Between the Covers 15/04/2012

Between the Covers was thrilled to be invited to a celebration with the squillion-selling Game of Thrones author George RR Martin at the Tower of London on Thursday – not least because Between the Covers' "plus-one" now has to do all the ironing for a month.

Guests were given a tour of the Tower and the Crown Jewels, and Martin's publisher at HarperVoyager recalled how rights were bought to "what then seemed like a very expensive 'trilogy'" during a boozy office Christmas lunch. The series is now at book five, and counting ... Ironing is a small price to pay for a golden ticket compared to the lengths that some of Martin's fans will go to just to get his attention. On his website, he has posted pictures of babies that fans have sent him – babies named after his characters. Brans, Aryas and Daeneryses are popular. But beware: a top HarperVoyager source tells us that Martin is already working on book six, The Winds of Winter, and more favourite characters might bite the dust. His publisher resisted locking him in the Tower until he finishes the book, which he expects to take five years.

***

Readers who want to buy Bloomsbury's new publication, Gin & Juice: The Victorian Guide to Parenting, by Alan Tyers and the cartoonist Beach (£10) had better alert. Three titles with the title Gin & Juice are currently listed on Amazon. One is this latest, which gives tongue-in-cheek advice from the likes of "Gertrude Fjord-Mettod" and Queen Victoria, alongside advertisements for Bob the Empire Builder toys ("Can we annexe it? Yes we can!") and retro illustrations. Another appears to be loosely about Snoop Doggy Dog, and is published by one of those companies that copy and paste Wikipedia content into print-on-demand technology and then sell the resulting "book" for £30. The third is a bargain at £0.77, and is a "gay erotic paranormal" story in the form of a Kindle ebook. Its author, JT Whitehall, is a bartender by night, and spends his days writing poetry and short stories. He wins the award for the most original Gin & Juice of the moment.

***

Fans of Charlotte Mendelson – Love in Idleness, 2001; Daughters of Jerusalem, 2003; When We Were Bad, 2007 – will be very pleased to hear that Pan Macmillan has just bought rights to her new novel for publication by its Mantle imprint in summer 2013. Her publisher, Maria Rejt, says that Almost English is "a stunning, moving and important novel written in the most exquisite language, and in the most warm-hearted way. Its themes are universal – Almost English explores love across the generations, the pain of first love, of acceptance and rejection, a young girl's desperation to fit in without knowing quite how. It tells of the strange world of the English boarding school in the 1980s and of the equally exotic world of Hungarian exiles yearning for home. It is, without question, Charlotte's breakthrough novel and a landmark publication for Mantle in 2013."

***

In more good news for fiction fans, the winning entry in Mslexia magazine's inaugural Women's Novel Competition has just been bought in a six-figure, two-book deal by Harper Collins. The Palace of Curiosities, by former Goth band singer Rosie Garland, was inspired by the 19th-century "freak show" star Julia Pastrana, who suffered from hypertrichosis terminalis, which meant that her body was covered in thick hair. This year's Mslexia competition has just opened for entries, with a closing date of 10 September. Details can be found at www.mslexia.co.uk.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey

film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat

Arts and Entertainment
A sketch of Van Gogh has been discovered in the archives of Kunsthalle Bremen in Germany
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
Arts and Entertainment
Fake Banksy stencil given to artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth

art

Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

    Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
    Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

    The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

    Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
    Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

    Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

    A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
    How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

    How books can defeat Isis

    Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

    She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
    The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

    The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

    The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

    Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
    Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

    Young carers to make dance debut

    What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
    Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

    Design Council's 70th anniversary

    Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
    Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

    Dame Harriet Walter interview

    The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

    Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

    Bill Granger's winter salads

    Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
    England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

    George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

    No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
    Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links