Rummaging around in her family history and finding a couple of skeletons was the inspiration for Wendy Percival to start writing her Esme Quentin series of historical mysteries. If you’re new to Esme’s books, read here how she creates her unique stories, historical inspiration, and more about those dodgy relatives. And don’t miss Wendy’s special offer of a FREE ebook novella – a prequel to the series, Legacy of Guilt. More about that below. What was the first spark for the character of Esme Quentin? Is there a part of you in her? The idea for Esme grew as I was taking my first steps in family history research. After stumbling upon a couple of family skeletons, I realised how little most of us know about our family history and my writer’s brain started plotting. My initial thought was that the protagonist solving the mystery would be a sort of genealogical Miss Marple. But at the time I came to write the book, there was a push for more protagonists to be women in their forties. I really liked that principle, so Esme developed from there. As to whether there’s a part of me in her… some would say we share a
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
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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
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William Boyd’s ‘Solo’. James Bond is 45 and in Africa. Stephen King’s ‘Doctor Sleep’. Danny Torrance from ‘The Shining’ is now middle-aged. ‘The Story’ is a compilation of 100 short stories, written by women, and edited by Victoria Hislop. A ‘whydunnit’ from Mark Lawson, ‘The Deaths’ combines social commentary and crime. Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Lowland’ is about two brothers growing up in Calcutta.
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