The Museum of You, by Carys Bray

The Museum of You, by Carys Bray

I’m absolutely delighted to be welcoming Carys Bray today, on the publication day of her new novel, The Museum of You. Carys’ first novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, was one of the books of 2014, winning, or being shortlisted for, a string of prizes over 2015. Hard act to follow, right? She’s done it, though: The Museum of You is captivating. Clover Quinn has just turned twelve, a significant birthday because, ‘in turning twelve she has crossed an unaccountable boundary.’ She has her own key, and is allowed to stay at home by herself in the summer holidays instead of going next door to be looked after by Mrs Mackerel. She has certain tasks to do, such as cycling to the allotment to pick the day’s harvest, but there’s still...

Song of the Sea Maid, by Rebecca Mascull

Song of the Sea Maid, by Rebecca Mascull

I’m trying out a new format for reviews today, and I’m delighted that Rebecca Mascull, ace writer and fellow Prime Writer, has agreed to be my guinea pig. Rebecca’s gorgeous second novel, Song of the Sea Maid, came out in paperback last week. Set in the 18th century, it follows the fortunes of Dawnay Price as she evolves from destitute orphan to educated woman.     Questions for the author: Who, What, Why, When, How?   Who (is Song of the Sea Maid about, and who is it aimed at)? It’s about Dawnay Price, an C18th orphan who dreams of being a scientist. It’s a novel for adult readers. What (is Song of the Sea Maid about)?  Dawnay becomes a scientist, travels abroad and makes a remarkable discovery… Why (did you...

Interview with Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days

Interview with Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days

Claire, great to welcome you onto the blog to celebrate the paperback publication of Our Endless Numbered Days! It’s been a great year for you, starting with the Observer’s list of debuts to watch and including the Desmond Elliot prize and being nominated for the Edinburgh Festival First Book Award. Is there one moment which stands out? Which did you least expect? What a difficult question! I don’t suppose I’m allowed to say having my book published at the end of February? Because of course it wasn’t exactly a surprise since the book was sold to Fig Tree/Penguin nineteen months prior to that. But the launch party for the publication, held at a wonderful independent bookshop near where I live called P&G Wells, was an amazing moment. So many friends...

The Butcher Bird, by S.D.Sykes

The Butcher Bird, by S.D.Sykes

Thursday is publication day, and one of the books to be making its way into the world tomorrow will be The Butcher Bird, S.D.Sykes’ second novel about Oswald de Lacey, the hapless Lord of Somershill Manor. And to celebrate, I have a proper treat: read on to get a taste of the opening prologue, plus a Q&A with the author. You’re welcome! The threat of the Black Death has receded, but its toll on the village has left Oswald short-handed in the farms and fields, with those left clamouring for a better wage. Then rumours of a huge creature in the sky begin to spread, and the village begins to whisper of the Butcher Bird… Read on to see how the story begins:   Prologue   Somershill Manor, September 1351   It was the tail-end of the...

Her Name Is Rose, by Christine Breen

Her Name Is Rose, by Christine Breen

  I’m really thrilled to be chatting to Christine Breen today as part of the TripFiction and Book Connectors’ Around The World Blog Tour. Basically, the tour is a way of travelling the world by fiction, one country at a time. This month, we’re in Ireland, the setting for Christine’s beautiful book Her Name Is Rose.   Christine is a fellow member of The Prime Writers, which is how I met her. An American, she lives in the fabulously named Kiltumper in the west of Ireland, in the cottage where her grandfather was born. (I can really relate to this: my grandmother came from Kerry, and I’ve felt a huge sense of connection whenever I’ve been there to visit).   Her Name Is Rose opens in the X-ray department of a...

Q&A with Renee Knight

Q&A with Renee Knight

We’ve not been kept short of excellent thrillers in 2015, but this week it’s all about Disclaimer, Renee Knight’s tightly wound debut of suburban noir. Having read, and loved, a proof copy of the book back in January, when the chance came up to talk to Renee as part of Disclaimer’s blog tour I grabbed it (even though The Telegraph swiped all my questions before I had a chance to ask them!). I thought of some more, though…   Hi Renee, and thanks so much for taking time to chat. You do a great job of juggling the multiple points of view and time frames within the story. Was the structure something that fell into place from the start, or was it through the editing process that smoothness was achieved? And did you always know how...