Blog

Been a busy and exciting month at Tricorn, commissions for some great new books from existing Tricorn Authors and some new contacts as well.

Taken delivery of a big pile of new titles; can't wait to promote and attend some of the events the authors have organised. Will keep you posted of new dates as they are confirmed.

Before during and after the Falklands War - Richard Stevens, proud to release this exciting 2 part collection form Richard Stevens - genuinely exciting account of living through the Falklands War.

"This is a frank and fascinating account of life in the Falkland Islands before and after the 1982 War.
Islander Richard Stevens paints a memory-prompting picture of life in the yester-year when the country was engulfed in colonial bureaucracy and also recounts the war from the little-known angle of a small group of people who were in the frontline in the final days leading up to Liberation from invading Argentine forces .  This is in itself a valuable record of a time when people pulled together to help each other and the British troops achieve what should have been an impossible feat. But it is also a story of what brings people to the Falklands in the first instance, and more importantly, what it is that captures their imagination and inspires them to stay. Richard as a travelling teacher visiting remote farms to teach just a few pupils at a time knew exactly what he was getting into when he settled, married, raised his children on a small, barely accessible farm and went on to take part in  shaping of the Falkland’s future as an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly. He took it all on with characteristic good humour and thankfully, has taken the time to share his journey on varied forms of transport along the often soggy tracks and bumpy roads of the Falklands. "
 
Islander: noun. One who lives in the Falklands, and embraces and contributes to the way of life
 
Sharon Jaffray
Deputy Editor
Penguin News


 

 

Road to Vendée, Alex Thomson Racing, Photography by Cleo Barnham, sponsored by Hugo Boss

The building of an icon - the world’s most sophisticated monohull built to sail around the world single-handed, non-stop.

The Vendée Globe is known as the world’s toughest offshore ocean race: non-stop, singlehanded, averaging 26,000 nautical miles around the world, unassisted. The race takes place every 4 years and winning is arguably the most coveted accolade in offshore sailing. It is not for the fainthearted, and it is not always plain sailing. Getting to the starting line of the Vendée Globe takes grit, determination and a committed team: time, patience and a lot of hard work. Also known as the ‘Everest of the Seas’, the Vendée Globe sees a 50% attrition rate–only 11 out of 20 boats finished the 2012-2013 race.

Alex Thomson has been focused on winning this prestigious race since starting his solo racing campaign in 2003, and has had his eyes set firmly on the title ever since. After being forced to retire in the 2004 and 2008 races, Thomson finished in an incredible third place in the 2012- 2013 Vendée Globe after spending 80 days, 19hours, 23 minutes and 43 seconds at sea. He is currently the fastest Briton to sail single-handed around the world in a monohull, and is more determined than ever to bring home the gold. At 1:00 pm on Sunday 6th November 2016, Alex Thomson will embark on the next edition of this gruelling race on board his new boat, HUGO BOSS. Building on his podium finish in 2013, Thomson will seek to make history by becoming the first British sailor ever to win this iconic race. Thomson and his team are more focused than ever on their Road to Vendée …

 

 A story we un-earthed when asked to research and shoot, some images for display panels on the Hot Walls Old Portsmouth, to illustrate our local fishing industry.

Portsmouth’s fishing industry’s rich heritage
There is written evidence of Romans fishing and farming oysters and clams in our waters in exactly the same way as today. This means the beds have survived and flourished for millennia. Local fishermen now claim that new management, IFCA, has succeeded in destroying these beds in only four years.


For those four years, Oystermen have been banned from local beds - to preserve the beds and stop disturbing the bird life. A study of the sea bed in October 2016 showed the clam bed was now devoid of all life and contained at least 4ft of dead shells, mis-formed baby clams and no sign of indigenous life. The overriding smell of petrol and oil present in the silt was overpowering, and quite upsetting.


These beds traditionally contained enough, clams, cockles, whelks and oysters to support a fully-functioning local fishing fleet that provided jobs and marine maintenance to a thriving biodiversity of shellfish. This has now disappeared under the new management of IFCA, under the protection of DEFRA.

