By Andrew Collins
Brighton’s very own socialite, author, presenter and luminary celebrates the launch of his first book, Brighton Bablylon this Sunday.
Published by Dynasty Press, London and the second book in the world (and first in the UK) to use Democrasoft’s ‘WeJIT ‘ web interactive format, its already getting rave reviews and sizzling press. WeJIT, which releases books in interactive digital format, allows readers to communicate directly with the author via online discussion.
Brighton Babylon, Jarrette’s debut book publication, is about his varied encounters and experiences living in Brighton, penned with a razor-sharp wit and relentless attitude; a no-holds barred expose and incisive portrayal of the myriad colourful characters and he’s dallied, danced, dined and diced with over the years. It rips apart Brighton’s underbelly and gloriously wades through the muck; teases stories from the odd and bizarre; the funny and sad, the mad and the bad – all bought to life on the page with Jarrette’s customary panache and deliciously spicy way with words.
It’s been described as “A Sex and The City for a fresh and funky century” by Julie Burchill and a “glorious evocation … so rich and vivid, you can taste and smell the city on every page” by Peter James.
The author has not always lived in Brighton (he finally settled here in 1999) – he’s quite the world traveller, having lived in New York, Montreal, Athens, San Francisco, Stockholm and Trinidad & Tobago, where he was born.
I interviewed him about his exciting forthcoming book which is currently the talk of the town.
Peter is not a stranger to publicity and the media – he’s a regular columnist for Absolute Brighton magazine, a presenter for Gossip TV, writes for Carribean Belle magazine and is co-author of four children’s books published by Simon & Schuster. The first time he was broadcast though was at the tender age of five, and it was perhaps here he got the taste for the media.
‘I was broadcast live across Canada at five years old when I saw my first snowflake. Apparently, my father who was well known in Radio and Sports Media had his daytime DJ call me and ask me a few questions. I answered and when I went back to school after lunch everyone was wild about hearing me on the radio. I had no idea I was talking to millions of Canadians!
‘I’ve enjoyed success in different varieties over my life and from a very young age, 15, when I became an overnight teen sensation with my first art show in St. Louis where I spent part of my high school years and was plastered over all the TV screens and newspapers. That has been the case in every country I live in to some extent or another. ‘
It was this early taste for success when he acquired his first useful knowledge for self promotion: ” I like the sound of my own voice and words get you places as fast as a nice looking face … I learned that very young.”
Brighton Babylon is in fact the third book he has written: ‘BB is my third book really. My first book is Young and Pretty New York City to be published later. My second is Trinidad Rock Hard and Fruity, coming later too. BB is the third but as I’m based here the publishers, Dynasty Press Ltd. in London decided to release this one first.
‘I’ve always done things ass-backwards at best so I’m cool with this process. I wrote this one as I have all my books based on the true stories and events in my life and the lives of those around my physical and emotional landscape.’
The writing process did not come easily – though you would never know it reading his prose – as he suffered from slight dyslexia, and has worked hard to overcome it. The effort has clearly paid off – Brighton Babylon is being adapted for a TV series, with acclaimed director Steven Bendelack signed on (Little Britain, League of Gentlemen, Mr. Bean), and the script being handled by award winning screenwriter Jody Medland.
Jarrette is working closely with both of them as consultant and Jody’s commitment to the project is such that he’s moving to Brighton in order to familiarise himself better with our City environment.
It’s slated for release at the end of 2014.
Peter is not treading water and already has several plans for future projects – his first fiction book, with the enigmatic and memorable title of Calypso Fannywagon, about “a human-esque bird who has a sci-fi radio that plays tunes from the future given to him by Queen Elizabeth II”, a possible film deal for his New York City stories in America, as well as continued work in multi-media.
Catch him while you can.
BRIGHTON BABYLON by PETER JARRETTE is released on Tuesday February 19th.
To reserve copies of Brighton Babylon call Brighton Waterstones (71-74 North St) on 0843 290 8181.