Thursday, 29 September 2011

You're doing an aweinspiring occupation with this blog

I tend to agree with the old saying "you never hear good of yourself", meaning you shouldn't eavesdrop on conversations or - these days - google yourself.

However I persist in looking at the Internet to see what people are saying about me and my books. Sometimes I find lovely reviews. I was delighted to discover the "grumpier chronicle of me" post a few weeks ago.

This morning I found this site (screenshot below), where I had apparently added my voice to various enthusiastic endorsements for its services:

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

ITV Crime Thriller Awards 2011

Voting has begun for the People's Bestseller Dagger in the ITV Crime Thriller Awards.

There will be awards for the best actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, best TV, best international TV and best film alongside the CWA book awards, The Gold Dagger, Steel Dagger and New Blood Dagger. The prize-giving event will be broadcast on ITV3 on 11th October.

The six authors who have been nominated for the People's Bestseller Dagger are David Baldacci, Mark Billingham, Lee Child, Peter James and Peter Robinson. You can vote for your favourite here until 9am on 7th October. Peter James has offered to buy fish and chips on Brighton Pier for any fans who show up to celebrate with him if he wins, but don't let that sway you...

There's also a competition to win a box set of DVDs (Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection, Poirot Collection 8, Lewis Series 5, A Touch of Frost Series 15, Marple Series 5, Vera Series 1, Cadfael Complete Collection, Cracker Complete Collection & Prime Suspect Complete Collection) by answering a simple question here.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Richard Trinder's Masterful Performance...

Delighted to see this brilliant review in the Telegraph today for my friend Richard Trinder who is currently playing Vince in Alan Ayckbourn's Way Upstream at the Salisbury Playhouse:

"Richard Trinder’s masterful performance as the interloping Vince - sporting an indecently tight pair of white shorts and generally rippling alpha-male assurance - challenges us to consider at what point we would mutiny against creeping authoritarianism."

Friday, 23 September 2011

Banned Books Giveaway: 24 September-1 October

I'm giving away one Amazon gift card worth $15 or £10
or book tokens worth £10 for use in any bookshop in the UK
or books to the value of $15/£10 from The Book Depository

The winner will be chosen at random after midnight on 1st October.

If you're reading this, you'll know that you and I are lucky enough to be able to read just about any book we would like to read. We can buy it online or from our local bookshop; borrow it from the library; or download it to an ereader, computer or smartphone. As you'll also know, others aren't so fortunate - their reading materials are censored or banned and, in some cases, writers are imprisoned for writing books that their governments disapprove of. You can read about the plight of writers in prison over at English PEN. I have written to some of them, and sent books to them, and you can do the same if you're interested: information about International PEN here.

Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read, organised by the American Library Association. It draws attention to drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. Here's a list of 100 banned books chosen by librarians in the UK. They will be in selected libraries across the UK from 24 September.

The Banned Books giveaway is now closed. Thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and I Read Banned Books for hosting it. Thanks to everyone who participated. I'm sorry if you didn't win but there I will be doing more giveaways so please check back or follow my Facebook page for details.

Alison Wonderland Launch Party

I had a fantastic launch party for ALISON WONDERLAND last night, with a fortune-teller, a close-up magician, lots of booze, pizza and cake.

Thanks to Julian James for providing one kind of magic and everyone who attended for providing the other kind. Thanks to fabulous-cakes for the fabulous cakes. Thanks to "Ada Camp" for the fortune-telling.

Thanks to Amazon Publishing for getting my book to no. 1 on the Kindle chart in America. We had a lot of fun last night, celebrating the book's amazing success.

There's a link to some photos here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Alison Wonderland - The Funniest (and Oddest) Book of the Summer

There's a great review for ALISON WONDERLAND over at For Books' Sake:
"Alison Wonderland is a magically weird book that transverses every genre going. At times, it’s the funniest book I read this summer, but mostly it’s the oddest."

Alison Wonderland was published on 16th August and has already hit the bestseller lists in the Kindle stores in the UK and the US.

Thanks to everyone who has read it - and thanks to Jess at For Books' Sake for reviewing it.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Thank you to everyone who came along to Paul Burston's literary salon, Polari, at the Royal Festival Hall last night, where I was reading with Maureen Duffy, North Morgan, Justin David, Jonathan Kemp and Mark Simpson. The five books on the shortlist for the Polari First Book Prize were also announced.

