A post about how I choose launch dates for my novels plus a quick survey of other authors’ preferences
While I don’t consider myself to be superstitious, I’ve got into the habit of publishing each new book on a date that is personally significant to me.
Choice of publishing date is a luxury that only independent authors can enjoy:
We call the shots ourselves, rather than being dependent on the huge engines of trade publishing companies, which typically take a year or more to launch a book from the date the author delivers the final manuscript.
My first novel, Best Murder in Show, was launched on 1st April, 2017 – not because I was staging it as a practical joke for April Fool’s Day, but because it happens to be the birthday of my good friend and mentor, Orna Ross, author, poet, and founder of the Alliance of Independent Authors, for which I’m the UK Ambassador.
For my most recent novel, Murder Lost and Found, I chose my daughter Laura’s 18th birthday. Not only was it of course Laura’s majority, but the novel marked a kind of coming of age for Sophie Sayers too, marking the end of her first year in her adopted village of Wendlebury Barrow and a new confidence and assurance for Sophie that has been developing throughout the series.
Being able to publish on dates that are important to me gives me great satisfaction – the icing on the cake of completing a project – but I wondered whether this habit was just personal whimsy or common practice. When I asked some author friends, I was gratified to find I’m not alone in my approach, as these examples show:
Historical novelist Clare Flynn, on her latest novel, Sisters at War, set in Liverpool during the Second World War:
“I chose May 1st 2021 to launch Sisters at War as it was the 80th anniversary of the terrible May Blitz on Liverpool in 1941.”
Alison Morton, who writes alternative history and thrillers, decided to make her Roma Nova short story collection a gift to herself:
“This was the first time I’d dared to put together a collection of short stories, so I thought it would be fun to give birth to it on my own birthday on 19th October. The stories supplement, precede or follow the stories in the core Roma Nova novels – little episodes of their own. It was delightful to wake up to a mix of “Happy publication day” and “Happy birthday” greetings. I drank bubbly that evening in double celebration.”
Other author friends have published to honour family members – for example, Pauline Baird Joneswill launch Cosmic Boom on her late mother’s birthday, 20th July, and Kristina Adams published her non-fiction book, Writing Myths, on her grandmother’s birthday the year she passed away.
Tom Evans has a very appropriate strategy for Soulwaves : A Future History and Soulwaves: Insertions, both of which feature the Moon almost as a character:
“I published on the first new moon of the year, this year and last, and then followed up with snippets of ancillary, augmenting content every subsequent new and full moon. My choice of date may have no significance, but it keeps me aiming at something – with a reminder in the sky when not cloudy!”
Amie McCracken had a very specific reason for fixing the launch date for her latest novella, which is set in the USA and Mexico:
“I chose the Day of the Dead for Leaning Into the Abyss because it features as the day my protagonist finally figures out her life! (And it’s a story about grieving for a lost loved one.)”
Mark Haydenhad a more pragmatic approach for the ninth in his King’s Watch fantasy series:
“Some indie authors are a lot more casual about publication. I adhere to the belief that the best day to publish a book is yesterday, and I put them out as soon as they’re ready. However, even I admit that I rushed out the ebook of Five Leaf Clover a good week ahead of the paperback because the UK bank holiday weekend was coming up and I wanted to give my readers an incentive to buy it. I also admit that my wife did once tell me that under no circumstances could I publish a book on her birthday. I know my priorities.”
Which Book Will I Publish Next?
So when will I be publishing my next book and what will it be?
Mrs Morris Changes Lanes, a new standalone novella – fingers crossed for 1st August (my maternal grandmother’s birthday)
Scandal at St Bride’s, the third St Bride’s School novel – before the end of the 2021 (exact date yet to be decided)
I’m also writing May Sayers Comes Home, a novella about Sophie Sayers’ aunt; a travel memoir,Travels with my Camper Van, and planning new additions to the Tales from Wendlebury Barrowseries of novelettes.
So I’d better get off my blog now and get writing!
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
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
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.
Talking about Books on the Bus on BBC Radio Gloucestershire
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.
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:
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.
A post about T E Shepherd, the gifted artist who is drawing the imagined settings of my novels
I first met T E Shepherd, or Thomas as I know him, through his novels. We were both members of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and for a little while we belonged to the same writers’ group, meeting regularly in Oxford. Only after reading and enjoying his Mr Tumnal novels did I realise he was also a talented illustrator, with a style so distinctive that readers have asked me whether he is related to A A Milne‘s illustrator, E H Shepard. (As you will have guessed from the different spelling, no, he’s not!)
