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October 1st 2018

Info about the Brixton BookJam at 8pm on Monday 1st October 2018. We heard from:

Martin Millar, Anna Mazzola, Billy Ryan, Jill Johnson, Stefan Clarke, Deserter, Stevie Russell, Vicky Grut, Marianne Kavanagh, Yolanda Christian, Tamsin Grey and Sarah Perry.

We’ll also had music from Andy Carstairs and Rebecca Hollweg, and the evening was compered by Barry Coulter.

Listen to the event on SoundCloud:


Barry Coulter is a newspaper editor, musician and dramatist from
British Columbia, Canada. He laments that his satirical newspaper
columns are so misunderstood, and and dreams of directing “The
Tempest” someday, staged as a 1950s Science Fiction.



Martin Millar is a Scottish writer. He lives in London, he’s had many books published, and he won the World Fantasy Award. His most recent book, ‘Supercute Futures’ was published in August 2018.  Mox and Mitsu, owners of the huge Supercute Empire, find themselves under attack by their bitter rival Moe Bennie. For years they’ve dominated their ravaged world by having the cutest clothes and cuddliest toys, but now they’re obliged to revert to armed violence, something at which they’re surprisingly adept. Faced with an overwhelming cyber-assault, hostile drones in the air and mercenaries in the radioactive tunnels below, Supercute are struggling to stay alive. | @martinmillar1


William Ryan is the author of five novels, including the Captain Korolev series set in 1930s Moscow. They have been shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Irish Fiction Award, the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and the Crime Writer Association’s Steel, Historical and New Blood Daggers. His latest novel, A House of Ghosts, set in 1917, has been described as ‘an atmospheric, hugely entertaining mystery that offers all the pleasures of a classic ghost story – with an appealing dash of romance’. |  @WilliamRyan_


Anna Mazzola is a writer who, due to some fault of her parents, is drawn to peculiar and dark historical subjects. Her debut novel, The Unseeing, which won an Edgar award, is based on the life of a real woman who was convicted of aiding a murder in South London in 1837. Her second novel, The Story Keeper, follows a folklorist’s assistant as she searches out dark fairy tales and stolen girls on the Isle of Skye in 1857. Get the e-book for 99p in October!

Anna lives in Camberwell with two small children, two cats and one husband. | @Anna_mazz



Marianne Kavanagh has worked as an editor and writer on a number of magazines and newspapers, including Marie Claire and the Telegraph. She has written four novels. The first two were romantic comedies that sold all over the world. The third, SHOULD YOU ASK ME, is historical crime, and the fourth, DISTURBANCE – published by Hodder & Stoughton next March – is crime and psychological drama, about a lonely woman driven to the edge by rejection and betrayal. Marianne has lived in London for years, drifting steadily southwards via the Elephant, Loughborough Junction and Herne Hill. She now lives in East Dulwich. | Twitter: @MarianneKav | Instagram: @mariannekavanaghwriter


South London blog, Deserter, is a slacker’s alt guide to the wonky wonderland south of the river. Its authors, Dirty South and Dulwich Raider, record off-beat days out and urban adventures in pubs, cemeteries, galleries, hospitals, disabled toilets and pubs again, often in the company of their volatile dealer, Half-life, and the rather nicer Roxy. The boys will be previewing their book, Today South London, Tomorrow South London, a collection of some of these these stories – plus lots of new material the publisher absolutely insisted upon. It is to be published by Unbound in October 2018. |


Vicky Grut’s short stories have appeared in new writing collections published by Picador, Granta, Duckworth, Serpent’s Tail and Bloomsbury in the UK, and her nonfiction essay ‘Into the Valley’ (Harvard Review 43) was listed as one of the Notable Essays of 2012 in Best American Essays. In 2018 she has stories in The Mechanics Institute Review 15 and Harvard Review 52, and her short story collection Live Show, Drink Included is published by Holland Park Press. More information at, @VickyGrut



S.K. Perry was shortlisted for the Mslexia Award and longlisted for London’s Young Poet Laureate in 2013. She was a resident artist at the Roundhouse in Camden and a Cityread Young Writer in Residence 2014. She runs creative writing projects that develop emotional literacy, and explore mental health, memory, and healing from violence. She lives in Leeds. Let Me Be Like Water is her debut novel. @_sarah_perry |




Glenda Read, Crack Librarian – Miss Read is a retired librarian of a certain age. She is delighted to be appearing at Bookjam as books and jam are two of her favourite things, along with the Dewey Decimal Classification System, datestamp polishing, and cats. One of her proudest moments was winning the gold medal in the 1975 South London Datestamping Championships. Glenda enjoys sharing stories of the many famous people who have run their fingers through her card catalogue over the years.


Tamsin Grey is the eldest of five sisters and grew up in England, Scotland and Zambia. She has worked as a cucumber picker, a copywriter, a yoga teacher, an oral historian, and as a speechwriter to a secretary of state. She’s Not There, her first novel, was published by Borough Press in April 2018. Grey lives in Brixton with her partner and two sons. She works part time as a civil servant, and is writing her second novel, which is set at a music festival.


Jill Johnson has lived in South East Asia, Europe and New Zealand. She has owned an editorial cartoon gallery, a comic shop and has been involved in a graphic novel publishing house. At the tender age of 51 and after 2 degrees, 3 children and 5 businesses, she’s found the time to write her debut novel ‘The Time Before The Time To Come’. 




Yolanda Christian is British, Portuguese and Chinese – a mix which inspired her debut novel, The Happy Sunbird – a darkly acerbic tale of ancestral roots and an exotic lands marked by opium wars and more recent invasions.

With a background in visual arts, Yolanda has captured scenes of Peckham and Brixton, some of which can be found in museum collections. After defeating a £1.8 billion profit-making construction giant, she also published several non-fiction titles to help the Litigant-in-Person in the county court. |


Brixton BookJam is at Hootananny Brixton (95 Effra Road, London SW2 1DF) – a large pub with a performance space that can hold 600 people. It also provides cooked food. The closest tube station is Brixton (Victoria line) and buses 2, 3, 415, 432 and 196 will transport you very near to the venue.