Friday, August 13, 2004

Angels can Fly 2005 Launch Tour

"A powerfully creative work, with prose that sings like poetry. Beautifully told and evocatively rendered, Alan's third novel comes very highly recommended." Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

This week saw the first steps in the promotional campaign for Angels can Fly, with a mailout to literary and book festivals in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the USA and England.

I am including the text of this invite below, and am open to all suggestions for launch events which may be suitable to promote the book, so please contact me: at any time through until the end of 2005, to see if we can fit your event into my tour schedual.

From early responses, it looks like I will be in New Zealand and Australia in May and June 2005, then in England in July, back in Australia in August and early September, and then in Canada and America for the rest of September and October 2005.

Stay tuned to this blog for the full schedual of launch events as these are confirmed.


Angels can Fly

Alan Clay's new book, Angels can Fly , will be launched in New Zealand in May 2005, and Alan will then embark on a tour to promote the book.


Suitable for any spoken word event, Angels can Fly is a book which charts the big changes that have occurred in the clown art form in recent years, and to promote that process by providing a context for thinking on the subject, and also to provoke discussion, so a lively experience is guaranteed at readings. e-mail to suggest a possible reading from the book.

7 Clown Commandments Show

In October 2003 Alan presented a new 20 minute clown piece at the Ottawa Writers Festival, in conjunction with a reading from his third novel, Believers in Love. The 7 Clown Commandments show plays with balloons, marshmallows, microphones, and with the 'Ethics of Clown', as decreed by the World Clown Association. This performance, in conjunction with a reading from Angels can Fly, provides added insight on clown, and a unique experience for the audience.

Alan Clay

Born in 1954, Alan Clay grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. He studied clown in Sweden in 1977 and has taught and performed extensively in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. For the past ten years Alan has lived in Sydney, where he has run Playspace Studio, Sydney's Physical Theatre Studio.

Alan's first novel, Moontan, is the story of a couple of clowns, set against the occupation of a theatre by a collective of artists in Auckland. It was well received at its launch at the Wellington Fringe Festival in New Zealand, and in Australia at the Warrana Writers Festival in Brisbane, in 1994.

His second book, Dance Sisters , is set in Sydney, and tells the story of a female song and dance trio which threatens to self-destruct on the brink of fame, when its leader becomes involved with a manipulative cult, touting sex, astrology and virtual dreaming. Dance Sisters was launched at the Melbourne Writers Festival in 1997. It gained particular attention when it was released in May 2000 as an eBook in a format which was packaged to enhance the reading experience on a computer with sound and visuals.

The State Library of NSW purchased the manuscripts and associated papers to both Dance Sisters and Moontan in 2002, to be held in the Mitchell Reference Library, together with a set of 12 archive videos from Alan's clown teaching work at Playspace Studio.

Published in 2001, Believers in Love , Alan's third novel, was acclaimed by both Australian and American reviewers, leading to North American sales of the book, together with claims of the pirating of the book in Print on Demand, and Alan's subsequent tour of Canadian and US Literary and Book Festivals in 2003.

"In the best clown tradition, Alan held up a window-mirror for us to step through and reflect on the patterns, habits and rituals of our days. It was funny, moving and excellent theatre."

Reviews of Believers in Love

"A book about love, laughter and life. Not just a story, this is an exploration of emotion and philosophy. A novel of journey and self-discovery." Aussiereviews

"Light and yet profound, this novel is a most unusual find which all will enjoy and savor, long after the last page is turned. Art and living may be treasured repeatedly, but must yield to the next magical moment!" RightLifestyle

Sign up to receive a free eBook copy of Angels can Fly, in the MS Reader format.


Sunday, August 01, 2004

What is the Angels can Fly blog?

Welcome to my new blog, which over the next ten months will tell the story of the pre-publication of my new book, Angels can Fly, which I have dubbed a Modern Clown User Guide.

In May 2005, Angels can Fly will be launched in Auckland, New Zealand, and I will then embark on a world tour to promote the book, which I intend to doccument here, including reviews, and inviting your reactions.. because this is an interactive experience, and you are welcome to post comments in response to any post.

Along the way I intend to post some of the 50 clown exercises in book, to give a taste of the more practical side of the work, and also some the anecdotal sections from my personal clown experience, and also that of other contemporary clowns. You can already check out some of these on my anecdotes page.

I already have three novels under my belt, so most of Angels can Fly is a story following the adventures of ten clown characters, five men and five women... My other books are Moontan, Dance Sisters, and Believers in Love.

I am also into electronic publishing, as well as traditional print format, and I hope that the Angels can Fly blog will also provide a practical insight into the process of electronic publishing. If you are interested you can already sign up to receive a free eBook copy of Angels can Fly, in the MS Reader format.

Blogs are one of the frontiers in electronic publishing, and this is syndicated in RSS and atom formats, so that you can read it from the comfort of your newsreader, if you would rather. Click here for RSS and click here for atom.

Angels can Fly stands at 90,000 words today, and so it is substantially complete, but there is still much work to be done, and my posts here will tell the inside story of that experience. Who knows, perhaps the Angels can Fly blog may be published some day in print format, and it could even be more widely read than the book itself... we'll find out.

To kick us off today, I am going to leave you with the first few paragraphs of the book... enjoy;

Go Your Own Path

Welcome to Angels can Fly. This book has been a long time in evolution in my life, because it brings together a number of threads from my clown work, my fiction writing, my theatre teaching, and my spiritual growth.

Yet, as I set out on the journey of writing this story, I know there are many ways of doing it, and no one right way, and so I have to cast myself into the unknown of each blank page, to achieve any progress what so ever.

Similarly I encourage you to surrender yourself to the book, and to read through it in any order you choose. You may wish to read from start to finish, or dip into the chapters in a random order.

You may see it as a novel on the human condition, a clown textbook, a philosophical treatise, or a memoir. Please go your own path with this work and make it your own.

Similarly with modern clown, we have have to go our own way with the art. Pierre Byland, a clown teacher from Switzerland, surveyed the students coming to his clown school over a number of years and asked them why they wanted to work with clown.

He reported at a forum on teaching clown in Amsterdam in 1999, that no two answers to this question were ever the same, and deduced from this that 'clown is a different thing to each person'.

By extension, with so many people doing it, it must be a pretty big thing to encompass so many different facets, so more than any other art form, there is no 'right' way to do it.

This however is a modern view of the art form, for we tend to associate clown with a few classic characters that have come down to us through the recent circus tradition.

Clown is an art form which far pre-dates the circus however, and is in fact thousands of years old, existing, as far as I have been able to tell, in every culture on the planet through the ages, so it obviously also serves an important social function.

Like any art form it has to evolve to stay relevant to the culture nurturing it, and with the huge changes in society over recent years, there has been a corresponding growth in the clown art form.

This book is an attempt to chart that change, and promote that process by providing a context or reference points for thinking on the subject, and also to provoke discussion.

Click here to go back to: