Happy Easter!

A bunch of treats and goodies for you to indulge in at your leisure:

1. Writing Retreat

Chateau Saint Mère

Chateau Saint Mère

Writing At The Castle is 5 days of professional tuition and private writing time in the inspiring surroundings of a magnificent medieval Château in Gascony, South West France. Award-winning authors Amanda Hodgkinson and Tracey Warr, together with literary agent Andrew Lownie and publishing professionals including Jill Marsh author and co-publisher at Triskele Books and Anselm Audley, will be among the speakers who will lead practical workshops for a small group of writers looking to make that difficult leap from the private and often solitary writing desk, to the world of published success.

Writing At The Castle 2015 will concentrate on fiction and the novel. Wednesday 1st July –  Tuesday 7th July.


Dan_Jones_MG_9611C copy

Dan Jones, presenter of Great British Castles

2. Words with JAM

THE magazine for writers is just out. If you’re new to Words with JAM (WWJ), please pull up a stool and take a look around. We email out issues packed full of interviews with authors and industry professionals, articles on writing, reading, libraries, the publishing industry and indie-publishing every other month, as well as occasional newsletters.

This is the History issue, containing interviews, reviews, info, opinion and a smidge of sarky satire.


w-green-howl3. Indie-Publishing

Jill Indie Pub – Your ALLi rep’s take on indie publishing in Switzerland. These are the slides from my talk at WriteConZüri15 on 21/22 March. A round of all speakers’ presentations will appear in the next issue of The Woolf,  Zürich’s quarterly literary magazine: pouncing on narrative media, dragging tasty morsels home to share with the pack.



4. Here’s A Time & A Place

Today, Triskele Books releases a boxset of SEVEN fabulous novels, taking you wherever and whenever you want to go. Gorge on gorgeousness and feel saintly as it is completely calorie-free. What’s in the box?

A Time and A Place Box Set Cover LARGE EBOOKCrimson Shore: ‘Hamer does for Anglesey what Rankin does to Edinburgh, what Dexter did to Oxford’
The Rise of Zenobia: ‘Packed to the hilt with tension and adventure, it kept me spellbound’
Rats: ‘An absolute treat for fans of SF, dystopian, and YA novels, but I would recommend it to anyone who loves a great story brilliantly told’
Ghost Town:‘Unique and brilliant… not just a compelling read, but also a learning experience’
Wolfsangel: ‘Fascinating, forceful and extremely well researched… will thrill historical fiction fans’
Delirium: ‘Beautifully plotted and written, this absorbing, enchanting novel is one of the best books I have read this year’
Behind Closed Doors: ‘Warning: once you start this book you may not be able to put it down, and you may find yourself talking to it’

I first encountered Jane Davis when we were both selected as Readers’ Recommended Reads in The Guardian. I was very glad I did. Not only is she a lovely person, but I am a serious fan of her writing, hence my willingness to provide a quote for the cover.

As she is releasing three of her wonderful books in a boxset, I took the opportunity to find out a little more about her, her writing and her reading.


Which book most influenced you when growing up?

The books that I loved the most were those of Alan Garner.  I was drawn to his dark depiction of the British countryside as a strange and mysterious place, almost a character in itself, with its old beliefs and pagan influences. Whilst there was no conscious connection, in adult life I have explored Britain’s prehistoric sites and am intrigued by phenomena such as ley lines.

Where do you write?

I am overwhelmed by guilt just reading that question. I write at the dining table. The problem in our house is the layout. You have to walk through the dining room to get to both the kitchen and the bathroom. Since I need absolute silence to work, I have a habit of glaring at Matt whenever he disturbs me, even if he is offering to make me a coffee. I have also failed miserably in my promise that I would clear away my writing stuff every night before dinner. There is a practical reason why I don’t – I usually carry on working into the evening. But it does mean that we usually eat surrounded by my work – pens, papers, post-it notes, the stack of books I am using for research of my current novel. It’s hardly relaxing. My advice: never live with a writer!

Who or what had the biggest impact on your creative life?

half truths and white lies cover The rejection of my second book by my publisher, Transworld. Strange as it may seem, I think it was probably the best thing that could have happened. (At the time, I didn’t think it was cause for panic as I was assured that another publisher would snap me up.) But, having won the Daily Mail First Novel Award, my reality check came in 2009, when my follow-up was refused because it wasn’t ‘women’s fiction’. Never having considered that I was writing for exclusively women (in fact, I have a growing number of male readers), I hadn’t appreciated the implications of being published under their Black Swan imprint. Without realising it, I had been pigeon-holed – and my new novel didn’t fit.

