SHORT STORIES ALOUD – OXFORD
At the Oxford Short Stories Aloud event, the wonderfully talented Melissa Berry narrated my original short story ‘Linda’ (which I wrote with her narration in mind). You can watch it here …
GOATS AND SHEEP ON TOUR
In March 2016, THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP toured the country. From Edinburgh to Salisbury, Dulwich to Doncaster (and many places in between). Here are just a few of the photographs. You can read more on my Facebook page here
GOATS AND SHEEP – THE LAUNCH PARTY (January 28th 2016)
A video of my launch party speech …
Official photography by Philippa Gedge
See all the photographs here
GOATS AND SHEEP – THE AUDIO BOOK! December 2015
There have been many exciting steps on this journey, but perhaps one of the most exciting, was finding out who would be narrating Goats and Sheep for the audio book.
When I heard they had chosen Paula Wilcox, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. As well as being an incredible actor (and perfect to narrate the many voices on The Avenue), she was in several of my all-time favourite shows, including (of course), Man About The House.
I spent my own 1970s childhood watching Paula on the television, so for her to breathe life into 1970s Grace and Tilly was just perfect. As I sat in the control room, and listened to her speak my words, I did get a little ridiculous and emotional. She was brilliant (and not only that, she was also lovely and funny and very kind).
If you want to hear how very brilliant she is, you can listen to a snippet of her reading Goats and Sheep here.
At the end of the recording, they ask if I would like to read the dedication myself. So if you buy the audiobook, it’s my voice you’ll hear dedicating the book to my parents.
It really was the most wonderful day …
THE DAY MY BOOK WAS BORN – November 2015
Have you ever wondered how books are made? I had wondered this also, so when I was asked if I’d like to visit Clays in Norfolk – to see my own book being made – how could I say no!
It was such an interesting day. Clays made us feel so welcome, and the enthusiasm and knowledge of the people who showed us around was quite incredible. We learned about the whole process (which is far more complicated than I ever imagined, but so, so clever), and we got to see other books on their journey to being born.
Of course, the most exciting part, was seeing my own novel appear on the production line. All the words I had written (and agonised over, and shuffled around), appeared before me as a book …
If you’re an author, and you ever get the opportunity to see your book being printed, do go and watch. It might sound mechanical and unemotional, but it was one of the most moving experiences. You will also never look at books in quite the same way again! Huge thanks to Clays for a fabulous day, and for some brilliant memories.
CHELTENHAM LITERATURE FESTIVAL – October 2015
On October 10th, I had the wonderful experience of taking part in my first literature festival, in Cheltenham. I’d been to many festivals as a visitor, but never as an author – and it felt a little strange to have a wristband, a Madonna-style microphone, and not have to queue for the toilet.
I was part of The Borough Press Proof Party, which was held in The Spiegeltent (an incredible venue – it means ‘mirror tent’ in Dutch!), and it quickly filled with visitors, all enjoying afternoon tea and exciting goody bags.
The event was chaired by Fiona Wilson from The Times, who asked very interesting and thoughtful questions, and it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be (infact, it was really enjoyable!)
Plus, I got to sit in The Green Room (which was neither a room nor green, but another giant tent), where I ate pasta and celebrity spotted. Just as I was about to leave, one of the bar staff asked me if I could move my bag “so Chrissie Hynde can sit down.” Because that’s what life is like in a Green Room (may have squealed).
GOATS AND SHEEP ON TOUR – September 2015
We’ve had a whistle-stop tour of Waterstones (and some amazing independent bookshops) over the past couple of weeks, taking proofs of Goats and Sheep (along with some sneaky sheep-shaped shortbread and the odd cuddly lamb). From Leeds to Notting Hill, from Liverpool to Bath, we’ve met some amazing booksellers along the way
Can you spot your local bookseller amongst this lot?
Not only was it a huge amount of fun (and required lots of self-discipline – try visiting forty bookshops and not buying something in each one), it also really made me appreciate what an incredible lot booksellers are – and what an amazing resource. Next time you visit your local bookshop, don’t leave without a recommendation or a chat about what they’re reading now. Your bookshelf will thank you.
BOOKSELLERS’ ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE – 21st September 2015
I had the huge privilege of being asked to take part in the HarperCollins author breakfast, at the BA Conference at Warwick University, along with the very talented Rob Biddulph. When I arrived, the first thing I saw was a mahoosive cover of Goats and Sheep … rather wonderful, but slightly surreal!
I gave a presentation about my background in psychiatry, how it inspired me to write the novel, and why telling the story of Goats and Sheep was so important to me. Then I had a fabulous time, eating breakfast, chatting to independent booksellers and signing their proofs!
It was so lovely to be invited to take part. I only wish I could have disguised myself as a bookseller, and stayed for the whole the weekend – the BA programme looked amazing. Hmmm. Maybe next year …