This book is proving to be a hit. Its first print run of 100 copies Sold out in three days, its second print run has already sold 50% of the stock that was ordered from the printers. In the meantime it has been through the global reach program and has appeared on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and various other online retailers.
Amazon, (as if we didn’t know) is considered one of the largest retailers in the world. So, imagine myself and Andy Kenned-y Tanya’s husband’s joy at seeing UB40 (A Legal Drug) at number 4 in the Reggae Music Book list! To be in the top 10 o this sort of ranking is something to be very pleased with.
Tanya sadly passed away from Cancer last year – but her autobiographical account of being a super fan of UB40, is a wonderful account and a real coming of age tale. It’s honesty is wonderful, and her account of following her favourite band both home and abroad is a fine example of dedication. Her relationships are shaped by her choices, she even got married in Jamaica because of her passion for Reggae and the band. Her relationship with band members is one of initial awe, fascination and then real friendship. So much so Robin Campbell and Martin Meredith contribute to the book – making it a really special account.
This book is also quite special because it is raising money for St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton. So far it has raised in excess of £1250.00 and is proving to be a wonderful tribute, and legacy.
A new book is on its way! Published by Beatnpress, an experimental book culled from many hand written notes that consist of extracts from short stories, poems and film scripts. This non linea novella tells the tale of Diz – a young trumpet player who leaves his mundane life in Manchester, England, to spontaneously fly to New York and find himself. Roll forward 5 years. He is still in America. He is beginning to make a name for himself as a musician. Commissioned to write a Jazzy score for a movie – he takes on challenges he did not expect. Memories are evoked, and his past seems to be looming ever larger in his present day life. Vignettes crafted together build up the tale of his recent past, his mental health and the truth he is trying to escape from. Can those around him help him when it matters most?
In other news UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy recently published by Beatnpress
Has continued to be a success and is so far the bestselling book at Beatnpress. It sold out of its first print run, and should sell out of its second print run soon, as half of the second print run is already accounted for – and this is before the new run has been delivered from the printers! The books should be arriving tomorrow or Thursday and will begin being shipped out to customers as soon as they arrive. So, if you want a copy go to http://www.beatnpress.co.uk today and get your order in quick.
This book is a departure from previous publications by Beatnpress – but still has all those ingredients that tick the boxes that make up the Beatnpress vision.
It is full of hope, aspirations, and life. Music is at its core and a personal journey evolves on the page that is as relatable, as it is fascinating. What’s more the book has been produced to raise money for a worthwhile cause. That being raising money for St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.
The book will be retailing for £21 and has never seen before photos, and a foreword written by Robin Campbell.
Another recent publication is my book Pop Versus Subterranean – which I am pleased to say is, receiving some favourable comments. A collection of Modernist Beat Poetry that explores many topics and the relationship between Popular culture and the underground. From Art – to music, to politics and the Pandemic it is a series of thirty poems that either provoke or inspire.
The first book to be published by Beatnpress that isn’t written by my good self is – in my humble opinion is something to celebrate. It also means that there could be opportunities for other aspiring writers. This new start could mean that a New Beat Generation can be realised. So, if you are an author, a poet, or someone that wants to see their Memoirs in print. Please email email@example.com
I have been so busy of late, working on several projects at once. You see with the Covid era we have been through, and the hours of not working at the “day job” because of furlough – it was necessary to keep active. To be creative, and occupied. So, as a writer and poet, it was a time of productivity. From writing articles for zines, to self publishing another book of poetry, to collaborating with other writers, and even recording a track for a spoken word album. On top of that I am working on a third novel, editing two books of my own, and helping a mate out with publishing a memoir written by his late wife for charity.
So, you can see. I haven’t been lazy, just watching Netflix and Amazon Prime the whole time.
The track for the spoken word album is called
A Dance With The Devil Called Chance, which appears on the new Croydon Tourist Office compilation Friends Of Croydon Tourist Office
This track is a whopping eight minutes and eight seconds long, and is an extract from another forthcoming book titled The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind, my third collection of Pulp Fiction Poetry. But, anyway I digress. With my latest collection of poetry Pop Versus Subterranean having recently been published, I realised that under my own imprint I had published ten books since 2016.
I had had the idea of my own small publishing press since the mid 90s, when I had embarked on trying to be a writer.
