Join us this summer for the Festival of Bad Ideas (1-9 July) as our Carnival pop-up bookshop returns to Duke Street Arcade in Cardiff. On Saturday 1 July we'll be launching Lloyd Markham's dark and weird novel Bad Ideas\Chemicals at 4pm at 3-7 Duke Street Arcade, with more bad ideas (but no chemicals) to follow throughout the week. In a year of bad ideas, one more can't hurt. Or can it?
We'll also be launching Biddy Wells' travel memoir A Van of One's Own in store on Thursday 6 July at 5.30pm.
More info coming soon.
About Bad Ideas\Chemicals:
‘A dark and witty take on small town life.’ – David Towsey
‘bleak, weird, grim, cool... it will probably become a cult classic.’ – Rhian Elizabeth
'Some writers try to do weird. Some writers do weird. Lloyd Markham is weird.' – Christopher Meredith
‘Poignant, unnervingly funny and poetic,' – Philip Gross
‘a unique new voice.’ – Rhys Thomas
Cassandra Fish believes she is out of this world, wearing her orange film-set spacesuit daily in the hope that her absent parents will return and take her back to her real planet. While she waits she accompanies her friends – frustrated musician Billy, the only open mic player in the town and the laddish, volatile Fox – from bar to nightclub – on one last great night out to drink, dance, take bad chemicals, have bad trips, have bad ideas, and do unthinkable things.
Lloyd Markham was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, moving to and settling in Bridgend, south Wales when he was thirteen. He spent the rest of his teenage years miserable and strange and having bad nights out before undertaking a BA in Writing at Glamorgan followed by an MPhil. He enjoys noise music, Japanese animation and the documentaries of Adam Curtis. His favourite book is The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. He operates synthesisers in a band called Deep Hum and has less bad nights out these days.
About 'A Van of One's Own':
'Portugal is not all that far away, or exotic, or dangerous, but it felt like a huge stretch for me to leave my partner, family, job and home and just go off. An overland solo trip lasting months in an ancient little campervan was not the kind of thing I did. But it was something I was about to do.'
In her debut memoir A Van of One’s Own, Biddy Wells tells the story of how, propelled by a thirst for peace and quiet, for a modest adventure and, perhaps, for freedom, she left for Portugal on her own, with only her old campervan, Myfawny, and her GPS, Tanya, for company. Having left just about everything behind, her solo trip forces her to face her fears, her past, and herself. The road provides the perfect canvas to connect the dots between a past breakdown and her present need for freedom, as she reflects on her own life, her relationship, her family and the world around her – to see whether her life still has room for her in it. As she meets wise and not-so-wise people, members of the campervan community and friendly locals, her outlook on life begins to shift, and a chance meeting in a bar leads to the person who will put her on the right track. But will she go back home, to Wales? And what is the meaning of ‘home?’
A Van of One’s Own is a journey through the breath-taking scenery of France, Spain, and finally Portugal, populated by colourful characters and the roar of the ocean, the taste of fresh fish and the grind of the asphalt; but more importantly, it is a journey through past memories and present conflicts to inner peace.
Biddy Wells grew up in south Wales and has been a writer all her life. She has a long-standing interest in folk music and has written scores of songs, many of which have been recorded in various musical ensembles. A decade ago she began writing prose, describing the life she saw around her through her particular lens. Her journey to Portugal marked the first time that her journal became a close and essential companion. She has a son and a daughter and currently lives in west Wales with her partner. A Van of One’s Own is her first book.