Monthly Archives August 2013

More new books coming soon…

Deaf but hearing Granta has signed debut novelist Louise Stern. Kinil, to be published in 2015, tells the story of three siblings Ismael, Rosie and Ceistina who live in a Mayan village in Mexico where the deaf and hearing communicate by sign language.This is Stern’s debut novel, after her acclaimed short story collection Chattering. Stern, who is deaf and grew up a in a non-hearing community in California, writes about arresting characters who just happen to be deaf. Fifth writer signed from Curtis Brown course Antonia Honeywell’s debut novel The Ship has been bought by Weidenfeld & Nicolson from Curtis Brown, Honeywell [below] is the fifth student from Curtis Brown Creative’s novel-writing course to sign a publishing deal. The Ship is the story of a dystopian world where a wealthy man buys a huge ship to transport a handpicked group of 500, including his daughter Lalla, to a safe destination. But as the journey progresses, Lalla challenges her tyrannical father. To be published in February 2015.  Other successful CB students to sign deals are SD Sykes’s Plague Land, Jake Woodhouse’s After the Silence, Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, and Tim Glencross’s social satire Barbarians. Sculptor publishes first novel Our Endless Numbered
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

My favourite writing notebooks

I am quite particular about my writing notebooks. I can’t be without a stack of pristine Muji notebooks. There’s something about the uniformity of the covers, the satisfaction of a pile of used notebooks collected together with a rubber band in the cardboard box I keep for all notes pertaining to my current novel. Everything gets tossed into this box, pages torn from newspapers or magazines, scenes with feedback notes from my writing friends, old photographs, photocopies of pages from books, maps, leaflets from places I’ve visited for research. Inside my Muji I guess the contents are like anyone else’s writing notebook – random ideas, character sketches, research notes from books, first drafts and re-drafts of scenes, diagrams for plot development, even poems if the mood strikes me. My friends and family know I love notebooks too, so my cupboard is full of pretty ones received as birthday or Christmas presents. They all know the most important element – no spiral-bindings, they must be saddle-stitched so the notebook can be opened flat and I can write comfortably from the left edge to the right edge of the page. The notebook comes into its own on days when it seems impossible
Read More

Categories: On Researching and On Writing.

Book Review: The Little House

Ruth’s story starts with Sunday lunch at the in-laws and builds slowly, pulling you in relentlessly until you can’t put the book down. It is deceptive in its simplicity, at various points in the story I found myself thinking ‘but they couldn’t do that’ or ‘that would never happen.’ But it does and you believe it. The denouement is startling. This is very different from the historical novels by Philippa Gregory but shares the same aspects of a pageturner: you simply want to know what happens next. Read my review of The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory. ‘The Little House’ by Philippa Gregory [UK: Harper]   If you like ‘The Little House’, try:- ‘The Past’ by Tessa Hadley ‘Lord John and the Private Matter’ by Diana Gabaldon ‘The Knife with the Ivory Handle’ by Cynthia Bruchman And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: THE LITTLE HOUSE by @PhilippaGBooks #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-oN
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

If books were real, Katniss Everdeen…

Katniss Everdeen… would work as a park ranger at Sequoia National Park.     ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins [UK: Scholastic] How would other fictional characters behave, if they were real? Hermione Granger in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ Jean Brodie in ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ Adam Dalgliesh in ‘Devices and Desires’ And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: If #books were real, Katniss Everdeen would be a park ranger THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-l1
Read More

Categories: Book Love and If books were real....

Great opening paragraph 32… ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ #write

“The morning was clear. There was no wind on the lake. There was also a great stillness. When the bells rang out for Mass, the strokes trembling on the water, they had the entire world to themselves.” ‘That They May Face the Rising Sun’ by John McGahern Amazon Try one of these 1st paras & discover a new author:- ‘The Crying of Lot 49’ by Thomas Pynchon ‘The Fortunes of War’ by Olivia Manning ‘The Impressionist’ by Hari Kunzru And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: A 1st para which makes me want to read more: THAT THEY MAY FACE THE RISING SUN by John McGahern #books https://wp.me/p5gEM4-mo via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

New books coming soon….

Three new novels from fantasy writer Joe Abercrombie. The first, Half a King, will be published by Harper Collins next year and is a coming-of-age tale aimed at young readers. It is the story of Yarvi, youngest son of a warlike king, and is set in an alternative historical world akin to the Dark Ages. Yarvi, born with a crippled hand, cannot live up to his father’s expectations. The three new novels are standalone stories, but are inter-connected and aimed at 12-16 year olds.   The Judas Scar by Amanda Jennings will be published in June 2014 by Cutting Edge Press. Her debut novel, Sworn Secret, published by Canvas, has high ratings on Goodreads as a difficult and emotional read leaving some readers in tears. Faber will publish Hanif Kureishi’s new novel in February 2014. The Last Word tells the story of Mamoon, an Indian writer in his seventies, based in England, who faces falling book sales and a wife with expensive tastes. Harry, a young biographer, commissioned to write a book which will revitalise Mamoon’s sales, prompting a struggle to tell the truth. Later this year a film will be released, written by Kureishi, called Le Weekend and starring
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

Book Review: The Man Who Disappeared

Felix Kendall longs for a family, as a boy he lost his own. From the first page where Felix stands in a dark street watching a family illuminated in their dining room, curtains open, you know Felix must be the ‘man who disappeared’ but you don’t know why. The characters are believable and the pages turn quickly as we follow the stories of Felix, his wife Kate, son Rory and daughter Millie as they come to terms with what has happened. I expected this to be a slow indulgent read, lyrical, beautifully written, which it is, but I raced through it in the way I am accustomed to do with thrillers. Clare Morrall is one of my favourite authors, I’ve been a fan since her first book Astonishing Splashes of Colour was shortlisted for the Booker. Read my reviews of other Clare Morrall books:- After the Bombing The Language of Others The Roundabout Man If you like this, try:- ‘The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy’ by Rachel Joyce ‘Housekeeping’ by Marilynne Robinson ‘Ghost Moth’ by Michele Forbes ‘The Man Who Disappeared’ by Clare Morrall [UK: Sceptre] And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Read More

Categories: Book Love.

Aah Snoopy, you are so right… 2

I’m not sure that Snoopy won’t discover that writing about kisses is more complicated than writing about gunshots. ‘Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life’ ed by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz [UK: Writer’s Digest Books] And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet: Suddenly a shot rang out: advice for writers from @Snoopy http://wp.me/p5gEM4-p1 via @SandraDanby
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.

Great Opening Paragraph 31… ‘Bel Canto’ #amwriting #FirstPara

“When the lights went off the accompanist kissed her. Maybe he had been turning towards her just before it was completely dark, maybe he was lifting his hands. There must have been some movement, a gesture, because every person in the living room would later remember a kiss. They did not see a kiss, that would have been impossible. The darkness that came on them was startling and complete. Not only was everyone there certain of a kiss, they claimed they could identify the type of kiss: it was strong and passionate, and it took her by surprise. They were all looking right at her when the lights went out. They were still applauding, each on his or her feet, still in the fullest throes of hands slapping together, elbows up. Not one person had come anywhere close to tiring. The Italians and the French were yelling, ‘Brava! Brava!’ and the Japanese turned away from them. Would he have kissed her like that had the room been lit? Was his mind so full of her that in the very instant of darkness he reached for her, did he think so quickly? Or was it that they wanted her too, all
Read More

Categories: Book Love and On Writing.