As those of you who have read my blog over the last few years, you will have seen that I am inspired by the Beat Generation, and being brought up in the 70s , I had developed that Punk attitude of doing it for yourself.
From my conscious decision came the idea of Beatnpress. So, naturally when I began to self publish I developed my “brand”. I had aspirations to not only write, but to help other writers. However, I had lacked the confidence to really go for it. That is, until now. When life was paused, it made me evaluate. I considered what I wanted to do. I saw what I had managed in recent years, but didn’t want to go backwards. I was more determined than ever to try and make things work. Opportunities come your way, and sometimes you need something to kick your behind – so that you can really make those dreams and aspirations come true.
By creating http://www.beatnpress.co.uk I have provided myself, not only a platform for myself, but hopefully in the future, a platform for others.
Something that, at the moment gives me a sense of pride.
Anyway. I am sure readers, you are wondering what all this has to do with an old “Tin Sandwich”? Well. Nothing really – apart from recently I wrote a poem that I thought I would share at the end of this post. 😊
The Old Tin Sandwich Clamped between the lips The tongue bending as the note is found. The vibration waves through the Comb Then the Blues wails With its responsive sound. A rhythmic backbeat Is found by stomping feet, claps or drums.
At last I am taking things up a notch! Finally with a webstore at http://www.beatnpress.co.uk my books are available (subject to availability) from me direct.
It has been my intention to expand my publishing endeavours, albeit in a small way. With my books of poetry available, and selected publications by other writers on the Beatnpress imprint – I hope to see things expand, Books that interest likeminded people, usually associated with music in some way.
New stock will be added in the coming weeks, and announcements will be made on this blog which is linked to the site.
The first book to be published by Beatnpress that isn’t written by Jason Disley will be a memoir written by a Superfan of one of the most popular Reggae bands in the world. UB40 (A Legal Drug) by Tanya Kennedy was originally self published in 1995, and after losing a battle to cancer, her husband, Andy, asked that I help him reissue it as a tribute to her, and, as a way to raise money for St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.
Naturally I felt honoured to be asked to help, and I have to say, the book is such a great read! With a foreword by Robin Campbell one of the founding members of UB40, and an Afterword by UB40 band member Martin Meridith. This book gives a personal insight into teenage obsession, and the way in which Music can shape a person’s life. The highs, the lows and sense of adventure permeates the book.
More details and the official launch date for Tanya’s book will be announced soon.
So I have published my latest collection of poetry.
It is a great feeling producing a book and seeing it in the flesh. Published through my own imprint Beatnpress. This book is a really honest collection. I am proud of it, because it has been created during what has been a tumultuous year for so many people.
As poet and artist Becky Nuttall writes:
Jason covers all the current major themes in ‘Pop Versus Subterranean’ – everything we have lived through and our thoughts in the last months ; the Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the Government, reflections on love, youth, the Jazz Age, suburban life , the influence of Pop Art, the Cosmos – understanding how we need to recreate our own space – virtual, fantasy or reality.
From the Foreword of Pop Versus Subterranean by Jason Disley (2021)
The intention is a collection that is relevant and up to date, but also explores the nature of what is popular, and what is considered Subterranean or Underground. Its about being innovative and striving for success, but not necessarily selling out.
As with most of my work there is a musicality and use of rhythms often likened to Jazz. I am a self styled Beat Poet, and I wear my influences on my sleeve.
Of all my poetry collections, this one is perhaps one that reflects the way I think the most. I have also been very creative with the design of the cover. Using Pop Art style motifs similar to Peter Blake and colours I have tried to link the interior with the cover in an artistic way. The arrows and the red circle are a nod to the influence Paul Weller has had on my work.
The image of Paul Weller wearing on the cover of This Is The Modern World shows Paul wearing a jumper with two arrows and a badge on the front.
I chose a reinterpreted simplified version for the main image. When creating this cover. It’s not an exact copy. The arrows differ in size on the book cover because the meanings inferred by the image in relation to the books title are different than the Pop Art/Punk ethos Paul Weller is implying. It is also reversed as I did not want to be seen as copying an idea, but taking it as an artistic influence.
If you are interested in Pop Versus Subterranean you can either use the contact form on the menu of this page and make a request for signed copies or go to lulu.com where the book is printed and dispatched on demand.
