October looks as if it’s going to be a busy month, one way or another, with most of my activities – just for a change – centred around Nottingham. Darkness, Darkness is at Nottingham Playhouse for the first two weeks of the month, and, during the second of those weeks, the band, Blue Territory, [that’s us in action, above] and I will be repeating out previously successful mini-tour of Nottinghamshire libraries [No band bus, no Smarties in the Green Room, and positively no groupies] following the estimable Dave O’Higgins to Worksop, Southwell and West Bridgford.
Along with some of the familiar pieces about Chet Baker, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, we’ve been working on some new material, including a small tribute to Jack Kerouac, whose poetry and jazz readings with the likes of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims in the 1950s lay at the heart of much that we do.
Way back in the annals, twenty-five or so years ago, while I was otherwise gainfully employed writing the early Resnick books, I did a little film studies teaching in and around Nottingham as part of the university’s adult education programme, and one of the most enjoyable of the venues was the Sutton Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield, where, for a couple of years, I talked, explained (or tried to) and argued over film clips with an energetic and engaged group of students, several of whom went on to become good friends.
So it’s good to be returning to Sutton next month to read from and talk about the Resnick novels and the Nottingham-based short story collection, These Seven. Just the thing to take your mind off what went wrong with that whiz bang the night before.