Fixabook’s thoughts on the paperback cover is a brilliant site authored by two graphic designers with a ferocious interest in book design and covers. All publishers are beware of their merciless eye for a much-aped trend. They’ve turned their gaze towards the paperback cover for The Pile. I’m thrilled to report that, essentially, they love it. Here are their thoughts, generally welcoming it as a fresh approach to the genre: ‘At long, long last… a women’s … Read the full entry

Book groups and their scrutiny

I was compiling my kids’ school’s PTA newsletter this morning including an item on a local author and friend’s novel being the chosen work for this month’s parent book club.* My first response was envy given that book clubs are such a great way of selling lots of copies of your book. Why wasn’t mine chosen, stalwart parent that I am? Then of course this was followed by relief, since … Read the full entry

Confessional writing (my own and other people’s)

There’s been a lot written about ‘confessional writing’ recently (which usually involves yet more confessing as well as referencing previous confessions). There were Yvonne Roberts and Lucy Cavendish in the Guardian last Saturday, and then in its sister paper, the Observer, the following day a similar piece in which the topic was discussed by Christa D’Souza and Tim Lott. This was all in response to  Rachel Cusk’s book Aftermath in which she discusses … Read the full entry

Paperback publication day is here Paperback publication day is here

Today is the day of the paperback release of The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs. It is not marked by a launch party and a new frock, rather by looking after my children since it’s half-term week. In fact, paperback publication is odd, like a renewal of wedding vows without any sort of party, but in many ways it’s more important than its hardback equivalent since it’s … Read the full entry

Wendy Jones’s book and my thoughts on writing

My friend Wendy Jones published her first novel, The Thoughts and Happenings of Wilfred Price Purveyor or Superior Funerals (which is an even title worse for tweeting than mine) last week. She had a very lovely launch at Daunts in Marylebone, which was as warm and generous as the book itself. Any writer will tell you that it can be a teeny bit irksome when people at parties tell you … Read the full entry

Paperback date coming closer

I do think a book is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift, if you’re into that sort of thing. Certainly better than chocolates or flowers. And what better romantic present than a book about a couple who really hate each other? I’m very excited about the publication of The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs in paperback and it’s now only one week away…

New year new website new cover New year new website new cover

The paperback of The Pile is coming out in February with lots of great quotes from people who enjoyed it, including Sarah Vine, Lisa Jewell and Wendy Holden. Hodder, my publishers, chose to change the cover for the paperback. I think they’ve done a brilliant job in that, at first glance, it is very recognisably the same book as the hardback with the strong red and blue colours. However, they’ve pared it … Read the full entry

Very lovely Dutch edition Very lovely Dutch edition

De Troep onder aan de Trap is the wonderful title for  my ‘roman over het huwelijk, werk en moederschap’ (I’m guessing that says ‘a novel about housework, work and motherhood’, but Dutch speakers can correct me*). As you can see by this picture, it’s got a great cover with judicious use of pink and lovely blocky feel. My Dutch is sadly limited but I’m sure Emilin Lap has done a … Read the full entry

Yay, new manuscript delivered

Delivered, though not done and dusted by any means. I am very relieved that my wonderful publishers like it and have so many great suggestions on how to improve it. Now I am just lacking a title – maybe I should put that question out to tender in the same way that Blue Peter name their pets. I remember being desperate that their new cat should be called Kitty, so … Read the full entry

Review in USA Today

USA Today has over 3 million readers and lots of other very big impressive statistics. It also reviewed my book in a chick-lit round-up. I’m always a bit ambivalent about that term, but if it’s a great review in a stonking paper, then who am I to complain? They say ‘Funny and full of familiar anecdotes about family life, including a cringe-worthy, but hilarious incident with a “poo crayon,” British … Read the full entry

Fabulous recommendation from the Times’ Sarah Vine

I was very thrilled (as were my Amazon sales) by this mention of in last week’s Times of my book. She seems to have really got the book and what I was aiming at. I was particularly pleased as it turns out that she was bought it by her husband, who also read it and I love to hear of men enjoying it as much as women.

The Pile lands in Romantic Times

The Romantic Times blog, a very successful site in the US, has an author spotlight on me, review and excerpt in its latest edition. In it, I’m pondering the meaning of romance especially in relationships that are past the first flush of love. Here’s a link to it. You can also read a great review of the Pile there too.