Sunday, 26 September 2010

Publication for short story competition winners

Publication wasn’t guaranteed as part of the deal for the winners of La Scala Studios’ first short story competition, but two people’s stories will now be published in a national magazine. This is an additional bonus to the £1500 in prizes already awarded.

The competition winners were announced at a prize presentation in July. Following this, the organisers were approached by Equestrian Plus (a national monthly magazine) who asked to see the winning stories in the Open and Yorkshire sections.

The result is that both winning stories will now be published.

Look out for The Final Chapter by Tereza Murphy, winner of the Open section, and Downstream by Richard Dixon, winner of the Yorkshire section.

Big cheers all round.

Monday, 20 September 2010

A busy book launch (with unexpected sheep)

A very busy book launch for the Doll Makers on Saturday. The livestock in cars element was unplanned. Not everyone in the crowd bought the Doll Makers but enough did that the shop was left with only three copies after an hour. Huge thanks to those who came and I hope you find the book worth it. And huge thanks too to the team in the shop for their efforts and also for being a good book shop in these difficult times.

I had to fight my way into the shop at 11. I’d love to say it was through a crowd of people waiting for me to sign copies of the Doll Makers, but of course it wasn’t. It was just the usual Beverley book-buying public out in force.

What a change from a previous book-signing where the first question I fielded was ‘Which way to the maps section?’ This time, the first question was ‘Would you sign this to my wife?’ Music to any author’s ears.

Not only was the local book-buying public out in force, but also the local authors. The picture shows (left to right) Karen Wolfe, writer of comic fantasy, creator of Granny Beamish; Valerie Wood, award-winning author of historical romance who regularly keeps the big names off the best-seller top spots in the local charts; another Valerie – Stuart Aken’s wife. Stuart, a prolific and award-winning writer was behind the camera. His credits include TV and radio as well as his award-winning short stories and more recent foray into novels. Gemma Noon peeping round from the back, creator of the Literary Project, basking in her first publishing deal. Penny Grubb, with her best signing pen, author of the award-winning crime novel, the Doll Makers, and Avril Field-Taylor, crime writer and creator of Georgia the singing detective.

Post signing, we went to the pub to relax and chat. Those with further to travel left after a King’s Head Hotel lunch. Others returned with Penny to Lilac Tree. The general eating, drinking and merriment went on into the evening. The first of the livestock-in-cars stories was told to a small contingent as they made their way back to the farm. The full (fraught) tale will have to be told elsewhere, but it was interesting that it should be told at all, given that the recipients arrived back just in time to hear of another (completely independent) case of a sheep travelling in a family car. The driver this time was stopped by a motorway policeman. All the papers were in order and the driver was allowed to proceed, albeit after the sheep had been buckled into a seat belt. But the part that will always stick from this story is the policeman’s opening gambit. ‘Madam, are you aware there’s a sheep in your car?’

The odds against two independent sheep-in-car stories at a book signing for a crime novel with no livestock angle, have to be pretty high, so I take this as a good sign. The next time a good thing happens to me, I will be able say ‘I knew that would happen. That’s sheep in cars for you.’

Big thank yous to Danny and Gabi for their superb hospitality; also to Jennifer and Suzanne for mouth-wateringly delicious cakes.

It was great to see everyone. Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

World Peace Day-Reading, 21st September: live – online – 24 hours

Last year there were 365 political conflicts around the world. Of these, states the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, seven were wars, and twenty-four were severe conflicts – all characterized by the use of massive violence. Certainly, it is a coincidence that the researchers counted 365 conflicts. Nevertheless, it means that each day in 2009 we’d have had a chance to look at a map of the world, and point at a different troubled spot.

The UN has designated 21st September to be the world’s official Peace Day. It is a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.

To honour this day the international literature festival berlin, in cooperation with LiteraturRaum by Bleibtreu Berlin, Cisco Systems and eGamesMedia, will host Authors for Peace: a 24-hour, global, live online reading to mark International Peace Day. Authors who are guests of the international literature festival berlin, and many others from all over the world, will read from their work in a gesture of solidarity with those who are oppressed or caught in conflict. Autoren aus der ganzen Welt werden als Geste der Solidarität mit den durch Kriege und Konflikte Betroffenen aus ihren Werken lesen. Wir wollen mit der Aktion einen Guinness World Record™ aufzustellen – und damit nachhaltige Aufmerksamkeit für den World Peace Day zu bekommen, denn natürlich reicht es nicht, nur an einem Tag etwas für den Frieden zu tun.

This is the first time that so many authors will read live online successively, and we hope to set a Guinness World Record™ with this event – and therefore to win some more lasting attention for World Peace Day, because it’s certainly not enough to do something for peace just for one day.