When Thomas started sharing some of his drawings online, in particular a picture of Hawkesbury Upton’s village school, one of the venues for the Haweksbury Upton Literature Festival that I organise each year, I asked him to create a village map to help visitors find their way around the festival, and the result was stunning.
When he started sharing portraits of some of his favourite bookshops, it seemed only natural to ask him whether he might also draw a fictitious bookshop for me – Hector’s House, which is at the heart of my Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries. Sophie works in the shop and the proprietor, Hector Munro, is her romantic interest.
Usually Thomas draws from life rather than from his imagination, but for me he was prepared to make an exception, provided I was able to give him a good brief and some photos of the kind of thing I was looking for.
For Hector’s House, I’d already specified certain details in the books, and needed to find a Cotswold cottage that matched that specification – harder than I’d expected! Eventually I sent Thomas a snapshot of Nailsworth Computers (highly recommended for their computer services, by the way – I’ve been a regular customer for years) plus a list of changes that would be needed to complete the transformation. I was astonished when a local friend told me later that this building used to be a bookshop. It was clearly meant to be!
I was so delighted with Thomas’s attention to detail and the thought that went into the drawing that as soon as my second series of novels was established, the Staffroom at St Bride’s School Stories for Grown-ups, that I asked him to draw the school building. This time his starting point was the cover design of the first book in the series, Secrets at St Bride’s, with his own personal flourishes added.
When I started my spin-off series of quick-read novelettes set in the same parish as these two series, Tales from Wendlebury Barrow, I couldn’t resist completing the set by commissioning Thomas to draw the Wendlebury Barrow village green, which features in all three series. Again I found myself driving round the Cotswolds looking for appropriate visuals for him, and ended up sending a selection of different greens from which he took various elements to create a completely new one just right for me stories. He even added Sophie and Hector!
I now have framed prints of all three on my study walls to help me immerse myself in these worlds as I write my stories. I’ve also turned the first two into attractive cards and bookmarks to give away to readers at events, and will be doing the same with the third once we’re allowed to hold in-person events again. I’m also planning to add the appropriate drawing to the interior title page of each book so that all my readers may enjoy them,
As is usual with such things, the copyright remains with the artist, and anyone wishing to order prints from him or to book commissions of their own should contact him via his website: www.teshepherdart.com. He has a different website about his books: http://www.shepline.com/books.
He also sells prints of his other landscape drawings of bookshops and historic buildings, and this year produced for the first time a calendar of his art. There are still a few copies available to buy in his January sale on his website here
I’ll be holding a prize draw for a copy of the calendar for my Readers’ Club in my next newsletter which I’m planning to despatch tomorrow. If you’d like a chance to win one and you’re not already a member, you can join my Readers’ Club here. There’s a different prize draw every month for something fun associated with my books.
But that’s enough about me! Now here’s a chance to get to know more about Thomas and his work via this exclusive interview that he kindly gave me a few days ago.
Exclusive Interview with T E Shepherd, Illustrator & Novelist
Thomas, welcome to my blog – I’m so pleased to be able to introduce my readers to the man behind the drawings! When did you take up drawing and how has your career progressed?
I’ve always drawn, for as long as I remember. Give me a pad of paper and a pack of those cheap felt tip pens from the post office or Happy Shopper on the corner and I am lucky. At college I was never that great at taking notes in lectures because I’d be doodling patterns on my notepad instead. I did art at college, specialising mainly in photography and printmaking which I loved, however since leaving college I of course lost access to the dark room (this was almost a decade before digital cameras) and it’s hard to set yourself doing printmaking. I also left college thinking that my kind of art wasn’t really that good because it wasn’t the weird stuff you find art galleries winning awards! It wasn’t until I was fortunate to be working the day job with the fantastic Rachel Henderson Art that she encouraged me into doing things with my art.
Please describe the media you work in and the processes involved in creating a new drawing.
I work mainly in Indian Ink although I also use coloured pencils. I have been known though to work in photography, printmaking, airbrush, gouache – basically it depends what the picture is that I’m doing!
Why do you particularly enjoy drawing buildings?
The honest answer is that I have historically been terrible at drawing people! The slightly more interesting is that they interest me. It has to be said, I have a bit of thing for cobbles, walls, and doorways. My A-Level art exam piece was a piece created from the subject “Through doorways” in 10 hours, or two back to back days.
For this year you produced a calendar of your favourite drawings of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. What makes this region particularly rewarding for you as an artist?
