Another conversation with my characters

all 4 books

“Nice review of ‘Sextet’, Ms Hall,” says Connor, as Cynthia hands me a cup of coffee. “Would you like a little something in that?” He waves a hip flask in my direction.

I shake my head. It’s a bit early for me.

Connor pours a liberal slug into his own cup. “Of course, I find a slim volume always has an appeal; like those novellas that Leonardi chap’s written. I must say, I do like his work.”

“Connor did very well with both his poetry collections at the Edinburgh Book Festival.” Cynthia smiles at him proudly.

“Publicity, d’you see.” He takes a mouthful of coffee. “Isn’t it time you gave our book another little push? I mean, we know you’ve only just released ‘The Rabbit’…” he chuckles. “‘Released the rabbit’, rather catchy that, eh?”

I nod in acknowledgement. I have used that, corny as it may be.

“Oh, it’s a lovely story, Ms Hall. Quite charming!” Cynthia interjects. “That nice young woman, Ellie Scott, enjoyed it too, didn’t she? So nice to hear from her.

“Our book’s done well in the ratings, but it doesn’t seem to have achieved quite the sales we might have hoped, does it?” Connor rubs his chin.

“I thought it would’ve sold loads more by now.” Gina drains her coffee.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you all ab…”

I’m interrupted by an instantly familiar beat coming from the flat upstairs. Gina rolls her eyes. “Not again! I’ve woken up to that song every morning since Bob moved into Lucy’s old room,” she sighs. “Hold on.” Gina gets to her feet and hurries upstairs.

“It has become a little tiresome,” says Cynthia.

“You can always bunk in with me, old thi… Cynth.”

Cynthia looks at him sharply.

The music stops. Moments later Gina returns followed by Gary and Bob who has Fingers perched on his shoulder. The little monkey chirrups when he recognises me, launching himself from Bob’s shoulder, via the back of Cynthia’s couch, onto my lap.

Gina, Gary and Bob squeeze onto the couch and look at me expectantly. I stroke Fingers’s head.

“The thing is, I may have made a misjudgment with the title.”

“How so, Ms Hall? I think it’s a lovely sentiment, using that pretty song from Carousel.” Cynthia beams.

“You mean the Liverpool football team anthem. That’s what it’s properly famous for.” Gary thrusts out his chest which is clad in the latest LFC team shirt. “Best team in the world!”

“That’s just the point, Gary,” I say. “Not everyone would agree.”

“Me Nan wasn’t best pleased with yer title. You know, being an Evertonian, like,” said Bob. “I mean, she did read it, but only ’cos of Fingers being in it.”

Hearing his name, Fingers sits up and chatters.

“Do you think that’s the reason? The title?” asks Gina.

“Quite possibly. Certainly in the UK.” I remember the reaction on Twitter back in July.

“So what would you call it?

“I’m not sure, Gina.”

“How about ‘We are the Champions’,” suggests Gary.

I frown.

“Don’t be daft, Gary,” Gina digs him in the ribs.

“Well, we were all champions in the end, weren’t we?” Gary holds his hands out. “I mean, Connor here…”

I hold up my hand. “Don’t give away the plot!”

“No, well, y’know what I mean.”

Cynthia turns to Connor. “What do you think? You’re so good with titles.”

Connor rubs his hand across his face. “What about ‘The Ruby Necklace’? Pierre giving Lucy that necklace is your inciting incident, isn’t it?”

“That fits in so well with your first book,” Cynthia claps her hands together. “The Silver Locket followed by ‘The Ruby Necklace’. That would be perfect.”

“And after that, ‘The Solitaire Diamond’..?” Gina touches her engagement ring.

I nod slowly. I wonder, maybe I should change the title?


The music referred to is ‘Blue Monday’ by New Order, which my flat-mate played loudly every morning for the whole of our last term at university.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYH8DsU2WCk

 

Just sayin’

000Make an author's day by JI Rogers

Some really helpful advice from author, J I Rogers.

If you were wondering how to jump aboard the ‘author’s helping authors’ band wagon, this makes it so easy!

You can see from the side panel that I regularly read and review books on Goodreads. I also post the review to Amazon for the books I’ve downloaded and read by indie authors. I know how important it is.

So, all of you ‘indies’ out there, time to help each other out. Share the message and post your book links!

And to all you gallant readers: let’s have your reviews! Pretty please?

 

Freebie this week!

 

Well, it’s that kinda week…

Just a reminder that my novel, ‘The Silver Locket’ written under pen name Holly Atkins, will be available to download onto your Kindle (or phone with ‘app’) for the rest of this week.

Please do help yourself to a copy!

If you get the chance, I’d really like to hear what you think about it. All feedback and reviews are welcome.

Ellie Scott did and I really appreciated her review. Here’s what she said: Ellie Scott’s book review of The Silver Locket

Offer closes Friday 30th November at 11:59 PST (Saturday 1st December 07:59 GMT)

Author Reviews: how do you feel?

I come across this article by one of my favourite authors, Kate Atkinson, which she wrote in response to a review of her latest novel by the American novelist Jonathan Dee in the New Yorker.

You can read the full article for yourself by following the the link below, but as I was reading, I was initially incensed on her behalf by Dee describing her as ‘matronly’. I mean, how dare he? (Note that Ms Atkinson is a contemporary of mine, even down to having grown up in the same city, not that we knew each other).

In his review, Dee makes much of a comparison with the work of Rachel Cusk, who is an exponent of “autofiction” (a form of fictionalised autobiography). There’s a further link in the main article to a piece about this form of expression, which is apparently gaining in popularity. It’s not something I’d care to explore; writing from the imagination seems to me to be the whole point of novel writing.

But back to the point about authors reviewing authors. Reviews are important, and I’m very grateful for the lovely reviews I’ve received on my published work so far. I believe that we should try to support each other and if we really don’t like a book, maybe just keep our opinions private.

Some food for thought here. What’s your view?


Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

Kate Atkinson calls authors reviewing their peers a ‘callous art’

British novelist who recently published latest book “Transcription” says she tries not to read bad reviews

Kate Atkinson
Kate Atkinson, Author (and not at all matronly)

The literary world is packed with novelists reviewing the books of their colleagues but it is not something Kate Atkinson would do, calling it a “callous art”.