I’ve written a book. It’s called “Deleted Scenes: My Autobiography, and it’s available on Amazon as a paperback, or for Kindle;
It’s also available as an eBook, as part of a Super Deluxe Edition, on Bandcamp. This version includes a further two photographic eBooks, “Self Portraits 2015 – 2017” and “Abstract Photography 2015 – 2017”, along with six music tracks and a few other extras;
I wrote the first chapter, “Fried Chicken”, on the 17th of November 2016, just over a year ago. Prior to that I had really only ever written lyrics, poems and the occasional blog post. However, once I’d written this piece I thought, “Well, it looks like I can actually write.”. So, I decided to work towards writing a collection of similar stories. I’ve read several successful authors and songwriters who have given the same advice – write about what you know. At that point in time, my life had just crumbled around me. I was going through a divorce, and I’d just moved back to Edinburgh to live in a room in a shared house with strangers – after living in my own two bedroom flat in Perth. Things weren’t exactly going well, but they hadn’t been going well for a long time. I could easily have written about the stuff I was going through at that time, but I decided to do my best to work with a ten year rule – I’d try to only write about things that had happened in my life a decade or more ago. This wasn’t completely adhered to, as I did make plenty of references to my current life, but I did avoid writing about the circumstances that had lead me to be where I was.
So, I wrote. Sometimes I would manage to write only a single chapter in a month, as I had a full time, physical, job to do, and failing health to contend with. But, by the 6th of October, 2017, I was writing the final chapter, “On Deleted Scenes”. That was it, finished. I had written a book. My original idea was to release it as a pdf file as a bonus item with a music release on Bandcamp, which is exactly what I did on the 23rd of October, 2017. What I hadn’t counted on was the extremely warm reception that it got. On the day I released it I had three people contact me to say that they had read the book in one sitting, and loved it. I was really surprised by this, as there are only a few books that I have done this with in my whole life – and they are all books that I love. Within a few days I was contacted by a reader who lives in Norway, on the border with Russia, who told me that my writings on growing up through The Troubles in Belfast, Northern Ireland, had triggered memories of his own childhood, and the large NATO manoeuvrers that he witnessed at that time. After that, a partially sighted reader got in touch to tell me that he had had my book read to him by Siri, his iPad’s personal assistant. So, he now reads my Tweets in Siri’s voice.
Along with a small army of fans on Twitter, I’m really thankful for the help and assistance of two people in particular. Tommie Sunshine, the New York DJ and political activist, who took a little time out of his day during Amsterdam Dance Event to Tweet the following to his 148,800 followers, “Know your history. Stephen Clarke 1980 wrote a book that discusses The KLF amongst many other things. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”. Along with Hoxton FM DJ, producer, and label boss Scaramanga Silk, who has been very supportive of my work since the return of The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu in August. It was he who asked me to write an article on the return of The KLF for his website http://www.welcometothedarkages.com/2017/09/01/liberation-loophole-by-stephen-clarke-1980/ , which is featured in my book. This piece drew a lot of KLF fans towards my Twitter feed, in particular, and over the last few months we’ve had a lot of fun in the run up to Burn The Shard, and with the various side projects that these people are putting together. I’d like to thank fellow author Andy Gell for his help in pointing me towards getting my book printed as a paperback on Amazon. Andy’s own book, “Whatever”, is out now; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whatever-Andy-Gell/dp/1973249863/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512368858&sr=8-1&keywords=andy+gell+whatever
Since the publication of the paperback, on the 17th of November, 2017, it has sold steadily – around three copies per day at present. This has been enough to earn it a ranking of 521 in Amazon’s “Biography, Film, Television and Music” category but, unfortunately, it isn’t quite enough to earn me my dream lifestyle of living in a little cottage in the countryside, writing books and driving an old battered up, but reliable, Land Rover. There is time yet though. This book’s quality is really being spread by word of mouth – which is just as well, as I have no budget whatsoever for advertising. So, I’m assuming there will be a slow, and hopefully steady, rise in sales over the coming months.
In the meantime I’ll be getting on with finishing up my next music project, then doing a little work for another top secret collaborative project, before settling down to write my next book. I have told a few trusted friends and acquaintances the general outline of my next book, and they all seem to think that there will be a large market for it. In truth, I wasn’t thinking of markets when the idea occurred to me, it just seemed like a book that would be worth writing. So, I’m looking forward to working on it. I also have spinal surgery to contend with, likely in early 2018. So, that will be a new experience for me. Although, not one that I’m particularly excited about.
To all of you who have already bought the book and read it, or are making your way through it, many thanks. Keep your comments coming, as I’m enjoying the feedback, and if you have the time to review it on Amazon, or even talk about it, or share it with your friends online, I’d be grateful. You’re the only advertising I’ve got at present. So, make as much noise as you’d like!
I have made a short video of me flicking through my copy of the paperback, whilst Scaramanga Silk and Steve Lemacq talk about me in the background;
Thanks again, and keep dreaming,
Stephen Clarke 1980