Simple answer really that I live in Oxfordshire on the doorstep to the Cotswolds and that is the geographical area that I have mainly been selling my work, at markets, when markets are allowed to happen. I grew up in East Anglia though and still have strong links there so I could have done the East Anglian. Collection (following on in the footsteps of John Piper I already have three Suffolk churches to my name!). When you include all the bookshops of I’ve drawn it puts my geographic spread is even wider.
What else do you like to draw?
Anything and everything that interests me. I’m a very visual person – even when I’m writing my books it’s the frame by frame cinematic scenes that I’m picturing as I write. And so if I see a view or frame a picture in my gaze I want to capture it, often with a photo (or two, or three…) ahead of drawing them.
Tell us about your passion for bookshops and why you love drawing them.
As mentioned above, I write books. My degree, as well visual arts also involved creative writing, and I’ve written three novels to date: my debut standalone book, and the first two parts of a trilogy about imaginary friends. I love books, and stories – I have a ‘library’ of over 2000 books in the house. If I visit a town and there’s a bookshop, I can’t not go in, and chances are I will buy at least one book, so yes you could say that bookshops are bad and evil places for me to visit… *grins*
I have an on-going project to illustrate myself around the country drawing (mostly) independent bookshops for my celebration of bookshops in my my illustrated The Booklover’s Guide to Bookshops.
What is the most challenging picture you’ve ever drawn and why?
My most challenging picture that I had to draw was my illustration for Tales of the Wendlebury Barrow. Not only was this to be an imaginative piece but it needed to include a traditional village scene of people and to be honest people have never been my strong point. My two big inspirations are the work of Rex Whistler and Edward Ardizzone and I’ve found my style to be somewhere in between. One of the things I love about Ardizzone’s illustration is the way they are very loose simple designs but have all the character and expression. It was a challenge, but one that I believe I pulled off, particularly when the author saw her two lead characters come walking out of the picture towards her.
Previous to that, one my biggest challenges was a pen and ink and colour illustration I did of Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire. I was established in the medium of black and white, so adding colour was a bit of a departure, but one that was really effective and led directly to a commission late last year of a full colour picture of Notley Abbey as a wedding anniversary present.
Which is your favourite of all the pictures you’ve done and why?
If I had to choose just one, it would be my picture of St Andrew’s Church, Covehithe in Suffolk. Covehithe is one of my most favourite of places in the world with some very fond memories for me. There is a poignancy to the place as it probably has no more than 60 more years before the fragile Suffolk coast tips it into the sea. Sadly I don’t have the original any more as it was snaffled up within days of me finishing it but I know that it went to a new home.
I know you take other commissions too – what does this entail and how do people go about commissioning a picture from you?
In short, just get in touch! I work from photographs so geography is no obstruction to having a commission done. What I do need is high resolution photos that I have permission to use. These can be photos either that you have taken or from a professional photographer so long as you have obtained copyright permission for me to work from them. I can’t use photos that you’ve grabbed from Google! My pricing is based on size of the finished work not by number of scenes, so you could have multiple views of your subject in one picture, and you pay for it upon completion of the piece when you are happy with it.
You’re not only an artist but an author too – please tell us a little about your books.
My books are what I would call real-world fantasy or magical realism. My debut novel is set in Iceland and is a story where Norse Mythology meets modern day climate science as our protagonists face The End Of All Worlds. My other two books are the first and second books in my Imaginary Friends trilogy. The first in the series, Mr Tumnal, concerns a man, Louis Tumnal who marries his imaginary friend and has an imaginary child. When he meets his real-life girlfriend things get complicated beyond imagining.
What are you working on at the moment – both in terms of drawing and writing?
I’m currently writing the third book in the trilogy, Forgotten Friends, set 40 years after the events of the first book in a post-technological world (imagine consulting Wikipedia in print in a vast room underground Oxford’s Bodleian Library!) With my drawing, I had a crazy end to last year, finishing my last commission a day before delivering it to my client on Christmas Eve and so I’m taking January off – partly this is because I incurred a drawing-induced injury of trigger finger! But I have been creating art, having acquired a press to get back to etching too, which is something I’m very excited about.
Where can people go to find out more about your illustration and your books?
Derbyshire born, Suffolk bred. Thomas Shepherd now lives in Oxfordshire with his wife Emma and five cats, five chickens, three bunnies, two African land snails and some fish. He’s a landscape artist and novelist. His two main inspirations are the work of Edward Ardizzone and Rex Whistler, and his style is somewhere between the two. As a published author, books are his passion, and he is currently working on a project to create an illustrated guide of bookshops. He works principally in Indian Ink and Polychromos artists’ pencils. He takes commissions, including maps and book illustration.
