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If I were giving the hard sell of myself I could say that I'm the personification of Neil Gaiman's dandelion marketing strategy - throwing creative seeds into the air, letting the wind carry them, and seeing where they fall. Someone less charitable might argue I was more of a butterfly. Or simply someone who never made up their mind what they actually wanted to do.

Having taken the decision to self-publish in 2008 before the Rise Of The Kindle, and being naturally outspoken, I found myself becoming a de facto spokesperson first for self-publishing and then for the more avant garde side of literature as a whole. In that capacity I contribute regularly to the Guardian Books Blog, have had a column for writers' magazine Words With Jam since 2009, work on the Open Up to Indies campaign for the Alliance of Independent Authors, and am a regular around the internet and on panels such at the one above at Birmingham's Pow Wow Litfest. I've even found myself at Waterstones in Piccadilly chairing a conversation between two very stoned icons of the Alt Lit movement

My own creative efforts are every bit as diverse and outre. I have written a number of literary and experimental novels including one written entirely on Facebook, for which social media bible Mashable rather flatteringly listed me among the top 100 writers on twitter. Another, much less experimental, novel was voted "favourite Oxford novel" by Blackwells readers in 2011. My prose, which encompasses four novels and a collection of short stories deals almost exclusively with the pain of those marginalised by the technologisation of the modern world. It's a mix of grit (I once headlined a fabulous Brighton event called Grit Lit) and sentiment. As well as using experimental forms to explore this (my most recent novel is written wholly in numbers), I sometimes write in the transgressive mould - as with the story I'm reading in the photo above, The Last Fluffer in La La Land, which won the international spoken word show Literary Death Match in 2010.

One of the things I love best is running literary events and groups. In 2009 I started the collective Year Zero Writers, a group of 22 self-publishers of experimental and literary fiction from 8 countries. Having started by posting daily excerpts from our work, we got the live performing bug after our lanch event at Rough Trade in Brick Lane and ended up gigging all over the place, including the above event at the Poetry Cafe. I've been running Not the Oxford Literary Festival for 4 years now, and have my own spoken word ensemble show The New Libertines, which has played to festivals and fringes in London, Mancehster, Oxford, Birmingham, Woodstock, and Chipping Norton. I have also tried my hand at publishing, with 79 rat press and eight cuts gallery press, with some significant critical success for the likes of Penny Goring's The Zoom Zoom and Andy Harrod's Tearing at Thoughts. I still run eight cuts gallery, a platform for overgrounding outstanding underground literature online and in real life.

Finally, I write and perform poetry. I've won a couple of poetry slams and was a finalist in the 2012 UK Slam Finals, and have performed at some wonderful events across the UK such as a wonderful open air gig at the Faringdon Festival, above. In 2013 I premiered my first solo show, Some of These Things are beautiful, at Cheltenham Poetry Festival

“Dan Holloway is something of a phenomenon: poet, novelist, publisher, commentator, event organiser and promote... a writer of great gifts"

The Guardian poetry columnist Billy Mills, writing for Sabotage Reviews

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Dan's Ascribe titles are:

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The Company Of Fellows

3.5 stars on Amazon

3 stars on Goodreads

Category: Crime

"Rattles along at a great pace with enough twists to keep the most restless armchair detective guessing...add another cracking book the illustrious tales of this most murderous city. Do yourself a favour and pop into the shop to pick up a copy and enter the the dark, disturbing and at times depraved world of The Company of Fellows"

Euan Hirst, Blackwell's Bookstore blog

Voted "FAVOURITE OXFORD NOVEL" in a poll by the world-famous bookstore Blackwell's

 

The Company of Fellows is a psychological mystery set in the dark heart of England's oldest University. The perfect read for fans of the Hannibal Lecter novels, Val McDermid, Minette Walters, Mo Hayder or P D James. 

Tommy West was a brilliant academic, until a breakdown stopped him in his tracks 12 years ago. He has reinvented himself as a successful interior designer. His new life is comfortable, in every way, and safe. But life without the intellectual challenge is slowly suffocating him. 

Charles Shaw is a world-famous professor of theology and sensualist: unpopular with all his colleagues, loathed by his ex-wife and, as of five minutes ago, dead. 

As a student, Shaw was Tommy’s mentor. Now Tommy must draw on the professor for inspiration one more time in order to find his killer. But all he has to go on are a handful of papers for the controversial research the professor was working on when he died. 

The unspeakable truth about the Professor's death lies buried in the past: somewhere between the night his daughter was born - and her twin sister stillborn - and the day Tommy broke down. But for Tommy the past is a dangerous place, a long way from the safety he has so carefully built for himself. Can he find the answers before time, and his sanity, run out? 

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Songs From The Other Side Of The Wall

5 stars on Amazon

4.3 stars on Goodreads

 Category: Literary

“Captures the rhythms and nuances of how we live now in a way that has rarely been done better”

Marion Stein, LA Books Examiner

“Holloway’s accomplishment is in rendering a world in exquisite detail and still conveying the universal via the personal”

Patrick McAllister, Emprise Review

“A lovely book written in that rare thing: beautiful, lyrical prose”

Jane Smith, The Self-Publishing Review

“Songs From the Other Side of the Wall is a *very* good book”

Erica Friedman, Yurikon publishing

“In threads that shimmer like the novel’s central image of petrol-colored silk, what could have been weaves itself into every situation.”

Amy Whipple, Pank

“A wonderful turn of phrase and descriptive abilities which make for an atmospheric read.”

Melissa Weatherill, Simon and Schuster

“Very fresh and original…Sandrine is an engaging, intriguing narrator… very lyrical but always with the aim of moving the story on.”

Random House

“An artful style, with some very striking moments…The parallelism of a person and a country coming of age; the past’s haunting of the present in both; the hopes and fears of different generations: all these are rich veins that you exploit well, and provide a fascinating core to the book”

Harper Collins           

 

After her mother walks out and returns to England when she’s just a week old, Szandi grows up on the vineyard in Hungary that has been in her family for 300 years.

Now 18, Szandi is part of Budapest’s cosmopolitan art scene, sharing a flat and a bohemian lifestyle with her lover and fellow sculptress, Yang. She has finally found her place in the world.

When she discovers that her father has only weeks to live, Szandi must choose once and for all: between the past and the present; between East and West; between her family and her lover. 

Songs from the Other Side of the Wall is a coming of age story that inhabits anti-capitalist chatrooms and ancient wine cellars, seedy bars and dreaming spires; and takes us on a remarkable journey across Europe and cyberspace in the company of rock stars and dropouts, diaries that appear from nowhere, a telepathic fashion mogul, and the talking statue of a bull. 

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