Swimming Lessons video


Thanks to Hannah Hartmann for this picture.

It’s one week until Swimming Lessons is published in the UK as a hardback and as an audio book. (Readers in Canada, the US, and Germany will have to wait a little longer).

To mark the occasion I’ve produced a drawing video of a scene from the book. I did the drawing, my daughter the filming and editing, and my son wrote and played the music. I’d love to know what you think.


Click here to see the drawing video released for Our Endless Numbered Days.

Swimming Lessons

My second novel, Swimming Lessons, will be published in January 2017 in the UK, and Canada, as well as an audio book, and February 2017 in the USA. Click on the country links to pre-order.


Our Endless Numbered Days on International Dublin Literary Award longlist


I’m so delighted to be able to let you know that Our Endless Numbered Days has been longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017. This award, previously called the IMPAC Award, is presented annually for a novel written in English or translated into English.

Novels are nominated by libraries in major cities throughout the world, and this year 147 have been put forward for the longlist. Five judges have the task of reading and deciding which books should make it onto the shortlist of 10, announced next April. The winner, who receives €100,000  (awarded to the author if the book is written in English, or if in English translation, the author receives €75,000 and the translator, €25,000) is announced next June.

It is such a long longlist, with so many amazing titles, that I am just happy that Our Endless Numbered Days has made it this far.

Click here to see all 147 nominations. I’ve only read 12, so that’s a lot of books being added to my ‘to be read’ list. Let me know how many you’ve read.

Revealing the Cover Design for Swimming Lessons

I’ve reached one of the most exciting parts of having a book published – revealing the covers. I’ve known about them for some time, and I’m absolutely delighted with how they look. Here are the UK, US and Canadian covers for my second novel, Swimming Lessons. The original US jacket (on the right) was designed by Diane Chonette, the Art Director at Tin House (my US publisher).

My Canadian publisher (House of Anansi) has decided to use Tin House’s cover as it stands, while Fig Tree / Penguin in the UK has decided to tweak it a little (on the left). I love both of them.

The novel will be published late January / early Feb 2017, and you can read what it’s about here.

And although it’s still many months until publication, you can already pre-order it on Amazon: UK, US and Canada. Or you could wait and buy it from your lovely local independent bookshop.

I’d love to know what you think. Do leave me a comment.



Our Endless Numbered Days Covers

I’ve just come back from the Festival du Premier Roman in Chambéry, France – a festival dedicated to debut novels. All the authors at the festival are invited because their books have been chosen by reading groups and students.

Our Endless Numbered Days received the student vote which meant that I got to meet four large groups of students who had been studying my book. I’m going to do a post about my time there soon, but in the meantime I thought I’d show the book covers for Our Endless Numbered Days that some of the students designed, including the winning design, and the one designed by their teacher which I was presented with. I think they’re all amazing. Penguin, Tin House, and all my other publishers take note!

Update: Here’s my post about attending the festival.

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ABA Book of the Year Award Finalist


I’m so delighted and flattered to announce that Our Endless Numbered Days is a finalist in the ABA (American Booksellers Association) 2016 Indies Choice Book Awards.

The finalists were chosen for each category by six ABA member booksellers, and Our Endless Numbered Days was selected with five others for the Book of the Year: Adult Debut category.

Independent bookstores are wonderful, magical places. Because each book will have been hand-selected you know all of them are jewels just waiting to be discovered. And if an independent bookseller presses a particular book into your hands, you know it will come recommended from the heart. If you have an independent bookstore in your town, use it, treasure it.

ABA member booksellers across America have until 6th April to vote for their favourite. Keep your fingers crossed for Our Endless Numbered Days. The winner will be announced on 13th April.

Here is the ABA announcement with all the categories and finalists.



Our Endless Numbered Days Video

The UK paperback edition of Our Endless Numbered Days comes out onOur Endless Numbered Days 31st December, and things are already gearing up for its release.

Firstly, if anyone is thinking about buying a copy of the book for someone as a Christmas present, if you send me their name and your address, I’ll put a personalised card in the post for you to put in the book.

And secondly I’ve been working with my daughter to produce a short video. I did the drawing, she did the videoing and editing, and Penguin people worked on the final bits. If you like it, it would be lovely if you could share it.