Saturday, 19 May 2018

JAGO IN THE LAND OF CAXTON - GETTING THE BIO TO THE PRINTING PRESS

Following the established pattern, here is the May Mailchimp newsletter recirculated as a blog. For the record, there has been no further news from the land of Caxton from any quarter. We wait - and dispatch more submissions. 


MAY 2018 - UPDATES ON 'JAGO' AND PROGRESS TO PUBLICATION



If you know anyone you think might be interested in these mailings about 'Jago' do encourage them to follow the link to my website. Here it is: http://www.robdonovan-author.co.uk/JagoStone-Biography.html

You can also use this page to access my Jago Stone blogs.

Copies of 'The Road to Corbyn' can be purchased at a discount using this link: http://www.robdonovan-author.co.uk/TheRoadToCorbyn.html. I am chuffed to see the Morning Star carrying my advert for TRC yesterday, May Day!

A reminder about my Residency at the Redwing Gallery in Penzance in June this year - I'll be there from 10.30 to 12.30 every Tuesday and Saturday morning throughout June, with a programme of eight 45-minute talks, each running from 11 to 11.45 in my 2-hour slot. The subject matter will vary - four different talks on 'Jago', two on 'TRC', one on 'Drink in Victorian Norwich', and one on 'What's Wrong with Schools'. I'm looking forward to the experience - and hoping I can sell more copies of 'The Road to Corbyn' and get even more people interested in 'Jago'.

In this month's Newsletter, I thought I would share my experiences so far in my moves to secure publication for 'Jago' - and gift you some, until now, unpublished images of Jago paintings.

Having completed the draft of 'Jago' by the beginning of March, I decided to focus initially on approaching literary agents rather than publishers. There are very good reasons for putting the task of securing a deal with a publisher in the hands of someone who understands the publishing market. The 'Writers' & Artists' Year Book 2018' is the current gospel for those supplicants who desire ordination by publication and so I started at the back-end of the entries for 'Literary Agents U.K. and Ireland' and began working towards the front, picking out any agent who specified an interest in 'biography'.

Thus far, averaging one a week, I have contacted eight agents from those pages. I have also emailed two in the United States, one in New York and one in California, from the pages in the Year Book for 'Literary Agents Overseas'. Ten in all. Seven remain in silence, three have responded. I should say at this point that I have now discovered from webpages that supplicants can expect to wait 6-8 weeks in most instances, although some agencies take legitimate pride in a much faster turn-around.


My thanks to Nick Michas for this image of Banbury Cross, painted by Jago in 1973

I was impressed with the quality of the Robert Smith Literary Agency website, one of the three agencies that has responded so far - and with their speed and manner of dealing with my submission. Twenty days later (13-04-2018), I had


Friday, 11 May 2018

JAGO STONE - THE AMERICAN CONNECTION - PART SEVEN

Even as I was completing my biography of Jago Stone, a new American connection was being made in February this year. Jenny Janzen, from Virginia in the USA, emailed me with the story of her connection with Jago through the 16 paintings of his that she and her husband have in their home. As the months have passed, we've kept in contact and in fact Jenny was in the UK in April, visiting London and cousins in the Cotswolds. Unfortunately, technical problems have prevented me from seeing any images of the art but Jenny has provided me with a list of the 16 paintings that I've scanned for you to see later in this blog. Jago's painting subjects are wider than I realised. Did he work from a photo when he produced his painting of Elm Hill in Norwich?

Jenny explained that she had been a long-term resident in England and first became aware of the name 'Jago Stone' possibly in 1988 when he died and she heard something about it on the BBC. Twenty-two years later, she went to her High School Reunion and met her widower high school/college former boyfriend, Bob. 'It was like picking up on an unfinished conversation'. Their romance led to marriage in December 2011 and afterwards when she came to her husband's house in Virginia to live she became acquainted with the Janzen collection of Jago's art. Bob, like John 'Adam' Adamski, had been a senior member of the USAF command - in Bob's case, at the Croughton base next to Upper Heyford, for three years in the mid-70s. He and his wife, Norma, had collected the Jago paintings and then taken them back across the Pond when their tour was over. How many other Jago collections are there in the States awaiting discovery?

Then at the beginning of this month of May, Dee Allen emailed me from Texas in the United States. She began by saying 'We always enjoyed Jago's visit" and continued by relating the story he had told of his hiding in the church under the altar to steal the communion ware; his being caught and sent to jail; and his learning the art of water-colours whilst inside. Dee continued: 'I don't think he had been out of prison very long when we first met him'. Soon, Dee and her husband, Gene, began to acquire works of art by Jago.



Here, above, is an image of a Jago Stone painting of 'The Bridge at Edgcote' - a subject I had not seen depicted by Jago before - that is in her collection.

Dee sent three other images of Jago paintings that she had - and then forwarded images of two water-