You can listen to the June BookJam on Soundcloud.
We heard from Paul Bassett-Davies, CN Lester, Toby Broom, James Nuttall, Leila Segal, Danny Scheinmann, Matthew Miles, Zelda Rhiando, Paula Lennon, Oliver Cable, Merlin Sinclair and Anne Cooper, and music from Robert ‘Hacker’ Jessett.
Danny Scheinmann was born in Manchester and graduated in Law from the London School of Economics and in Theatre Studies from the University of Strasbourg. He has lectured in Storytelling techniques at London Metropolitan University, as well as writing and starring in movies. Danny recently co-directed his first feature with his brother David, After Louise. Danny lives with his wife and three children in North London. His debut novel Random Acts of Heroic Love was a bestseller in the UK and published in 21 languages. Danny’s second book, The Half Life of Joshua Jones, is out now.
@dannyscheinmann / http://www.dannyscheinmann.com/
Alex Wheatle is an award winning British novelist and has published 8 novels, initially focussing on his life in Brixton as a teenager, and experiences with social care. Alex’s first novel, Brixton Rock, was published to critical acclaim in 1999. Five more novels, East Of Acre Lane, The Seven Sisters, Island Songs, Checkers and The Dirty South followed, all highly praised. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. A favourite of reading groups and libraries, he is UK’s most read Black British author. He is working on a non-fiction book about Black Britain and has just released a teen novel, Liccle Bit. http://www.thesusijnagency.com/AlexWheatle.htm
CN Lester is an academic, musician, and leading UK trans activist. Lester is an educator and consultant to organisations such as Channel 4, the BBC, the Huffington Post, and to universities and unions across the country. They have written for the Independent, New Internationalist and the New Statesman, and performed at the Barbican, Tate Modern and Southbank Centre. Lester co-founded the first ever national UK group for young LGBT people.
Leila Segal was born in London. Breathe: Stories from Cuba (Flipped Eye, 2016) is her debut short story collection, and originates in the time she lived in Havana and the Pinar del Río province of Cuba. Her stories have been published in Litro, Wasafiri Magazine, Mechanics’ Institute Review, The Lonely Crowd, Generations Literary Journal, Papeles de la Mancuspia, Loose Muse Anthology, The London Magazine, and Ink, Sweat & Tears. Leila is director of Voice of Freedom, a project with formerly trafficked women. Voice of Freedom enables women who have escaped their captors, and sometimes given evidence against them, to use text and photography to talk about their lives.
@leilasegal / http://www.leilasegal.com
Oliver Cable was born to English parents in Holland and currently lives in London. As a result, he’s not entirely sure where he’s from. In the ten years since writing his first poem, he’s written short-form poetry and prose, inspired and influenced by jazz, travel and the absurdity of daily life. After following a Creative Writing course at UEA, he turned his hand to writing longer pieces, but to this day still enjoys a good four-line poem. Fresh Air and Empty Streets is his debut novel.
Paul Basset Davies’ first novel, ‘Utter Folly’ topped the Amazon humorous fiction chart in 2012. His new novel, ‘Dead Writers in Rehab’, is now published by Unbound. His story ‘The Spots’ appears in ‘Six Scary Stories, selected and introduced by Stephen King’ (Hodder). Paul has written and directed for TV, radio, film and stage. He founded the multimedia company Crystal Theatre, and his one-man shows won awards. He has worked with the best-known names in British comedy, and has written two radio sitcoms and several radio plays. He’s also been a cab driver, a DJ in a strip club, and the vocalist in a punk band.
@thewritertype / http://thewritertype.blogspot.com
Paula Lennon is the sixth and last child in a family of boys, born to Jamaican parents in the West Midlands, England. Paula lived in Jamaica during her teens and attended high school in Chapelton. For many years Paula worked as a commercial lawyer in London, England, before deciding to live where the weather was more conducive to smiling. She currently resides in Jamaica, where she is always actively plotting, writing, and being distracted by the Caribbean Sea. Murder in Montego Bay is her debut novel released on 9th June 2017 by publisher Jacaranda Books, London.
The only child of two writers, Merlin Sinclair grew up in a world that revolved around literature. Breaking the family tradition, he rebelled and joined the corporate world, where he worked as a copywriter and marketer. However, unable to escape the inevitable, he has now completed his debut, a historical novel inspired by a trip to the Prado in Madrid.
‘Englishman’ by Toby Broom is a self-published memoir relaying the true-life adventures of a English black music fanatic who dreamt of becoming the next David Rodigan, but found the going far harder than he bargained for. Discovering reggae and soul at a very early age, Toby’s love of the music takes him into blues dances, shubeens, and old time domino man pubs, onto pirate radio and the building of a sound system, and through the doors of more record shops than you can shake a stick at. Told with self-deprecating humour, priceless set-pieces and rich character portraits aplenty, ‘Englishman’ is a Dub Vendor bestseller and a must-read for any music lover or supporter of the underdog. A special limited ‘Brixton BookJam’ edition of ‘Englishman’ will be on sale on 5th June at £10 (£4 off RRP) which of course Toby would be only to pleased to sign. @misterswingeasy
Zelda Rhiando is a Dublin writer who has spent most of her life in London. Her first novel Caposcripti was self-published in 2012, and went on to win the Kidwell eBook award. Zelda travelled to Japan to research her second novel ‘Fukushima Dreams’ and is currently working on a third Good Morning Mr Magpie. She is a founder of the Brixton BookJam, and lives in Brixton, with her husband and two daughters. When not writing she can be found child-wrangling and making digital products.
@badzelda / http://www.badzelda.com
Anne E Cooper is the writer-in-residence at Cressingham Gardens Estate and is an activist, photographer and poet with 15 years experience working on community writing projects. She is the author of Touched, a solo collection of poetry and editor of And Then There Was Light. She has performed widely including the Bowery Poetry Club NYC. Her poem essay 21st Century Guernica about a massacre in Fallujah, Iraq was published by the Stop the War Coalition, broadcast on the Islam Channel and described by the late Tony Benn as, “Powerful and intensely moving.” Anne is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen – a writers’ collective.
@annecoopr / https://cressinghamvoices.wordpress.com
Matthew Miles writes fiction from the intersection of live-feed dreams and unmade beds. Alongside a stack of short stories, he has recently finished his first novel, The Idea Of Someone Else. Matthew is also a filmmaker, and writes on identity, culture and mental health for publications like i-D, Attitude, Fault and GayTimes. @matthew_w_miles
James Nuttall is a British-born writer who self published his first novel in 2014. Since then he has written a book of short stories and knows there are other novels in there waiting to come out. His writing tends to focus on modern takes on world culture, folklore, and the human fascination with the story. He currently lives in London and in his spare time catalogues mythical beasts and writes.