Personally, I am drawn to books that refuse to conform. When a review of Roz Morris’s My Memories of a Future Life  described it as strange and stubborn, I went out of my way to track it down. But at the point of publication, a book must be defined. Bestselling authors like Joanne Harris can stick their necks out and say that they don’t insult their readers by assuming that they only like to read one type of fiction (she also disputes that ‘womens’ fiction’ is a genre  – a sentiment that resonates with me both as a reader and an author.) Recently, Kate Mosse has distanced herself from the off-putting literary tag by announcing her return to her roots as a storyteller.

As best-selling author Hugh Howey suggested at the London Book Fair, authors should enjoy their anonymity. Over the next four years, I produced two further novels. Had I been under contract, I would have been chasing deadlines. Instead, with the luxury of time, I added layers to plots, depth to characters and a real sense of time and place. In later novels, I have tackled subjects that mainstream publishers might have encouraged me to avoid – a mother who turns to prostitution, for example.

How far are you influenced by other media, such as music or photography?

JD-TFT-AIA-CRE reducedI don’t use music in the process of creating characters, but I make extensive musical references in my writing. For me, 7 inch singles pinpoint a particular time and so they’re useful tools for tapping into a reader’s sense of nostalgia.

In Half-Truths and White Lies, one of my main characters is a musician, while another has been brought up without any popular music in the house (a situation that reflects my own up-bringing) and so the musician takes over the responsibility of educating his friend. These experiences are mine. My mother was a classical musician and my father policed Beatles gigs during the height of Beatlemania, dealing with teenage girls who wet themselves, fainted and threw their knickers (not in that order, that wouldn’t make sense at all). One of my father’s dinner-party stories was how he arrested Georgie Fame for speeding and Georgie Fame asked him, ‘Do you know who I am?’ and my dad was quite proud to say that he didn’t. (Georgie Fame took his revenge by writing a song called Sargeant Jobsworth). But it wasn’t fair to send any girl to guide camp in the Seventies without knowing the words to Yellow Submarine, and I suffered the ultimate humiliation of failing the interview for Crackerjack because I didn’t know the names of all of the Beatles.

My characters are influenced by music to the same extent that I was. Music was what made sense of my teenage years. References are also scattered throughout These Fragile Things. I suspect that only someone who was a teenager in the 80s would be aware when they read, adding her voice, that it is a nod to the Human League. There is a scene in which Graham is reciting the Lord’s Prayer as he walks though hospital corridors. It is borrowed from Yazoo’s In My Room.

JD-IStoppedTimeMy other obsession is photography. It is the theme of my novel I Stopped Time, which is my homage to the pioneers of photography and I was determined to do them justice. The review that most pleased me came from a professional photographer who wrote, ‘This book voiced everything I’ve held inside of me as a photographer . Stopping time…looking at the world with a different perspective. I found it to be affirming of all artists, especially photographers. In the age of digitalization, we are given even more opportunity to craft our art. The novel’s heroine was creating artistic images that were cutting edge for the setting.’ I was very moved by that.

Do you have a phrase that you most overuse?

I don’t know about overuse. My favourite phrase is KBO (Keep buggering on). It is borrowed from Churchill. I find uses for it several times a day – and I managed to squeeze it into my novel, An Unchoreographed Life.

Which writers do you enjoy?

A great book has to transport you somewhere else. There have to be a few deeply flawed but sympathetically-written characters. The speech and descriptions need to sound true. There must be a love interest, even if the love is unrequited. And there needs to be a tragedy. I like authors who write about complex subject-matter in simple language. I don’t want to have to interrupt my reading to look up words in a dictionary. Those are the things I look for.

My favourite author is John Irving and it would be difficult to include only one of his novels in a shortlist. I am torn between Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Both are life-changing. I particularly love John Irving’s use of themes and challenging viewpoints. I have never been to New England, but I feel that I know the area well through his writing.

I was most flattered to have my characterisation compared to Maggie O’Farrell’s, an author whose writing career I have followed closely. I love her warmth for her characters, and her total lack of judgement.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is the book I recommend to people who tell me that they don’t enjoy fiction, because it is based in fact. The author tackles extremely sensitive issues with originality and simplicity, which is perfection. I got to the very end before I learned that he is the author of several award winning children’s books, and it explained much about his writing style and his deep understanding of his main characters.

