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.
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.
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.
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.