There is a new collection of what I term “Modernist Beat Poetry” coming out on March 26th. It is available via Beatnpress.
It is a collection that delves into various topics and thoughts during the last twelve months. The world is very much changed, as society has had to come to grips with the Covid 19 Pandemic. So, in this book some of the events and my personal perceptions are revealed. Such as, the Pandemic, Black Lives Matter, the Government, reflections on love, youth, the Jazz Age, suburban life , the influence of Pop Art, the Cosmos – understanding how we need to recreate our own space – virtual, fantasy or reality.
It is not unlike other books I have written, as there are elements of musicality in my poetry. I am fascinated by society, culture and art, and write honestly, sharing things as I perceive them. During lockdown, we all have moments of fear, horror, hope and yearning. Thereabout comes senses of rebellion and at times even confrontation. But, there are also moments of optimism and hope. Life is complicated, and as a writer I search for understanding. There are also moments where I drift into surrealism.
However the main focus in the book is the relationship between Popular culture, and underground culture. What is underground today, could be the popular culture of tomorrow. There are nods to Pop Art, and some quite Avant-garde ideas, as well as the fickleness of Pop. More niche ways of thinking are looked at by society with suspicion yet are equally valid. Underground movents or subcultures can express amazing wisdom and foresight. Some will disappear, but others will grow in popularity.
This book is like a collection of verbal photographs, it is a series of moments and thoughts made during 2020 – 2021, that I have recorded and chosen to share.
I hope though, that the work serves to inspire, and in a small way educate. Like my literary heroes, I believe in the art of expression. I self styled myself as a modern day Beat Poet because I have similar tastes to those that went before me. I live to live, and wholeheartedly take on board experience – no matter whether it is good or bad. I live in the moment, and take each day as it is. During the Pandemic, as with many of you out there, there have been difficult days, and days that seem easier. Creativity has helped me. As I am sure many of you out there have also been productive. This is the fruit of my labour. I hope you like it and whether it stays underground or becomes popular is not up to me. I just want it to be read, and hopefully appreciated.
The collection has a wonderful foreword written by poet and artist Becky Nuttall, who is also a curator of exhibitions and helps run Stanza Extravaganza, a (before Covid) regular spoken word event in Torbay. She has her own collection called Nick’s Gift – which I highly recommend. It is available from Amazon.
Pop Versus Subterranean will officially be available from Lulu.com as of 26th of March. It is also available via myself and in a few weeks time from various other online retailers.
The book retails at £10.99 +pp
Please send me a message if you would like a copy.
I have come to realise that as a writer, there is a style I gravitate towards. I don’t pretend to be highbrow or sophisticated like somebody who went to a particular university, or had a privileged education. I do not have airs and graces. I write about what I find interesting, and entertaining. I weave tales that are not over complicated, but have enough spice (I hope) to turn a page. So, what is it that drives my interests? What is it that makes me return to a genre that is full of those things that so called “polite” society call taboo?
It’s that boyish sense of adventure. I am quite clearly a little immature. I want to be titilated, and experience danger, lust and crime. I want to be the sheriff or the man in the black hat as you would see in a classic Western. I want to be a Gangster, or a super sleuth. I want to sleep with the Femme Fatale, although it could be the death of me – and so it goes on.
Pulp Fiction, is where its at. You escape into the underbelly of life and experience a grittiness that is equally alluring as it is distasteful. The tales can appeal to our most basic instincts. But they also serve as a quick escape from the real world. Where the mundane existence of life seems to crowd in. I think that a great pulp tale from the 20th century provides a portal to life that has a glamour that isn’t as obvious in life today. Interaction between characters is vital, and at a time when distancing yourself from others can be seen as important, so these interactions jump off a page.
So, for me writing within this genre seems a natural fit. I don’t just stick to the formula though. I experiment and provide stories that have enough familiarity that you want to read, but are also different in structure. My Pulp Fiction Poetry for example has a lyricism that helps convey mood, rhythm and a musicality.
Whereas my prose embraces many different genres so as to try and create something original. That is the crux though. How do you provide something that hasn’t been done before? Well you don’t. You go with your instincts. You write about things you are interested in, and hope others are as well. You pick the elements you like, you absorb ideas from around you – on the Internet, in books, on film or even on the radio. Then you regurgitate it in a new way. Taking things forward in the manner that storytellers do.
