Categories for A Savage Art

June 7, 2018

Isn’t this gorgeous?  

On 14th June, Fahrenheit Press are publishing a Limited Edition Hardback of A Savage Art.

Take a look at the design – it leaves me breathless.  It’s based on a William Morris textile print and although there’s no hint of erotica it’s deliciously sexy.

 

I can’t wait to get my paws on a copy – and also Derek Farrell’s Death of a Diva and Jo Perry’s Dead is Better

Take a look here on the Fahrenheit Editions page

Give in to temptation – you won’t be disappointed. Of course if you’re not tempted by collectible hardbacks, you can also buy the ebook or paperback versions because the content is pure gold.

Derek’s novel was the first book I was able to read when I was stuck in hospital two years ago. I even had to set aside the Stephen King and Sharon Bolton novels because they could not keep my attention. Death of a Diva kept me engrossed and even made me laugh and also intrigued and surprised me in one of  my worst weeks ever.  Jo’s novel, Dead is Better, is unique. It’s dark and funny and cynical and it has a dog! Who can resist a novel with a ghost dog?  I am seriously proud of being in such good company.

Clearly I am biased here, but there’s a lot of great fiction available from Fahrenheit. I’m gradually reading my way through the list – although it’s getting hard to keep up.  If you love reading crime, do consider signing up for the Patreon.

Yes, I’m shamelessly biased, and I don’t care. So there.

Ann

 


July 30, 2017

Top of the Lake : China Girl (No spoilers)  

When I saw that the BBC in their infinite wisdom had released all the episodes at once, I promised myself I would take it slowly. No more than one a day.

I make myself a lot of promises I know I’m not going to keep. Just as well I have low standards.

Friday, I was under orders to rest – slight post – operative temperature. And after last year’s experiences, a little fear. (Don’t worry. I won’t go into detail. Unless I get around to writing that medical thriller, in which case all bets are off.)

So I watched it all.  One episode after another. I let Ryan cook – which, as ever, meant beans on toast.

I loved the first series and had been looking forward to this immensely. It was, after all, Jane Campion’s film ‘In The Cut’ (generally quite unpopular) which inspired my novel ‘A Savage Art’

In a Guardian article last week, it was said that this was deeper and darker – and indeed it was. In places it was positively weird.

But it was every bit as brilliant as I had hoped, and I am feeling inspired again, indirectly, to follow my own weird tangent.

I’m not going to say anything about the characters or the story or anything, knowing many people are more sensible than me and are eking it out.

I wonder if I’ll believe Elisabeth Moss as Offred tonight? Isn’t she fabulous?

Ann


December 6, 2016

Goodreads giveaway of A Savage Art  

The Goodreads giveaway is for UK readers only. If anyone else would like a copy please go and like my Facebook page and comment on my share of this blog post, and at the end of the giveaway on the 18th December, there’ll be another signed copy for a random commenter.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Savage Art by A.E. Rawson

A Savage Art

by A.E. Rawson

Giveaway ends December 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Facebook page link

Thank you!

Ann


December 2, 2016

On Anger and Revenge  

I was just reading this interesting article about the philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s new book “Anger and Forgiveness” about the dangers of anger – and inevitably given the current zeitgeist, most of the discussion centres on the role anger has played in the American election. To a political junkie, this is endlessly fascinating. I am, however, unconvinced that a strategy of meeting anger with calm reason can actually change political discourse, given that we humans are generally very emotional animals. Some of us are especially talented in the use of reason to create convincing intellectual arguments that justify our beliefs and ideologies, but often emotion is the driver, however unacknowledged. We seem to be less capable of using our reason to understand our own or anyone else’s emotions, though.

Surely anger has been the fuel that in the past has brought much needed political change – even if right now it’s fuelling a backlash against hard won progress?  Her whole argument that anger is not socially useful seems to me to boil to the “Calm down, dear” approach to injustice.

On a personal level though, I cannot quite get my head around the idea that Nussbaum claims to have never been angry. To my mind, that makes her analysis suspect. Either she is being honest, or she is unaware of her own anger – and either makes her less capable of understanding the impossibility of what she’s asking of us ‘lesser’ beings.