The readings can be followed live on the internet by the general public. The essence of Authors for Peace lies in citizens worldwide joining in to watch, and share in the spirit of Peace Day.

Authors confirmed so far include amongst others: Joanne Harris (UK), Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan), Eliot Weinberger (USA), Hans Christoph Buch (Germany), Tahmima Anam (Bangladesh), Gail Jones (Australia), and Nuruddin Farah (Somalia/South Africa).

The event will start on 21st September 2010 at 00:00 CET (GMT+1). The British author, Priya Basil, who initiated the idea, will host the event throughout the 24-hour-program.

Further information about the participating authors, and the weblink at which the event can be viewed, are available at: and

press contact: Joëlle Jobin

Partners of the World Peace Day Reading by Authors for Peace are:

Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government and home communications, and Cisco Internet Protocol-based (IP) networking solutions are the foundation of these networks.

Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create Internet solutions that allow individuals, companies, and countries to increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and strengthen competitive advantage. The Cisco name has become synonymous with the Internet, as well as with the productivity improvements that Internet business solutions provide. At Cisco, our vision is to change the way people work, live, play and learn.

press contact: Cisco Systems GmbH, Sabine Lobmeier, Am Söldnermoos 17, 85399 Hallbergmoos
Phone: +49 0800 – 187 36 52

Fink & Fuchs Public Relations AG
Susanne Ugarte
Phone: +49 0611 – 74 131 921

eGames Media
Co-initiator eGames Media is a consulting and marketing company, focussed on the development and roll-out of new ways of digital marketing, communication concepts and strategies in growing markets like electronic gaming.

eGames Media's partner are e.g. CISCO, Sport1 and Plantronics.

press contact: Jan Oesterlin

LiteraturRaum by Bleibtreu Berlin
Hotel Bleibtreu Berlin and the internationale literaturfestival berlin (ilb) started the authors residency LiteraturRaum in September 2009. Since then, eleven writers have stayed at the hotel in Bleibtreustraße: Robert Grey (Australia), Elsa Osorio (Argentina), László Végel (Hungary/Serbia), Yang Lian (China/GB), Artur Becker (Polonia/Germany), Samuel Shimon (Iraq/GB), László Darvasi (Hungary), Bei Dao (China), Naomi Shihab Nye (Palestine/USA) and the current author Israel Bar Kohav (Israel). The next authors in the LiteraturRaum will be Liao Yiwu (China) and Colin McAdam (Canada). The public can follow the project on the blog, come to one of the readings at Bleibtreu or read selected blog entries in the printed collection „Dear Frau Bleibtreu“.

press contact: COR!Berlin. Agentur für Kommunikation
Kristina Deppe, Anklamer Str. 1A; D-10115 Berlin,
Phone: + 49 (0)30 398 20 68 - 20; Fax: +49 (0)30 398 20 68 - 29

GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ is the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, the annual GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS book is published in more than 100 countries and 25 languages and is the highest-selling books under copyright of all time with more than 3 million copies sold annually across the globe. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS celebrated its 50th anniversary edition in 2004, a year after the sale of its 100 millionth copy. Guinness World Records is part of the Jim Pattison Group, one of Canada’s largest privately owned companies which is a conglomerate of interests, including advertising, broadcasting, grocery stores and automotive retailing.


UK Media Enquiries:
Amarilis Espinoza or Karolina Thelin: +44 (0)207 891 4516
US Media Enquiries: Jamie Panas: +1 (0)718.513.7263
GER Media Enquiries: Olaf Kuchenbecker: +49 (0)40 879 757 60

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Author event next Saturday Beverley East Yorkshire

Saturday 18 Sept 11 am to 12 pm. WH Smith Books, Toll Gavel, Beverley. Meet the author of the award-winning crime novel, the Doll Makers.

Beverley is a great setting for any event and well worth a visit. If you're in the area, please call in and say hello.  Click here for more directions.  After the signing, we’re going to the King's Head Hotel (Saturday Market, Beverley) for a drink.  

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Serial killers coming to Scarborough for a bit of a crime fest

On Friday, 10 September from 1 pm local crime writers Bill Kitson and Penny Grubb will be in WHSmith, Westborough, Scarborough surrounded by a lot of books, some of which they’ve written. Between them, they have a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger and two nominations for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. They will be there with their daggers to answer questions, sign books or just to chat to anyone who wants to call in and see what all the fuss is about.

Find out more at and

Call in and say hello if you’re passing.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Book signing event in the historic market town of Beverley

Saturday 18 Sept 11 am to 12 pm. WH Smith Books, Toll Gavel, Beverley. Meet the author of the award-winning crime novel, the Doll Makers.
Beverley is a great setting for any event and well worth a visit. If you're in the area, please call in and say hello.  Click here for more detail.
After the signing, we’re going off to the King's Head Hotel (Saturday Market, Beverley).