My Link Age Southwark Writing Competition Judges Interview

   

     
   

Earlier this year I was approached by Becky Danks, who I met through my involvement in the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, asking if I would be willing to join a panel of judges for a writing competition she was organising. I was happy to offer my services. The judges include a number of people I know through Twitter, and also Paul Ewen (aka Francis Plug) who I met at the Greenwich Book Festival. Each judge was asked to provide an interview – these make for interesting reading. Below I reproduce my offering.

The writing competition is open to all UK and Ireland residents, both adults and children. Entries may take the form of either a short story or poem, based on the theme of friendship and/or generations. The deadline is 11.59PM on 31st August 2018. Further details may be found here.

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Meet Jackie Law, judge of the short stories (children’s) category

JACKIE LAW is one of our amazing panel of judges kindly volunteering their time to support our charity writing competition. Belfast-born Jackie is a prolific book blogger reviewing books, interviewing authors and writing about literary events for her personal blog, Never Imitate. She has contributed to numerous online ‘zines and is a regular reviewer at Bookmunch. Jackie was recently a judge for the prestigious Republic of Consciousness Prize which recognizes innovative indie publishers and their writers. She now lives in rural Wiltshire with her husband and small flock of back garden hens.

Check out Jackie’s website. Twitter: @followthehens

 

How did you get into book reviewing?

I set up my blog as a space to write during a time in my life when I was struggling. Writing is an effective therapy and it helped me to order my thoughts. The initial posts were eclectic in content.

At this time I was also writing short stories – flash and micro fiction. Following some honest feedback from readers online I came to understand that these were not very good. I have always admired creative writers and my own attempts brought into focus their skills.

I wanted, needed to keep writing but decided I could provide more value to readers by supporting books already written. By writing reviews and building my social media presence I aim to increase the visibility of books, especially those that don’t have big publicity drives behind them. I decided to keep posting on my original blog as its ethos fitted my reading preferences. Although some of my reviews now appear on other sites, my blog remains my space. I value the autonomy this allows.

 

Describe your ideal literary-related day

I am privileged in having a degree of freedom to structure my days as I wish so many of them could be described as ideal. I like to rise early, make myself a cup of tea and check my social media accounts and the mainstream media for book related content. I share anything I think may interest my followers, including my own scheduled posts. If I have a review to write I will start on that – typically this requires two to three hours work. Then I read.

Late morning, I will try to leave the house for a walk or a swim. Both of these activities offer thinking time, essential in structuring my reviews. On my return I go back on social media and also check my admin – there are always emails to answer – before settling again to read or write.

My family return home late afternoon expecting to be fed so I give them my attention. Early evening I typically go on Twitter to catch up with what is happening in the outside world. I don’t have broadcast television but may watch an episode or two of a DVD series. I particularly enjoy adaptations of books, although I dislike it when the plot is changed. I go to bed early. I rarely read in bed.

 

What do you look for in a good story?

It must be engaging and flow so that I’m engrossed and not thinking about the writing but rather the world created. It must be believable – not necessarily possible or real but consistent. All characters should earn their place, be necessary for the plot, and have depth. Interactions should build on this and not just advance the reader’s knowledge of the protagonist. As a reader, I wish to be trusted to picture, interpret and understand. I don’t need long descriptions of clothes, food or, most especially, sex. Less is more. Most plots can be advanced without knowing every detail.

I look for originality in both plot and structure, for characters to be complex and genders written with equal care, as people not objects. I tend to avoid genre fiction as I find it too formulaic.

I want to feel emotionally invested while reading. I don’t need to like the characters but I want to care about what happens to them.

 

What reading/creative projects are you working on at the moment?

I have a huge pile of books to read, a mix of new releases and titles that I have agreed to review but haven’t managed to open yet. I feel terribly guilty when I agree to take a book and then it lingers unread. However, I won’t rush any book. An author has put effort in and deserves careful consideration.

I have a number of literary events lined up over the summer – festival panels, author talks and tours. I like to write these up in detail as readers have told me they enjoy the insights provided.

Last year I was on the judging panel for both the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize and The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses. I thoroughly enjoyed the new experiences these offered. I am delighted to have been invited to judge this short story competition.

 

Who would you invite to a literary dinner party, alive or dead?

I would invite lesser known book reviewers, booksellers, perhaps a librarian – prolific and eclectic readers rather than authors. These people love books but have no axe to grind about other’s opinions.

There are groups on Goodreads – such as The Mookse and the Gripes – where cogent discussions of books, especially those listed for prizes, occur. I would like to sit quietly at the table and listen to that sort of conversation live.

Shadow panels for the big book prizes are often more interesting to follow than the official decision makers as participants are not afraid to express their opinions. I discovered when I was a judge that it is important to abide by the group decision even when individuals differ vociferously on the choice of contents of long and short lists.

I should point out though that I am a terrible cook so tend to avoid dinner parties!

Meet the writer behind my book reading hen avatar

This interview was conducted by and first published on Bookblast.

Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Belfast during The Troubles. My parents grew up in working class families and were determined to ‘better themselves’. When my older brother was eight they bought a newly built, three bed semi-detached house and moved from the central area of the city to what was then its outskirts. They still live there today.
My sister and I were born after this move. My brother left home when I was six so I never really got to know him – he now lives in Australia. My sister and I both passed the 11+ exam and attended an all girl state run grammar school before going up to the local university. We continued to live with my parents, although I did move into student digs for around six months after yet another row about my behaviour – aged twenty I was staying out beyond my curfew and drinking alcohol. I suspect we all wish I could have afforded to stay away, but my part time job wouldn’t cover the rent longer term.
Belfast felt parochial, cut off from what we referred to as the mainland due to the violence. We were expected to attend church and conform to a code of conduct that demanded we put on a front to the world of chastity and sobriety. It always felt that what I was seen to be mattered more to my parents than what I was or aspired to.
Despite this I look back on a largely happy childhood. Certainly at the time I felt loved. My determination to leave Belfast and to be myself stems from the frustration of being guilt tripped into conforming to a wide range of strictures I didn’t agree with.

