This time last year I was working on a presentation pack for a new book of stamps for the Royal Mail on The Working Horse.
The stamps were released last week – this is something I am very pleased to have be involved with as the final results are both attractive and useful in highlighting the contemporary importance of the horse beyond the leisure industry.
Towards the end of last year, I was approached by Ann Arnold, producer of Late Night Live, a popular radio show in Australia from ABC News, hosted by Philip Adams.
The show has been running a series of features on animals which drew on the Reaktion Books ‘Animal’ titles. When they reached the horse, they asked me to be a guest, along with Karen Jones and Monica Mattfeld from the University of Kent, and Helen Thomas who, as well being manager of ABC news, is a journalist with a special interest in horse-racing.
I went to the BBC Studios in Wrexham and, spread widely apart, we made what’s known as a live recording. This means that although it isn’t broadcast live, it’s not an edited show and the discussion goes out pretty much as it happened.
The programme will be broadcast tomorrow, January 28th, at 11 am UK time/10pm Australia time (repeated 4pm Australia time on 30th) and also be live-streamed through the show’s website and available afterwards as a podcast.
During the discussion I will be talking about stories from Horse, how I came to write The Horses and my work on William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle.
On a more surreal note, I will also be debating with Philip Adams whether or not King Arthur actually had a horse, based on evidence to be found in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – not something I anticipated when they asked me to take part!
There’s a new review of The Horses by Dr. Robert McKay, Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of Sheffield, on the Book Reviews page.
Dr. McKay featured The Horses as a core text on his ‘Animal Writes’ undergraduate English Literature module, with Horse also on the reading list. I went up to Sheffield to talk to his students about the intersection between fact and fiction in my writing earlier this year.
He’s currently working on animals in film and is keen to hear from anyone who shares his interest – there’s a contact link under his review.
You can also find The Horseson Facebook – I added it to my books list on my personal profile, as it seemed a little short-sighted to recommend only other author’s books!
Then, of course, I had to make a page to go with it.