Friday, 7 November 2008

Launch Party

Great launch party for Under a Blood Red Sky yesterday - many thanks to everybody who came to support me. Particular thanks to Catherine Duncan at Sphere who has done a fabulous job with the PR. I'm looking forward to getting out there now and meeting readers, hearing their responses and often their own personal stories of Russia in the 1930s. Today I was doing a radio interview at Palm Radio and as I left, the lovely young newsreader in the studio told me about her own grandparents who were White Russians too. The story seems to create a connection with people that I find deeply moving and that indicates what an extraordinarily diverse society we live in.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Publication Day

Today is Publication Day for Under a Blood Red Sky in the UK. It is set in Russia 1933 and is the story of a powerful friendship between two young women and how it shapes their lives.

I am very much looking forward to the launch party tonight at Torbay Bookshop in Paignton, Devon, and I will also be doing book-signings there on Saturday morning, 8th Nov at 10.30am and at Brixham Library on Nov 26th at 2pm. I want to thank Matthew and Sarah Clarke who own Torbay Bookshop for their enthusiastic and invaluable support - I am fortunate indeed in having such an active independent bookshop to rely on.

It is an exciting moment seeing Under a Blood Red Sky take its first steps into a life of its own. I love walking into shops and seeing its beautiful cover on the shelves calling to readers. But it's a strange experience in some ways because I am aware that people who read it will learn a lot about me. It's part of the process that all authors have to adapt to.

When I sit writing at my desk revealing the intimate thoughts and emotions of my characters, it inevitably reveals a certain amount about myself. Readers know me but I don't know them. That's one of the reasons why it's great to hear what they have to say - either here on my blog or by email and at signings. It makes a connection, rather than writing into a void.

But I am excited to know already that good reviews are coming in and that Reading Groups are selecting it as their pick for debate. I love to think of my characters, Sofia and Anna, being discussed in groups all over the world, prompting heated debate over their motivations and the moral choices they make. This is deeply satisfying to an author. So thanks to all my readers. Enjoy this one.