The event was held in the St Paul's Pavillion on the sixth floor of the RFH, with comfortable seats, flattering uplighting, top-notch a/v facilities (including an onsite technician), a well-stocked private bar, a book stall provided by Foyles, a landscaped roof terrace smoking area and views of the Thames across the National Theatre and as far as St Paul's to the east.

It was a real honour to be on the line-up for such a prestigious event at this beautiful venue. The audience at Polari is made up of a mix of regulars and newcomers who come along to hear from new and established writers - some of them award-winners, some of them debut novelists, some of them internationally-acclaimed writers visiting from abroad - and these audience members, and host Paul Burston, always ensure that readers at Polari are given a warm, friendly reception.

There's a lovely write-up of the event by Polari regular Jon here, with some very good photos.

Congratulations, too, to Paul for being shortlisted for 'Journalist of the Year' in the European Diversity Awards.

REVIEW: Carry Yourself Back to Me by Deborah Reed

 Carry Yourself Back to Me by Deborah ReedI reviewed Deborah Reed's Carry Yourself Back to Me for the Kindle Post yesterday. You can read the review here. It's a lyrical, beautifully-written novel and I recommend it highly.

Zia McCabe (of The Dandy Warhols) loved the book so much she wrote a song by the same title, inspired by Deborah's book. You can watch the video of Zia and her band Brush Prairie playing the song here.

Carry Yourself Back to Me is published today, 20th September. You can buy the book in paperback or as an ebook from Amazon or from your local bookshop. It's also available as an audio book.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Lovely Literary Events - Polari

Polari at the Royal Festival Hall ~ Monday 19th September

I'm delighted to be reading at Paul Burston's "peerless literary salon" at the Royal Festival Hall tonight. The line-up features Maureen Duffy, North Morgan, Justin David, Jonathan Kemp, Mark Simpson and me.

The Polari First Book Prize shortlist will also be announced. There's a write-up about it in the Guardian here and in Time Out here.

Literary events and salons are a brilliant way to discover new writers or new work. Paul Burston is a novelist and the editor of several anthologies of short stories, as well as an editor at Time Out London. The Independent on Sunday has called him "Gay London’s Jane Austen". Jonathan Harvey has called him "the nearest thing the UK has to Armistead Maupin". He is an efficient and entertaining host at Polari and a great supporter of other writers - as you can see from the photo on the right: he even took ALISON WONDERLAND on holiday with him so he could read it on the beach in Greece.

Listings for tonight's event in Time Out here and The Londonist here.

7.45 pm. £5 plus £1.75 booking fee

Saturday, 17 September 2011

She Writes Bloggers Ball

I belong to an online community of women writers called She Writes. Meg Clayton has organised a 'blog hop' this week. What is a blog hop? It's just a way of finding new blogs to visit.

If you found this blog via the blog hop, welcome! Please leave a comment to say hello so I can go back and visit your blog.

As for me, I'm a novelist and playwright. I live in London. I'm celebrating the publication of my book, ALISON WONDERLAND, which got to no. 1 in the US Kindle chart on Amazon shortly after it was published a couple of weeks ago.

Please take a look around. Why not start by watching a short video?

I'm also doing a "thank you for your review" giveaway. Please check that out, too.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Book Grocer

Today's Book Grocer column in The Londonist mentions two events where I'll be reading in London this week and next:

Thursday 15th September
The Literary Lounge at the Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden. I'll be reunited with the New Libertines, the first time we have read together in London since our sold-out event at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival.

8pm, £5 on the door.

Monday 19th September
Polari at the Royal Festival Hall. I'm delighted to be reading at this "peerless literary salon", hosted by Paul Burston. The line-up features Maureen Duffy, North Morgan, Justin David, Jonathan Kemp and Mark Simpson. The Polari First Book Prize shortlist will also be announced.

7.45 pm. £5 plus £1.75 booking fee

You can follow the Book Grocer on Twitter for news of the day's best literary events.

If you'd like to know more about where I'll be reading, please look at the events page here.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Literature Lounge at the Poetry Cafe

I'll be reading at the Literature Lounge at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden on Thursday 15th September with the New Libertines, the first time we have read together in London since our sell-out show at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival in June.

The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £5 on the door.

For details of other events I'm involved in, please take a look here.

