This next twelve months hopes to see things build, in both my writing career, and the success of beatnpress. There are projects on their way, and many new opportunities to come I am sure!
It’s been a very mixed year for me 2021. I have had some extremes throughout. There are almost too many things to mention – and that is no way me to trying to brag. From an individual point of view I have achieved some things and made a reality things that were once upon a time dreams and aspirations.I have made my publishing venture more than just a vehicle for my own work – it now serves as a platform for others. Beatnpress saw the publication of the incredible memoir written by the late Tanya Kennedy – UB40 a legal drug – who with her husband Andy Kennedy – we created a book that has proved to be quite popular and at one point was number 2 in the Reggae Music Book chart on Amazon – all proceeds of which have gone to St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton.Earlier in the year I published my poetry collection Pop Versus Subterranean – a collection of Pop Art poems I am extremely proud of. As yet due to the Pandemic I have only read and performed from it once to a live audience and that was on stage at The Palace Theatre in Paignton.2021 also saw the www.beatnpress.co.uk website go live – providing an outlet to sell these books and other books I have written over the years. I have also had a busy time writing articles including articles for Detail magazine, Adam Cooper at Heavy Soul, and Subbaculture – as well as working on my most recent book The Lost Notes By Diz (An unconventional novel about spiritualism, jazz and erm – Jim Morrison!) , and other forthcoming publications. There is my first non fiction book The Desired Article – a Concise Look at Style. This is a series of articles written about articles of mens clothing and some particular fabrics. Articles that reflect why they have remained popular throughout the last century and form the basis for what in the 21st century we see as the building blocks of true style. The book will be published by Zani soon and more news about it will be announced in the New Year. The brainchild behind Zani is Matteo Sedazzari – who has worked with some fantastic people and is a respected author in his own right. Recent publications by Zani are Tales from the Foxes of Foxham written by Matteo Sedazzari and the play Performers written by Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh.I have also been co-writing Sartorial 64 with Nick Keen with the design and artwork by the fantastic Alf Button – if you are not familiar with Alf’s work check out Alf Button’s Revenge. This project has taken up many interesting hours of research, and is one I can not wait to see when it’s complete. All I can say is – we are all in for a treat. 2022 will see me continue to write, including my third Jake Brody Novel Reach Out Of The Darkness – which is taking longer than I had hoped since I have been so busy on other projects. There is also my third Pulp Fiction Poetry tale The Forgotten Whisper On The Wind to complete, and is I am pleased to say, nearing its climax.Other things that happened in 2021 that I did not expect but did were: taking my father to see Tom Jones perform live in Plymouth, be on Morcheeba Band‘s guest list at the Gone Wild Festival at Powderham Castle, meet Steve Brookes at the Stone Foundation gig at Exeter Phoenix and briefly chat with Neil Sheasby and Neil Jones. All of these things were highlights to at times a difficult year. Continued separation from loved ones has been hard. The Pandemic has made life far far from normal – and I feel blessed to have achieved some things in the last twelve months. However, financially I have struggled, and health wise things have been up and down both physically and mentally. As I write this, I am writing it whilst having Covid. At the moment I seem to be OK, and I sincerely hope I make a quick and full recovery. My wife is also poorly, and I so hope she gets well soon. Understandably this isn’t the end to 2021 that we hoped for. I hope 2022 will be one of vast improvement, and that I am able to continue to follow my dreams. I also hope there are many good times to be had by all in the future. I like to live in the now and will take each day as it comes. My reflection on the past year – is that determination can see you through if you believe enough. Follow that dream – work hard and eventually things will fall into place. I dreamed of being a writer, and 2021 has been the first year that I can say writing is more than a hobby – it is what I am supposed to do. So, move forward always, and learn from your mistakes. Peace and Love to you all and Happy New Year. I think 2022 may hold a few surprises… JD aka Diz x