly as well.
Moving into autumn, I am happy to look back on a productive and quiet summer of writing and researching. In June my first poem was published in Door=Jar Magazine (Issue 7), and my ‘Beauty and Alienation in Medical Photography” paper came out in Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine. I also have done some peer-review work with Mortality journal. It is a fantastic way to help encourage and engage with new scholarship, and of course, it feels good to be referred to as a specialist in the history of photography.
As with any writer, the bulk of my time is spent on research. At the moment I’m working on an upcoming non-fiction book on horror cinema. I’ve found a really amazing and fresh topic of which I will say more once a publishing contract is signed, but it means I get to marry my academic research with an unrelated passion of mine.
Right now I am at the Nairn Book Festival for inspiration and networking. If you are in Scotland, the festival goes on for the entire week, and there are a great variety of events that may pique your interest.
Looking ahead to the winter I have a smattering of speaking engagements and am particularly excited about speaking at the Prince’s Trust Institute. It is a wonderful organisation for students and teachers alike, and encourage you to check it out and see what other talks are on! Also coming in the winter are a series of walks, so keep your eyes open and I will update you with dates and information.
Summer has arrived in London along with fresh publications. My first published poem is out now in Issue 7 of Door Is a Jar Magazine. It’s wonderful moving beyond my usual academic and art historical writing. The poem is, as most are, personal. It relates to a mental health struggle I experience which results in stress nightmares. The poem explores one recurring nightmare and the anxiety tied up with it. I think everyone can connect with the idea of being hard on ourselves on behalf of another, even when he or she has been gracious to us.
On the academic side of things, “Alienation and Beauty in Medical Photography” will appear in Vol. 41 Issue 3 of the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine, out in July! This paper was created from the talk I gave under the same name at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh earlier this year. It’s always a pleasure to turn a talk into a paper and refine and explore ideas with a critical eye.
I’ve also been dipping into helping other writers. I’ve been providing editorial feedback for an artist submitting to the Outwin Portrait Competition. I’ve always loved working with artists, either as a reviewer, model, or writing exhibition text, but this is a new area I’m excited to explore. Any artists wishing to get in touch, please do so through my contact page, I aim to respond within a week, usually 3 days.
Finally, in my effort to move into children’s writing, I have continued to send my picture book series to literary agents. I was lucky to get very positive feedback from an editor at Bloomsbury, which has helped fuel my positivity and helped me choose literary agents to contact. I have also finished the first book in an Early Reader series, which has some interest from a publisher, though I have to keep things quiet until final decisions are made. While all of this is very positive and exciting, I’m not stepping away from writing to rest on any books already out there. I’m editing and tweaking a few more picture books and finishing up an Upper Middle-Grade fantasy/adventure manuscript. While it’s frightening to spend so much time on a passion that is not yet published, I can see that this is where my future, energy, and excitement lies.
Looking ahead this summer, I’m still getting my children’s writing out there. I will also be briefly in Oxford for a mix of vacation and research and leading “Story Time” on Fridays at the local library, as well as volunteer with the London Libraries Summer Reading Challenge! It’s a wonderful way to encourage kids to find stories they love and remind them that reading is fun! I am only helping out, so if you want to know more about your local library and it’s involvement, click on the previous link for the Summer Reading Challenge.
Have a great summer!