 

 

Manuscripts

Manuscripts don’t always come to us in tidy, proofread, packages.

Sometimes they come on USB sticks in a Word document, sometimes via email as a stream of consciousness, or sometimes, like in Carole Anne Champman’s case it came as 100s of pieces of hand-written, typed up or photocopied sheets of loose paper or booklets that have been collected over the years.

Any which way is fine by us.

We will take your manuscript, in any format, and turn it into a beautiful product you can be proud of and that would grace the shelves of any leading bookshop.

 

To publish or not to publish?

That is the question for traditional publishers, based often on editors’ and agents’ applying their experience and knowledge of the market, and gut feeling.

Until now that is.

With so much information available online from so many different sources, about our habits, profiles, preferences and behaviour - coupled with the introduction of more precise methods to capture and analyse this data - gut feelings may soon be a thing of the past.

Data-driven decisions in the publishing industry will allow editors, agents and other decision makers to better understand the reader, their preferences and behaviour.

This more accurate decision-making process should be of benefit to all, while less risk for publishers in identifying the next big blockbuster will put authors on a more equal footing with the high profile, celebrity authors we see so much of now.

Being plugged-in to devices and information this way, and then using that knowledge when sifting and choosing what, where and how to publish, can only benefit the whole industry, and push its boundaries well into the 21st century.

 

 

Prince or pauper?

From Wales to Wiltshire: Ray Palmer's story of an ordinary family and some extraordinary people

Tricorn Books has seen a dramatic rise in autobiographical books that are not only interesting and valuable to family members, but also serve as important social history. Whether a prince or a pauper, it has never been easier to trace your heritage. And with top TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are? it has never been more popular.

No longer do you have to spend ages just locating small, dusty, local records’ offices and then traipsing around the countryside visiting them. With increased availability of public records so readily accessible online, all that can be done from the comfort of the living room.

Having said that, it still takes time and there is no better age group better placed to unlock the past than the retirees of today. Not only are there many more retirees, but they are more active, have the time, money and interest to invest, and with the rise of those ‘Silver surfers’, they also have the technology at their fingertips.

Retiree or otherwise, the Tricorn Books team is on hand to give support, service and someone to talk to who will guide you through the heady process of self-publishing and book printing your own very unique family heritage.

By self-publishing your story, you are contributing to the detail of today for the historians of tomorrow while leaving your mark for friends and family to relish.

 

Landscape photography

Landscape photography may be hugely popular but it takes a lot of skill, time and patience to be able to produce an arresting image. 

Successful landscape photographers use simplicity and variety as a formula where tones and textures offset each other. This could be an empty sky over a sea of buildings, or conversely, a dramatic sky above desert sands.

An object is used to break up this simple composition and inform the image by bringing in a third element to evoke questions and intrigue.

German couple, Bernd and Hilla Becher, who worked together as conceptual artists and photographers are well known for their photographic work of industrial landscapes. The Bechers focused on structures within the composition and how they relate to each other. Care was taken to eliminate all other detail that would detract from their focus, even down to eliminating shadows by shooting on overcast days and printing on low contrast paper.

Ansel Adams, the polar opposite of the Bechers, used high contrast and dramatic skies and scenery to take you into a world of pattern, shape and texture, where individual objects cease to exist.

As in portrait photography, the rule of three applies to the composition, either horizontally or vertically. However, unlike portrait photography, shooting landscapes is less instinctive and more studied, as there is not such a strong connection between the subject and photographer.

It has famously been said that as it is impossible to capture a landscape perfectly, we may as well not bother, and that it is better to consign what we see to memory. This illustrates just why the landscape photographer needs to look and study, and then interpret the scene in their own way, much like Impressionist painters do.

And this is also why landscape photography is such a difficult yet delightful challenge.

 

Yangon, Myanmar

 

The death of books? Far from it…a pause before something big!

