I’m thrilled and honoured that my short story, Tiny and Pointed, has been shortlisted for the Tom-Gallon Trust Award. This prestigious prize, organised by The Society of Authors, has been running since 1943. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in June in Southwark Cathedral in London.
Are you a fiction writer looking for help with your work? I’m delighted that I’ll be teaching a general fiction course at Arvon with fellow author Andrew Taylor, in May.
Based at The Hurst in Shropshire in the UK, this writing retreat runs from May 6th to May 11th. Andrew and I will be holding workshops and exercises around the main elements of fiction writing including character, theme, setting and narrative. Attendees also get two one-to-one sessions where we look at their specific pieces, and author David Hayden will be visiting for one evening. Plus there will be opportunities to share your work (if you want to), and plenty of writing time. And of course good food and great company. I’d love to see you there.
Find out more.
For over fifty years Arvon has been running residential writing courses in their three centres across the UK.
A little while ago I was invited to take part in a writing project run by A Thousand Word Photos, where a photographer gives three of their photographs to a writer, who then selects one which is used to inspire a 1,000 word short story. The story is then published online and read out to stroke patients around the UK, as part of the charity, Interact.
The photograph I selected (above) was taken by the renowned photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind, and without knowing anything about it, I wrote a 1000 word story called Intelligent Private Lines, which you can read here.
A Thousand Word Photos recently held their first live event in London, where six short stories written as part of the project, were read out to the audience by actors, and the image that inspired the story was projected on the wall. I was delighted that my story was selected to be read by the actor, Jessica Raine (of Call the Midwife fame).
The whole project has recently been featured in British Journal of Photography.
The paperback of Bitter Orange will be published in the UK on 2nd May 2019. (Readers in the US will have to wait a little longer.) And I’m delighted to share with you the new cover. As you can see it’s as different as you can get from the hardback, but I hope it will intrigue and entice a whole new set of readers.
The hardback is still available in many bookshops and available to order, but if you’re waiting for the paperback publication you can pre-order now from Amazon or (preferably) your local bookshop.
Make sure you sign up to my newsletter and follow me on Twitter or Instagram to hear about competitions to win copies of my novels. (A competition to win a copy of Swimming Lessons is running on both Twitter and Instagram until 7th February 2019.)
I’d love to know what you think about the cover – please comment below.
Buy a copy of Bitter Orange.
If you’re thinking of buying a copy of Bitter Orange, Swimming Lessons, or Our Endless Numbered Days for someone for Christmas, let me know and I’ll send you a signed card for free, for you to include with the book.
I’m happy to post cards to anywhere in the world, just send me a message, telling me which book or books you’re buying, who I should write the card for, and what your address is.
Bitter Orange is published today (October 9) in the USA and Canada. And to celebrate I’m giving away one set of all three of my novels: Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, and a hardback copy of Bitter Orange (with its US cover).
To enter, just visit Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and follow the instructions there. The competition is open worldwide.
The Canadian cover, from House of Anansi, is almost the same as the UK version.
Early US reviews have been great:
Kirkus (starred review)
“In the vein of Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling The Haunting of Hill House, Fuller’s disturbing novel will entrap readers in its twisty narrative, leaving them to reckon with what is real and what is unreal. An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece.”
“In her new novel, Claire Fuller enhances the mystery with luscious detail: sights of ghosts, smells of overripe fruit, echoes of Cara wailing. The plot’s movements are rendered secondary, at least in the early going, to the atmosphere, and it’s to the novel’s benefit; with sensations so alive on the page, you’re constantly kept on your toes, attuned to the mania. You’ll ask, beguiled: What’s really going on here?”
Buy Bitter Orange.
My third novel, Bitter Orange was published in the UK last week. It was a crazy and exciting week, with a launch in London at Waterstones Covent Garden (they have lots of signed copies), and another in my home town of Winchester. I also went on a walk around London signing copies in other bookshops including Daunts, Heywood Hill, and Hatchards. It was hot!
The book has been getting great reviews:
“Fuller is an accomplished and serious writer who has the ability to implant interesting psychological dimensions into plotty, pacy narratives.” The Observer
“It is rare for me to put down a novel and then immediately consider rereading it to see what cleverness I might have missed. This time, though, I am tempted.” The Sunday Times
“Fuller is a master at summoning the atmosphere of a heady, hot summer, that thrums with tension.” Stylist Magazine
Read more reviews here.
Bitter Orange has been longlisted for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize. Which books are shortlisted depends on a public vote. If you’d like to vote for Bitter Orange, you can do that here. (And thank you!). Voting can be from anyone anywhere in the world, and closes at midnight on 6th August (UK time).
If you’d like to buy a copy of Bitter Orange it’s available in most UK bookshops now, or online as an audio, e-book, and hardback. Click here to see options.
My third novel, Bitter Orange, will be published in the UK in hardback a week today. The ebook and the audio version are already available to buy. So right now it’s that exciting and nerve-wracking time when people who have had an early copy are starting to talk about it online. So far, the talk, and the reviews have been good.
“In the vein of Shirley Jackson’s bone-chilling The Haunting of Hill House, Fuller’s disturbing novel will entrap readers in its twisty narrative, leaving them to reckon with what is real and what is unreal. An intoxicating, unsettling masterpiece.” Kirkus (starred review)
“The real interest lies in the fascinating gaps and contradictions, the complexity of the characters and the thematic richness. It is rare for me to put down a novel and then immediately consider rereading it to see what cleverness I might have missed. This time, though, I am tempted.” The Sunday Times
“Bitter Orange is undoubtedly a modern classic that defies categorisation but is just wonderful to read. It’s subtle, unnerving, intelligent and a supreme example of the written craft.” Linda’s Book Bag
Read more reviews.
If you have read an early copy I’d love to know what you think, or please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or just tell your friends about it.
The hardback is available to pre-order from all bookshops – independents and chains – or online. The ebook and audio book are available to buy now.
Some early reviews from book bloggers and Amazon reviewers are already coming in for Bitter Orange (published in the UK on 2nd August, and in the US and Canada on October 9th). And I’m pleased to say the vast majority are very positive. But one that I’m especially delighted about is a starred review from Kirkus.
Kirkus is an American book review magazine which is notoriously rigorous. It reviews more than 8000 books each year, and only about 10% of these are given a star accolade.
Due to copyright restrictions, I’m not able to post the review on my website, but you can read it here.
In two months, Bitter Orange, my third novel will be published in the UK by Fig Tree / Penguin. Lots of proofs have gone out, and reviews from booksellers and quotes from other authors are starting to come in, and suddenly it feels very real. Exciting and terrifying.
In anticipation of the publication, I thought you might like to read the first paragraph, and if it tempts you, links for pre-ordering are below.
They must think I don’t have long left, because today they allow the vicar in. Perhaps they are right, although this day feels no different from yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow will go on much the same. The vicar – no, not vicar, he has a different title, I forget – is older than me by a good few years, his hair is grey, and his skin is flaky and red, sore-looking. I didn’t ask for him; what faith I’d once had was tested and found lacking at Lyntons, and before that my church attendance was a habit, a routine for Mother and me to arrange our week around. I know all about routine and habit in this place. It is what we live, and what we die, by.
I’d love you to go into your local independent book shop and pre-order Bitter Orange, or your local chain book shop. But if that’s not possible, you can pre-order here online: here (UK), here (US), or here (Canada).