What sorts of books were in your family home?
My father is a great reader. His hobby when I was growing up was chess and he would regularly order hardbacks, despite my mother’s disapproval of the expenditure, about the grand masters and their games. He also had a large collection of Penguin classics and modern classics that I longed to read. When I eventually left home he allowed me to take some of them with me.
I was bought many children’s books – Ladybirds, Enid Blyton, Frances Hodgson Burnett, C.S. Forester, Conan Doyle, Laura Ingalls Wilder. I discovered Tolkien when I was a teenager and then (aargh!) Jeffery Archer, James Clavell and a few of the classic writers not studied at school. I made a brief foray into romantic fiction, a genre I now avoid.
I used the local library and, when old enough to catch the bus into the city, scoured the charity shops for anything that looked interesting. I have always been an avid if not discerning reader.

Books that changed your life?
The Famous Five made me long for adventure. Laura Ingalls Wilder had me believing I was capable at a younger age than my parents would allow. Damage by Josephine Hart has a line that still resonates – ‘Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.’ I worked hard to get away from Belfast and eventually I did. I survived the years that others tried to mould me to fit their ideals, but the scars inflicted continue to ache in a way my younger self hadn’t anticipated.

What made you decide to start a book blog? How long have you been blogging?
I started my blog in early 2013 as a space to write through some personal issues I was facing at the time. It morphed into a book blog about eighteen months later. I had no idea that book blogs existed until I started to post reviews. It has grown from there to a point where it is what I do.

What’s the name of your blog? How did you choose it?
From the start I called my blog Never Imitate, from a quote attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson – ‘Insist on yourself; never imitate’. I added the strap line ‘Trying to avoid society’s pigeonholes’. These seemed to fit my aims in life, to be myself rather than someone else’s idea of what I should be.
I have a sister blog where I occasionally write flash fiction which I call Dreams and Demons. My dreams and demons are the inspiration for much of my creative writing (spoiler alert, it isn’t very good). That blog’s strap line is ‘Can you hear the silence?’ from Bring Me the Horizon’s song Can You Feel My Heart. Another line in that song is ‘I can’t drown my demons, they know how to swim’. All of these ideas speak to me and act as a reminder that impactful writing doesn’t always come from what may be well regarded by the self styled arbiters of these things.

What is your selection process when choosing a book to review?
I like to support the small independent presses so tend to prioritise their publications. Having said that there are certain authors published by the larger presses whose books I will seek out. I have a review policy on my blog which I hope helps publishers understand the books I am likely to enjoy. My TBR pile is vast.
Sometimes I simply feel like reading a particular book. I decided to stop taking part in blog tours at the end of last year as I wanted to regain the freedom to choose the order in which I read the books I am privileged to be sent.

What are your main criteria for evaluating a good book?
It has to be well written. The structure, language and flow should be seamless. When reading I shouldn’t be noticing any of this but rather be caught up in the story. The pace needs to keep the reader engaged but not overburden with unrelenting crises. Suggestion is better than explanation. Readers do not need to be spoon-fed.
I look for good character development. Not a lot needs to happen if those involved are presented in an interesting way. If a character is introduced I expect there to be a reason, and for them to be fully formed.
I am always disappointed when my reading is snagged by clunky or clumsy prose. Plot threads need to earn their place. A good editor can usually sort this.
After that I need to enjoy the reading experience. This is highly subjective so I will always try to explain in my reviews if I couldn’t engage.

What motivates you to keep blogging about books?
I want to tell other readers about good books that may fly beneath their radar. So much quality writing is published by the small presses yet they rarely make it to the best seller lists. If my reviews tempt just a few readers to buy or borrow a title then that can make a difference, not just to the reader but to the author and publisher.

What one piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you first started book blogging?
Be more discerning about the books you ask for. It takes time to read a book and write a review so try to select only titles likely to be enjoyed. Book bloggers are not under contract. Their reviews are an act of goodwill. Although I try to read every book I am sent this is not always possible and that’s okay.

Is it possible to earn a living from blogging?
I believe some people do this, but rarely through book blogging. I have been offered payment for particular services and have chosen not to get involved. My blog is my space and I want to run it in a way that suits me. I guard my autonomy fiercely. I hope this adds credibility to my reviews.

What book genres are your favourites, and your least favourites?
preti taneja bookblast diaryI particularly enjoy literary and experimental fiction. Prose can be as stunning as poetry if well written. I often seek out shorter books that pack a punch, that say more between the lines. There are of course some amazing longer books, such as Preti Taneja’s We That Are Young.
I avoid romances as they annoy me. Characters do not need to be beautiful to be interesting. Sex does not need to be described in detail. Happy endings are rare – life is more complex and messy than that. Books may offer an escape but I look for at least an element of relatability.

How many books do you read each week?
Generally around three although this depends on the type of book. Non-fiction tends to take me longer. I read less over the summer months as family life makes more demands on my time.

What’s your most popular blog post?
A fun little post about teddy bears! I wrote this before I started book blogging and it is still viewed on most days. My most popular book review is for How To Play The Piano by James Rhodes. I followed his instructions and taught myself to play in order to write it. For fiction it is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone followed by The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. This was an interesting question to answer as I don’t normally check such stats.

What do bloggers bring to the book publishing ecology which press reviewers do not?
Press reviewers are courted by publishers as the exposure they offer is valued. To an extent this is also now happening to some of the bigger book bloggers. Most bloggers, however, are writing without the rewards of limited edition snazzy proofs, promotional days out or invites to exclusive parties. Their reviews may be shared on social media but not with the excitement a publisher displays when a book they are promoting appears in the mainstream media. I think this makes bloggers less partisan, less prone to being swayed to favour a book because they have got to know those who produced it. This distance is of value to an ordinary reader who simply wants to find their next good read.
I am aware that my particular interest in the small presses has led to me meeting many of those involved in creating their books. They don’t court me – they have no marketing budget for that – but they know who I am.
Fewer people are reading the mainstream media so bloggers impact is increasing as their reviews appear in Google searches. Some are easily as well written as those in the press.