My column for the October 2020 issue of this month’s Hawkesbury Parish News
When I as a child, one of my favourite features in the annuals we received each Christmas was the puzzle captioned “An everyday object viewed from an unusual angle”. The reader was invited to identify the object from a photo of a tiny detail greatly enlarged or from a long shot of an unfamiliar aspect.
The journey to choir practice last week provided a similar challenge. As I drove down the hill towards Hawkesbury, (the ancient hamlet that is home to our parish church of St Mary), I spotted peeking out from among the treetops a tall white box that I’d never seen before.
For a split second my brain processed it as either a newly-landed alien spaceship or a just-built block of flats put up since the recent relaxation of planning regulations. Then I realised it was just the tower of St Mary’s Church undergoing restoration. The last time I’d seen the tower, it had been covered in scaffolding (as per Colin Dixon’s photos on the front of last month’s Parish News). Now, like a skeleton covered in flesh, the scaffolding had been given a smooth, pristine white coat of protective fabric.
Then I thought of Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist famous for wrapping buildings, monuments, bridges, and even landscapes in fabric or plastic. In Wrapped Reichstag, for example, he encased the German parliament building in aluminium fabric. Each of his installations was designed to be temporary. One of them, a 14km orange curtain across Ridge Gap, Colorado, blew down in a storm on its second day.
But the fleeting change in appearance of a well-known landmark can change people’s perceptions of it forever.
Christo died in May this year aged 84, and his website www.christojeanneclaude.net poignantly includes a list of “Projects Not Realised”, as well as cataloguing his completed achievements. In a posthumous celebration of the pioneering artist, L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris is due to be wrapped next autumn.
Seeing St Mary’s Hawkesbury in its new white robe, I wondered whether Christo would be pleased with our inadvertent tribute to his work – and as relieved as I am that unlike the ancient and timeless fabric of the church, the white wrapping should be whisked away just in time for Christmas, once the tower repairs are complete.
If you’d like to know more about St Mary’s Hawkesbury, and to see it in its usual unwrapped state, hop over to its website here: www.friendsofstmaryshawkesbury.com. (The eagle-eyed may spot that I’m on its committee and that I also run its website!)
In Other News This Week
I was pleased to be quoted in this month’s issue of Breathemagazine in Stephanie Lam’s feature on self-publishing. You’ll find the magazine on British newstands everywhere and you can also order single copies and subscriptions online.
I’m currently writing another magazine feature myself, the second in my commissioned series for Mslexia to celebrate successful independent authors. For the December issue, I’m interviewing award-winning children’s writers Kate Frost, Jemma Hatt and Karen Inglis.
Meanwhile I’m busy with speaking engagements. Yesterday I was on BBC Radio Gloucestershire’s Book Club spot (you can listen to it here for the next 28 days, from 2hrs 12mins into the show). Next Wednesday I’ll be guest speaker via Zoom at Uley Women’s Institute, and on Saturday 17th October I’ll be chairing a panel on “Routes to Publishing” at Bristol Literature Festival, held online – you can reserve a free place here if you hurry!
Meanwhile the ebook of Best Murder in Show, the first in my Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries is currently free to download, and as I type this it’s #98 in the free Kindle charts in the UK, introducing thousands of new readers to the series. If you’ve not read it yet, download your free copy here. And if you have read it and enjoyed it, feel free to send this link to any friends you think might also like it.
And now, back to work, putting the finishing touches to the second in my Tales from Wendlebury Barrow series. The Clutch of Eggs will be out by the end of the month. It’s a quick read for just 99p/99c, to tide you over while I write my next novel – the seventh Sophie Sayers mystery, Murder Lost and Found.
In keeping with Orna Ross‘s recommendation to replenish the creative well by going on a “createdate”with yourself every week to a fun, stimulating place, I book tickets for the Van Gogh Britain exhibition currently running at London’s Tate Britain Gallery. I bend Orna’s rule by taking my teenage daughter with me, because Van Gogh is her favourite artist and this seems the perfect focus for quality mother-and-daughter time.
Van Gogh Britain Exhibition
The exhibition is even bettter than we thought it would be, demonstrating how a three year stay in London before he began to paint influenced Van Gogh’s themes and style, and how his own paintings went on to influence subsequent generations of British artists. It was not only art that influenced him, but also British literature, his favourite being Charles Dickens, and the architecture and ambience. He particular enjoyed the views from the Thames Enbankment, a constant source of inspiration to artists and writers.
