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...

My Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Wishlist

My Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016 Wishlist

When Naomi (The Writes of Woman) Frisby asked if I’d like to be on this year’s shadow reading panel for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, I fell over myself to say yes. Then I sat down to think about which books would be on my wish list. I have a very bad memory and, for one horrible moment, it felt as though I’d read nothing all year. NOTHING. Until I remembered how much of the year I’d spent reading, instead of writing my next novel and feeding my children. I can’t blame the lack of housework on reading. I don’t ever really do housework. I’ve read some brilliant books which don’t fit the rules (which specify they should be novels, written by a woman, in English, published between April 2015 and March...

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...

Fudge That Grudge, by Beth Miller

Fudge That Grudge, by Beth Miller

September 10th. The 253rd day of the year. The day that the Empress Elisabeth of Austria was assassinated in 1898. The annual moment set aside to celebrate TV Dinner Day (oh yes!). This year, though, it’s special mainly because it’s publication day for Beth Miller’s new and wonderful novel The Good Neighbour, and I’m DELIGHTED to be hosting her blog tour stop. So set aside any plans you’ve made for National Swap Ideas Day and have a read of Beth’s contribution to my occasional series known fondly as Not The Guardian Family Section:   ‘Your father…’ my mum would say, accusingly, as though it was my fault. That I had chosen my father badly. ‘Your father behaved like an absolute shit.’ My mum never recovered from my dad leaving...

Sharing memories: The Summer I Was Sixteen

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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 the...