For an interview about my writing in the Poetry Tree, published today, please look here.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A grumpier chronicle of me

I found a site that has for some reason translated the Amazon page for ALISON WONDERLAND into a foreign language and then translated it back into English. The result is very entertaining and includes the following gems:
After her spouse leaves her for other woman, twentysomething Londoner Alison Temple impulsively relates for a work at the really P.I. definite she hired to entice her philandering ex. She hopes it will be the change of stage she so desperately needs to pierce on with her cracked life.

Her interaction with them all turn caught when she joins Taron for a thoroughfare outing to the strand and stumbles in to a mischance of epic proportions!
The page includes a Q&A about the book and my writing in which I attempt to sound earnest, modest, witty and wise:
Question: The intelligent pretension of your book is a send anxiety to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. How has that book and its genre of smart, well read “nonsense” shabby your writing?

Helen Smith: we precious Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland when we was a child. we desired the intelligent wordplay, the unreasonable situations, and the unusual characters–not all of them sympathetic. we have to inform Lewis Carroll fans that any send anxiety to his work in my book starts and ends with the joke in the title, but we have no skepticism that we have been shabby by all we have ever read, inclusive his books. we was fortunate that we read a supernatural amount when we was younger

Q: Alison Wonderland has been praised for its unique throw of characters. Are you quite lustful of any a character, and what was your motivation for him or her?

HS: we similar to all the characters, even the baddies, but Alison is the a I’m most lustful of. She likes to regard she has the portion of everybody else, but she doesn’t have ample perception about her own situation. She’s injured but funny–a grumpier chronicle of me.

Q: The thought of genetically changed food is a small intimidating and has been in the headlines a lot. What drew you to use that process as a backdrop is to plot?

HS: Most of my characters are on a assignment of a few kind. I’m tender by people who are drawn to a cause, so we was really meddlesome when we read about young people protesting about genetically …
It contains a few words of advice for anyone who might wish to write a novel, which I'm happy to stand by:
For any person who is considering about essay a book, getting more information is the most appropriate way to pick up how to do it.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Two new family members (one deceased)

I have heard back from my contact in Hong Kong, Mr M.H. of Hang Seng bank. He mentioned that he is 52 years old.

He also said that all I have to do, in order to get the funds to pay for the education of my new ward from West Africa, is claim to be next of kin to a very rich Iraqi businessman who died without heirs after he and his whole family were killed in a bomb blast. Mr M.H.'s attorney will fill out all the forms on my behalf so I can inherit the Iraqi's money if my claim is proved. So I stand to gain two new family members (though one is sadly deceased). Truly, the universe is blessing me this week.

I will need to write back to check how Mr Hussain made his money. If it's tainted in any way, e.g. by arms deals or whatnot, I won't be able to accept it. But I'm cautiously optimistic that this will turn out well. There is $24.5 million to be had, just for passing myself off as an Iraqi. What could possibly go wrong? When Mr M.H. has taken his 30% fee, that will leave US$16,333,334 or about £10 million for my ward's education in England.

I haven't yet heard back from my ward but then she is an orphan in Sierra Leone, perhaps still in danger from the business associates who poisoned her father to death, and Mr M.H. is a powerful and efficient businessman; a senior executive in a bank. It's hardly surprising that he has got back to me so quickly (though I confess I was slightly surprised that he had already contacted his attorney to get things moving along).

I often visit Hong Kong as I have friends who live there. If this turns out well, I hope I will be able to meet Mr M.H. and shake his hand and thank him in person.

How to Announce Terror Threats in the UK

I found this brilliant photo on Twitter from @BeauBodOr who has a site full of very clever, funny pictures. You can see the gallery here.

An Obscure Business Proposal

This morning I have written to the young woman who is seeking my help to come to this country to study:

Dear [redacted]

Thank you for your email. I was very sorry to read about the death of your mother and father - it seems your father died in particularly horrible circumstances.

I don't want a share of your fortune but I would like to help you in some way. It seems you would like to come to this country as my ward, to further your education. How old are you? What are you hoping to study?

Please let me know

Best wishes
Helen Smith
I don't know how much it would cost to bring this young woman to England and pay for her education. She may also need counselling to help her deal with the murder by poisoning of her father by his business associates and that won't be available on the National Health as she's not a citizen of this country and hasn't been making National Insurance contributions.

Like most novelists, I'm not wealthy. Fortunately yesterday I received an email that may offer a solution:

From: [redacted]

Good Day,

I am Mr. [redacted], Director of Operations of the [redacted] Bank Ltd.Hong
Kong.I have an obscured business proposal for you.

