News Archive

Maggie Hamand on thrillers, a papal mystery, & PhD advice

Would you call Virgin & Child a thriller? I used a lot of techniques deployed by thriller writers to try to grip the reader, and create a sense of mystery and tension. But it’s a novel that works at many levels, so it’s not a straightforward commercial thriller by any …

Living in Lockdown – a Couples’ Guide

James Thornton is CEO of the not-for-profit environmental law firm ClientEarth, as well as being a poet and a Zen Buddhist priest. His new collection Notes from a Mountain Village collects poems drawn from twenty-five years of observing French mountain life. In this new era of working-from-home, James shares lessons he learned …

Interview with Colin W. Sargent on Red Hands

Red Hands is a compelling read. You get pulled in to the story of a young girl’s life, and then find yourself led through the excesses and collapse of a whole Communist State. As the book’s editor, I know that such a vivid read only comes out of a tough …

William Barry, thoughts on Red Hands

Bill Barry, who reviewed The Boston Castrato for The Maine Sunday Telegram, offers this bright review of Colin W. Sargent’s Red Hands, with its whole array of wider reflections.  Taken at face value, Red Hands is a unique insider’s view of the rise and fall of the dystopian regime of Romania’s Nicolae and …

The Duality of Frankenstein – Jonathan Squirrell

A fresh review of Kate Horsley’s Frankenstein sequel The Monster’s Wife. Many thanks to Jonathan Squirrell, an MA student on the creative writing strand at the University of Hull. An excess of grease stalls Ronald Frobisher’s career. The fictional writer in David Lodge’s Small World is visiting a plate glass university …

The Mystery of Briony Lodge – David Bagchi

  Review by Jonathan Squirrell  Cards on the table, Three Men in a Boat is my Bible. Actually, that’s not quite true. Jerome K. Jerome’s underappreciated masterpiece The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow is my scripture. I model myself on its title scrupulously. Three Men in a Boat is …

What have writers from the old Soviet bloc ever done for us?

In the late 20th century writers from the old Soviet bloc travelled at warp speed from communism into capitalism. What creativity comes out of that? I want to know. Orwell found Zamyatin’s We in 1945, more than 20 years after its appearance in Russian. He read the French translation, and …

Readers (inc. Helen Mort) on The Headscarf Revolutionaries

One thing has always been true of publishing: readers are its lifeblood. That fact now becomes clearer than ever. Book sections slim down, top-name authors share the few reviews between them, and the true marketing becomes readers word of mouth. It takes effort to read a book and share your response …

How to design a book cover

 So how do you design a book cover? Here’s the striking new one for The Secret Baby Room by D.D. Johnston, & the story behind it. The first choice to be made in cover design, of course, is the basic one: find yourself a good designer. Publishing is a partnership. A writer starts …

Q&A with Kate Horsley

Author of The Monster’s Wife Kate Horsley tells us about her unusual background and how she created her debut novel, a rewriting of Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Why an author turned publisher, and how the economics of publishing plays out

A new publishing house bets against the future of brick and mortar bookstores

A Q&A with James Thornton, the author of SPHINX

Q: Your first novel Immediate Harm was a legal thriller with science fiction overtones – a virus jumping to humans from GM corn. Sphinx: The Second Coming is full-blown scifi. What drew you to the genre? JT: Since I was a boy, scifi has given me a place my mind …