The Dust on the Moth is a book, but also a bit more than a book. A collaboration between a writer, an illustrator, a photographer and a creative producer, the finished work will lie somewhere between illustrated literary fiction, photographic journal, objet d’art and graphic novel. A dark and funny science fiction fairytale about the collision of two worlds, Darren Simpson's The Dust on the Moth was picked up in raw form by Kirsty from Bees Make Honey Press. Bound for the slush pile because it was too ambitious and strange for the UK’s timid publishing industry, Darren’s ode to number 8 Asgard Street will now — with your help — see the light of day.
The Dust on the Moth is a tapestry of otherworldly farce, thorny fairytale and domestic drama – an ode to the faint line between the mundane and the mythological. Three youngsters move into 8 Asgard Street to become the unwitting pawns of Mr Malarkey, a voyeuristic landlord who falls for angels and talks to crows. Meanwhile a vast cathedral drifts through the cosmos, sent to the stars by an apocalyptic kiss, and on its way to revealing the enigmatic bond between two very different tales…
The Words - Darren Simpson is the author of the original story used in The Dust on the Moth. He writes macabre magic realism with occasional prog rock twists. Darren is a musician who recently sold his real drum kit and bought an electric one. He has had various stories published in journals and alternative literary magazines, such as The Alarmist. He is also the writer for Panspermia Press, a collaboration with illustrator and Savoy Grand bandmate, Chris Baldwin.
The Brains - Kirsty Fox is a creative producer, writer, artist and social entrepreneur. She founded Bees Make Honey Creative CIC in 2012, a community interest company for supporting people in the creative industries with its roots in the local DIY scene. Bees Make Honey works to champion the underdog and challenge elitism through knowledge-sharing and curation of events. As Bees Make Honey Press, she plans to continue publishing a range of unusual books, zines and pamphlets, a project that began with her own debut novel Dogtooth Chronicals (sic).
The Eyes - Dan Layton is a graphic designer, illustrator and musician. One of the founding members of Bees Make Honey, his penchant for typography, minimalist geometric design and awesome tea-making skills has gradually persuaded Kirsty that she should employ him full time, even if it means she can no longer afford Yorkshire Tea and has to drink Tetleys instead. Dan is a former member of the much missed post rock band Souvaris, and currently produces dark meditative electronic music under the nom de plume Apalusa. He lives alone with his wife and no cats.
The Lens – Phil Formby is a photographer and filmmaker currently working at the Woodland Trust. Also one of the founding members of Bees Make Honey, Phil agreed to get involved in The Dust on the Moth because he craves filling camera frames with doom and gritty realism after a day of capturing soft focus snowdrops in the March sunshine. He has already earned the nickname ‘Captain Reality’ during our strategy meetings due to his skill of keeping our feet planted firmly on the ground and tempering the often over-enthusiastic, wholly impractical ideas that invariably come up.
Dan Layton (aka Apalusa) has written a “soundtrack” to accompany the novel. The music is heavily influenced by the deeply atmospheric tone of the book, and it fits the mood perfectly. It works equally well as an accompaniment while burying oneself in the pages of The Dust On The Moth, or as a stand-alone body of music. By turns beautiful, eerie, and evocative, Apalusa’s music is rich in imagery and texture – much like the novel itself. The music will also feature the talents Graham Langley, leader of the highly respected “slow-core” band Savoy Grand, with whom Dan performed live at our launch party. This is a highly unique piece of work, and is exclusive to this campaign. Once it’s gone, it’s gone!
PRINT ISN’T DEAD
In some respects, The Dust on the Moth is the lovechild of Bees Make Honey’s flagship project Memories of the Future, which explored the relationship between analogue and digital formats and our collective love of both. This project will have a digital life in cyberspace, with an immersive jumble of music, words and moving image in a parallax world. But that will be its miniature life — a flashy piece of new tech that will be consigned to your bookmarks tomorrow. As a printed book it will be something a little special. Whether lounging on your coffee table, your bookcase or next to the bog, it’ll tell everyone what fantastic taste you have.
DIY ISN’T JUST FOR PUNKS & CARPENTERS
Nottingham is packed full of DIY record labels and music nights. It’s a thriving scene and a great inspiration. We aim to have a similar set-up as a publishing outfit, making stuff we love and putting on fun events to promote it. Traditional publishing is full of daft unwritten rules and outdated systems which clog the pathway for getting a good story to a good market. Self-publishing, while liberating, has led to poorly edited, poorly written books with lousy covers flooding the market. DIY publishing collectives take the best of both worlds and make unique books you’ll be proud to have invested in.
Risks and challenges
Bees Make Honey Press has previously published a book and learned many invaluable lessons from the experience, so we’re confident we will produce an even greater product this time around. We have an experienced editor ready to go, we know how quickly we can get a proof and how long after that it will take to print and ship. Alongside utilising local talent, we endeavour to put money into small artisan businesses where practical.
We estimate a 6-8 month turnaround on the final product.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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