Edinburgh Here I Come

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 Brochure Cover

I am SO EXCITED!

During the Festival Fringe we have regularly rented a house or flat in some cheaper part of Edinburgh to accommodate family, friends and company members while my husband Tim puts on a show at the Traverse.

This means a part of my August has often been spent in a mad rush of shows, galleries, and keeping the children happy (Edinburgh Dungeon, Zoo, etc.) while the old man works. Hours, perhaps even days, have been spent eating chilli nachos and drinking Hendricks and tonic in the Traverse Bar, waiting for the next show, or for Tim to be interviewed, or meeting actors, playwrights, directors and bookers from around the world.… read more

Writing on Trains (again)

On the train during my Harrogate residency

On the train during my Harrogate residency

Amtrak have taken inspiration from the idea Sam Eades and I hatched for writers’ residencies on trains!

As a past Writer in Residence on East Coast Rail, I did a piece yesterday for the BBC World Service on the whole business.

Have a listen.

There’s also a really interesting piece by Alison Flood about it on the Guardian Books Blog.… read more

TARNISHED publication day!

It’s a funny old business, publication day. Particularly when it’s your third book and you’re writing a fourth, and the deadline is looming.

For your first novel you go out and have a long, boozy lunch, ‘possibly’ followed by an ill-advised walk along the seafront. Your second might see you nipping out to the pub and perhaps sharing a bottle or two of champagne in the evening with a couple of mates.… read more

Julia and the Book Factory

On Friday I went with Sam Eades, my lovely publicist at Headline, to Clays printers in Bungay, to see Every Vow You Break roll off the presses. I had been told by David Headley at Goldsboro Books and S J Watson that it was an astounding day out (‘like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for book nerds’), and that the sandwiches were very good. They were right on all counts.

After those remarkable sandwiches at Cambridge House, a beautiful Georgian building where the company started and which they now use for hospitality, We were shown around the massive factory by the lovely Vicky Ellis and Phil and Steve, having a peek at every single part of the process.… read more

What I Did Before My Holidays

From 19 – 22 July, I was at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, appearing on the New Blood Panel. It was a great honour to be chosen (by Val McDermid, no less!) to speak alongside SJ Watson (whose book Before I go to Sleep is deservedly taking the world by storm), Gordon Ferris (of the gritty Truth Dare Kill) and Melanie McGrath, (of the marvellous White Heat).

(Ahhhh. A gorge on brackets, normally as forbidden as carbs on the Dukan Diet)

WHAT A WEEKEND!… read more

Parmesan? in a bookshop?

Photo by Peter Chrisp

So it was my book launch on Friday. And what a night!

Alison with some of the best Parmesan cheese in the world

Brighton Waterstone’s hosted the event, Headline very generously provided the wine and my sister in law, Alison Crouch, provided the food, which was a highlight of the night. She imports Parma ham, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Salume from Italy and France and sells them in Borough Market and online. … read more

Busy busy

They've arrived! Real books, nestling on a fleece

Guilt! Guilt! I’m a bad, infrequent blogger.

I am busier than I ever thought it was possible to be. I mean it’s only one book that’s being published on March 3. And I’m working on the second draft of just one other book, to be delivered at the latest by the end of March, but ideally in the middle of the month.

Two things. That’s not much. When I was web designing I was juggling five or six projects all the time. … read more

Finally, at last, etc.

I have finally stopped myself procrastinating and started the read through of draft one, novel #2.

Before starting, I:

  • Made a nice wall-chart of juicy quotes from Macbeth
  • Studied Penelope Leach to make sure my addled parenting memory isn’t confusing what a three year old child can and can’t do
  • Printed out research photos and stuck them up on my wall
  • Caught up on emails
  • Have been very quick to respond to requests from Sam Eades, my powerhouse publicist at Headline (who is sending out proof copies of CUCKOO as I write this)
  • Made up some Ikea cardboard boxes I bought last week…
  • …Boxed up old drafts of CUCKOO, taking time to look at my annotated first draft to see how much I altered (almost all of it)
  • Cleared some space on my bookshelves
  • Bought yet more index cards, stickers and stars
  • Put Draft One in another lever arch file because the one it was in had got squashed.
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