I didn’t feel like he came from any other place or that he had another face, he felt like a writer and he felt like he came from Hull. The Bastard Wonderland by Lee Harrison.
Book launch with a band a blinding idea, especially when the band comes on playing cool California riffs. The packed and I mean packed, crowd sat – I think a few could have got up and danced – as muso’s favourites Horse Guards Parade did their thing. It was effects driven rock in a post punk bass leading kinda way. (It’s been a while) It was good. I recall previous incarnations with different line ups the Sorry Loves and a festive farewell gig in drag, then I look back and I hear a line I can really get my head into. ‘Oh Darling, oh darling, let’s hit the bottle and be free..’
Sounds good to me.
He designed the book cover. Lee was an artist – he went to art school for a bit – seems he soaked in a bit more than he’d like to admit. The cover is great, if you saw it you’d be sure to pick it up from the shelf. It’s the first bit of history you get told about as a kid from Hull, Zeppelins flying over the football ground during the war. Lee’s airship is a living entity with tentacles and she’s called Hildegard.
Russ Litten, describing The Bastard Wonderland:
“Captivating, compelling held me to the last page…within two paragraphs I knew we’d publish it”
Hessle Road voices: Lee Harrison is a Hull lad he feels that sense of place keenly, and he describes again and again the idea of the characters driving, owning the story. Even when he worked with editors and agents it was the strongly drawn characters he kept coming back to again and again.
He gives us a reading, describing a brawl among seamen conscripted into a war. Something contemporary I draw from the reading: Men fighting a war for some unseen master, for some unknown end, in some unknown country.
“I never expected so many people to get head-butted in the first few pages” Russ says – this his first foray into fantasy.
It took Lee all of five years to write, but the idea came from when he was at school. There is no denying that he had to write this story. It wasn’t a passion project, it was a labour, a labour of love and toil and years of wondering and waiting… and writing.
“It has a certain brutal grace to it,” Lee says and you can’t help but marvel at his wit and turn of phrase. Speaking about the minefield every author has to face he concludes, “ We need more glorious small presses to take a punt.,” and we do but with Wrecking Ball Press, we have such a platform to provoke authors out of the bedroom and onto the page.
Lets not forget he’s a boy from Hull. Let’s also not forget he packed out high-end venue Kardohmah, and lets not forget the queue afterwards to buy The Bastard Wonderland, a queue that snaked across the venue and out the door.
I talked to his dad just after he’d got a copy of The Bastard Wonderland, signed by his son, now a proper published author: he was glowing with pride. “It’s fantastic. Such a great achievement,” he says pointing to his son’s name ‘Lee Harrison’ embossed on the cover.
Buy The Bastard Wonderland Here:
Find out more and follow the author: http://www.thebastardwonderland.com/
I’ve done a bunch of book launches before but The Bastard Wonderland by Lee Harrison beats them all by far.