According to online articles, the Guardian’s for example, books are back. But, when did they ever leave? Did I not get the memo? Because, apparently, books have been missing for several years, exiled by the digital and social world. However, they never left my bookshelves or bedside table.

In recent years, digital and social media sites such as Bloggr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wordpress, have stormed our lives and introduced new ways to consume media. They have given us more opportunities, such as digital print and made reading perhaps more accessible for the modern audience. However, alongside came a hate for digital media, an adamant disliking to the new trend deeming it the ‘death of books’.

Although, not traditional, the growth of technology is by far evil and has in no way murdered paperbacks. We have simply been preoccupied. Books have always been here and breathing, as after all, if they had vanished forever why are bookshops like Waterstones and Blackwells still in business? I don’t know about you but even with Kindles and I-Phones, I still saw the occasional commuter reading a dog-eared novel on the train or bus, lovingly turning each page.

We have simply ignored books momentarily, caught up in the dazzle and sparkle of flashy gadgets and cool gizmos. However, that doesn’t mean the demise of books, it is just an example of how people are easily swept up in trends.

Given that technology has plateaued, we have turned back to books and paper - as the news articles claim. The world of literature simply changed - people didn’t just stop loving paperbacks.

Now is the time to reignite your passion for paper by reading, buying or writing. Celebrate a new life in books and perhaps become a part of it all. Times are changing once more, traditional is back in and summer is here. So, why not finally write that story that you have wanted to for years, or finish your memoirs? Be one with the change, find a new confidence and self-publish.

If books are in, get in with them.

 

Tricorn Newsletter, 5th Edition

 

The seductive sweetness of self-publishing

Recently, I have been reading post-modern classics such as J G Ballard’s Crash and Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Both, incredibly graphic, explore scenes of violence and sex from a dominant male perspective. There are countless more similar books, however, there are few with a female perspective on such acts.

It appears in society, and also the world of literature, female sexuality, or the exploration of such, is perhaps treated as a taboo. Male sexuality, even graphic and morbid, as seen in American Psycho, is supported and idolised. Yet, that is all changing.

Books such as E L James’s Fifty Shades of Grey and Lisa Hilton’s Maestra are shifting this attitude of female sexuality and bringing it into the modern eye. Rather than being hidden away, authors are celebrating and showcasing female desire. And, our Miss Honey is doing the same.

In her novel Different Shades of Messed Up this bi-lingual, powerful female, confidently expresses her life story: how she stops at nothing to help her family and takes charge of her own sexual desires. In control and unstoppable, Miss Honey self-published her book with us, finally regaining her voice and feminine power.

Unlike traditional publishers, we only know how to say yes. We provide opportunities and chances for everyone, no matter who, because the greatest thing you can have is a voice. Self-publishing and Tricorn Books bring power back to minority groups, making anything possible.

Even female pleasure - to be explored, enjoyed and esteemed. 

 

Why not Tricorn?  Why digital and self-publishing are just as important as traditional methods

In recent years, self-publishing and digital media have flourished alongside technological advances. However, in the process, it has sparked a bitter rivalry with traditional printing methods, arising questions such as: “is this the death of books?” or “is digital media worth it?”

Well simply, no and of course it is.

As a teenager I am an everyday consumer of digital and social media, just like anyone else my age. Young people adore digital media as it is dynamic and easy to have on the go. In a second I can take my phone and message my friends or read an ebook. It is the result of a new age and more and more people are gobbling it all up!

However, at the same time I also love a good book. I love the feel of paper and the smell of a new novel, nothing quite beats it, even a Kindle. And, I am not the only one. Both digital and traditional methods of publishing are just as cherished and neither are going to die out any time soon.

So why is there such a stigma surrounding digital publishing and self-publishing? There are many out there who turn their nose up at new publishing methods and claim traditional publishing is elite. However, they are just different. And, in fact, nowadays digital and self-publishing is perhaps more functional and accessible.

Traditional publishing is tedious and can seem impossible. Rejection letters, rude people in suits and royalties can be overwhelming whereas blogs, ebooks and self-publishers can be more welcoming and warm. Things change to suit the people’s needs and that is why self-publishing and Tricorn are here today, for the people.