If you could go anywhere in time for one day, where would you go and why?
I am content with where I am and consider myself fortunate to feel this way. I wonder if others’ desire to exist in a different time is a mis-remembered nostalgia, something that has fed into our current political problems. I am grateful for modern medicine, for greater tolerance of difference and equality for women. There is still a way to go, but England now is so much easier for me to live in than the Belfast where I grew up.

Your favourite prose authors?
Margaret Atwood. Also John Boyne, Hilary Mantel, Sebastian Faulks, Joanne Harris, Marcus Sedgwick. There are plenty of other authors whose individual books I could select, but those listed have written titles I have consistently enjoyed.

Your favourite feature films?
Ishiguro’s The Remains of the DayPeter’s Friends, the Wallace and Gromit films, Paddington.

pinkfloyd dark side of the moon bookblast diaryFive favourite bands?
I don’t listen to much music, usually preferring silence. Bands I select for background at family events would include some early Muse or Athlete, the Maccabees, Stereophonics. For myself I would occasionally play Pink Floyd, especially on vinyl, or Chopin’s piano concertos.

Your chief characteristic?
Awkwardness. I still cringe at the thought of things I said or did at social events years ago, which I doubt anyone else even remembers. I have to force myself to go out into company from time to time.
Beyond that you would have to ask someone who has met me. We see ourselves from the inside out so it can be hard to judge.
My daughter says that my chief characteristic is organisation and that I am a planner who likes everything to follow a routine and know what’s happening in advance. This can result in an element of awkwardness at social events.

Your bedside reading?
I don’t read in bed. I rarely read in the evening. I am a fairly early riser and like to write first thing in the morning before settling down with a book.

Your motto?
Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Interview with Adrian Magson, author of Rocco and the Nightingale

Today I am delighted to welcome Adrian Magson, author of Rocco and the Nightingale, to my blog (you may read my review of the book by clicking here). This book is the fifth in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series but the first that I have read. Adrian has provided some excellent answers to the questions I sent him. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

1. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself and your background?

I’m a full-time writer of crime and spy thrillers, the ‘Beginners’ columnist in Writing Magazine, an occasional reviewer for SHOTS Magazine, have written hundreds of short stories and features for women’s magazines, invented a knock-down post for use on motorways, am a black belt and former taekwondo instructor – and most importantly, I’m married to Ann and live in Gloucestershire.

2. Can you tell us about Rocco and the Nightingale?

Lucas Rocco is a French detective posted from Paris (Clichy) to the tiny village of Poissons-les-Marais in rural Picardie in northern France (‘Death on the Marais’) as part of a government initiative to spread investigative resources to the provinces. His previous work means he’s accumulated some enemies, and in particular has been blamed (wrongly) for the death of an Algerian gang leader, Samir Farek (‘Death on the Rive Nord’). Now Farek’s brother, Lakhdar, has vowed to get even, and has hired an international assassin called the Nightingale to bring Rocco down.

Rocco’s big problem is that nobody knows the faceless assassin’s real identity. When it becomes apparent that there have already been two unexplained murders nearby, one of another policeman disliked by Farek, and one a minor Paris street criminal turned informer, Rocco realises he’s running out of time.

In the meantime, Rocco has to carry on his job, as it’s business as usual and crimes in Picardie, as elsewhere, wait for no-one. And there’s his elderly neighbour, Mme Denis, and the fruit rats in his attic to keep happy…

3. What inspired the book? 

Quite simply I wanted to try something else.** After writing five London-based crime novels (the Riley Gavin/Frank Palmer series) and the first of the Harry Tate spy thrillers (‘Red Station’), I wondered whether I could use my childhood experience of living in France and write a detective story set in the area where I lived (Picardie). It was a punt, pure and simple, just to see if it would work. It did and turned into four books and a novella. I’d been wanting to write a fifth for a couple of years, but wasn’t able to, and had got involved with other projects. But now it’s happened, and ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ , thanks to David Headley and Rebecca Lloyd of The Dome Press, finally got to see the light of day, and I’m delighted with what they’d done with it.

** All writing is like that, to me, anyway; a try-out to see if I can do it. Sometimes it doesn’t work, other times it does. I like the does times best.

4. When writing, are you an architect who researches and plans everything in advance or a gardener who plants an idea and allows it to develop organically?

Well, ‘Rocco and the Nightingale’ is my 22nd published book and I’ve tried the planning route before, but always seem to go off-piste shortly after the opening chapter. I therefore wouldn’t meet the title of architect; but I’m not really a gardener, which requires a fair modicum of planning and forethought. What I tend to do is find a small nugget of something which seems worth looking at, then write a scene which occurs to me to see where it goes. (Yes, it’s that unstructured). That scene can be anywhere in the potential story-line, front middle or end, and will be in a long line of other scenes which I’ll set about stitching together to make sense. I suppose if I am a gardener, I’m the kind who tosses a seed in the air and wanders back later to see if anything has happened.

5. What is your favourite part of being a writer?

Publication is always top of the tree, but finding the story coming together and gathering pace is part of the ongoing buzz. I like the editing process, too, because that’s when you add polish and correct all those niggling typos, as well as spotting (hopefully) any bloopers.

Hearing from readers is a huge plus (especially the ones who like the books), because that’s when you find out which characters they enjoy – an important point when writing a series.

6. And your least favourite?

The gap between projects. If I’ve just finished one book, I often find I’m not ready to slough off all the research, writing and editing and launch immediately into another. That’s when I get restless and start kicking the furniture and wondering if that’s my lot. It doesn’t usually last longer than a couple of weeks, but during that time I write shorter pieces, reviews or catch up on my reading (and polishing the furniture).

7. Do you enjoy using social media?

Not so much. It’s a distraction when I’m writing and I’ve simply got a short attention span. I also dislike the negative side of it from those people who seem to enjoy insulting others just because they can. I do enjoy the humour, though, which can be shocking, subversive and occasionally give you a coffee-through- the-nose moment. I came off SM last year for several months for a break, and it was a great relief.