The book I return to time and time again is The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy is a difficult, rich and rewarding read. Don’t be put off by the film which focused on everything that is romantic in the book, detouring neatly round the more shocking elements of the storyline, leaving very two-dimensional characters.

Annie Proulx wrote the most extraordinary main character in Quoyle in The Shipping News but her use of language is so full of warmth and humour and sadness that we cannot help but love him.
And don’t get me started on Jennifer Egan. I will start to stutter.

Which book do you wish you’d written?

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. So clever. Mind you, it would be terrible to have actually written Good Squad and to be aware that you probably won’t be able to top it. As Matt rightly said to me last week when a reviewer wrote that I was at the pinnacle of my career, ‘Of course, you wouldn’t actually want to be at the pinnacle of your career, because there would only be one way to go.’

How do you write? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A Funeral for an Owl cover reducedA total pantster. I embark on a new project with a whiff of a character. Usually, they’re very vague. John Irving says that he won’t set pen to paper until he has the last line nailed. I just couldn’t work if I set myself rules like that.

An Unchoreographed Life started when I walked into Waterstones at Piccadilly. At the risk of sounding flaky, I become aware of another presence, almost ghost-like. The need to latch onto it before it fades was very immediate. I went home and wrote seven pages of something I called The Book Diviner.

If I get the character right, the plot usually follows – not necessarily in its final structure or even with its complete cast. My books undergo numerous revisions as I throw my characters to the lions and explore their motivations. You write about a detective. Well, the process requires detective work. Sir James didn’t appear until about draft twenty of I Stopped Time. I think we’ve talked before about how in A Funeral for an Owl Shamayal turned up very late in the day. Fortunately he was so vivid that he almost wrote himself.

Unlike life, everything in fiction has to have perfect logic and so every question has to be followed through to its natural conclusion – although I never tie up all of the loose ends. Sometimes the final scene will be as great a surprise to me as it is to the reader.

Do you have a guilty reading pleasure?

In a word, No. I do find that my enjoyment of a novel can be hugely influenced by the book I was reading immediately before it. I really did feel that The Girl is a Half-formed Thing rewired my brain in such a way that my return to reading ordinary prose was difficult. In an ideal word, you would allow yourself a period of mourning between novels. Recently, I read seven novels in a two-week period. Frankly, I ended up feeling so jaded I knew it wouldn’t be fair to another author if I continued. My strategy was to switch to biographies.

Your covers are just beautiful. How does the design process work?

Branding is hugely important to me. Through submitting work to literary agents, I became aware that my fiction was difficult to categorise. The reason the majority gave for rejecting it was because they weren’t sure how to sell it to a publisher. As I added to my back catalogue, I ventured into yet more sub-categories of fiction. In my mind, a book written for market without passion is going to lack integrity.

The brief I gave Andrew Candy was that the books should look like a set you’d want to collect. I was thinking of my own bookshelves: the novels of John Irving; Frank Herbert’s Dune series; the classic Penguin paperbacks. If it were possible, I wanted that certain something that would make people say, ‘Oh, another Jane Davis’. I wasn’t starting from scratch, and so I simply borrowed elements from the cover of Half-truths and White Lies and used them as building blocks: the font and the strong photographic image, repeated on the spine.

In terms of the feel, I try to reflect the themes and the emotions of individual books. I suppose the cover for A Funeral for an Owl, which features a boy and an owl, is the most literal. I am absolutely clear in my approach about what I don’t want. My novel, These Fragile Things, tackles near-death experience and religious visions. I didn’t want to exclude readers who would normally avoid Christian fiction, because that is only one element of the book. I always source the images. For this one, I chose a butterfly with a broken wing, which not only fits the title and represents transformation, but also hints at vulnerability. For An Unchoreographed Life, my story of a ballerina who turns to prostitution, I was very careful to avoid any hint of erotica. Instead I wanted to give the feel of a woman living behind a mask; someone who has not quite left her past behind. That’s how I arrived at the image of a ballerina with a deer’s head.

So the key elements have to be instantly identifiable, inclusive and – I hope – intriguing.

Would you share what you’re working on next?

Women-Writing-Women-Box-Set-Cover_finalJPEGI’m just emerging from a stage when I’ve been juggling projects. I have been involved in Outside the Box: Women Writing Women, a collaboration with six other authors which has resulted in a limited edition box-set. Like you, I am launching my own three- book box set, Second Chapter, and I have also been putting the finishing touches to my forthcoming release, An Unknown Woman. I have written a first draft of a new first under the working title Less Venom More Sorrow. Writing it made me realise how much more research I need to do. My main character – a kind of Edith Sitwell v Vivienne Westwood hybrid – has been anti-establishment her whole life and is horrified to find that she’s on the New Year’s Honour’s List. That’s my starting point. My next challenge is to pinpoint exactly when she was born. Everything else will stem from that.


