Writer, editor, reviewer

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Introduction 0

I am a writer, editor and reviewer. I edit books, write about books, interview people who write books, and write books myself.

I am interested in many other art forms. I have written about theatre, dance, film, TV and music, and I have even written several scripts. 

I also write and edit copy for arts organisations and for businesses. I work with content for websites, for project descriptions and proposals, for research, and for marketing and advertising.  My debut novel, Attend, will be published by Orenda Books in autumn 2018. 

 

 

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Attend – my debut novel 0

So the news is out – my debut novel, Attend, will be published by Orenda Books in autumn 2018.

As you’ll see from my other posts on this site, I work as an editor at Orenda Books, so it took a little bit of sneakiness on my part to get my novel into the submissions pile (under a different name). But I’m glad I did, because Karen Sullivan – the best publisher any author could wish for – decided she wanted to publish it.

Here’s the blurb from Orenda’s website:

When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.

Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.

With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

The cover is by Orenda’s regular jacket designer, Kid Ethic (Mark Swan). Having read the book myself (ahem), I’m still stunned at how he’s managed to capture its themes and structure in one strikingly simple image.

The ebook will be released in October 2018, followed by the paperback in December 2018.

You can preorder from Amazon, Foyles, Waterstones etc etc etc…

Suffice to say, I’m ecstatic!

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The Book of Riga Launch 0

In April, I had the pleasure of hosting the launch of Comma Press’s The Book of Riga at Housmans bookshop in London. 

As part of the festivities I interviewed two authors who contributed short stories to the anthology: Svens Kuzmins and Dace Ruksane.

The launch came at the end of the 2018 London Book Fair week – the Baltic countries being this year’s market focus.

 

 

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The Baltics Riveter 0

To celebrate London Book Fair’s Baltics Market Focus, the European Literature Network published another edition of its print magazine, The Riveter, edited by me and Riveter-in-Chief Rosie Goldsmith.

With commissioned artwork and extracts and features by London Book Fair’s three Authors of the Day – Kristina Sabaliauskaitė, Nora Ikstena and Mihkel Mutt, this may well have been our most successful magazine yet – it certainly flew out of hands.

Click here to download a free pdf of the magazine.

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Orenda Books – Spring 2018 0

 

My work for Orenda Books continues. The beginning of 2018 saw the appearance of the second ‘episode’ in Matt Wesolowski’s unusual, unsettling and unclassifiable Six Stories ‘podcast’ novels: Hydra – as disconcerting to edit as it is to read.

Alongside new titles from Orenda’s now established crime and thriller writers (Steph Broadribb, Matt Johnson, Thomas Enger, Johana Gustawsson and Gunnar Staalesen) we published our first German Krimi – Blue Night by Simone Buchholz, a book that takes the tropes of the genre and twists them into a delightful literary tour de force.

We also published our first Quebecois novel, the lyrical, poetic We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard.

Late spring saw domestic noir from Louise Voss and  L V Hay and a surprising piece of … speculative crime from Doug Johnstone – which imagines a volcano in the Firth of Forth.

The spring and summer have seen us working hard to get our autumn titles ready, and to migrate our sales and distribution to Simon & Schuster, an important move for this young publishing house.

And the autumn also brings a very pleasant surprise …

 

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The Nordic Riveter 0

In autumn 2017 I once again edited (with Riveter-in-Chief Rosie Goldsmith) The Riveter, the European Literature Network’s print magazine.

This edition was our longest so far, and was devoted to literature from the Nordic countries. Esteemed Norwegian crime writer Gunnar Staalesen was our guest editor, and we were honoured to include content from luminaries from across the region, including an exclusive extract from celebrated Icelandic author, Sjón’s Codex 1962.

Free copies of the magazine were distributed at events across the UK – and in Europe too.

Click here to download a pdf of the magazine.

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Orenda update 0

It’s been an extremely busy few months at Orenda Books.

The early summer saw the publication of two debut psychological thrillers that I worked on with publisher Karen Sullivan:  Exquisite by Sarah Stovell and The Other Twin by L V Hay. Both have received a lot of positive press attention – all of which is well deserved.

In May, the great Norwegian crime writer Gunnar Staalesen won the Petrona Award for Don Bartlett’s translation of his Varg Veum novel Where Roses Never Die (edited by yours truly), just after I’d put the finishing touches to the next Gunnar/Don collaboration, Wolves in the Dark, which was published in June.

I have spent the summer months editing Louise Beech’s hilarious and heart-wrenching Maria in the Moon, and Michael J. Malone’s chilling experiment with the gothic novel, House of Spines, both out in September.

Finn, Antti Tuomainen has also branched out – this time into literary black comedy, with his hilariously dark novel, The Man Who Died, which I had the great pleasure to edit. Exclusive advance copies sold out at the Edinburgh Festival, so I hear, but other readers will have to wait for autumn to get hold of what deserves to be a major hit.

As summer comes to an end it seems I’m surrounded by snow – editing two chilly crime novels by Icelandic writers: Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s English debut Snare, and the final part in Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series, Whiteout.

Like many lucky enough to work in publishing, I have also been able to get first looks at what will be coming up for readers in the next year: it’s going to be a good one for fans of Orenda.

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Interview with The Book Trail 0

In August, I was interviewed by award-winning book blogger The Book Trail. The focus of the Q&A was The Riveter magazine, which I edit, and the European Literature Network, which I write and edit for; but we also discussed my work for Orenda Books and how I came to work in publishing and arts journalism.

You can read the interview here: http://www.thebooktrail.com/translated-fiction-european-literature-network/

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CrimeFest 2017 – an editor’s view 0

Back in May I attended CrimeFest 2017, in my role as Editor for Orenda Books.

I was also commissioned to write a feature about one of the biggest Crime Literature convention’s in the world by ELit and the European Literature Network. You can read my piece here: http://www.eurolitnetwork.com/crimefest-2017-an-editors-view-of-the-international-crime-fiction-convention-by-west-camel/

 

 

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The Riveter – Russian Writing 0

In August, the second edition of The Riveter was published by the European Literature Network.

I edited the magazine, alongside Riveter-in-Chief and Director of the European Literature Network, Rosie Goldsmith. I also contributed reviews of Zinovy Zinik’s Sounds Familiar, and China Miéville’s October to the publication.

The Riveter: Riveting Russian Writing was released on 3 August to celebrate the European Literature Network’s  Russian events at the British Library (Riveting Russian Translation Workshop and Riveting Reads: Russian Literature Today).

You can view and download a pdf of The Riveter, edition two here: http://www.eurolitnetwork.com/the-riveter-edition-two-on-russian-literature-today-is-out/