8. How actively do you seek out reviews of your books?

If you mean Amazon, I don’t. It’s lovely to see the ones which pop up elsewhere, especially from readers who write in (and with whom you can communicate), but being given a 1-star on Amazon because of the price of the book, for example, is less welcome. I also don’t ask people to review my books, because it feels pushy.

9. What do you choose to do when you wish to treat yourself?

It might sound boring, but I’m not much of a self-treater. (That doesn’t mean I mind anyone else treating me instead!) I do enjoy going to the afternoon pictures with Ann, though, because that means I’m beyond reach or distraction for a couple of hours, I can pig out on sweets if I feel like it and it reminds me of when I used to go to the flicks when I was younger.

10. What books have you read and enjoyed recently?

I most recently enjoyed ‘Bloody Reckoning’ by Rafe McGregor, ‘The Accidental Detective’ by Michael RN Jones, ‘The Liar’ by Steve Cavanagh (audio) and am currently listening to ‘Smoke and Whispers’ by Mick Herron.

11. Who would you like to sit down to dinner with, real or from fiction?

My parents. They’re long gone, but there are lots of things I wish I’d asked them when they were here. They were also great company and enjoyed a laugh.

12. What question has no interviewer asked that you wish they would?

‘So, Adrian, how excited are you at the impending release date of the new Quentin Tarantino blockbuster film based on your novel (insert title here)?’

AM

This post is the final stop on the Rocco and the Nightingale Blog Tour. Do check out the other blogs taking part, detailed below.

Rocco and the Nightingale is published by The Dome Press and is available to buy now.

Q&A with Obliterati Press

Today I am delighted to welcome to my blog Nathan O’Hagan and Wayne Leeming from new independent publisher, Obliterati Press. Obliterati state on their website that they are ‘a publisher for writers set up by writers keen to use the experience they have gained to unveil great new voices.’ Please read on to find out more.

   

1. Why did you decide to set up Obliterati?

Nathan: It all started almost as a joke. We were in Leeds doing a panel with Armley Press at the Big Bookend Literary Festival, and a few of us went for a curry the night before. Wayne and myself got chatting and it came up that starting a press was something we had both thought about. Wayne said we should think about it. I laughed it off initially, but Wayne kept the idea alive, and eventually, after we’d talked seriously about it for a while, I realised it was something I’d really regret not doing.

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

Nathan: The kind of books we want to publish will have a certain edge to them. I know ‘edgy’ is a bit of a vague term, but it’s one we keep coming back to. We want distinctive voices, hopefully from as diverse a group of authors as possible.

Wayne: We tend to share a liking of material that is gritty. Material that explores the darker, rougher elements of human nature. Material that portrays life as lived by those who struggle in some way. If someone sent a manuscript chronicling the trials and tribulations of pre-war aristocracy, I’m not likely to be interested.

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?

Nathan: When we were talking about setting up, an idea that was struck on very early was that, rather than opening for submissions, I would approach a couple of very talented but unpublished writers to see if they’d let us read their novels. The first two I thought of were Richard Rippon and Dave Olner, and both of them were up for the idea of being there at the start of a new press, and were willing to take a chance with us. Since then we’ve been approached by a few other writers in our extended network, and we’re hoping they’ll all have something for us to look at soon. Sometime late this year or early next, we’ll be opening for a short submissions window, and will do that at regular, short intervals thereafter.

4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?

Nathan: I knew it would be challenging. It’s hard even for some big presses to get media coverage, so for a brand new indie press starting out, it’s always going to be an uphill struggle. I’ve had to be quite persistent, but I’ve found many book bloggers to be incredibly supportive and helpful, and they’re all very supportive of each other. Most of them don’t get paid for it and do it in their spare time, so it’s great that so many are willing to help out a new press like ours.

Wayne: This is one of the things I’d say Nathan excels at. Promoting work is hard, and I learned that from my efforts self-publishing. But we’ve had a few good ideas between us that we think are unique to us, and we’ll continue to expand on that so our writers know we really care about getting their work some attention.

5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

Nathan: I like to think we have our own identity, but we certainly have a lot in common with other small publishers, in that we want to find good writers who don’t yet have the audience they deserve.

Wayne: Ultimately, we have a goal that is shared with other independent publishers, so I don’t see it as some sort of competition. Independent publishers should support each other as we all have the intention of bringing good writers some attention; the kind of writers who’ve been ignored by bigger publishers despite being talented. However, as Nathan says, we do have our own identity and it’s only right that we do.

6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

Wayne: I believe there’s a place in the market for both. But for my own part, I won’t disregard a manuscript simply because it doesn’t fit into a current trend. Trends change, and part of our ethos is to consider work by writers potentially deemed risky by other publishers. Work that fits within a trend is fine, too, as long as we think it’s good.

Nathan: I think ‘originality’ is also an overrated virtue. Something can be wholly original but poorly written. There’s not much new under the sun, and the quality of writing is what counts.

7. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

Nathan: That remains to be seen! Richard Rippon’s ‘Lord Of The Dead’ will be our first release in November, and I’m very interested to see what readers go for. I’ve got a feeling it’ll be more kindle, as a lot of crime fiction fans seem to like that format, whereas I think Dave Olner’s ‘The Baggage Carousel’ will be more hard copy, but that’s just an instinct, I’m really looking forward to see what people prefer.

Wayne: My own feelings on this are that readers will buy whatever makes them happy. It’s not easy to second-guess what they want so why try it? All the arguments about the experience of reading an eBook versus physical book seem pointless to me; when push comes to shove, it is the existence and availability of the book itself that matters more. How readers choose to consume those words is a matter for them.

8. Do you consider Obliterati to be niche or mainstream?

Nathan: I suppose more niche, but ‘Lord Of The Dead’ has huge commercial potential. We want the kind of books that most mainstream publishers wouldn’t publish, regardless of how good it is, but we’d love to cross over.