Contact me through this email if interested.Email: [redacted]

Kind Regards,
Mr. [redacted]

Sounds promising! I will write to him and see what he suggests.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Money Under the Mat Update

Since celloptaping a pound coin under the doormat at the entrance to my house, after reading on Facebook that author Karen McLeod's auntie had suggested it would "welcome the idea of money flowing into the house", I have had nothing but good fortune.

My book has been published and hit the top spot on the Kindle chart in America, and I have been commissioned to write various plays, some of which have not been announced yet, though one project is the adaptation of a Muriel Spark novel for the London stage, which I'm very excited about.

The universe is practically flinging money at me. On Wednesday night, on the way home from Jazz Domino Holly's book launch - which was wonderful, and included craft-making stations, an all-women choir, women DJs, beer, champagne, the Shoreditch Sisters, sandwiches with the crusts cut off and home-made cake - I saw a £5 note blowing on the floor towards me as I got to the top of the escalator at Clapham Common tube. I picked it up and called out to the woman in front of me, "I think you dropped this? Is this yours?" I was so quick-thinking! That £5 was actually travelling quite fast and I caught it! The woman was unimpressed. She glared at me as if I had insulted her by trying to poke the point of my umbrella between the cleft of her arse-cheeks (which I hadn't, by the way). She took the money without saying anything. I still don't know if it was hers or not. Perhaps, after all, it had been meant for me?

Anyway, putting money under the mat has been so successful, and riches are flowing into my life so abundantly, that I'm now turning it round and giving it back. I wish the same for you. And if things aren't going as well as you'd hoped, why not cellotape a coin under your doormat? If nothing else, it's a good excuse for not hoovering too diligently in the hallway.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Writing: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I'm way behind with my Emily Castles mysteries. I have stories number two and three plotted, though I haven't finished writing them yet. I'm looking around for inspiration for number four. Fortunately I received this slightly eccentric email today:

From: [redacted]
Abidjan,Ivory Coast
West Africa

My Dear,

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you.

I got your contact and I prayed over it and selected your name among other names due to its esteeming nature and the recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person that I can confide on and by the this recommendation I must not hesitate to confide in you for this legal, truethful and Godly relationship .

I am [redacted] from Sierra Leone the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs [redacted]. My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant , my father was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outings on a business trip .

My mother died when I was a baby and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father in a private hospital here he secretly called me on his bed side and told me that he has the sum of Five million five hundred thousand United State Dollars. US($5.500,000), left in fixed / suspense account in one of the international bank in Africa,he used my name as his only daughter for the next of Kin in depositing of the fund.

My late father Instructed me to seek for a foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose such as real estate management or hotel management .

Sir, I am honourably seeking for your assistance in the following ways:

(1) To provide a bank account in which this money would be transferred to .

(2) To serve as my guardian and of this fund since I am not capable to handle it.

(3) To make arrangement for me to come over to your country to further my education.

Note: I am willing to offer you 15% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund to your nominated bank account. please make sure that you write me very fast, it is urgent.

Anticipating to hear from you soon.
Thanks and God bless.

Best regards,

Ooh! A cocoa merchant father poisoned to death on one of his outings on a business trip. A young woman - an orphan - who proposes coming to this country as my ward so she can further her education. A sum of $5,500,000 at stake.

Her spelling and punctuation are certainly in need of some attention, but she won't find the means to improve it over here as English composition lessons are all about the flow of the story. Never mind that.

"Please make sure that you write me very fast..." I will, I will. Story-wise, you're practically writing yourself, young lady. And, by the way, it's "Miss".

An Excited Fan Meets a Celebrity: PaperRats on Madonna

RJ Keller and Kristen Tsetsi's take on Madonna's reaction to being given a hydrangea by a fan. Very funny. I love the PaperRats and I interviewed Kel on the blog recently.

Alison Wonderland - Winner Chosen

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the Back to the Books Giveaway. The winner of a signed copy of Alison Wonderland has been chosen using and contacted via email. Congratulations to Darlene G.

Alison Wonderland was published on 16th August and has already hit the bestseller lists in the Kindle stores in the UK and the US.

Thanks to everyone who has bought and read the book - it has been amazing to see my lovely, quirky, cult literary novel at the top of the bestseller lists next to famous names like Stephen King and James Patterson, and even overtaking Kathryn Stockett's brilliant book, The Help, to take the top spot in the US Kindle store over the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Stephen King, James Patterson, Lee Child and me: Hot New Releases

Here I am hanging out with Stephen, James and Lee. Great company to be in - I never thought I'd have such an honour!

