Ramsgate author David Lee Stone has teamed up with the town’s Book Bodega shop to give away signed copies of his latest book.
The dad-of-two launched Too Much Information at the end of last month with a sell-out success at a book signing in Waterstones at Westwood Cross.
The book, which is set entirely in Thanet, charts David’s life growing up on the isle.
David, who launched independent publishing house Kingsbrook with wife Chiara (below) earlier this year, is the author of some 25 books which are primarily fantasy fiction aimed at young adults.
The 44-year-old is best known for his Illmoor Chronicle series for Disney and Hodder but has many other books including those of Gladiator Boy and Undead Ed and Outcasts. He also has short stories in a variety of anthologies, including the celebrated Knights of Madness alongside Terry Pratchett, who was an inspiration in his writing career.
David has fought depression for most of his adult life and in 2016 suffered a breakdown followed by a realisation that he is autistic, although undiagnosed.
There was a hiatus in his writing career following enormous pressure from Illmoor Chronicles publisher Disney to hit sales of one million in a genre where the average is 25,000 books. Then there was the splitting of one book into three, something beyond David’s control, which led to a feeling that readers were not getting value for money.
This year David has sprung back with Kingsbrook and the publication of rebranded Illmoor books and now Too Much Information.
Teaming up with Indie bookshop Book Bodega means with every purchase of any new book from the store, customers will receive a signed copy of Too Much Information for free.
David said: “It’s the book I’m most proud of, which is why I’m giving it away free to support Book Bodega in Ramsgate. It charts my growing up in Ramsgate, going to St. George’s in Broadstairs, getting no GCSEs of any note and working at Blockbuster Video for minimum wage before being rushed off to Chicago by Disney to guest at Expo 2004 with Bill Clinton and Jamie Lee Curtis!
“Disney paid off my first house in Sydney Road in Ramsgate and set me up for life but the cost of all that – mentally – has been steep. My career was basically over before I was 40 and in 2016 – while I was on holiday on the Isle of Wight – I suffered a complete mental breakdown when I was effectively ghosted and ‘dropped’ by the publishers, after selling over a million books in twenty different countries. It was a lot but it wasn’t enough and the news came shortly after the death of my nan, who raised me with mum at 68 Bellevue Road in Ramsgate.
“The entire book is set in Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate and Birchington and includes some genuinely funny material from my time at St. George’s in Broadstairs, Holy Trinity in Ramsgate and Pleasurama in the 80s, not to mention in 1st Ramsgate Boys Brigade, the Red Lion and Horse & Groom pubs. Most of all, it’s really about the fact that growing up I was always told that I wouldn’t amount to anything and how ultimately wrong that has turned out to be and what a bad message it was for kids at school to hear from the folks who were supposed to be encouraging them!
“Both my kids now attend the same school I went to, so the whole ‘Thanet’ circle is almost complete.
“Despite the book’s mostly hilarious content, it is also about the extensive therapy I’ve received and is pretty much a series of notes from psychotherapy. I honestly didn’t intend most of them to be comedy…but you have to laugh at the dark stuff, these days.”
Too Much Information has proved so popular that Waterstones, Gardners and Amazon have run out of stock so another print run is underway.
The book, costing £8.99, can be ordered through Waterstones at https://www.waterstones.com/book/too-much-information/david-lee-stone/9781739777661
Or grab your copy at Book Bodega at 7 Harbour Street, Ramsgate.