JD Bench 034 Jane Davis lives in Carshalton, Surrey, with her Formula 1 obsessed, star-gazing, beer-brewing partner, surrounded by growing piles of paperbacks, CDs and general chaos. Her first novel, Half-truths and White Lies, won the Daily Mail First Novel Award and was described by Joanne Harris as ‘A story of secrets, lies, grief and, ultimately, redemption, charmingly handled by this very promising new writer.’ She was hailed by The Bookseller as ‘One to Watch.’ Of her three following novels, Compulsion Reads wrote, ‘Davis is a phenomenal writer, whose ability to create well rounded characters that are easy to relate to feels effortless.’ Jane’s favourite description of fiction is that it is ‘made-up truth’.



Second Chapter:


Outside the Box

More information on http://www.womenwritewomen.comWatch the video trailer: – –


Herewith the oft-quoted and possibly apocryphal Picasso anecdote:

Picasso is sketching at a park. A woman walks by, recognizes him, and begs for her portrait. A few minutes later, he hands her the sketch. She is elated, excited about how wonderfully it captures the very essence of her character, what beautiful work it is, and asks how much she owes him. “5000 francs, madam,” says Picasso. The woman is outraged as it only took him five minutes. Picasso says: “No, madam, it took me my whole life.”

As an author, I’m anti-frees. I spent years honing each of my books, not to mention the years of craft and education it took me to get to publication stage. You want all that – gratis?


Book Snake by Alan Levine (Creative Commons)

Before I even pressed the publish button, I promised my novels two things: Never free, never exclusive. If I don’t value my work, why would anyone else? And I feel the same way as Dorothy Parker regarding eggs.

Things have changed. According to better-informed observers, the ‘free’ phenomenon no longer works in terms of connecting books to readers. It had its moment, filling up e-reading devices with the unread, unreviewed and undervalued. That strategy of luring the reader into your series proved to be largely a myth as many never bothered to read the first one. Some who downloaded and read freebies left poor reviews, reflecting how little worth a free book holds.

Pulp fiction.

But I want to address this issue as a reader, not a writer.

I just had a cleansing cull of my Twitter feed, deleting all those who post largely FREE!!!! announcements and constant book promotion.


I do not want your new free book.

I will not read, I will not look.

If I dig down the back of the sofa and root about in the corners of my handbag, I can probably come up with three quid. An e-book costs me less than a birthday card and contains a lot more words. It holds the possibility of an enjoyable experience. Just that, a possibility.

But you’re not asking for my money. You want something far, far more valuable.

You want my time.

Reading is my sanctuary and my education. It’s my reward at the end of a difficult day. Those precious hours I spend with my paperbacks or e-reader are anything but throwaway.

I listen to friends, read reviews, hoard recommendations and if an author seems interesting, I buy their books. This is a big leap for me. Parting with three gilded coins is one thing, but six to ten hours of my attention is a much greater investment.

Discounted! Free! Limited time only! I couldn’t care less.

For a great premise, intriguing blurb and appealing cover, I’ll have a look. I’ll try a few pages. Plus if the author’s personality is something more interesting than Self-Promo Klaxon, I’ll pay full price, read and review.

Today, I bought some pumpkin-seed bread. It costs more than the bog-standard loaf, but I know I will enjoy it. The cashier threw a honey rice-cracker into my carrier bag as a little extra. I thanked him, took it home, crumbled it up and put it on the bird-table.

After all, it was free.


Image by Alan Levine






I’m a huge fan of collaboration, indie authors and damn good writing.

When I was asked if I’d offer an endorsement for this boxset, I leapt at the chance.

‘An extraordinary collection, varied in style but united in quality, demonstrating precisely why indie publishing is a treasure trove for readers.’ – JJ Marsh, author of the Beatrice Stubbs series and founder member of Triskele Books

I know these writers and genuinely love their work. This is exactly the arena where indie authors excel: superb writing – difficult to categorise – awkward yet brilliant. Only available for 90 days, this boxset of seven exceptional books is unmissable. Grab it and sit back with a smug grin in the knowledge you’ve found the Next Big Thing. Times seven.

Outside the Box: Women Writing Women

Published in e-book format on February 20 (pre-orders from January 12), available for just 90 days.