9. Collaborative or dictatorial?

Nathan: Definitely collaborative. We have pretty clear ideas what we’re after, and I think we’d always have the final say, but any decision we make, we want it to be in consultation with the authors. They’ve got to be happy with what you’re doing

Wayne: Collaborative, yes, but with some necessary dictatorial elements. We want our authors to enjoy the process and feel that they’re getting their ideas across, but we too have certain clear ideas that we’d like to adhere to, so someone has to take charge somewhere. And that’s us. We want authors to have some input, but it has to be controlled and contained.

10. Plans for the future?

Nathan: ‘Lord Of The Dead’ is out soon, and we can’t wait for it to be out there, then we’ve got ‘The Baggage Carousel’ out around February or March next year.

Wayne: Although we haven’t opened submissions yet, we’re liaising with some good writers who want us to look at their work. I’m excited about that, as I know from experience that they’re good writers. After that, I’m just keen to open the floodgates and see what we get in our inbox.

 

Thank you Nathan and Wayne for taking the time to answer my questions. To find out more about this small press, including details of their books, visit their website by clicking here: Obliterati Press

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Obliterati Press (@ObliteratiPress)

Over the next few weeks I will be reading their inaugural title, Lord of the Dead. Do look out for my review.

Lord of the Dead will be published on 3rd November 2017

Q&A with Tangerine Press

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Today I am delighted to welcome Michael from Tangerine Press to my blog. Tangerine is a London based independent publisher and bookbinder. They publish innovative, often maverick, titles in both trade paperback and hand bound limited edition formats. Please read on to find out more about a press that produces books as objects of beauty, as well as being excellent reads.

1. Why did you decide to set up Tangerine?

For the full story, we could go way back to 1996 when I ran a book mail order company called Tangerine Books, out of a little office in Battersea, south London. It was on an industrial estate, very cheap and I ended up living there too. I had a second job all that time in Elephant & Castle, spinning financial plates in other words. TB didn’t work out so in the summer of ’98 I threw the pc and hundreds of unread catalogues into a skip and entered the construction industry. But the literary itch was still there. Tangerine Press was founded in 2006. The initial impetus was a desire to publish new, neglected and innovative writing by authors I was interested in and felt weren’t getting the exposure they deserved. But I didn’t want Tangerine to be just another independent press, in the sense that it would churn out paperbacks or ebooks. I was a self-employed carpenter for 16 years immediately prior to going full-time with the press in 2013, so I was used to making things from scratch. Likewise, I was an avid reader, a consumer of books. One day I thought: why not combine these two passions, actually bind the books myself and present the work in the best way possible?

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

I want to publish books that have a boldness and originality of style. By that I mean the quite often heavily autobiographical, maverick element to much of the writing. That ranges from Tangerine’s most recent release The Glue Ponys by author/painter Chris Wilson, a short story collection about homelessness, addiction and prison, through to reissues of modern ‘lost classics’ like A Cage of Shadows by Archie Hill, to be published next year. I have been very fortunate in that sense. Just look at the press’s list: William Wantling, James Kelman, Billy Childish, Akiko Yosano, Iain Sinclair, many others and more to come.

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors? 

It’s all down to constant research. Hardly any signings come from unsolicited manuscripts or through agents. In other words, it entails reading, reading, reading. Listening, too: specifically to people who’s opinions I value. See what stirs them up. They are not necessarily other publishers or writers; a lot of the time they are friends from my days in the building game. On occasion, a regular collector of Tangerine publications will suggest something and I will investigate. Then it’s a case of approaching the author (or the estate if they are no longer with us), explaining how Tangerine works and, if they are happy with that, we formalise everything.

4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?

Marketing is a lumbering, cruel giant which all publishers are trying to tame. Some days you can throw down a rotting carcass and it will embarrass you by gobbling it up. Other times you saunter along with a silver salver, present a prime cut with all the trimmings and it will turn up its nose.

5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

I agree: the indie publishing scene is extremely vibrant at the present time and doing wonderful things with gifted writers, catering to most tastes as far as I can see. Tangerine is a little different to the others in that I am a bookbinder too and therefore put out hardcover, signed limited editions in tandem with more readily available trade paperbacks. Along with all the other unusual chapbooks, prints, artwork, broadsides, random gifts that the press produces, Tangerine has found a corner it can fight for.

6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

This is a hard one to answer. The bottom line is a book has got to be something people want, something they feel they will be missing out on if they don’t buy it. That is especially true for an indie press, who has to determine its target audience – its identity in other words. With Tangerine I focus on what could be described as maverick or counterculture writing. No major poetry publisher would even consider putting out a collection by William Wantling, for example, despite his work being on a par and often superior to that of Charles Bukowski, the most widely read poet in the world (so we’re told). My initial thought, therefore, is to say ‘totally original’ but there can be a slight blurring of the lines. Latest trends can become original with time, is what I mean. As long as the work has integrity and written with passion and conviction, and backed up by a publisher who believes in what they are presenting to the reading public, you can sell a book to your target audience no question.

7. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

It’s always hard copies with Tangerine. But I do want to say something else here. There is an assumption that because I am a bookbinder as well as a publisher that I am anti ebooks. Absolutely not true. It’s all about co-existence. What is best for the individual. You can read a great poem on a piece of toilet paper or from a handbound book and the words will have the same impact. But I believe a physical book makes for a much more rewarding experience. The idea that not just the writer but also the binder/publisher has put thought and care into the production of the book is a powerful feeling and deep rooted in our psyche. The truth is, I find ebooks incredibly dull and uninteresting as a format. They are paper oriented, you still have to ‘turn’ the page. The device itself is book shaped, weighs the same as most books and you still have to carry it about in a bag. And the battery will run out and need to be charged, you cannot share it with your friends when you have finished and, the final insult, it’s not even yours to own in the first place. An inferior book in other words. When an innovative platform comes along and takes things to a new level, then I will become interested. But only as a supplement to physical books.

8. Do you consider Tangerine to be niche or mainstream?

I would prefer to say Tangerine is underground but occasionally goes overground.