Of course, I am fascinated by the impulse to revenge – I’ve written a thriller exploring the question of whether it can ever be justified.  There’s a reason why we have a long tradition of revenge stories ending in tragedy. And we know the quotation from Confucious, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”  In the case of my heroine Kate, perhaps it might be wise to dig more.  Culturally we are aware of the risks of anger. We are brought up to hide and disguise our anger – this is especially true of women. And I sometimes think squelching down on angry feelings, bottling them up, can make them more dangerous.

I suppose the difficulty is deciding where it is appropriate to draw the line. Someone who has never been angry probably isn’t best placed to decide that, any more than someone who is always angry.

In this context, I am reminded of the parable of the snake who refused to hiss.

Once upon a time, a holy man went from village to village visiting the people and giving assistance wherever he could.  One day he came to a town and entered the market place.  The people were all looking so unhappy.  “What is the matter, good people?” the old man asked.  “We are so frightened,” they said.  “We can barely do our work for fear of the snake.  It bites us all the time.  We don’t know when it will appear.  We are afraid to go to work in our fields, to let our children play in the streets, to even be here in the market place.”  The old man wandered on and soon came upon the snake.  “I hear you have been biting the people,” he said, “and I would like you to stop.  They are frightened of you and don’t get a moment’s rest.”  The snake realizing how much the holy man loved it agreed not to bite anyone again.

The old man continued on his journey and a few months later came back to the same village.  When he got to the market place he found the people were laughing and shouting.  Everyone was so happy.  “What has happened?” he asked.  The villagers told him that the snake had stopped biting them, that it came out each day from its hiding place but no longer attacked them.  The old man wandered about the village and soon came upon the snake lying in the gutter.  It was bleeding, and badly cut and bruised.  The old man could see that the snake was dying.  He gently picked it up and took it into the forest and laid it down out of the hot sun.  “What has happened to you?” he asked the snake.  The snake on its last few breaths said to the holy man, “ I did what you told me.  I stopped biting the people, but they started attacking me.  Wherever I went they would throw stones at me and kick me, and thrash me with sticks.”

The holy man held the snake with great love and tenderness and stroking the snake said to it ever so tenderly,  “I told you not to bite, but I never told you not to hiss.”

My favourite quotation on anger and revenge comes from Charlotte Bronte.

Jane Eyre is talking to Helen Burns (a girl who shares Nussbaum’s views on morality, as I recall) who has just been punished by the cruel teacher Miss Scatcherd

“… you are good to those who are good to you. It is all I ever desire to be. If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way; they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should – so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.”

The best revenge, they say, is living well.  But living well must also include taking action to prevent further harm. Sometimes that might require no more than hissing. Sometimes it might require drastic action. Or so my protagonist, Kate Savage, would argue…

Ann

Sources

Article on Nussbaum’s book in The Nation – here

The parable of the snake who forgot to hiss – here

Jane Eyre Chapter Six – here


October 2, 2016

British Film Institute – 10 great erotic thrillers  

I’m working on plotting a sequel to my first novel at the moment. Perhaps there’ll be some inspiration in this list of films from the BFI.

Jane Campion’s In The Cut was the inspiration for my villain in my first novel, A Savage Art.

It’s about to be published! Yay! I shall write a little about how the film inspired me to create my villain later.  Unusually for me, I discovered the film first –  but I enjoyed both the film and the book by Susanna Moore.

The BFI blog post suggests that with the easy availability of pornography online, erotic thrillers have fallen out of fashion – although they say there’s a strong case to bring them back – not least because they’re enjoyable.  And although women characters have often been brutalised and punished for their sexuality and independence in these films, there’s also plenty of opportunity for us to subvert that – which I think Jane Campion attemped with some success in In The Cut.

A Savage Art would make a great film, I think.

Well, I can dream!

And just look at those actresses – Angie Dickinson, Kathleen Turner, Charlotte Rampling, Nicole Kidman…

Who could play my own Kate Savage?

If anyone can recommend any other erotic thrillers – books or films – please do let me know in the comments.

Ann