Wednesday, 20 July 2011

People's Book Prize

If any of you, over there in the UK, hear any word about the winners of the People's Book Prize, which are being awarded tonight, please share your knowledge. Some of us harbor naive hopes regarding the outcome.


doug worgul

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Salt Lake Public Library Readers Choice Award

Two Macmillan New Writers Books have been nominated for the Reader's Choice Award in Salt Lake Public Library System.The Salt Lake County Library System is the largest in Utah, serving over 650,000 residents, through 18 libraries. Twice a year, the Reader's Choice Committee selects twenty or more recently published books that have been recommended by other staff or customers. They say, 'We want to include those titles that are not a "best-sellers" but are so good you just can't put them down--- and when you do finish, you have to tell all your friends!' These books are purchased in multiples and placed on display at each Salt Lake County Library for a four-month period. After reading any of the books on the Reader's Choice list, customers may rate the books using one of our ballot forms.

So I was delighted when I looked at the list to see Ann Weisgarber's The Personal History of Rachel Du Pree on the list of books along with mine, The Lady's Slipper. The full list of nominees can be seen here

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Herring on the Nile

The latest in the Ethelred and Elsie series was published yesterday. This instalment takes them (as the title cunningly suggests) to Egypt. Though I have parodied Christie titles before (Ten Little Herrings, The Herring in the Library) previous books have not really had plots that noticably paralleled Christie’s originals. This time however Elsie and Ethelred board a paddle steamer that is more or less recognisable from Death on the Nile - or as Elsie puts it, "the general picture I’m getting here is the Ritz with a paddle attached to the back". Of course the characters, the motives, most of the action and the solution to the mystery are totally different from Christie's – but then there is such a thing as copyright. And as Elsie herself observes: “how likely is that you’ll get a bunch of murders, spies, writers and other disreputable people on board one small boat? And, if you did, why would you choose to shoot somebody in a place you couldn’t make a decent get-away from?”

It has already received some very nice reviews on It’s a Crime, Milo’s Rambles and Shots Magazine

The formal launch will take place at Goldsboro Books on 5 July.

The Herring in the Library is now also out in paperback, with a new cover to tie in with Herring on the Nile. It was recently reviewed on Lizzie Hayes’ Promoting Crime blog.

Friday, 1 July 2011

"All Paths Lead (to New Wharf Road)"

I guess this blog post is timely considering the recent news of Will's departure from Macmillan, but it's something I was threatening to do last year and something I want to get rolling now in order to get it all published before Christmas. 

If you might remember last year, I mooted a Macmillan New Writers' anthology, noting that there are a fair few of us who are short story writers.  My initial thoughts were to publish a themed anthology, but I'm eschewing this for more of a showcase format, in effect to show off the writers here and the different genres covered.  Then the unifying theme across the anthology will be our link with Macmillan New Writing.

This is how I think it will work:

Each writer wishing to submit a story will also submit an approx. 200 word brief on how they got here (i.e. published by Macmillan New Writing) and what genre they are writing in and why.  This will accompany their short story (which has no word limit, but preferably below novella size) and their writer's biog with a publicity photo. The short story can be in any genre, any topic, and it can be previously published as long as you have permission to publish it in this anthology.

The deadline for the short stories will be 1st November.  I'm offering this not just to the Macmillan New Writers here, but past writers too (I'll be getting in touch with Roger Morris and Michael Stephen Fuchs to see if they want to join in - if there are any others I've missed please tell me or contact them direct).  The anthology has a working title of "All Paths Lead (to New Wharf Road)" and will be offered for free on Amazon through a e-publisher I'll set-up called "Thirst-e-ditions".  If I get the chance, I'll build a website to advertise the book too. 

I'll then bring together the stories, the briefs, the biogs and photos and create the anthology in a Kindle format (and later a format for iBooks and Epub).  I'll also get the cover sorted out unless anyone wants to volunteer. 

What I would really like as well as the stories, are two volunteer editors, to make sure it all hangs together.  Are there any takers?

This might be a fair sized book at the end of the day, if everyone contributes.  Like I've said above, the stories can be about anything, and in fact the more varied the better.  I want it to appeal to everyone, something all readers can dip into, and if it costs nothing then that's all the better.  I'll drum up some publicity through various sites I have contacts with, to ensure it gets a few reviews, and then it's just a case of self-promotion when you're able.  The only down-side is that we cannot use Macmillan New Writing in the publicity.  This is our anthology, and will be advertised as a new writers collection (without the Macmillan).  We can mention the publisher in the biogs and briefs, and I will mention them in the "forward" for the collection, but that's about it.  But I'd like to show that we are all still indebted to Macmillan New Writing for getting us on this road in the first place (as well as a big thank you to the likes of Will and Mike who put so much into that venture).

So… Anyone interested?