We offer both traditional and digital methods to extend the reaches of your work. You can enjoy the feel of paper as well as touching people online, across the world. That’s the vast range of opportunities and chances we offer. Tricorn can create ebooks for you to allow people to read your stories on the go as well as making them accessible to a large market who love to consume new media. But, we are more than just services.

We are the door to empowerment and freedom, an independence to take your future into your own hands rather than a daunting, large publishing corporation. We are also that friendly face to have a chat and a cup of tea with, that friend you need to stand beside you.

So, although traditional and digital are different, they are both waiting for you at Tricorn. Why not get the full potential from your book? Why not do things easier? Why not self-publish?

Why not Tricorn?

 

The Diary of a Young Writer

Being a writer in today’s society can be a challenge. Getting published is much harder than it was a few years ago and trying to write something new and fresh seems almost impossible. How can you write a bestseller when there are hundreds and thousands of books out there? How can you stand out in a sea of budding new authors?

Sometimes, all this is enough to deter young people and many give up on their dreams of publishing. It seems easier that way. After all, how on earth can you become a writer? What is the point?

I used to ask myself that. I wondered if I could ever make it as a writer, to publish and sell my own books. I wanted to help people with my work but going down the traditional route was too difficult and tedious. And anyway, there was no guarantee that it would pay off.

I was almost ready to give up. Writing is what I loved and gave me the confidence and voice I needed, yet it just wasn’t worth the torment of being rejected over and over.

But, then I found self-publishing, I found Tricorn Books.

Self-publishing avoids all that hassle, and no longer do I have to fear rejection. I can put my future and my work in my own hands and strive to become a writer independently. The profits are my profits, and I can market and sell my books how I like. I don’t have to change myself or my work anymore, I can do it how I want it.

That’s the magic of self-publishing - and also the magic of Tricorn Books. They offer me the support and care that I need and as a trusty tool, they help excavate and polish the raw gem of my talent. I can place myself in their hands now as I finish my novel, knowing that perusing my dream is not as hard as I thought.

Tricorn is a step up, a helping hand and an opportunity. They are empowerment and freedom. But, most importantly, they are there. 

What Portsmouth means to me – a new home and a new hope 

For the past two weeks I have been working for Tricorn Books in Portsmouth, doing all sorts of weird and wonderful things. From fiddling with photoshop to trawling Twitter, these past two weeks have been nothing but work and adventure.

Travelling to Portsmouth from Southampton everyday as a freelance journalist, has given me the chance to explore Portsmouth’s true potential. Living in the home of the Saints, I always underestimated this coastal city, until now. I never realised how much it has to offer and how beautiful it truly is.

 Everyday is exciting in Portsmouth and no matter where you go, you can always find a brilliant, thriving energy. It’s empowering, and has become the driving force for all my work. I have been up the Spinnaker Tower for the first time, visited historic landmarks including Landport Gate and overlooked the city from Portsdown Hill. I’ve done many things I haven’t done before and the moment I stared down at the harbour, which opened up to the world, I knew I had made the right decision to be here.

 It’s not just the heritage and landscape that I love, it is also the people. I’ve met inspiring individuals, from octogenarian ladies, to the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and one of the city’s well-known blacksmiths. No matter what, each person met me with massive smiles and open arms. They welcomed me into their lives and proudly told me what Portsmouth means to them.

 I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself.  Writing for Uniquely Portsmouth, a new book celebrating this city, I too have wondered: what does Portsmouth mean to me? A few weeks ago, the answer would have been, not much. It was just a city, a place, somewhere I would go to university, and perhaps live. And now? I feel that I can call it my home.

 When I came to Portsmouth, to Tricorn Books, I was at a pivotal time in my life. Leaving college, going to univeristy, following my dreams; my life had peaked at a life-changing moment. I was growing up.

 I am no longer a child, but a woman now and I have to start doing things for myself. At first all this scared me. I was afraid but now, I am not. I am confident and excited, eager to embrace change, to move to Portsmouth and start a new.

