Hello lovely people! It has been a shamefully long time since I posted here and for that I sincerely apologise. However, on returning to the world of blogging, I bring an interview with the fantastic Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us which has become an instant bestseller. If you haven’t got your copy yet, then I’m not sure where you’ve been because this book has been gracing review pages and shop windows galore so it should be on your radar! Who better to describe it that its own author…? Continue reading Franny interviews Laura Barnett, author of THE VERSIONS OF US!
Last week, I hit London Book Fair for an intense couple of days of meetings, seminars, over-priced lunches and plenty of fun. As we entered the afternoon of the fair’s final day, attendees were treated to a half-day conference on Literary Festivals. But who knew that these sessions would soon descend into such fiery behaviour? This, ladies and gents, was the place to be for controversial talk. I wrote the following article for Book2Book but I’d love to hear what you think. Is there really any question about paying authors to appear at festivals? I invite you to be the jury… Continue reading Why are we STILL questioning author pay?
It seems ironic that an author who is intent on remaining, not anonymous, but ‘absent‘ from her work has fuelled an intense wave of publicity on her very absence. But we live in a world where people thrive on the opportunity to reveal identities. We love it. We want to unite against bullying, raising money for a dancing man, generating a self-perpetuating hype that extends far beyond the original act. We crave the moment where a face is put to a name with the intensity of a criminal pursuit. As a book publicist, there’s always been something unsettling about my purpose. No journalist intends to write a piece on the content of a book alone, they reach out for interesting back stories: ‘has your author suffered an unusual trauma and been inspired to write as a result?’ ‘Does your author have a nice house we can photograph for our interiors page?’ It is unimaginably difficult for a book to be read on merit alone, so I find it admirable when an individual separates herself from her work, taking control over the desperate clawing for personal information and revealing only what is necessary. This person is Elena Ferrante.
The point is, you do not need to know Ferrante’s entire history to appreciate that she is one of the finest novelists you will ever read. This woman (though some say man), has crafted the most intensely beautiful bildungsroman which has been split into four to form the Neapolitan Novels. I am drawing to the close of the third, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay having been unable to truly commit to another book since beginning the tale of two young girls in 1950s Naples, and the fourth will be published in English this September. The story starts in My Brilliant Friend and if you’re looking for something to read – make it this.
Happy International Women’s Day!
I hope you are having a great weekend. Monday is coming around too quickly for my liking and seems to be bringing grey weather with it just to top off that bundle of joy… But let’s move on from that, shall we?
My working week underwent a major change in 2015 when I decided that instead of living across the road from the office in Harpenden (approx 20 second commute), I would rather live in London and commit to a significantly lengthier journey of a 30 min walk, a 25 min train ride and another 20 min walk. And yes, you guessed it, do it all again in reverse at the end of the day. That’s almost THREE hours of my day spent travelling (and don’t get me started on the expense). But that’s also a good 50 minutes of reading time – let’s be optimistic. So when The Girl on the Train was published this January, I knew I had to get my hands on it. One cannot turn down such an apt book to while away train time, especially when it’s billed as the next Gone Girl. Nothing beats a great thriller as you join the masses rocking gently to the rhythm of the locomotive… Continue reading The Girl on a Train
Happy weekend one and all!
Can you believe that we are almost at the end of January? For some that may be cause for celebration, but I have to say, January’s been pretty good to me this year. Granted, I have my birthday halfway through the month so you can’t go too far wrong with surprises and cake, but aside from that, it’s been an enjoyable time of year! I am ashamed, however, that this is my very first book review of 2015. This is not to say I haven’t been reading, oh no. I’ve devoured many books and cannot wait to share my thoughts with you on A Place Called Winter, Hold The Dark and Girl on the Train. All recommended reads. But reviewing takes a lot of time – you need to reflect on the story absorbed, consider its depth, impact and your overall opinion before any writing even takes place. I appreciate this is me just making excuses but forgive me, please. My February resolution is to be better. And I hope Perks will be back with some thoughts too!
I cannot believe a whole week of 2015 has passed by already, but as you all should know, the 8th day of January marks a very special day. No it’s not totally-acceptable-to-give-up-on-diet day (that was the 2nd, right?) And no, it’s not F&P’s first book review day – I know you’re all very excited for this (and so you should be – we have Part 2 of Franny’s cookery books feature coming up and reviews of HOLD THE DARK and A PLACE CALLED WINTER). No no, it’s incredibly special as we celebrate…
Happy Christmas one and all!
I hope you are all having a marvellous time filled with sparkling festivities and recovering from the scrumptious indulgences of Christmas day.
I’m raring to go for another afternoon filled with overflowing plates and bottomless glasses to properly get into the spirit of things, but seeing as it is Boxing Day and the shops were teeming with bargain-hunters, I thought it would be a good time to bring your attention to some of the best titles that you need to get in your kitchen, if Santa hasn’t delivered them already…
First, I need to say a huge Christmas thank you to Anna and Catherine of Vintage and Michael Joseph who sent over a selection of their finest cookery books of the year and which I am very excited to share with you. Thank you both! Continue reading Christmas = Cooking. Here are the books you NEED. [Part One]
I’m going to offer a simple, if controversial, equation for the meaning of Christmas.
Christmas = indulgence
Don’t look at me in horror. I completely agree that Christmas is a time for giving, reflection, gratitude and all that warm fuzzy goodness. But let’s face facts. The festive season is also a time for stuffing our faces with rich, gorgeous food, guzzling all the fizz, donning our finest garb and swanning away from the office, happily thinking, ‘oooh ’tis the season, go on, let’s treat ourselves‘ (again and again and again…) Continue reading Books are OBVIOUSLY the #GreatestGift
Happy 1st December!
Yes, that’s right. Christmas is coming. FAST. But there’s only so many mince pies and stollen bites that I can handle over the festive season. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a lot, but when I saw Edd Kimber’s recipe for Amaretto Creams in the November Waitrose Magazine, I knew I HAD to make them. Once you’ve read this, you’ll want to make them too. Trust me.
Don’t they look fabulous? Continue reading Festive Baking with Franny – Amaretto Creams
I headed to The Bookseller’s FutureBook 2014 Conference last Friday – there were a range of strands, but one that I personally found most interesting and raised a real call-to-arms was the Consumer Insight: Strategic Advantage, or just a Buzzword? panel. Here is my round-up, also found on Book2Book.
Hype around a word can often distract from its purpose, especially in the publishing industry. Despite the importance of ‘digital‘, ‘social media‘, ‘content’ and ‘the future‘, each has suffered delayed action due to a lack of understanding and an apprehensive pursuit from the book sector to learn from and engage with them. It was interesting to see that these words and phrases were once again the focus of the annual FutureBook conference, demonstrating a clear need for publishers to stop bandying them around as buzzwords but actually assessing their businesses and industry at large, and finding means of using these increasingly important strategies before they slip behind their non-publishing competitors: an argument that was passionately raised by the opening keynote, George Berkowski. Continue reading #FutureBook14 – Consumer Insight