9. Collaborative or dictatorial?

Collaborative every time, but with firm opinions given. There’s a flexing of muscles at the start of a project, when writer and publisher jostle for position, stake out their territory, their limits, their character. Once that is over, we get to the part I particularly enjoy, when you begin to shape the book into a publishable form. Incredibly rewarding. Editing and going through the manuscript for James Kelman’s A Lean Third story collection was especially satisfying. He is my favourite living writer and a man I have admired greatly for many years. His passion and commitment to his art. He doesn’t take any crap either, you know exactly where you stand with him. I guess I could be seen to be dictatorial when it comes to design and materials for the book itself, but I always check with writers with this side of things, and am always listening. A good example of this is a recent discussion about artwork for Iain Sinclair’s new book My Favourite London Devils. Dave McKean has been commissioned to produce original illustrations for this, which is all very exciting. But ultimately Tangerine has a certain aesthetic, a continuity of style so anyone who gets involved with the press should be well aware of that. I occasionally collaborate with other like-minded folks, for example with the remarkable ‘Poems-for-All’ series and L-13 Light Industrial Workshop.

10. Plans for the future?

To keep putting out great writing in the best way I can. I would like to be in a position where I can publish at least six main titles a year. By that I mean, books I can bind limited edition of and release them in tandem with readily available paperbacks. At the moment I put out many unusual chapbooks, prints, new year greetings, etc. I really want to be able to continue that too, it helps make Tangerine even more unique.

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Thank you Michael for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this small press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Tangerine Press: bookbinding, limited edition

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter:Tangerine Press (@TangerinePress)

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If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers

Q&A with Three Hares Publishing

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Today I am delighted to welcome Yasmin from Three Hares Publishing to my blog. I discovered this publishing house through one of their authors, Sarah Vincent, whose book, The Testament of Vida Tremayne, I plan to review later this week.

The Three Hares website contains a mood bar to assist potential readers:

“The mood bar came from the inspiration that choosing a book is often down to how you feel and not think, books are a direct connection to how we feel.”

Let us find out more about a small press which aims to offer the book each reader will enjoy on that day.

1. Why did you decide to set up Three Hares?

Three Hares Publishing launched with 6 titles in May 2014. Three Hares was a concept I had been considering for a long time, having been a literary agent for 12 years and seeing how the industry was changing. I wanted Three Hares to have an ethos which embraced ebook technology and based the emphasis on choosing books back into the hands of the reader.

Three Hares website has a mood bar, this enables readers to choose books according to how they are feeling. Feelings are very much an integral part of reading. One can re-read the same book over and over, yet, feel differently each time, this makes reading the work subjective and it all depends on how the reader is feeling at the time.

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

I love publishing books which are thought provoking in some way, whether they make you laugh, cry, shudder or evoke some emotion, this means you have really connected with the characters and you cannot put the book down! Characters with strong distinctive voices are vital, this means the reader is hearing the characters voice and not the voice of the author, this makes a huge distinction and it comes across instantly. Beautifully crafted stories will always have an immediate impact, as will stories touching on universal themes such as love, I am particularly interested in stories with a moral basis, such as One Thousand and One Nights, any story with a twist or moral will have me hooked immediately.

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?

I receive submissions from new authors and some authors who are already published. Submissions are an integral part of discovering new voices. I am still very clingy about my submissions, discovering a new author is an incredible buzz. The anticipation of hearing their voice on the phone and meeting them in person and looking for their characters in them and being able to wax lyrical about their novel is a joy.

In February 2016, Three Hares acquired The Choice by Valerie Mendes. This is a philosophical and moving historical saga set in 1930’s Oxford. It very lightly touches on the abdication of Edward VII. The Choice has one of the most wonderful protagonists in Eleanor. Valerie, has woven a stunning spell through the novel.

4. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

I do consider Three Hares to be very different from other independent publishers, primarily due to the way it operates and because I never ever view it as an independent publisher, it is Three Hares and there is no limitation on it remaining an independent publisher. It’s all about the stories and not the status of Three Hares.

5. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

Three Hares has been fortunate enough to publish original titles and this has enabled it to grow organically. In response to your question, totally original please, I don’t believe in following trends, I am lucky enough to be able to publish books I truly believe in and absolutely love, trends don’t allow you to express yourself in that way. If I followed trends, I would be publishing books which I don’t necessarily believe in.

6. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

Both please! There is a huge market for ebooks and hard copies, both should be able to reside in harmony, I take a very mindful approach to this issue.

7. Do you consider Three Hares to be niche or mainstream?

I consider Three Hares to be very much mainstream, it’s all about publishing great stories and they are not niche stories, I love huge all encompassing universal themes. There are publishers who specialise in niche titles, because it is their area of expertise.

8. Collaborative or dictatorial?

Collaborative every time, even the way Three Hares is structured is collaborative, this was always the intention. Teamwork is so much more conducive to creativity.

9. Plans for the future?

Plans for the future involve looking into more global distribution networks. UK and Ireland logistics are in place. I will also be publishing a further 4 titles this year and have plans for many more next year. Onwards and upwards, without a backward glance!

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Thank you Yasmin for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this small press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Three Hares Publishing | Original, hand-picked books

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Threeharesbooks (@threeharesbooks)

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If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers

 

Q&A with Bluemoose Books

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Today I am delighted to welcome Kevin from Bluemoose Books to my blog. I discovered this publishing house last month when they kindly sent me a review copy of If You Look For Me, I Am Not Here, a stunning novel that you should all go and read now.

Without further ado, let us find out more about a small press which aims to engage, inspire and excite.

1. Why did you decide to set up Bluemoose?

I won a national writing competition and was whisked down to London by a Sunday newspaper to be wined and dined at The Ivy with the editorial director of Macmillan and an agent from Curtis Brown. It didn’t go well. A year later I read that all the big money advances were going to Irish writers so I changed my name to Colm O’Driscoll and sent the first three chapters off to Darley Anderson, Lee Child and Martina Cole’s agent. He tried to get hold of me by phone but of course I didn’t exist, so he wrote a letter. I contacted him but I had to be Irish for a year. I even had to tell my lads that if a posh man from London rings and asks for Colm, that’s me. The things you’ll do to get published.

