Posts tagged legend press

Calling all unpublished novelists: here’s your break!

In February 2008, I was in despair. I’d given up a good job as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in New York to pursue my dream of writing fiction, and all I had to show for it was a stack of rejection slips. Exactly a year later, I was standing outside a branch of Borders in Islington, looking at dozens of copies of my debut novel neatly stacked up in the window display. What happened? The Luke Bitmead Bursary happened. The bursary was set up in honour of… Read More

The Almost Lizard by James Higgerson

James Higgerson’s debut novel follows a teenage boy whose habit of imagining himself in television soap operas develops from harmless fantasy into a cause for suicide. In a striking opening chapter, Danny Lizar announces that today is his 21st birthday and he is about to kill himself. The rest of the novel attempts to explain this decision by tracing the main events of his brief life. By revealing the end at the beginning, Higgerson is able to switch the focus away from “what happened?” and towards the more interesting “why… Read More

Author interview – J.R. Crook

I reviewed J.R. Crook’s debut novel Sleeping Patterns on this blog a few weeks ago, and thought I’d follow up by asking the writer himself some questions. If you’re not familiar with the book, click here to read my review, or have a look through the brief description below. Or just skip straight to the interview! Following the death of her narrator, Annelie Strandli, a character in the unfinished novel, Sleeping Patterns, revisits fragmented scenes in search of hidden meanings… In a run-down student residence in South London, Annelie, a… Read More

As if by magic…

A sharp-eyed Amazon-watcher just emailed to let me know that my next book, A Virtual Love, has been listed and is available for pre-order. Now don’t worry, this isn’t a sales pitch – I wouldn’t ask you to go and order a book about which there’s no information, not even a cover photo. I just mention it because it’s interesting how the listing of the book online makes it feel more real for me. The thing hasn’t even been edited yet, and it’ll be six months at least before it… Read More

Sleeping Patterns

The latest winner of the Luke Bitmead Award, the prize I won myself back in 2008, Sleeping Patterns is an intelligent, intriguing and ultimately rewarding book. It’s experimental in nature. The author, J.R. Crook, stated in an interview with his publisher that “the most obvious influence on Sleeping Patterns was probably Roland Barthes’s (in)famous essay ‘The Death of the Author,’ together with the related thoughts of Foucault.” He also listed Sartre, Calvino, Joyce, Musil and Pessoa as influences. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you that Sleeping Patterns… Read More

Introducing “A Virtual Love”, coming to a bookshop near you in Spring 2013

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I finally finished my second novel and it has been acquired by Legend Press with a publication date of spring 2013. It’s a story about the fluidity of identity on the internet, how we present different faces in different situations, can rip up or change an identity at will, and often exist more in terms of what others think or expect of us than who we really are. The main character in the book, Jeff Brennan, exists in this online world and juggles multiple… Read More

“The Generation Game” by Sophie Duffy

An interesting premise: the book starts with a woman in hospital talking to her newborn baby girl. She starts to tell the story of her life, beginning with her own birth in St Thomas’s Hospital in 1965 and going right up to the present day. “I’ll tell you my story. Our story. Because there’s nothing worse than wondering. Knowing is always better.” It works well to begin with the end, and to return to it regularly through the telling of everything that led up to that point. It builds anticipation… Read More

“Ashes” by Matthew Crow

The opening image of Ashes is a powerful one – a group of kids trying to stone a cat to death. The reason? “Something to do”. The tone is set for the rest of the novel. Bleakness, lack of hope, pointless violence, misdirected anger, innocent victims. The setting is Meadow Well council estate in North-East England in the early 1990s, site of a real-life riot which Crow fictionalises in this debut novel. One interesting technique in the book is the way that characters are drawn almost with equal weight. There… Read More

Prize draw to win books

OK, I haven’t done any self-promotion on here for a while, so here goes: BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! BUY MY BOOK! Thank you. The reason for this outburst is that my publisher is running a special promotion today – if you buy On the Holloway Road through their website, you get entered into a prize draw to win “a hoard of Legend Press books”. Your purchase also counts as a vote for my book – they’re featuring a different book each day throughout December, and the most popular… Read More