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RECENTLY PUBLISHED

   
RECENTLY PUBLISHED TITLES FROM THE KING'S ENGLAND PRESS

We've got a lot of stuff in the pipeline at The King's England Press - here's a quick tour of the edited highlights of some of our most recent successes. If you would like to register your interest in any of the books on this page you can do so by clicking on the jacket illustration to send us an auto-email, or by emailing sales@kingsengland.com

Media enquiries for review copies and author interviews should be made to steve@kingsengland.com, or via our normal office number (01484 663790) or by phone or text to 07941 887141. You can also find us on Facebook, or tweet us at @kingsengland

WE ARE NOT ALL BLESSED WITH A HAT-SHAPED HEAD  
by Matt Nicholson 
(2018) 9 inches x 6 inches, pbk., 81pp., £7.95
ISBN 978 1 909548 81 7 

The eagerly-anticipated second collection from up-and-coming Hull poet Matt Nicholson. There is no mistaking a Matt Nicholson poem. As Goldsmith once said of Dr Johnson, "There is no arguing with him, for when his pistol misfires, he will knock you down with the butt!” Although this is not to say that it’s all uncompromising tough-guy stuff. It was once said of another Hull poet, Andrew Marvell, that he had a tough reasonableness under a lyric grace, and that is something which equally applies to Matt Nicholson. Tough, yet reasonable. Dogmatic, yet understanding. You will also find moments of questioning, even of elegiac compassion, but it is always on his terms. His poetry speaks with an instantly recognizable tone, which echoes and resonates throughout his work. In this latest volume, We Are Not All Blessed With A Hat-Shaped Head, he has produced a cycle of work that will be warmly received by all existing aficionados of his work, those who have seen him perform at gigs, readings and festivals, and eagerly devoured by those who have come to his poems anew. Uncompromising, yes; tough, but oddly tender. Poems that will repay re-reading and which will stay with you, reverberating round your head in that unique Matt Nicholson voice.

NOW PUBLISHED





THERE AND BACK TO SEE HOW FAR IT IS
by Matt Nicholson
(2016) 9in x 6in., pbk., £7.95
978 1 909548 65 7

Matt Nicholson is a fresh and exciting new voice who has made significant waves with his words, his use of imagery and his performances in the two years since he decided to share his work with just about anyone who was prepared to listen. He left Hull, the City of his birth, at the age of 8, watching from the back seat of a car as his family drove past the almost-complete Humber Bridge, heading for a new life. His head was full of excitement and hope for the promised land that waited for them down south, but he was heartbroken that he would not see his beloved Humber Bridge completed. Jumping forward over 30 years, he has returned, crossing that self-same iconic bridge with his wife and all their worldly possessions, to once again make a home in East Yorkshire. His poetry is sometimes dark and intense, sometimes heartfelt and funny, but always painstakingly honest; poetry that describes a man who has been There and back, if only to see how far it is.

NOW PUBLISHED
CHANGING TIDES
by Vicky Foster
(2016) 9in x 6in., pbk., £7.95
978 1 909548 66 4

Vicky Foster has lived all her life in a city where the rivers can still stop the traffic, where waters can overrun the streets and where festivals and nights out are held on piers and marinas. Living there, she has developed a great love for her city, but also the realisation that there are some things you can never control and that often the best thing to do is learn to ride the tides. Like the water, poetry has always been there for Vicky – but at the age of 18 she decided to put down her pen and go and find something to write about. In her unique poetic voice, Vicky shares with us vivid images of the many changes which life has washed up, in the years between then and now. "one of the most exciting new voices which Hull's City of Culture has allowed us to hear so far..." - Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3 

NOW PUBLISHED
THESE ARE A FEW OF MY SCARIEST THINGS
by Brandon Robshaw
Illustrated by Jane Eccles 
(2017) A5 pbk., £6.99
ISBN 978 1 909548 72 5

