Writer, editor, reviewer

Posts for Tag : Orenda

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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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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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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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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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An Orenda Summer 0

This summer, with Orenda Books publisher Karen Sullivan away in her native Canada, then piloting her various authors through their events at the Edinburgh Book Festival, I spent quite a bit of time looking after the Orenda shop.

Three books I saw through the editorial and production process to the printers were:

A Suitable Lie, Michael J Malone’s subtle and shocking investigation of masculinity. A departure for Malone, A Suitable Lie takes a new and moving perspective on one of society’s ills. Essential reading.

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The Exiled, the third in Kati Hiekkapelto’s series of socially conscious crime novels featuring investigator Anna Fekete. The Exiled takes Anna from her adopted Finland back to her birthplace on the Serbia-Hungary border, where she becomes caught up in the tensions between the various resident communities – Serb, Hungarian, Romani – and the wave of desperate refugees attempting to access the European Union.

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The Bird Tribunal, by Agnes Ravatn – a pitch-perfect study in quiet, psychological terror. With tones of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, The Bird Tribunal is spare, chilling and told in exqusite literary prose, translated beautifully by Rosie Hedger.

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In addition to these titles, I’ve been working on Blackout the latest in Ragnar Jónasson’s hugely successful Dark Iceland series of crimes novels.

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I’ve also helped edit Louise Beech’s A Mountain in My Shoe – another socially conscious novel, which examines the meaning of family and deals in a very authentic way with the failures and successes of the UK’s care system.

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Spring 2017 titles are currently in production. Needless to say, Orenda goes from strength to strength!