How can it be March already? Maybe there’s a mathematical formula that can explain the correlation between my own advancing years and the increasing speed with which each brand new year hurtles towards its middle age.
March is a significant month for Paper Lanterns – its formal publication date falls on 15th of March, but the copies themselves have now been delivered to Novel Press and are ready to find themselves new homes on other people’s bookshelves. Look to your right, scroll down a little bit, and you’ll see how easy it is to get your copy! I’m also hoping that some of these might land in temporary accommodation in Hong Kong bookshops, as well as some Independent booksellers in the UK.
As I’ve said below, there have been hopeful signs of interest, and a couple of days ago I was delighted to open an email from the editor of the online Lamma-zine, wanting to know where he could buy a copy of my new novel so that he or one of his team could write a review. At first I’d assumed that he must have heard about my book from my sister or one of her friends, but no, it was Google Alerts which had led him to this site. Hurray for Google!
Other March events include the latest copy of Writing Magazine, inside which, on pages 30 and 31, is an article entitled “Make your book unputdownable’” by Crysse Morrison in her regular ‘Good Practice’ slot. This series of articles is well worth reading, but that’s not all – the sub title is, “Hook your reader with a glimpse of the action and conflict to come”, and its main focus for the examples it gives is the novel, Telling Liddy, by Anne Fine, the award winning author of numerous books for children and eight for adults, and my second novel, Paper Lanterns. How’s that for company for unknown author!
I was delighted when Crysse told me that she wanted to use some quotations from Paper Lanterns for this article. There they are, under the subheading, ‘Enticing trailers’. There are three intertwined story lines in my novel, and three key dates. The main action of the book is set in the present, but both 1971 and 1930 are highly significant as well. I’d changed the opening chapters several times before I settled on a short prologue set in 1971, giving hints of what will unfold later in the book.
I gradually realised that I needed another, earlier, clue to the events of 1930, and Crysse goes on to say: “But the initial hook of this novel is an atmospheric fragment of oriental mystery from a later chapter when Ann (the main character) begins to uncover family secrets that will slowly burn away all the previous certainties of her life:
Friday 8th April, 1930, Hong Kong
“…and I had the oddest sensation – as though my soul – my very self – was a bright flame that now was shrinking, leaning away from him as from a gust of wind. And into my mind came the image of how the Chinese protect a small flame of light from being extinguished and at the same time, beautify it, with a delicate construction of coloured paper.”
A March event that I’m particularly looking forward to, and involves my new baby (Paper Lanterns, of course!) will take place in a coffee shop in the middle of Birmingham on the last Tuesday of the month. But more of that later.
BEFORE YOU READ ABOUT Where the Wild Things Are (and Paypal at last),
Click here for my BOOK COVER DESIGN CHALLENGE
and give yourself the chance of winning a FREE copy of Paper Lanterns(CLOSING DATE: 31st December)
I’ve had a lovely Boxing Day with my kind, techie son (back home for Christmas)
First off, he’s patiently helped me work out the best way to install Paypal on this site. That might not sound like much, but I kept on changing my mind about exactly what system I’d need in order to make things easy for anyone who wants to buy my books.
We’ve finally settled for a ‘UK’ and ‘Rest of the World’ option. The Dangerous Sports Euthanasia Society is the only one displayed here for the time being, but Paper Lanterns will be available here in a few weeks’ time.
For anyone buying in the UK, not only will there be £2.00 off the original price, but postage and packing will be free.
For anyone outside the UK, the book will be full price, but there will be no charge for postage and packing!
As soon as the cover design for Paper Lanterns has been selected* all the files will be sent to the printer, and once the actual paperback books are ready, they’ll be available here in the same way.
*Since the Bookcrossers are such staunch supporters, I’ll be asking some of them to draw the five winning ID numbers on Saturday 2nd January – watch this space for the results!
Our afternoon walk through sunlit woodland in Cannock Chase was followed, at the insistence of my adult son, by a trip to the local Multiplex to see what I thought would be a typically cosy family Christmas film, Where the Wild Things Are.
I was happy to go along with this suggestion, especially as our long-ago roles were reversed, and he was buying the tickets. (Though I couldn’t help thinking that it seemed rather a strange choice for a sophisticated man-about-town!) But it wasn’t long before I saw why.
The Wild Things were wonderful - dream-like and utterly convincing in their depiction of human emotions and behaviours, both of small children, and on another level, of supposedly mature adults. As this review suggests, it seems to have been made more for adults, than for small children.
If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your views!
Oh, and another new thing you’ll notice is the Twitter link, thanks to my son.