Posted in Self-publishing, Writing

Round-up of a Busy Week

Usually I post articles on a single topic on my blog, but this week has been so action-packed that I thought I’d share four news items instead:

  • one of my books, Murder Your Darlings, was shortlisted for a prestigious award, The Selfies
  • I was a guest on Joanna Penn’s fabulous Creative Penn podcast, talking about writing cozy mysteries
  • BBC Radio Gloucestershire‘s Dominic Cotter interviewed me about the new village Books on the Bus scheme
  • I published my latest collection of magazine columns, Still Young By Name

If you’d like to know more about any of these events, read on!

Murder Your Darlings Shortlisted for an Industry Award

The second time one of my novels has been shortlisted for The Selfies Award

My sixth Sophie Sayers Village Mystery, Murder Your Darlings, has been shortlisted for the adult fiction category of the UK Selfies Award, given to the best self-published books in the UK. There are also categories for Children’s Fiction and Memoir/Autobiography.

The Selfies were launched by publishing industry news service BookBrunch in 2018 and are sponsored by Ingram’s award-winning self-publishing platform, IngramSpark®, and supported by the London Book Fair and Nielsen Book.

I’m especially pleased for two reasons:

  • my first St Bride’s novel, Secrets at St Bride’s, was also shortlisted last year
  • Also this year there was a record number of entries

You can read more about the 2021 shortlist here. The winners will be announced on 20th April.

Interview on the Creative Penn Podcast

photo of Joanna and Thomas
Joanna Penn at my Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, with illustrator and fellow author, Thomas Shepherd (Photo by Jonathan Penn)

A few weeks ago, independent publishing and creativity guru Joanna Penn invited me to be a guest on her hugely popular Creative Penn podcast, and this week the podcast went live.

I’ve known Joanna for a long time, and I first appeared on her show in 2016, talking about bookstores. I often see her at writing and publishing industry events, such as the London Book Fair, and she was a great guest speaker at my Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival a few years ago. Given that neither of us have been to any such real-life events for over a year, it was especially enjoyable to catch up with her on her podcast.

This time we were talking about how to write cozy mysteries, a genre that has been especially popular during lockdown, providing upbeat, escapist fiction for readers stuck at home. I also shared insights into my writing life.

Although recorded with an audience of writers in mind, I think cozy mystery readers will also find it interesting.

Click here to listen to the podcast on Joanna’s website, where, if you prefer, you can read the transcript.

My interview is the 540th (!) podcast on Joanna’s show, so if you’d like to hear more podcasts about writing and self-publishing, her blog is a good place to look!

Talking about Books on the Bus on BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Photo of Debbie at bus stop with book box
Pick up a book when you catch the bus (Photo by Laura Young)

If you enjoyed my post a couple of weeks ago about the new Books on the Bus box that I’ve set up in our village bus shelter, if you are in the UK, you might like to listen to my interview on BBC Radio Gloucestershire with presenter Dominic Cotter, who on Saturday was presenting the Breakfast Show. (I have a feeling you can’t listen outside the UK for licensing reasons.)

Before the pandemic, Dominic was presenting the Lunchtime Show, and my author and books journalist friend Caroline Sanderson and I were regular guests on his Book Club spot. With studio guests not allowed due to Covid restrictions, it was a pleasure to catch up with an interview down the line instead.

New Essay Collection: Still Young By Name

Now available in ebook and paperback

Finally, I’m pleased to announce that my latest collection of magazine columns, Still Young By Name, is now available in ebook and paperback. This is the second volume of columns I’ve written for the Tetbury Advertiser, an award-winning community magazine, which runs my musings on the first page of editorial each month under the heading “Young By Name”.

This book includes whimsical columns from the last five years, reflecting on topical issues of the moment, tempered with anecdotes from my past.

When I reread the columns while I was compiling the book, it struck me what an extraordinary five years 2016-2020 was.

While much in the world had changed, both on our doorstep here in the rural Cotswolds and on the global stage, I also celebrate precious things that stay the same.

Each column – ten per calendar year – is just 500 words long, so this book is easy to dip in and out of whenever you want to be diverted from the pressures of daily life.

The cover image is from a watercolour painting by my father, and although I confess I hesitated before putting a cow’s bottom beside my title, it made me laugh, and I love the calm the whole image exudes. I hope you like it too.

Here are store links in case you’d like to buy it:

For Regular News Updates

cover of The Pride of Peacocks
This fun novelette is available exclusively to members of my Readers’ Club.

If you’d like to receive a monthly enewsletter including the latest news on my books and events and also have a chance to enter a free prize draw for something related to my books, please click here to join my Readers’ Club, and you’ll also receive a free download of my novelette, The Pride of Peacocks, in the ebook format of your choice.

In next week’s post, I’ll be talking to Alison Morton, my next guest for my Travels with my Books series

Author:

English author of warm, witty novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Staffroom at St Bride's School series, both set in the Cotswolds. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors and for the children's reading charity, Read for Good. Public speaker for the Type 1 Diabetes charity JDRF.

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