It’s hard work being a 20th century Pulp Fiction writer in the 21st century. But it continues as an accessible entertainment, and tradition that is there to be enjoyed.
I have written two novels and two Pulp Fiction Poetry collections. This year I hope to complete a third novel and a third Pulp Fiction Poetry collection. I am pretty sure these won’t be my last. It seems I am on a road of my own choosing, where story telling is my thing. So if you want to dig my work check it out at the various online platforms it is available from:
Barnes & Noble
Watch this space for my forthcoming projects – including news about my first non fiction book.
When the Covid 19 Pandemic hit the UK with a lockdown in March 2020. I took the opportunity to self publish the sequel to my debut Novella Seven Day Fool. The novel titled Take It Or Leave It. The novel is a tale set a few months after the end of the first book, and sees the main character develop, and become the reluctant hero I wanted him to be.
I felt that due to lockdown, it was prudent to publish this second novel as an ebook. However, after publication it has not really sold. Naturally I questioned “why?” Initially it was formatting errors and Covid that delayed distribution. In fact despite re-formatting I am still trying to be patient as I wait for this novel to go through the whole global reach process, again, and be more widely available. So, yes. Take It Or Leave It is being more Left than Taken at this moment in time. But, I hope it will not remain so. I am after all quite proud of my imaginative story that puts one man into a situation that is quite profound and different from his life so far. It sees him discover what he is capable of, and his determination to get through to a conclusion that is for him, is satisfactory and just.
The tale pays homage to sixties spy novels, crime capers and the sort of Pulp Fiction I enjoy. With it being set in the sixties I am able to include elements of style and culture that are of that time. For me, the novel is quite cinematic, and it’s international flavour, and Cold War paranoia makes for the sort of thriller that although feels familiar, is just different enough that it achieves to bring to life that era without it feeling corny or a pastiche. The story is not Austin Powers meets James Bond and The Avengers. Its more The Ipcress File meets The Quiller Memorandum with a dash of The Saint in my mind. So, why am I sharing this?
Quite simply I want people to read my novel. Perhaps it’s my own insecurity as we live in these insecure times that has made me write this. I believe in the work I have spent many hours creating. But, without an agent or a traditional publisher – self promotion is the only option at this time.
As with all writers, one thing that inspires us is feedback, whether it be constructive criticism or praise. I want people to enjoy my novel. I want people to say yes – that was a great little tale. But equally, I want to hear where I can improve and develop.
So, please check it out. Maybe read it, and let me know if you were right to take it, or perhaps you feel you should have left it.
Those of you who have read my previous posts, know that I am inspired by the Beat Generation. I have mentioned the likes of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg et al in more than one article over the years. I don’t know why I always come back to the Beats. But, I often do. I suppose it’s that identification, with lonesome travellers, mavericks and people who want to dig everything. Get their kicks and be totally themselves.
My first introduction to The Beats, like many was the novel On The Road,
It opened my eyes to many things. I was a teenager, I was discovering my own taste in things. Because of this book I really began to appreciate Jazz, I also understood the need for kicks. I had yearnings, and wanted to live a life that was exciting, where I could appreciate everything that I experienced. Now, the point of this blog post today, is that since last Monday, whilst staying at home thanks to the Covid 19 Pandemic, I have been sorting many things out at home. Getting rid of junk, and whatnot. I found in in a shoebox a stack of papers. Some of which were half finished stories, others were original poems – all written twenty or more years ago.
One was the start of a short story or novella. I haven’t yet decided what it will be just yet. But, upon reading what I had, I found that I had a desire to rewrite it. The project I have subsequently called: Stateside Dreaming
It is the tale of a young man living in the North of England, who wants to experience America. He has a mundane, low paid job, he is an avid reader and more importantly a dreamer. He is also obsessed with the novel On The Road. (Sounds familiar?) Anyway, the tale opens with him quitting his job, and spontaneously heading off on his journey of discovery. The story then descends into a number of dreamlike episodes, some are disjointed like dreams can be, some are nightmarish, others are clear and focused reinforcing his ideas and decisions.
Whether the project will have legs. I don’t know. But, for the moment I am inspired to work on it, whilst also working on other things.
The main thing when you are staying at home, is finding other ways to travel, and, this is mine. Stay safe, and look out for a new article next Monday.