On Wednesday, it was Liverpool’s turn to play host to the Headline New Voices 2019 roadshow, featuring an impressive array of debut authors. It was a brilliant evening, held in the Pill Box Bar, Frederik’s. An intimate, bespoke space, that was ideally suited to creating a friendly and convivial atmosphere
I had been both excited and nervous about the event, as while I’m quite outward going with friends I can be quite shy on my own (yes, really!). As the first person I saw, was fellow blogger Jo over at My Chestnut Reading Tree, my nerves were calmed. I also quickly spotted Steph from Steph’s Book Blog and it was starting to feel like a home from home. But had I known no-one I’d soon have been sorted as the Headline PR and management staff were brilliant at introducing people and making sure no-one was left on their own.
At this point it’s also worth giving Headline an almighty shout out for actually making the effort to come North and bring their author’s with them. I know it seriously cuts into their marketing budget but it was really appreciated, as it’s not practical or cheap for me to be attending events down in London which would be the alternative. I know most of the other bloggers felt the same and the goodwill these events create will hopefully help to offset the cost.
So as I settled in and got to know several new blogging buddies, the evening was starting to get very relaxed. Helpfully enabled by the wine from the free bar!
While all the chatting (and yes, OK drinking) was enjoyable, the focus of the night was actually to discover more about Headline’s debut novelists. After a brief, formally informal introduction, the authors were let loose among us.
This was actually the first time I’ve been to an event like this, so it felt strange being actively encouraged to chat, and asked who I’d like to meet next. I suspect I’m not the only one who starts to feel like a gauche 15-year-old when presented with a real live author. I know they’re human like the rest of us, and the majority are perfectly normal people (I can vouch for the ones I spoke too), but come on, they’re authors! I hope I managed to have a reasonably coherent conversation with most of them, but I’ll leave them to tell that story.
So for those, who didn’t manage to make one of the Headline, touring events, let me introduce you:-
Richard Lumsden has worked as an actor, writer and composer in television, film and theatre for 30 years. As an actor his films include Downhill, Sightseers, Sense & Sensibility and The Darkest Hour, as well as numerous television shows and theatre productions. THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNS is his first novel.
THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNS
A deeply moving and honest debut set in London against the backdrop of the changing 20th century. it is reading group fiction perfect for those who loved the quirky pathos of Gail Honeyman’s ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and the humour of Rachel Joyce’s THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY
I remember my dreams but not where they start.
Further back, I recall some of yesterday and the day before that. Then everything goes into a haze.
Fragments of memories come looming back like red London buses in a pea-souper.
Time plays funny tricks these days.
I wait for the next memory. I wait and I wait.
At 117 years old, Billy Binns is the oldest man in Europe and he knows his time is almost up. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have shaped his flawed life – and the events that shaped the century – he recalls a life full of hope, mistakes, heartbreak and, above all, love.
Out now – click on image for a non affiliated purchase link
Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.
THE GIRL IN THE LETTER
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Kathryn Hughes, this gripping novel of long-buried secrets will stay with you for ever.
A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.
1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.
Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…
Read her letter. Remember her story…
Out now in e-book and due in paperback 4th April. Click on image for a non affiliated purchase/pre-order link
Harriet Tyce grew up in Edinburgh and studied English at Oxford University before doing a law conversion course at City University. She practised as a criminal barrister in London for nearly a decade, and recently completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at the University of East Anglia. She lives in north London. Blood Orange is her debut novel.
AN ELECTRIFYING DEBUT THRILLER FOR FANS OF APPLE TREE YARD AND ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL – INTRODUCING A STUNNING NEW VOICE IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
Published 21st February – click on image for non affiliated pre-order link
Dominic Nolan was born and raised in north London. PAST LIFE is his first novel.
From a blistering new voice in crime fiction, PAST LIFE is a gripping and razor-sharp debut perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Tim Weaver and Susie Steiner.
THE ONLY THING DETECTIVE ABIGAIL BOONE REMEMBERS…IS THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO HER.
Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything.
Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape.
Detective Abigail Boone has been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son.
Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished: the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still.
Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again?
Published 7 March – click on image for non-affiliated pre-order link.
Sarah Davis Goff
Sarah Davis-Goff’s writing has been published in the Irish Times, the Guardian and LitHub. This is her first novel. She was born and lives in Dublin.
LAST ONES LEFT ALIVE
Remember your Just-In-Cases. Beware Tall Buildings. Watch Your Six
Raised by her mother and Maeve on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, Orpen has a childhood of love and stories by the fireside. But the stories grow darker, and the training begins. Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and though Slanbeg is safe for now, the women must always be ready to run, or to fight.
When Maeve is bitten, Orpen is faced with a dilemma: kill Maeve before her transformation is complete, or try to get help. So Orpen sets off, with Maeve in a wheelbarrow and her dog at her side, in the hope of finding other survivors, and a cure. It is a journey that will test Orpen to her limits, on which she will learn who she really is, who she really loves, and how to imagine a future in a world that ended before she was born.
Published 7th March – click on image for non affiliated buying link
Rhik is a writer, actor and broadcaster. He has a regular column with The Guardian and created their cult ‘Inspect a Gadget’ feature. He has written for The Observer, Men’s Health and Prospect magazine, as well as being a guest, presenter and host on various radio shows. Rhik studied acting at Drama Centre London and appeared on HBO, BBC, ITV, C4 (credits including Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Doctors) as well as a lead role with the RSC. Rhik’s book will be available later in the year.
So now you know all about the authors and their books, let me introduce you to some of my new (and older – but not old!) blogging buddies that you might want to take a look at.
Click on individual images to go through to the Blog
So finally I’d just like to say thanks to everyone for a fabulous evening and again to Headline for making it happen. I left the event, smiling, loaded down with signed books and headed off into the sunset (well Lime Street Station) with Jo an equally happy blogger. Now we need to set some time aside to enjoy our book haul.