Libraries Northern Ireland just shelved Pilgrim: The Balance, first book of the Neath A, Pilgrim's saga! A touchdown for a long awaited refreshed female powered sci fi!
Artwork by Connor Gearty connorgeartyfinearts.co.uk/. So we're looking at the art for the new book cover for PILGRIM AND THE FALL OF KINGS. This is the prototype in the rough - cool right!
It's been called; Memorising, Hitchcockian, Disturbing - by people who frankly embody those traits.
Let us know what you think.
It's official - PILGRIM THE BALANCE and PILGRIM AND THE GEOMETRY OF FEAR are now available in East Devon. My sincere appreciation to Xanthe Waite - library supervisor for Devon ; for her enthusiastic support and for responding so positively.
Thank you to everyone involved with achieving this milestone. We will continue to roll out the books to additional libraries. If your local library is missing a copy of the book drop us a line.
There can't be many creative professions out there where the process of producing the final product is entirely in your hands - and you signed up for it. Such are the formative years of a writer. The third book in the series of the Neath A Pilgrim Chronicles is developing. Old characters meet new ones and its a blast. Interestingly, writers don't do it for fun and certainly not for money; they write because they can't stop themselves. So the next few months I shall be at the coal-face. I'll check in whenever I'm able to let you know how its going.
Its a first for me at the Bud Lit festival and I wasn't disappointed. I attended a talk with the, 'highly knowledgeable on all things publishing gal' Susanna Wadeson out of Transworld Publishing. The talk ran well and truly over the one hour because the audience couldn't get enough and Susanna was very generous and graceful with her information and time. I like to think I'm pretty au fait with the general course a book takes from the author's cave to your local book shop - but evidently I live in LaLa land - because despite my research there are more steps than climbing to the temple at Batu. Now I'm aware of the process - I'm thinking, it requires a great deal of expertise and a killer sense of humour. Yup - these guys earn their percentage.
What did I learn? - The publishing process, costs, expectations of publishers, possible pitfalls for writers. What publishers think of Literary Agents (they're essential for good business). Whats up and coming in the literary race for every readers dosh. (We're talking audio books). And more besides - you had to be there!
So all-in-all an absolute must for anyone in, or associated with the literary industry.
A big thank you to all those Pilgrim fans who attended the festival; it was great to meet up and answer those off-the-wall questions that have been keeping one or two of you awake at night. Such as, "Are we ever going to see Pilgrim and Baxter together - I mean 'really' together?" and, "How likely is it that Pilgrim will become a Titan?"
These are great questions - but, unfortunately if I were to answer them, It would totally spoil your enjoyment of the upcoming books.
I had a great time and it was made all the more special by meeting some of the fans of the Pilgrim books. Thanks guys!
I would like to thank all those library reading groups who've been reading Pilgrim The Balance and have been passing on the free copies, or accessing the free digital flip-book - a big round of applause to you all. When the idea of providing a free copy for reading groups was first suggested, I had no idea it would snowball so positively and with the many suggestions we've received, its become quite an interactive process between myself and the reading groups. A special thank you to all those library staff who embraced the idea from the first - I don't believe I recall one, 'no thanks'. Currently, 38 library reading groups across the country have/are reading Pilgrim The Balance, with many others moving onto the next book in the series Pilgrim And The Geometry Of Fear.
I came, I saw - I wore myself out! Edinburgh - what a city!
Of course, I didn't wise up to the fact The Fringe Festival was also on at the time. My thinking on the way up in the train was; it'll be busy. I arrived and the city was crammed to bursting with people all in search of a good time. I've lived in a few big cities in my time but rarely those that are so efficient. Case in point - by the end of the day the streets were covered in everything - those that had finally given up - litter - the odd lost pet. But by the morning the city was as shiny as a new pin. How do they do that!?
Back to the Literary Festival. It has a much more mellow vibe going on. People where sat around in comfy chairs shooting the breeze and necking good quality gin from the generously sized, all things gin bar, located in the centre of the festival - so I'm thinking - yup, my kinda place. Its a multiple marquee set-up - so a little different than your regular venue. It stretched from a park and across the road which had been pedestrianised for the purpose. The biggest difference I found to some of the larger literary festivals; for example London International Literary Festival was the tempo. Edinburgh was more gingham and less suits. There were literary events a'plenty and many that were free to enter. I meandered around sucking up the atmosphere and thinking deep literary thoughts - yeah right. Actually, I pretty much marched through each marquee snagging up free-bees along the way - I now have enough HB pencils to last a dozen books and stand-back...as I flaunt my Edinburgh Lit tote at the checkout of my local supermarket - yes, it doesn't take much to rock my world! There were a authors signing books - although, it seemed many need a hand break as they weren't at their desks - just their books. Did I see or meet anyone you would have raised your eyebrows for? - not personally.
I had made it my mission to visit the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre; home of the Edinburgh Association of Spiritualists; - I wasn't disappointed. Eleanor, a very knowledgeable guide showed me around. There's an almost church/library type feel when you enter, I almost felt like whispering. The internal architecture is truly breathtaking, from the Egyptian style black marble fireplace on the far wall as you enter to the incredible view of the domed and decorated ceiling that can be seen from the ground floor looking up through four floors. It has all the marvelous architectural characteristics of the upper echelons during the Edwardian/Victorian era - so I was somewhat reminded of Sherlock's rooms in Baker Street - but there is something undefinably mystic within its walls. There are wonderful works of art and I was loath to leave after so short a stay.
So to sum up - Edinburgh Lit festival = books as far as the eye could see - people swigging gin - arty types throwing their shawls over their shoulders and men in pink shirts with deep tans - I'm guessing they're agents, as we writers rarely see daylight. The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre = if you don't pay a visit you'll miss something memorable to last you a life-time.
I'm off to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and I'm more excited than as if Pilgrim had tapped on the door of my office and asked me out for drinks - thats how excited I am!
I can only stop for a couple of days, so its going to be Monday 13th Aug to Wednesday 15th Aug - short, but sweet. I'll be taking the train from Devon all the way up to the gorgeous city with the amazing people. many of you won't know that I once lived in Scotland - Dunblane to be exact - such a truly breath-taking place and the people are warm, funny and astute. I shall be roaming around and available for a chat if I happen to bump into you. Drop me an email and if theres enough of you - we'll have a pow-wow.
Its been a very busy week - but a great one. As you know, its all about you the reader. I belong to a writing and reading group and the suggestion was made to make Pilgrim The Balance available for libraries. I thought about the best way to accomplish this and decided to contact reading groups within libraries. The response was uni-formally positive! Beginning Monday 16th July - library book club members will be able to read the first book in the Neath A Pilgrim Chronicles free of charge. The first libraries to read the book will be Reading libraries and Ottery St Mary. My thanks to all the librarians who embraced the opportunity and even came up with suggestions of how to make the experience a more fulfilling one. Those ideas have already been incorporated into this website - email/speak to the author and receive a question sheet related to the book. Thanks again everyone!