Prepare to be chilled! Prepare to be thrilled! Prepare to be scared, prepare to be nightmared! Ghosts, werewolves and things that go "bump!” in the night are all to be found within these haunting pages. Eerie buildings and unexplained happenings are all part and parcel of the author’s strange world. If you love to be scared out of your wits, you will love this book. In addition you will hear strange tales of déjà-vu, meet headless ghosts, a lovesick goblin, and, of course, bats, bats and yet more bats!  Be warned though: whatever you do, don’t start reading these poems when you are all on your own at home in a darkened house at night. Don’t be tempted to read it by torchlight, under the covers at midnight, when witches are abroad. Once you turn these pages, there’s no going back! You might hear footsteps slowly coming up the stairs… but no, whatever you do, don’t turn round… whatever it was making that noise… it’s BEHIND you!

Brandon Robshaw is the author of 26 children’s books, both under his own name and under pen-names. He may be better known to you as the dad in BBC2’s Back in Time for Dinner, Back in Time for Christmas and Further Back in Time for Dinner.

NOW PUBLISHED

NEVER WORN
by Jolie Booth 
(2018) 198mm x 129mm pbk., 348pp.,  £8.99
ISBN 978 1 909548 75 6

In the author's first novel, The Girl Who'll Rule The World, we met Esmeralda, whose chaotic, drug-fuelled existence crashed from crisis to crisis in the never ending search for love and fulfilment, which led her into some very strange places indeed. In this sequel, seven years have passed since the time of the first book and Esmeralda has a new set of challenges to face. She is about to learn the truth behind what Ernest Hemingway once said was the saddest small ad ever printed. "For sale, baby clothes, never worn..." This seven year cycle has been her toughest so far, facing the reality of an adulthood that's not all it was cracked up to be; call-centres, depression and infertility had certainly not been part of the 'Grand Plan'. But perhaps planning had been the problem all along, and our 'plans' are of no use to us, other than for being something for God to laugh at. Like the 'Fool' in the tarot deck, eternally stepping off of the cliff edge into the unknown, so too has Esmeralda found herself falling into the abyss, discovering that her sense of control over the universe was nothing more than an illusion. But in doing so she has also discovered that sometimes when you fall, you fly.

NOW PUBLISHED

THE GIRL WHO'LL RULE THE WORLD
by Jolie Booth
(2016) 198mm x 129mm pbk., 348pp.,  £8.99
ISBN 978 1 909548 68 8

The first question anybody wants to know when they pick up a book is "what’s it about?” With this book, that’s the hardest question you could ask about it, and the last one to be answered. OK, here’s the start of an idea… imagine if Moll Flanders met Mrs Dalloway and they both decided to drop some acid and dance all night at a party at a commune in Southwold? You’re getting warmer. It’s about Esmeralda. Life, and Esmeralda, but not necessarily in that order. Structurally, it’s a novel that challenges our perceptions of time and memory, mingling past and present, as Esmeralda drifts downstream, through a series of scenes peopled with a rambling, picaresque cast of characters, some of whom are fleeting ghosts, never seen again, and some of whom remain to be significant. Actually, "drifts” is the wrong word there. A more appropriate nautical metaphor would be that Esmeralda crashes through life, like an out-of-control speedboat, leaving havoc bobbing in her turbulent wake. No situation is too strange, no drug is off the menu, legal, illegal, or purely psychological. In this, her first novel, Jolie Booth has created Fifty Shades for the Trainspotting generation.

NOW PUBLISHED

WIDUROK
by C. R. Osborne
(2016) 198 x 129mm, pbk., £8.99
ISBN 978 1 909548 55 8

George and Millie are staying with their Grandad in Wybrook while their parents are out of the country.  On the night of the midsummer solstice, George sets out on an unauthorised quest to try and recover his Grandad’s pocket-watch, which he had carelessly lost earlier in the day.  And disappears, without trace. When George goes missing, it is left to his sister alone to work out what has happened to him. Surely, everyone knows that people don’t just disappear! But as Millie starts to unveil the truth,  and finds that this is not the first time someone has gone missing at Midsummer, she uncovers hidden secrets, hinting at something more unbelievable than she could ever have imagined, as she and her brother are plunged into a world of mystery, myths and peril, harking back to the Dark Ages, and the long-forgotten Kingdom of the East Saxons, in an enigmatic thriller by a writer with a new, unique voice.