Afterwards my daughter and I channel our inner Van Gogh by walking along the Embankment on our way to Trafalgar Square, via Whitehall, then back down the Mall and through St James’s Park, as I point out historical and cultural landmarks along the way. I enjoy introducing her to the landmarks that as a Londoner I grew up with, and have never felt fonder of my home city.
3 Unexpected Pleasures
But as always with planned trips, serendipity yields more food for thought. On this trip to London, three incidents stand out for me that transported us out of London and around the world:
Waiting at the bus stop for our coach to London, we’re approached by what I assume to be an unremarkable old man, in old-fashioned windcheater and slacks. He is clutching a Sainsbury’s carrier bag, and I assume he’s come into Chippenham to do a bit of grocery shopping. When he strikes up a conversation with us, we discover he is also London-bound, on his way to meet a former student he taught in Macau as Professor of Intercultural Trade and Relations. He still teaches for in China, Hong Kong and Macau, for three months a year, the maximum visa period. He gives us plenty to think about on our way to London. My key takeaway is “Never judge a man by his carrier bag.”
Strolling down the South Bank of the Thames before our allocated time slot for our date with Van Gogh, at the foot of the Oxo Tower we chance upon Latitude, a free exhibition of wildlife photography, an array of breathtaking pictures of Arctic polar bears, Antarctic penguins, and all kinds of animal in between, including cheetahs frolicking as playfully as domesticated kittens and a tiger apparently leaping towards the photographer with murderous intent. From a modestly tiny picture of the photographer Roger Hooper in the exhibition brochure, I recognise the grey-haired man lurking diffidently in the corner. “Excuse me, are you the photographer?” I ask. “Yes,” he says with a smile. “How many risks do you take to get such fabulous shots?” I ask, indicating the hungry tiger. “Ah,” he smiles wryly. “You’ve picked the one shot that isn’t entirely real. That tiger is the one used in the film The Life of Pi, and i had a piece of meat on a stick dangling from my hand beside the camera. I photoshopped the background in and blurred it afterwards.” That still sounds pretty risky to me. The mental image of that set-up is almost as pleasing as the resulting photo, which I can’t reproduce here for copyright reasons, but you can find out more about the photographer Roger Hooper and view his pictures on his website here. You may also be interested in his laudable charity to help build a brighter future for African girls here: www.hoopersafricatrust.org.
The final surprise of the day is when, exhausted, we’re sitting in St Martin’s in the Fields Crypt Cafe, enjoying our tea, when my eyes alight upon what seems to me the most perfect piece of brick wall. The pleasing array of colours in such a neat grid reminds me of Van Gogh’s thick daubs of rich colour, and to an artist’s watercolour paint box filled with the promise of the pictures still locked inside the neat rectangles of pigment. Whether prompted by our encounter with the Professor at the bus stop, or the amusing snap of Roger Hooper apparently being photobombed by a giant panda, it also puts me in mind of the Great Wall of China and all the wonders of the world, whether natural or manmade. My daughter is bemused by my fixation with beautiful bricks (“I can’t believe you posted bricks on Instagram!” she crows later) after all the sights we have seen, but to me it seems a neat and fitting end to a stimulating day, and the perfect end to an enjoyable July.
Thank You, July, It’s Been Fun
And what a busy July is has been! It kicked off with included a week in Scotland (see my earlier post), finishing my latest novel for publication, and completing a new novella to be sent as an free ebook to my mailing list next month. (If you’re not already on my mailing list, you can sign up now via the form at the foot of this page to receive your copy in August – sorry, originally intended for July!)
I also enjoyed being a part of the usual monthly BBC Radio Gloucestershire Book Club, in which we talked this month about Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, 300 years old this year but still a cracking read. If you’d like to hear what we had to say about this and other bookish talk, you can listen again for the next couple of weeks on BBC Sounds via this link – we’re in the first hour of the show.
One other highlight of July for me was starting to write guest posts for the IngramSpark blog. IngramSpark is a huge printing company that not only prints books for all kinds of publishers but also puts them into the distribution system for high street bookstores. All my books are published via IngramSpark, which means that you can order them from your favourite bookshop rather than online. I love bookshops – a good bookshop is an invaluable part of the high street and of the wider community, so I’m really glad to be able to drive trade their way.
So that’s it for July. And despite my careful plans for a productive month ahead, I wonder what serendipity August will bring?
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