The box-set introduces a diverse cast of characters: A woman accused of killing her tyrannical father who is determined to reveal the truth. A bookish and freshly orphaned young woman seeks to escape the shadow of her infamous mother—a radical lesbian poet—by fleeing her hometown. A bereaved biographer who travels to war-ravaged Croatia to research the life of a celebrity artist. A gifted musician who is forced by injury to stop playing the piano and fears her life may be over. An undercover journalist after a by-line, not a boyfriend, who unexpectedly has to choose between her comfortable life and a bumpy road that could lead to happiness. A former ballerina who turns to prostitution to support her daughter, and the wife of a drug lord who attempts to relinquish her lust for sharp objects and blood to raise a respectable son.


This set of thought-provoking novels showcases genre-busting fiction across the full spectrum from light (although never frothy) to darker, more haunting reads that delve into deeper psychological territory. But regardless of setting, regardless of whether the women are mothers, daughters, friends or lovers, the themes are universal: euthanasia, prostitution, gender anomalies, regression therapy, obesity, drug abuse, revenge, betrayal, sex, lust, suicide and murder.


‘The optimism and confidence in this new collection is palpable.’ Alison Baverstock, lecturer in publishing and self-publishing at Kingston University.


The Authors

Orna Ross (founder-director of The Alliance of Independent Authors, named by The Bookseller as one of the 100 most influential people in publishing) selected Blue Mercy, a complex tale of betrayal, revenge, suspense, murder mystery – and surprise.

Orna reduced

Joni Rodgers (NYT bestselling author) returned to her debut Crazy for Trying, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and a Discover Award finalist.

joni reduced

Roz Morris (ghost writer and teacher of creative writing master classes for the Guardian newspaper in London) presented My Memories of a Future Life, the haunting story of how one lost soul searches for where she now belongs.

Roz reduced

Kathleen Jones, best-selling award winning author, Royal Literary Fund Fellow, whose work has been broadcast by the BBC, contributed The Centauress, a compelling tale of family conflict over a disputed inheritance.

Kathleen reduced

Jane Davis (a British writer whose debut won the Daily Mail First Novel Award) nominated An Unchoreographed Life, an unflinching and painfully honest portrayal of flawed humanity.


Carol Cooper (author, doctor, British journalist and president of the Guild of Health Writers) provided One Night at the Jacaranda, a gripping story about a group of people searching for love, sex and everything in between.

Carol reduced

For Jessica Bell (Australian novelist, singer/songwriter, Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and whose award-winning poetry has been broadcast on ABC National Radio), her latest novel White Lady was the obvious choice, an intense, suspenseful ride rife with mystery.

Jessica reduced


‘The authors of these books are at the forefront of a strong cohort of ground-breaking, boundary-pushing women writing and self-publishing literary fiction. I cannot recommend this collection highly enough.’ Dan Holloway, columnist for the Guardian books pages and publisher


Watch the video here

Pre-order now from or

Find out more by visiting:





ALLi Ambassador for SwitzerlandIf you’re an indie author who takes the role seriously, you probably already know about ALLi (The Alliance of Independent Authors).

I joined right at the start and am so relieved I did. ALLi is a non-profit organisation which offers a whole range of benefits. Advice, worldclass advisors, free online seminars, workshops, IndieRecon Conference & member Q&A Sessions,  free legal/contracts advice, help selling translation & TV & film rights, a searchable imagesAuthor Database, useful contacts in publishing, a Services Watchdog, a Publishing Services Directory, support for cooperative ventures, a global audience, free Self-Publishing Guides, quality Self-Publishing resources, Crowdfunding tips, campaigns on behalf of all indies, a commitment to quality standards, great discounts and opportunities to participate on larger platforms.

The Ethical Author campaign, of which I’m an enthusiastic supporter, encourages ALLi authors to behave with principles and decency at all times.

Three examples of how I’ve personally benefitted from my ALLi membership:

ALLi members at London Book Fair

ALLi members at London Book Fair

Answers. Anything you need to know will be answered in minutes on the ALLi Facebook page. As a global group from the mighty to the tiny, someone, somewhere will know how to help.

Exposure. Last year I got the chance to read from my work at the Audible/ALLi event at London Book Fair.

Opportunities. I published Cold Pressed directly onto Nook, at the suggestion of well-informed ALLi members. The result? Picked as Editor’s Choice in The Bookseller in their first ever Indie Picks.

Best of all, I’ve made a brilliant range of contacts and friends through meeting at ALLi events, not to mention discovering some wonderful writers and books.