Alison Wonderland is available at Barnes & Noble, the Book Depository and at Amazon. If you have an ereader you can find it in the Kindle stores in the UK and the US and it's currently on offer in paperback in the UK for only £4.19 or $8.37 in the US.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Lovely Literary Events - London

The Book Stops Here - Ali Smith, Tom Rachman, Jill Dawson
Monday 5th September
7.30pm, The Alley Cat, 4 Denmark Street, Soho
Readings from Ali Smith, Tom Rachman and Jill Dawson

YARN presents The Special Relationship
Wednesday 7th September
7.30 pm, Concrete, Shoreditch
Readings from Tom Basden, Jarred McGinnis, Sam Taradash, John Butler and Mario Petrucci
Screening of animation by Joseph Pierce
£5 on the door or in advance here

Lewisham Literary Festival
9-13 September
Lots and lots of interesting-looking events. For details go to the website
Events include:

Firestation Book Swap
Friday 9th September
7.30 pm, St Swithun's Hall
Features Evie Wyld and John Harding
£4 or free if you bring homemade cake

For Books' Sake Presents
Saturday 10th September
6.30 pm, St Swithun's Hall
Karen McLeod, Elen Lindner, Sarah McIntyre

Liars' League - Shock and Awe
Tuesday 13th September
7.00 pm, Downstairs at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square
Stories read by actors
Contributions from Granta New Voice (and Iraq veteran) Phil Klay, Hunter Liguore, Chas Warren and Brindley Hallam Dennis, among others
£5 on the door

Damian Barr's Literary Salon
Wednesday 14th September
7.00 pm, Shoreditch House, Shoreditch
Guests include Ulrika Johnsson, Janice Galloway and a finalist of the BBC Short Story award
FREE but you must RSVP to get in

Literary Death Match
Wednesday 14th September
7.30 pm, Concrete, Shoreditch
Neil Forsyth, Femi Martin, Ben Brooks and Tiffany Anne Tondut, and judges Miranda Sawyer and Julie Mayhew
£6 to pre-order to £8 on the door

Literary Lounge at the Poetry Cafe
Thursday 15th September
8.00 pm, The Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden
Featuring the New Libertines
I will be reading at this event
£5 on the door

Polari at the Royal Festival Hall
Monday 19th September
7.45 pm, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank
Paul Burston hosts. The line-up includes Maureen Duffy, North Morgan, Justin David, Jonathan Kemp, Mark Simpson and me. Yes, I'll be reading at this event, too.
The Polari First Book Prize shortlist will also be announced.
£5 plus £1.75 booking fee

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sunday Salon - Happy Days

Alison Wonderland got to No. 1 in the US Kindle bestsellers list on Saturday (and is still there at the time of writing), and was selected as one of the monthly picks for September by Alan Caruba, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle. Three Sisters has also been selling very well and is currently No. 1 in the British Detectives category on the Kindle bestsellers lists in the US. If you're reading this and you have bought one of my books, thank you.

Since getting a Kindle in March I'm buying more books in a week than I used to buy in six months. I'm also reading more books, though not at the rate I'm buying them. One of the things I like most about the Kindle - apart from increasing the font size - is being able to sample books before buying them. Oh, and I like the special offers...

Last week I sampled and bought We, the Drowned, an epic tale of Danish sailors by Carsten Jensen, Final Price by Greg Smith, about a Chinese-American homicide detective, Regarding Ducks and Universes, a time travel novel by Neve Maslakovic, and Mercury Falls, a funny apocalyptic novel by Rob Kroese - they were all on offer at £1.99 in the UK Kindle store. I also bought and read The Tiny Wife and loved it. It's a beautiful novella by Andrew Kaufman who wrote All My Friends are Superheroes. Here's a promo video by illustrator Tom Percival:

Links on the internet
100 years of fashion and dance in 100 seconds Thanks to Dan Powell for the link.

La Boite Verte: Scenes from cult films in gif.

Spitalfields Life: Every article on this site is worth reading. It's about people who live and work in the Spitalfields area of east London. The author is celebrating the second anniversary of the site with a week of favourite articles.

I'm going to several literary events next week, and reading at a few the week after. For details of my events, please look here. For details of interesting literary events in London, please check back tomorrow as I'll be posting my recommendations then.