 So now, on my last day (for the moment) working at Tricorn Books and travelling to Portsmouth, I finally know what this seaside sanctuary means to me. Portsmouth is that golden band peering over the Historic Dockyard, the ray of sunlight through the storm. It’s my freedom and a new beginning. This city, the people, both the landsacpe and seascape, all symbolise new opportunities, and my own personal growth.

I turn away from Southampton and the bad memories and look forward to Portsmouth, knowing that my dreams, and summer, are going to be right behind the storm.

 

Age means nothing, being remembered is all - share stories and self-publish

We all have tales to tell. Perhaps, however, the most valuable, remain hidden within the older generations. From first-hand experiences of war and bombings, to witty antics about the roaring ’60s, there are countless gems demanding to be excavated.

These stories can become the most treasured gifts of all and will continue to be beside our family when we cannot. Our memories unveil history and heritage perhaps once forgotten, and can even bridge family rifts and communities. They create a warmness that is lost to some in a modern age, and keep us in touch with our emotion and humanity.

Sometimes though, recording these memories or writing a book can be daunting. “What do I write about? How do I write it? How do I lay it all out? Who can I proof read it?” It’s enough to put anyone off and more often than not, that’s exactly what happens and these treasures are left to gather dust in the backs of our minds.

And yet, self-publishing can bring them forth. A trusty tool, Tricorn Books can support and aid you into regaining your voice. A helping hand, we can be there for you every step of the way to ensure that you are never forgotten and neither is what you have to say. We have helped countless seniors publish their precious stories including Portsmouth’s ex Lord Mayor, Alan Burnett; ex marine, John Haggarty, so why not you?

Technology may seem sinister or you may lack the resources and confidence, but that is what we are here for. We believe in you, when you cannot believe in yourself. We can give you a publication to leave with your family, friends and community with pride; a book that makes a difference.

The result of self-publishing - of our work - is that it provides you a voice, your mind freedom and empowers the author; a heart-warming memoir of all that makes you. Nothing beats the shape and feel of paper, especially when you know it has your words upon it.

Tricorn are more than just a name, we’re family. Just one phone call can be enough to show you that.

 

Tricorn author celebrates bus passes and freedom for pensioners


Chair of Portsmouth Pensioner’s Association, Alan Burnett organised the tenth anniversary celebration of free bus passes this week. They were joined by the Lord Mayor, BBC and Portsmouth News in Guildhall Square on the same open-topped bus used by Portsmouth FC on their victory lap of the city after its 2008 FA Cup win.

Ten years ago this month, then Chancellor, Gordon Brown announced free, local, off peak travel for the over sixties. Despite many rounds of financial cuts, the free travel card remains, and so does the freedom it brings.

Free bus passes have social, economical and environmental benefits. It is claimed that those who use them, have a more active, healthier and better quality of life. Users of the system have shown to be less prone to falls, and for every pound spent on the passes, £2.87 is generated for the local economy.

While Alan has championed this and many other local causes for the Pensioner’s Association, he has also found time to work on his second book with Tricorn, An Illustrated Humanist Handbook for Older People. Self-publishing gives Alan a voice and platform through which to share his hopes and fears.

 Just like the bus passes, his book is aimed to engage, entertain and encourage those in later life. As well as taking them new places…

 

Gunwharf Quays


Where ships once came to Gunwharf for gunpowder and ammunition, people now set sail and dock for tourism and leisure. Exchanging stories and cultures, people hurry around shops and streets with an energy that Portsmouth posses.

Regardless of modernisation, the heritage of Gunwharf remains in the brick of the Old Customs house and the Grand Storehouse. Yet, it continues to prevail in the very blood of Portsmouth’s people. 

Walking through Gunwharf you can spot the contrast of industrialisation and leisure, between the past and present. From heavy industry to tertiary employment, Gunwharf has undergone incredible change since its more recent expansion in the 1990s.

