Book buying, Thoughts and other Miscellany

Blogger evening at Simon & Schuster

Several months ago (can’t believe I haven’t written about it before!) I was fortunate enough to be invited to Simon & Schuster’s Autumn Blogger event. Alice and colleagues had lined up four of the current S&S stable with brand new books out for a Q&A session, then they let us loose on a room full of review copies, while plying us with junk food (of the grown-up variety as well…).

The four authors in question were:


Ali Harris is a magazine journalist and has written for publications such as Red, ELLE, Stylist, Cosmopolitan and Company and was deputy features editor at No.1 women’s magazine Glamour before leaving to write books and have babies. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two children.

Dean Crawford began writing after his dream of becoming a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force was curtailed when he failed their stringent sight tests. Fusing his interest in science with a love of fast-paced revelatory thrillers, he soon found a career that he could pursue with as much passion as flying a fighter jet. 

Robert Ryan is an author, journalist and screenwriter. He was born in Liverpool and moved to London to study natural sciences at university. He began his writing career in the late 1980s for The Face, Arena and the US edition of GQ, before moving to a staff job in the Sunday Times. In 1999, after the publication of his first novel, Underdogs, he left to go freelance, although he is still a frequent contributor to the newspaper. He has published a total of twelve novels under his own name, the latest being Death on the Ice, and two (Steel Rain and Copper Kiss) as Tom Neale.

Wendy Wallace is an award-winning freelance journalist and writer based in London, whose articles have appeared in the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Scotsman. THE PAINTED BRIDGE is her first novel.

Being, as ever, ridiculously over optimistic about what I can achieve in a given work day, I didn’t get away from work in time and so had to slink shame-facedly late into the Q&A. No matter; I had not expected the Q&A to be hugely interesting, but all four authors were gracious, funny, at least mostly honest and provided a decent mix of insight into the writing process while maintaining the mystery of how some had that gift and ability and drive and inspiration.  Maybe it’s a mystery to authors too. In any case, hearing their thoughts (particularly on negative reviews) was illuminating.

Then to the books. I cannot find anywhere the photos I took of the book swag, but suffice to say it filled a big cloth swag bag.

Casey Hill – Torn

Kristina Ohlsson – Unwanted; Silenced

Dean Crawford – Covenant; Apocalypse; Immortal

Herman Wouk – The Lawgiver

Holly Cornish & Sophie Tucker – Build a Business From Your Kitchen Table

Robert Ryan – Dead Man’s Land

Wendy Wallace – The Painted Bridge

Not bad, eh?


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