Win a Free Book
Followers of this site have until midnight on 7th September to leave their details for a chance to win a signed copy of Alison Wonderland. Click here for more information. Click on the image on the right to visit more than 250 other blogs taking part, all offering book-related giveaways. If you don't win this time, please check back in a few weeks - I run regular giveaways here.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Alison Wonderland is no. 1 in America

Alison Wonderland has just hit no. 1 on the Kindle chart in the US. I'm so excited! I feel like the Beatles.

The bestseller list changes hourly so I have taken a screen shot and I'm not going to look at the book's rank again. It can only go down from here, right? It's a good excuse to turn off the Internet and go and do some writing.

Thanks to everyone who has bought the book, and to AmazonEncore who published it and have done such a brilliant job of getting it into the hands of readers.

Alison Wonderland is available at Barnes & Noble, the Book Depository and at Amazon. If you have an ereader you can find it in the Kindle stores in the UK and the US and it's currently on offer in paperback in the UK for only £4.19 or $8.37 in the US.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Happy Labor Day Weekend to all my American friends. It's sunny and lovely here in London and I'm thinking of you because my book has been selected for a special price promotion of 99 cents and it's the Kindle Daily Deal today. I know that lots of you are buying it because it's racing up the Amazon charts towards the bestseller lists. Thank you! Enjoy the weekend, whatever you're reading.

If you're in the UK, my book is 99p in the Kindle store until September 12th and it's in the Top 40. If you've bought the book and helped it to get into the bestseller list on, thank you. I hope you're enjoying your weekend, too.

If you have a Kindle and you love reading, there's nothing so wonderful as snagging a cheap ebook. I'm currently reading We, the Drowned, by Carsten Jensen after the book was recommended by Scott Pack. I read the sample and I'm hooked. It's an epic tale about Danish sailors and I never would have picked it up if it hadn't been recommended (and if I couldn't first sample it to see whether or not I liked the writing.) It's £4.99 for the Kindle.

On Thursday I read The Tiny Wife, a beautiful novella by Andrew Kaufman which I loved. I highly recommend it if you like short, poetic books. It's £2.99 for the Kindle. It's now one of my all-time favourites. There's a blog post from illustrator Tom Percival about how he came up with the illustrations (which can be seen on ereaders, by the way).

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are, whatever you're doing. I'm trying not to go out and enjoy myself - lovely and sunny though it is - as I'm working on a play that will be on in London, Cardiff and Glasgow early next year. I hope you'll have enough fun for the both of us.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Queen of Crafts & The Tiny Wife


Jazz Domino Holly's brilliant crafting, stitching and baking book Queen of Crafts is published by Penguin today. I know Jazz and I saw some of the projects at Christmas when she was testing them for the book - they're charming and very inventive, just like the author.

If you're in London, Jazz is hosting an event called The Third Pamflet Salon: The Craft at DrinkDoShop on 27th September. You can book tickets here - there will be wine and cake.

Here's a video of Jazz talking about the book:


Andrew Kaufman's novella, The Tiny Wife, is also published today in the UK. I don't know Andrew but I read All My Friends are Superheroes and loved it.

The Tiny Wife is only £2.99 for the Kindle so I pre-ordered it and I'll read it tonight.

Back to the Books Giveaway 1-7 September

I'm taking part in the Back to the Books Giveaway. I'm giving away a signed copy of Alison Wonderland. The winner will be chosen at random after midnight on 7th September

Alison Wonderland was published on 16th August and has already hit the bestseller lists in the Kindle stores in the UK and the US:

After her husband leaves her for another woman, twentysomething Londoner Alison Temple impulsively applies for a job at the very P.I. firm she hired to trap her philandering ex. She hopes it will be the change of scene she so desperately needs to move on with her shattered life. At the all-female Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Investigation, she spends her days tracking lost objects and her nights shadowing unfaithful husbands. But no matter what the case, none of her clients can compare to the fascinating characters in her personal life. There’s her boss, the estimable and tidy Mrs. Fitzgerald; Taron, Alison’s eccentric best friend, who claims her mother is a witch; Jeff, her love-struck, poetry-writing neighbor; and—last but not least—her psychic postman. Her relationships with them all become entangled when she joins Taron for a road trip to the seaside and stumbles into a misadventure of epic proportions! Clever, quirky, and infused with just a hint of magic, this humorous literary novel introduces a memorable heroine struggling with the everyday complexities of modern life.

This giveaway was hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Buried in Books. It is now closed. Thank you to everyone who took part.