Since the strategic development of tourism in Portsmouth, and construction of Gunwharf Quays, it has risen in popularity and burgeoned with life and colour. Couples eat lunch beside the canal where ships would transport goods. People flow into the area to meet and mingle instead of shipping carts. And now, ferries offer the world to visitors, making Portsmouth the center of networking.

There has been a constant drive and energy to this tourist centerpiece and it will continue to grow as a destination as it embraces transformation. Although gunpowder is no longer stored, people come and go, stories are told and friends are made.

Gunwharf is the modern mirror of Portsmouth, becoming a reminder of our past and an example of our future.

 

Portsmouth’s sunsets: why this seaside sanctuary is so colourful

All over the south, many marvel at the stunning sunsets and flock to take photographs of the sky’s kaleidoscopic array of colour. However, what are perhaps the most breathtaking, are those from Portsmouth’s serene seafront.

Portsmouth sunset, March 2014
Portsmouth Sunset

Violets, pinks, reds and oranges ignite the sky in surreal beauty, but why is that? Why does Portsmouth have some of the most vivid skies?

The sun’s rays hit molecules in the air, like oxygen and hydrogen, refracting countless colours. Depending on the time of day, we see different shades. We see more blue at midday as the sun has less space to travel. When the sun is low or setting, the sun travels over a longer distance and the blue colour is scattered out. This results in fantastical hues of reds and oranges.

However, as we are one of the first places to be reached by the sun in England, our sunsets still keep brilliant blue and violet tints.

In 2011, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University of Sheffield deemed Portsmouth the sunniest place in the UK. Therefore, we have more sunsets and more colour. When we see the sunset, we see it first-hand, and this results in Portsmouth being showered in all colours

It is more than that, however. Portsmouth is not just one of the most colourful cities because of our evening skies it is the people and places too. Every road, crack and alley of Portsmouth thrives and bursts with energy. The inspiring people, luminous light and gripping heritage is what makes Portsmouth so Unique.

These phenomenal sunsets are only the tip of the iceberg.

Soar the skies of this seaside city in Uniquely Portsmouth

 

 

Uniquely Portsmouth: the hidden blacksmithing brilliance of Peter Clutterbuck

Hidden away behind the sea front, a blacksmith’s workshop lies as an Aladdin’s cave of trinkets and treasures.

Peter Clutterbuck, Portsmouths finestBlacksmith
Selfie with me, Pete and his team

 Uniquely Portsmouth: the hidden blacksmithing brilliance of Peter Clutterbuck

Hidden away behind the sea front, a blacksmith’s workshop lies as an Aladdin’s cave of trinkets and treasures. On the walls hang countless iron intricacies, from poppies to leaves, and the forge burns a glorious gold. Knockers and lockers scatter the secret shack and as I walk around, bewildered and bewitched, I ask myself: How did I not know about this?

That was my first experience visiting Pete Clutterbuck’s designer blacksmith’s and I was on a mission to find out what he does, why he does it and why he loves Portsmouth so much.  

I was greeted by a man, dusted in soot, smiling cheerfully, as I offered my hand for him to shake. “I’m Pete,” he told me as he toured me around his impressive work space.Pete showed me sketches and sculptures, proving to me that iron-work is very much alive and breathing. From work on HMS Victory to the Southsea bandstand, railings and gates; he has designed and forged countless treasures within the city.Heavily influenced by nature, his work oozes with skill and talent, which he taught himself in the 1970s. Everything from latches to large ornamental poppies, burst with the same character and energy as he does. Pete told me how everything he does is to satisfy his custome

“Everything I make goes out of the door and people are happy with it,” he smiled. “It’s terrific when I see people love it, own it.”

 Peter Clutterbuck is a perfect example of why Portsmouth people are some of the best. An incredible inspiration, this man will feature in our book, Uniquely Portsmouth. And, for good reason too Setting sail for your bookshelves, Uniquely Portsmouth is a homage to what makes Portsmouth great. And, of course, Peter Clutterbuck is a fundamental part of that.

Peter Clutterbuck, photographed for Uniquely Portsmouth