Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Fifteen Years of Folklore and Fear

Self indulgence klaxon!!

Magic Torch turned 15 last year, but this month, this week in fact, it's been 15 years since we published our first book, Tales of the Oak - which has pretty much been the foundation of everything we've worked on ever since.

Tales of the Oak collected a whole range of local folktales and half remembered legends, which had more or less fallen out of the telling, and presented them back to everyone to bring them back to life. We did actually have a plan when we did this, and it was to create a sort of "mythical" history and backdrop to what is often viewed as a fairly miserable and depressed community. Taking genuine local stories, national legends and a wee bit of creative license, we tried to make our hometown seem a little more magical. The stories could all be read and told independently, but read cover to cover, there is also an ongoing story.

The first 1000 copies of the book sold out within four weeks - quite literally outselling Anthea Turner's autobiography five copies to one in the Greenock WH Smith. Crazy times. Hilariously though, in our rush to get them into local bookshops, the glue bind hadn't properly set, and the first 50 copies fell to pieces. Bookpoint were very understanding about that. If you still have one of those faulty copies, it's really extra rare. Largely unreadable, but rare. Sort of like the dead sea scrolls.

We've reprinted the book a few times, thousands of copies have now been sold. And yknow, it's still available if for some bizarre reason you don't already have one...both in our online shop, via the Dutch Gable House and also for kindle. It is of course, ideal Halloween reading.

Here's the original founding members of Magic Torch below, promoting Tales of the Oak in the Tele in October 2000. We look like a terrible indie band. Or a sort of low rent Travis. Which is actually exactly what we were going for...

"Here are the young men the weight on their shoulders
Here are the young men, well where have they been..."

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