He loved my book and so I signed up to Darley Anderson but at the time they couldn’t sell Anthills & Stars. Apparently nobody was buying comedic fiction. After 12 months I got the book back and moped and moped. Hetha, my wife, told me to do something about it, so we re-mortgaged the house, started Bluemoose Books, published my novel and a book by a Canadian writer, Nathan Vanek, called The Bridge Between. We made enough money from these two books to continue and here we are, 10 years later still publishing.

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

Our aim is to publish cracking stories, period. Books that engage, inspire and are beautifully written.

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?

Writers send their work to us, they read our published books and get in touch, hear our authors at festivals, library events, through book reviews in the national and regional press.

Some even ring up on Boxing Day.

4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?

I’ve spent over 25 years in sales and marketing for fiction, non-fiction, academic and business publishers, so nothing is really that new, although the marketing of ‘brand names’ is quite frightening these days.

5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

There are some brilliant independents out there and we are all different. What, I think, makes Bluemoose successful is the brilliant editors we have, who all have different reading tastes and different life experiences, so when we get together and decide to publish a book, we know that there is something unique in that story and the writing that will attract readers.

6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

As a publisher I think you must never follow trends. That way lies madness. In my opinion you cannot predict what will sell, you may replicate what has sold and hope to sell but as an independent originality and authenticity are the two key things you look for in a new writer.

7. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

We find increasingly that people want paper books for sharing. However, we do sell a lot of digital books too. Our analysis tells us that people on holiday or business trips will buy digital for convenience but when they come home and want to share their reading experience they buy the paperback and share. Reading is solitary but can become communal and an online community experience too.

8. Do you consider Bluemoose to be niche or mainstream?

We are stridently independent and if we ever become mainstream and just publish to keep the accountant happy, take me away in a box.

9. Collaborative or dictatorial?

Collaborative but the final editorial decisions are always with the publisher/editor.

10. Plans for the future?

We have 6 brilliant books in the pipeline for this year, and several for 2017 and 2018.

Highlights in the first 6 months of this year being:

  • If you look for me, I am not here by Sarayu Srivatsa, just published;
  • Tainted Love, the second novel by Anna Chilvers, in May;
  • The Less than Perfect Legend of Donna Creosote, a debut in July from Dan Micklethwaite.

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Thank you Kevin for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this small press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Bluemoose Books.

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Bluemoose Books (@Ofmooseandmen)

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If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers

 

Q&A with Liberties Press

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Today I welcome Seán from Liberties Press, Ireland’s leading independent publisher, to my blog. Founded in 2003, they publish non-fiction, fiction and poetry. I am delighted that they have agreed to take part in this series.

Liberties appeared on my radar when they published Jan Carson’s debut novel ‘Malcolm Orange Disappears’. I hope to review Jan’s next book, a short story collection titled ‘Children’s Children’, in the coming weeks. You may check out my thoughts on another of Liberties’ titles, ‘Citizens’ by Kevin Curran, by clicking here.

Without further ado let us find out more about a publisher who believes that,

“important as it is for a publisher to produce an attractive book, to the highest editorial, print and design standards, it is equally necessary to make sure that that book reaches as many potential readers as possible, in whatever format they like to read, and wherever they are in the world.”

1. Why did you decide to set up Liberties Press?

To publish the best writing, both fiction and non-fiction, from Ireland.

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

We started with political biographies (Garret FitzGerald and President Michael D. Higgins) and practical guides, then moved into debut and emerging fiction (Declan Burke, Caitriona Lally, Frankie Gaffney and Kevin Curran).

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?

We receive hundreds of submissions every year – all of which are assessed and responded to – and work with all the leading literary agents in Dublin and London.

4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?

They say that a book hasn’t been published until someone’s read it: producing a wonderful book is only half the battle. It’s a great thrill to see people buying – and reading – a book you’ve worked hard on. As with everything else, the more effort you put into marketing, the greater the rewards. We’ve also tried to be innovative in terms of who we sell to: we’ve worked with many of Ireland’s leading companies and state agencies.

5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

We’re no longer the new kids on the block, and are delighted to see a new crop of publishers coming through. (This didn’t happen during the recession, when several publishers closed their doors for good.) Despite what some people think, bookshops, book publishers and book printers have a bright future. I hope the quality of the design, promotion and editing of our books speaks for itself, but we don’t rest on our laurels. We’ve run popup bookshops, and have a direct link with customers through Liberties Upstairs.

6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

We try to do both. Our fiction is cutting-edge, I hope, but in non-fiction, the tried-and-tested subjects have plenty of life left in them, whether it’s the 1916 Rising or the Euro 2016 football championships.

7. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

E-books have rarely made up more than 5 percent of our sales. I believe they will go the way of audio books: a niche market. People like to unwind with a book – and keep it afterwards – and that means hard copy. The people pushing e-books were the ones selling the devices. E-book-only publishers haven’t fared as well as they had anticipated.

8. Do you consider Liberties Press niche or mainstream?

Mainstream but maverick: we want to sell books to everyone, but hope you’ll be challenged by what you read.

9. Collaborative or dictatorial?

Publishing is a collaborative process – which is something authors would do well to remember. If you want the best from everyone, be professional and pleasant. No prima donnas! As for my personal style, you’d have to ask my colleagues!

10. Plans for the future?

We’re proud to describe ourselves as Ireland’s leading independent publisher, and are seeing significant growth in the UK and US markets. The first ten years of a business are about survival; over the next ten, we’re focusing on growth. The growth of Liberties Press in the coming years will be driven by returning emigrants, bringing their skills – and interests – back to Ireland.
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Thank you Seán for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Liberties Press

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Liberties Press (@LibertiesPress)

Children's Children Front for Web    Citizens For Web

If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers

Q&A with Gallic Books and Aardvark Bureau

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Today I am delighted to welcome Jimena from Gallic Books / Aardvark Bureau to my blog. I discovered this small press last month when they kindly sent me a review copy of The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt. This turned out to be just the sort of book that I love to read and I will be reviewing another title from their list, The Children’s Home by Charles Lambert, in the coming weeks.