This is why I happily embraced the offer to become the ALLi Ambassador for Switzerland. Not just because I always fancied being some kind of ambassador for Switzerland, but because I can honestly vouch for the advantages of membership.

If you’re in Swiss-based, come and find out more about the benefits. There are two events lined up for the first quarter of this year:

writers brunchWriters’ Brunch: At the Restaurant im Viadukt in Zürich on Sunday, 25th January for some warming writerly conversation and all the latest on books, publishing, workshops and storytelling. 10am-midday. FREE!

The Woolf’s Spring workshop on 21st and 22nd March. The theme is Pathways for Writers. Details to follow, but mark your diaries—we have an amazing line-up of guest speakers! Keep an eye out on the facebook page or the Nuance Words website. The focus will be on routes to publication, making a living as a writer, support in Switzerland and beyond, plus advice on resources, service providers, markets for your work and finding your niche.

If you’re not in Switzerland, you can find an ALLi ambassador near you.

How much to become a member of ALLi? $99/£75/€89/CHF100 per year.

Find out which membership is right for you HERE and come join the tribe!

‘Tis the season to make lists. Top tens and recommendations for those in the know. I confess – I love them. I joined in myself last year, with A Baker’s Dozen.

I plan to kick off the New Year with a whole bunch of fizz and fireworks, not to mention book recommendations. But as a farewell to 2014, I’d like to say thanks to you.

If you read/follow this blog, you’re probably interested in books, writing and publishing. (Or pugs – if so, scroll to the end for a picture of mine.)


So this is my list – 5 key posts on the indie publishing phenomenon.

2014 has seen the most enormous shift in the new landscape. Less quantifiable and harder to pinpoint than previous events, but this was the year attitudes changed.

Andrew Lownie

Andrew Lownie


In October, industry savvy agent Andrew Lownie ruffled feathers at The Women’s Writing Festival in Italy by stating his view of how self-publishing will grow. As he’s one of the smartest people in the business, ears pricked up.

How Soon Will The Majority of Books Be Self-Published?



Hugh Howey and The Author Earnings Report made a lot of jaws drop with his assessment of the Amazon machine and its effect on authors.

The Author Earnings Report

alison b

Dr Alison Baverstock


Another powerful force whose observations and intelligence shaped my thinking is Dr Alison Baverstock, Associate Professor of Publishing at Kingston University.

Read her thoughts on community, satisfaction and perserverance.

Research into Self-Publishing



Author Jane Davis summed up the way self-publishing/indie authors have become a powerful and influential force in this terrific post. It really is terrific and the fact I’m in it is just the flake in my ice-cream.

The Year Self-Publishing Came of Age


imagesFinally, let’s look forward. I’m massively grateful to The Alliance of Independent Authors for the support and advice they offer to indies. That’s why I became their Ambassador for Switzerland. The Self-Publishing Advice blog is indispensable and here are some of the advantages coming up next year

Sneak Peek at ALLi advantages coming in 2015


Wishing you all the best for the holidays, and here’s to you!



pugs in a basket

Three pugs in a basket

… and blow the drum!

As someone serious about publishing, I regularly read the trade press. When I heard The Bookseller was beginning a feature on the best indie author books, I felt the same kind of desperate passion I used to have for Stewart Copeland of The Police.
If only you’d choose me! I thought.

What better indication that independent authorship is being taken seriously than by the industry news flagship selecting titles they believe make the grade?

reggatta de blancThe only criteria were that I had to be an indie author and have published a book via Nook (Barnes & Noble) in the last quarter. Yes, and yes. Nothing more to do there so off I went to hunt mince pies and listen to Reggatta de Blanc.

On Friday morning, I spotted a Tweet from Mr Finger-on-the-Pulse Porter Anderson.
.@JJMarsh1’s “Cold Pressed” is one of @CaroSanderson’s ‪#‎Indie‬ ‪#‎Author‬ Preview Editor’s Choices. ‪#‎FutureChat‬ 4pGMT


What? What! What the…*!#!?

Cold Pressed Cover MEDIUM WEBSure enough, when the issue went live, not only was Cold Pressed included in the 18 best indie books, but it was also one of three Editor’s Choices.

Here! Look!

This is what Caroline Sanderson had to say:

I’m confident that the titles selected here represent some of the best of those available. They are well edited, professionally presented and written with a flair equal to anything you might find on the list of a traditional publishing house.


So excuse me.

TOOT! Tootery-tootles and a banger-bang-bang-boom!

PS: Stewart – bet you’re sorry now, huh?

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