Umbilical and Waterlore – bookending November

It struck me the other day that my November this year will be “bookended” by two book launches, and as this isn’t exactly an everyday occurrence, I thought it worth writing about.

The first event was the launch of my debut short story collection Umbilical at Five Leaves Bookshop in my home town of Nottingham, alongside the launch of the excellent Lamb by Matt Hill.  

The Five Leaves event with Matt was really enjoyable and attendees commented on how the conversation between us about our books flowed really well. I’m glad they picked up on this, as before the event Matt and I made a point of noting down lots of questions we could ask each other. Also, because there are so many overlapping themes in our books (and as Matt is such a lovely, intelligent person) it was really easy to talk to him about Umbilical. At the end of the night, books were signed and sold, and I felt incredibly proud to have had a launch at Five Leaves – a bookshop that is well-loved by the literary community of Nottingham. Oh, and do check out Lamb. It is a beautifully written, compellingly weird novel – a novel with real heart.

And the second event is the joint online launch of my micro-collection Waterlore and The End by Kayleigh Dobbs, both collections being part of the wonderful Black Shuck Shadows collections. I can’t say much about this as yet, because it’s yet to happen (!), but I’ve read The End, and it’s such a cleverly conceived and downright frightening collection. A real must-read for fans of the horror genre. Kayleigh and I are also lucky enough to be joined by the award-winning author, Priya Sharma (I’m a big fan of Priya’s work) and Steve Shaw, the Black Shuck Books publisher, who is an absolute star. We’ll be launching our books online via Facebook Live, so if you’re available, we’d love to see you there!

A last thought: as it’s still currently November, I want to mention my story, ‘The November Room, or Leaving the Labyrinth’ which is free to read over on IZ Digital. Perhaps ideal for November reading…?  

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