August’s Pot Luck Club
Welcome to this month’s Pot Luck Club, a round-up of writerly bits and pieces. It’s Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK; which means, of course, that the sun has gone on vacation and there is a decidedly Autumnal feel to the air. Yesterday, I even wore a jumper and fleecy boots around the house! But the garden is still very colourful. From my office doorway, I can see roses, dahlias and buddleia still in full bloom. And I swam in the open air pool this morning; so it’s still summer as far as I’m concerned!
After taking a hard look at the project plan for the latest novel, I have fixed the official launch date as Monday 24th September, four weeks today. That’s when the ebook will go live across all the platforms and the paperback will be available via Amazon. It’s been pushed back a bit due to a number of reasons, including the timing of my blog tour, arranged by the wonderful Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources, which starts on Wednesday 26th September. I decided not to put it on pre-order this time; an experiment that I will talk about later on, when it’s all done and dusted. The ARCs (advanced reader copies) will be going out today to my launch team. So there’s still time to sign up for that if you would like to be involved (and get an early view of the final part of the Suzanne Jones story).
The launch party in Chudleigh is going ahead on Tuesday 4th September; in addition to readings from the book, we have live music with mezzo-soprano, Iryna Ilnytska, and pianist, Polina Shifrina, plus fizz and cake. If you are anywhere near Devon and would like to join us, you would be more than welcome. Just drop me an email and I will add you to the guest list.
And in celebration of the impending release of Corruption!, the first two books in the series are on special offer all this month. You can pick up Counterfeit! or Deception! for just 99p in the UK, $0.99 in the US, or at a reduced price in all the other regions.
The Business of Writing
The paperback version of Parts 1-3 was finished in time for Swanwick and sold extremely well. If you are one of the people who bought one, for which I thank you, it would be great if you would consider writing a review at some point. The book is available via Amazon.
I mentioned last time the experimental workbook to accompany Parts 1-3, containing all the templates and case studies in one place. The hand-made copies which I took with me the Swanwick sold out very quickly and I am now going to put it up on Amazon. More news of that next month.
And while I’m talking about The Business of Writing, a reminder of the closed Facebook Group I’ve set up under the same name. It’s described as “A community of writers with a shared interest in setting up and running a small business”. We have regular discussions on Fridays, but members can post questions at any time, and there’s always someone else in the group who can offer an answer. There’s only a few of us at the moment and all writers are welcome to join us.
Out and About in August
There’s really only been one main event this month: my annual visit to the Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire for the Writers’ Summer School at Swanwick. Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere has been alive with both words and pictures from this, our 70th year. You’re probably sick of hearing about it. So apart from saying that I had a great time; sold lots of books; ran a successful book room thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers; ran seven hours of workshops – which was probably a tad too many; danced the night away at the 1940s themed disco; and managed not to put on any weight despite the constant supply of great food, I’m going to leave it at that. If you want to find out more, take a look at the Chudleigh Writers’ Circle blog for fleeting impressions from Steve Male and Bea Hutchings, or check out the school’s website.
Writers Are Readers Too
My Goodreads 2018 challenge score has slipped again this month. I’m now up to fifty nine books read and reviewed this year, six behind target; but am currently reading two different books at once: a large hard-back novel by day and a non-fiction writers’ manual on Kindle for bedtime. I’m not going to panic yet; plenty of time to catch up.
This month’s recommendation isn’t an original one. It’s a book that many people are talking about and recommending. It’s a bit of a Marmite book and I know there are some people who couldn’t get on with it, but I’m certainly not one of them.
Eleanor Oliphant is a loner. She lives alone; she drinks alone; she hates her co-workers and believes the feeling is mutual. She lacks even the most basic of social skills. Then one day she finds the man of her dreams and her life begins slowly to change.
This was our Book Club choice for this month and I read it in under twenty-four hours. I was completely gripped by the main character’s voice and how it subtly changed between Good Days and Bad Days. The facts are gradually revealed as we accompany Eleanor on her journey of discovery (or rediscovery to be accurate). The writing is clear, easy to read, and in parts, very funny, but Gail Honeyman pulls no punches. It’s easy to see why this is a prize-winning book. Highly recommended.