Without further ado, let us find out more about a small press which aims to excite, inspire and entertain.

1. Why did you decide to set up Gallic and then Aardvark?

Jane Aitken and Pilar Webb set up Gallic in 2006, to fill what they saw as a gap – although most UK authors were translated into French, very few French authors made it into English. As a result, many wonderful French novels were not available to a UK readership.

Now that Gallic is well established, with a catalogue of more than 60 books in the UK, we thought it was the right time to expand beyond French. Compared to 2006, many publishers large and small now publish French fiction in translation. French literature is less in need of our support, although it will always be a focal point for us.

So we asked Scott Pack, with whom we had worked in the past, to curate a small list of fiction from around the world. And that is how the Aardvark Bureau was born in 2015. Our catalogue so far ranges from a Japanese forgotten classic, to the best of Australian and New Zealand contemporary literature, plus British authors worth discovering. And this is only the start.

2. What sort of books do you want to publish?

Gallic and Aardvark aim to publish books that engage with subjects or settings not found in other novels. Many of the Gallic titles explore French history. Our ‘noir’ author Pascal Garnier delighted in depicting France at its bleakest – not glamorous, it’s the France of anonymous villages and sullen small towns with bad restaurants, tacky hotels, cheapo carnivals. Jean Teulé’s books explore the nineteenth-century Breton poisoner Hélène Jégado and the mob murder at Hautefaye in 1870. We also look for intriguing characters like Muriel Barbery’s concierge in The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

At Aardvark Bureau we are looking for wonderful writing with a strong sense of place. But most importantly, we publish books that we love.

3. How do you go about finding and signing authors?

To launch Gallic, we immersed ourselves in the French market and read as much as we could. We were looking for books that French readers love, but that would also resonate with English-speaking readers. But now we tend to rely on our contacts among French publishers – they know what we like and are good at selecting from their lists for us.

Scott found the original Aardvark titles in a variety of ways. He found The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, for example, by listening to Radio New Zealand in the middle of the night! I think that led to other Australian and New Zealand titles – we now have four Antipodean authors.

4. Is your experience of marketing what you expected when you started out?

The publishing industry has changed a lot since we started in 2006. The main change has been the rapid development of the digital book. And, more recently, the role that social media and book bloggers play in spreading the word about books. Authors and publishers now have an open channel of communication with readers through social media; Facebook, Goodreads,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all effective tools for marketing a book. It is a big change, but one worth celebrating.

And it means that you can have an effective marketing campaign without using costly Tube posters or expensive advertising. In our early years we did spend money on these things and we don’t miss that!

5. There are a good number of small, independent publishers out there publishing some great works. Do you consider yourself different and, if so, how?

Gallic is part of the family of publishers of translated literature. With them we share the challenges and excitement of bringing unknown authors to the English-speaking audience. But we are different because we also have a bookshop, Belgravia Books.

We stock a curated selection of fiction, history, biography, children’s and cookery to suit our local market, but also to reflect our support for other independent publishers publishing translated fiction.

6. Latest trend or totally original – what sells?

Good stories always sell, and as publishers we must use the best tools we have to reach audiences. A very important element is knowing who your readers are, and what they like. If you have this knowledge, you are very likely to have loyal people who will be looking forward to your upcoming publications.

We don’t tend to go with the latest trend, preferring to try to choose books that take our readers into worlds they haven’t been to before.

Our bestselling title, Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, of which we have sold nearly 400,000 copies, would definitely count as original, rather than as part of a trend.

7. Ebook or hard copy – what do your buyers want?

Buyers want to have the option, so all our titles are available in print and eBook. Our eBook sales are usually 25% – 30% of our total sales. And we find that books that are popular in print are also popular in e-format. We haven’t yet had a book where we’ve had digital success that has not been reflected in our print sales.

8. Do you consider yourself niche or mainstream?

Gallic is indeed a bit niche in terms of its strategy, as we only publish French literature in translation. However, we aim to appeal not only to Francophiles but to all lovers of good books. We believe readers are up for discovering something new.

Aardvark Bureau gives us the freedom to look for wonderful writing worldwide. At the moment we are focusing on great books written in English but not published in the UK. These are very exciting times as there is so much out there worth publishing.

9. Collaborative or dictatorial?

We are a small company which means the team works very closely and the decision-making is quick, efficient and fun. So, definitely collaborative.

10. Plans for the future?

We will continue to bring the best of French writing to English language readers. This year is a very exciting one because in February, Gallic will publish its first graphic novel – a beautiful adaptation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way by artist Stéphane Heuet. We hope this book will give readers who have not yet savoured Proust the chance to enjoy this important classic in an accessible way. And we hope that lovers of Proust will enjoy the intricate visualisations of Combray and Paris.

Also, we are thrilled to be publishing the long-awaited new novel by Muriel Barbery, The Life of Elves. After the great global success of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, we cannot wait to share this new story with our readers in May. Plus, fans of the great Pascal Garnier will enjoy another of his fine noir novels with Too Close to the Edge.

On the Aardvark Bureau front, we have a strong year ahead introducing some wonderful Australian and New Zealand authors. We have Tracy Farr’s The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt (the story of octogenarian theremin virtuoso Dame Lena Gaunt), Fiona Kidman’s The Infinite Air (the fictionalised account of the life of New Zealand aviator Jean Batten) and Damien Wilkins’ Max Gate (the story of Thomas Hardy’s death told by his housemaid, Nellie). And we have a unique novel by British author Charles Lambert. The Children’s Home has been described as ‘a distorted fairy tale, raising unsettling questions that stay with the reader long after the final page.’

In general, the future for both Gallic and Aardvark Bureau is to continue to publish literature that is exciting and unique, and will give readers an unforgettable experience.

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Thank you Jimena for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about this small press, including details of their books, on their website by clicking here: Gallic Books – The best of French in English

Keep up to date with all of their news via Twitter: Gallic Books (@gallicbooks) and Aardvark Bureau (@AardvarkBureau)

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If you are an independent publisher and would like to be included in this series please check out my introductory post: Shout Out to Independent Publishers