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Archive for August, 2008

I’m excited that both the biographies I’ve written have been snapped up for foreign editions. So far, Amy Winehouse: The Biography has been sold to five countries – including Brazil, France and Finland – and Paris Hilton: Life On The Edge has gone to Japan, Russia, France and Sweden.
These editions will mostly appear over the next few months, although I have a copy of the Dutch edition of the Amy book already and it’s trippy to see my words translated into Dutch. They’ve even made her look more Dutch on the cover!
Ironically, I saw the English edition of my Amy biog on sale in Amsterdam last week. Not that I ever trawl bookshops searching for copies of my own books, you understand!

I’ve never really done any public speaking before but by this time next month I will have spoken at two events that are important to me. First up, on 11th September, Julie Burchill and I will speak to a group of Holocaust survivors at an event organised by the Association Of Jewish Refugees. I know it’s a cliche, but I’m tremendously humbled to be speaking on such an occasion.

Then on September 20th, I am going to be speaking at the Windsor Festival. I will appear alongside the aforementioned Warwick Cairns, Melanie Gow and publisher Scott Pack. The event is called How I Got My Book Published.

PS – Melanie Gow has created a petition on an important issue that I feel affects us all. If you are so inclined, please take a look here.

Yesterday saw the kick-off of the new Premiership season and the start of the new series of The X Factor. The highlight of the latter was, naturally, the brilliant Cheryl Cole. However, the audition of these two Welsh lads and their bizarre version of Mysterious Girl will linger long in the memory.

Anyone who has been in a British bookshop recently will have noticed how hard they are pushing James Frey’s new book, Bright Shiny Morning. Well, I succumbed to the hype and snapped up a copy. I can’t remember the last time a novel gripped me so much, from the first page right up until the gut-wrenching ending.
Meanwhile, I’m rather pleased that the not undishy Nicholas Lezard has made Julie and I his ‘radio moment of the week’ in his column in the Independent.
Carlton Books generously threw a small lunch party yesterday to celebrate the impending publication of my forthcoming book Help! I’m Turning Into My Dad!. Present and correct were the genius editor of the book Martin Corteel, the book’s cartoonist Mike Mosedale, and Gina McKinnon, who wrote the companion volume for budding Mums, Help! I’m Turning Into My Mum!.
After the debauchery and excitement of promoting Not In My Name with Julie, I could have done with a gentle few days but I let Martin twist my arm and pour me quite a few glasses of wine over the long lunch. I then recall Gina suggesting we move on to the pub, where hordes of Carlton staff joined us, one of them bringing his wonderful Dachshund dog called Arnie.
My next memory is staggering home late that evening. Chris showed me a review of Not in My Name in the Jewish Chronicle and I was delighted by that. Such praise would be welcome from any quarter, but coming from that newspaper it was particularly welcome. The fact they singled out my Israel chapter meant more to me than I can say. The reviewer writes “I had tears streaming down my face as I turned the pages” as she read my chapter. I shed a few tears of joy myself while reading her review.
As if all that wasn’t exciting enough, my agent just called to say the second serial rights for Not In My Name have been sold to The Sun. Kerching!
I’ve never been a fan of the patronising creep George Monbiot. I find his views on Israel particularly distasteful, and his stance on Iraq and Greenery are thoroughly unpleasant too. What a ghastly man. However, I owe him a drink this week after he helped us take publicity for Not In My Name to a new level. He had a head-to-head with Julie on Radio 4′s Today Programme on Wednesday and then stormed off and wrote a blog on the Guardian website on the same theme. Since then, interest in Not In My Name has sky-rocketed.
Julie and I have had a great couple of days generating even more publicity too. We spoke together on quite a few radio shows including Steve Wright In The Afternoon on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC London Breakfast, with the wonderful JoAnne Good. I love that woman! We also did a more in-depth chat with the Little Atoms radio show, which we both enjoyed.
I’ve also been busy doing interviews with the local papers around Berkshire, including the Royal Borough Observer and the Windsor Express. I’m really pleased with how stuff has gone, and I want to say thanks so much to Jane, our lovely PR from Virgin Books, who has done us proud and been a great pal throughout.

© Copyright Chas Newkey-Burden. All Rights Reserved. Thanks to Chris Morris.