NOW PUBLISHED

FIFTY, GREY, IN SHADES: Poems 
by Gez Walsh 
(2018) 9in x 6in, pbk., £7.95
ISBN 978 1 909548 64 0

Comedian, raconteur, radio presenter and the originator of the genre of "Potty Poetry" for kids, Gez Walsh also has a serious side. This will be his first collection of poems written with an adult audience in mind 

NOW PUBLISHED

COOKING WITH BABBO AND NONNA
by Gez Walsh
(2017) 9 in. x 6 in., 82pp., pbk., £9.95
ISBN 978 1 909548 61 9
Italian cookery is sometimes seen as "fancy” or pretentious in some way. If you had to devise simple, nutritious and cheap meals, would you automatically think of Italian cookery? Probably not. Yet risotto, for instance, is the staple food of the Piedmontese farmer/shepherd who spends long, physically-demanding days in the mountains, tending his sheep. And the following day, the remains of any risotto can be easily made into arrancini, tasty, deep-fried rice balls. Nothing is ever wasted. Thrift and economy are the order of the day. True, Italian cuisine has gained a hold in the UK, from the early days of Chianti bottles in a basket to Dominos and Dol Mio. These days, though, we are saddled with austerity, and all it implies. Do the twin delights of pizza and pasta have any part to play in feeding a hungry family on limited resources and a shoestring budget? Author Gez Walsh is convinced they can. And not only those two basic staples, but the rest of the Italian cookbook as well. Drawing on recipes which originated with his Italian granny (the "Nonna" in the title) he shows how Italian cookery can be nutritious and cheap! Cheap, Ciao! in fact.

NOW PUBLISHED


MR BOWLLY REGRETS
by Deborah Tyler-Bennett
(2017) 9in x 6in  pbk.,  £7.95
ISBN 978 1 909548 69 5

A new poetry collection by Deborah Tyler-Bennett is always an event, and this one promises to be a landmark. Those who already know and love her work will not be disappointed, and those to whom she is a new voice will be surprised and entertained by the breadth and quality of her insights and her poetic craft. The book is split into four broad sections – the first of which is firmly grounded in the author’s East Midlands roots – memories of Mansfield, and aged Aunties who comb the obituaries of the Sutton-in-Ashfield Chad in search of people they knew. Books of the Village - Diseworth and Kegworth, the next part, is inspired by the lads who never returned from Flanders to these tiny rural Leicestershire communities. Going South, the following section, takes us to the seedy world of Brighton and the South Coast. Finally, in a much more wide-ranging section of poems inspired by radio, films and TV, Deborah Tyler-Bennett expands the themes of ennui and the vacuity of a society based on the uncritical mass consumption of popular culture.

This is also a book which hardens, and darkens, as you progress through each section. It is possibly her darkest book to date for the King’s England Press but in terms of coherence and consistency, it achieves a difficult balancing act – to contain both elegiac wistfulness with nostalgia, contemplation of the inevitable, and justifiable anger about what could be done better – make no mistake, this is also, politically, possibly, her most committed book, drawing parallels between Britain today and the 1930s, and it can, surely, only be a matter of time before this book, and its author, receive the recognition they truly deserve.

NOW PUBLISHED

BRAND NEW BEAT
by Deborah Tyler-Bennett
(2017) 9 in x 6 in, 211pp, pbk., £10.99
ISBN 978 1 909548 70 1 

In this, the final volume in the trilogy which began with Turned Out Nice Again and continued with Mice That Roared Deborah Tyler-Bennett brings the characters she has created up to the 1960s. The world of variety is fading from its former glory, and everywhere, television is king. Cooper and Bean are faced with some stark choices.  Meanwhile, in the wider world, there is Beatlemania, and the first stirrings of what eventually would become the Summer of Love, even in Mansfield.

NOW PUBLISHED 


WE'LL TAKE THE STRING ROAD
Motorhome Meditations on the Isle of Arran 
by Steve Rudd
(2016) 9in x 6in pbk., £9.95
ISBN 978-1-909548-33-6

The Isle of Arran, fourteen miles off the west coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde, is known for its combination of scenic grandeur and rugged beauty. With its mountains, burns, and deserted beaches, it has often been called "Scotland in Miniature". Steve Rudd is not known for his rugged beauty, or indeed any beauty, but he has now (including this one) written five books of wry observation based on his travels to, from, and around Arran, in the company of his long-suffering wife and various dogs. With his constant wittering, Steve has often been described as "Bill Bryson with added midgies".  Other comments on his work have included "officer, this man is following me everywhere."  Seals were seen, kayaks were paddled, dogs were dunked in the briny, and, since his near-permanent encounter with The Grim Reaper in 2010, wheelchairs were wheeled. This book chronicles two trip to Arran over the summer of 2013, but as usual it is as much about the digressions as the island itself.


NOW PUBLISHED

FISH TOWN: A Love Story
by Steve Rudd
(2016) 9in x 6in., pbk., £7.95
978 1 909548 62 6
Steve Rudd was born in a prefab off Newbridge Road, Hull, in a place called Sweet Dews Grove, a name redolent of post-war town planning, in a town that had, up until then, most recently been "planned" by the Luftwaffe.  Although he was born naked, and unable to speak or walk, he overcame these difficulties and fifteen years later, in common with many other misguided adolescents, began writing poetry at school. Fortunately, none of that early work survived. On leaving university he was unemployed for six weeks and then, almost simultaneously, offered a choice of employment. A job in a fish packing firm, off Hessle Road, or a job in a bookshop. He chose the latter, and the rest is history, not fish-story. 


NOW PUBLISHED

LOITERING WITHIN TENTS: 
A Life Under Canvas

by Steve Rudd
(2018) 9in x 6in, 95pp, pbk.,£7.95
ISBN 978 1 909548 56 5

The British have a long and historic tradition of camping. Almost a love affair, in fact. Ever since Baden-Powell took the first ever boy scouts off to experience the bracing open-air life of Brownsea Island, right through to Barbara Windsor in Carry On Camping, or that 1960s TV classic, Nuts In May. There is a curious dichotomy in our attitude to spending time under canvas. On the one hand, it’s all about rising at dawn, skinny-dipping in the lake, hiking 17 character-building miles and then cooking a hearty breakfast, usually black on one side and raw on the other, and in the evenings, singing Ging Gang Goolie round a convivial camp fire (or, even worse, Kumbaya). On the other hand, it’s also slightly naughty, a dirty weekend on the cheap, with occasional nuances of accidental nudity. No wonder that many camp sites are a hotbed of cold feet and a scene of mislaid virginity. Then, of course, there is always the wonderful British climate, and the constant peril of creepy-crawlies, both of which are such an integral part of the great outdoors. Nowadays, "camping” embraces a very wide spectrum of experiences, from "glamping” in luxury to sleeping in a shelter made out of bracken and bent twigs, especially if you are Ray Mears. Steve Rudd was musing on Tracy Emin one day, as one does from time to time, and in particular, about her famous tent, now lost in a fire at her warehouse, on which she had painstakingly embroidered the names of everyone she had even slept with. It seemed to him that there was something particularly symbolic, almost iconic, in her choice of a tent to convey that information. Something very British. He realised, when he thought about it, how many of his own rites of passage, and how many crucial periods in his own life had been spent in tents, or had revolved around camping. Some 20,000 words later, the result was this slim volume. 

NOW PUBLISHED