I’m so excited to be part of the UK campaign to support bookshops throughout lockdown – #SignForOurBookshops. During the last lockdown, bookshops moved mountains to remain operational – taking orders online, or over the phone. They now face a second lockdown in the build-up to Christmas, their busiest sales period.
#SignForOurBookshops is a national show of support from UK authors, urging people to keep buying through bookshops by offering exclusive signed bookplates to stores and customers. Over 200 authors are taking part so far, including me!
The former Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, has designed bespoke bookplates for the campaign. Buying a #SignForOurBookshops book is buying a slice of positive history in a challenging year. What better Christmas present idea than that?
WHAT IS A ‘BOOKPLATE’?
It’s a signed label that you can stick into the front page of books, so it’s like having a personalised, signed, copy.
HOW TO GET A BOOKPLATE
I will send a signed, personalised bookplate to the first 50 people who buy one of my books through a UK bricks and mortar bookshop during lockdown.
This offer is a first-come-first-served basis. Just drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of your receipt (from a UK bricks and mortar bookshop) for one of my published books – Our Endless Numbered Days, Swimming Lessons, or Bitter Orange – and let me know your address and any particular dedication you would like on the bookplate. And I’ll post a book plate to you, free of charge.
AND PLEASE SUPPORT BOOKSHOPS!
If you buy a signed copy, do try and pick other books up while you’re shopping with that store. Books make incredible, thoughtful Christmas presents – even if they’re not signed.
Check out #SignForOurBookshops on Twitter and Instagram to see the hundreds of other authors who are offering bookplates.
If you buy a copy of one of my books as a gift for someone this Christmas, let me know and I’ll post you a signed card for free, to include with the book. If you buy more than one book, I’ll send you as many cards as you need.
I’m happy to post cards to anywhere in the world, just send me a message, telling me which book or books you’ve bought, who I should write the card for, and what your address is. Or if you want to treat yourself this Christmas and buy one of my books for yourself, I’ll send a card personalised for you.
And if you post a Christmas-y picture of the book or books you’ve bought on your main feed (not stories) in Instagram, I’ll include a little extra gift. Just make sure to mention this offer and tag me (@writerclairefuller) so I know you’ve done it.
(The small print: this offer is only for physical books – not ebooks or audio; please try to buy your book from a real bookshop, not Amazon; I’ll try to get cards to you in time for Christmas, but can’t guarantee it; this offer is not for copies of my books you have already bought for yourself.)
Over on Instagram (@writerclairefuller) I recently asked if anyone had any questions about writing, editing or getting published. And there were lots! I’ve answered them all in brief in an Instagram post, but it’s hard to be concise with so many questions. So here are my longer answers. Do let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below and I’ll save them up for a future post.
My writing day
How I organise my writing time (@raluca1503 @tftmotherland)
I worked for so many years in a marketing company following normal office hours that now I write full time, I can’t rid myself of the old 9 – 5. Well, actually 9 – 6pm. But I’m doing much more than working on my novel in progress in that time, and it does depend on where I am in the publishing cycle. I have been known to be promoting one book, Continue reading →
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.
In my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, a father takes his daughter to a European forest and after a terrible storm he tells her the rest of the world has disappeared and they are the only two people left on earth. She believes him. I like to think it’s almost what you could call a post-apocalyptic novel, or end-of-the-world fiction, or the term I like best: postapocalit.
Sometimes it’s a devastating disease, or a human-made environmental disaster, a natural catastrophe, or nuclear war that ends the world as we know it. Whichever event changes everything, the ‘rules’ seem to be that very few people are left to struggle for survival in a radically altered world.
When I was growing up in the 1970s I was allowed to stay up late (like Peggy in Our Endless Numbered Days) to watch the television series, Survivors about a group of people in Britain who have survived a plague. It gave me nightmares, but I loved it. And I’ve loved postapocalit and films ever since.
When I was writing Our Endless Numbered Days, I read or re-read as much postapocalit as I could find. (I also read a lot of survival fiction and non-fiction, and these lists will hopefully feature in future posts.) I read so much of it, that again I had recurring postapocalit dreams that didn’t go away until I finished writing.
I can’t believe it’s been three years since my debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days was first published. The book has introduced me to some wonderful people, and has given me amazing experiences. Here are 10 things you might not know about me and this book:
I can’t play the piano (there is a lot about piano music in the book), but I can just about read music thanks to a year of oboe lessons when I was fourteen.
My mother is German, but like the mother in the book she never taught me German. (That’s the only resemblance my mother has to Ute.)
The book was originally going to be called The Great Divide, and then Briar Rose (after Sleeping Beauty), until I decided on Our Endless Numbered Days (from the album by Iron and Wine whom I listened to while writing).
I chose the name Reuben for one of the characters because that’s one I had on a list of possible names for my son before he was born. (He ended up with Henry.)
When I was writing the book a friend shot me a squirrel and kept it in his freezer so I could see what it would be like to skin it, cook it, and eat it. (It went rancid when it was defrosted and I never even saw it.)
As a child I was as obsessed with the film of The Railway Children as Peggy is. My sister had the album and I listened to it so often I can still quote it.
The book was inspired by the real-life story of a teenager who turned up in Berlin saying he’d been living in the German forests for the previous five years.
At the UK launch we had a chocolate cake in the shape of a cabin. It all got eaten. (Very Hansel and Gretel.)
I am much more aware now of disaster preparedness and will sometimes buy more cans of beans than we actually need.
I didn’t go to Germany for research, but I did walk the woods near where I live in England. I wanted to spend the night alone in them, but when it came down to it, I was too frightened.
Buy a copy of Our Endless Numbered Days via these outlets. Read an article about what I’d learnt a year after Our Endless Numbered Days was published. Watch a video of me drawing the cabin from Our Endless Numbered Days. Contact me to ask me about the book, or if you’d like a set of book club questions.
I can’t start thinking about Christmas until two family birthdays are out of the way, which means it is all a bit of a rush during the second half of December. But if you’re a Christmas planner you might like to know about a little free gift I’m offering to people who buy one or more of my books for Christmas.
If you buy a copy of Swimming Lessons, or Our Endless Numbered Days for someone this Christmas drop me a message, and I’ll post you a personalised and signed card for you to include with the book. And if you’re buying Swimming Lessons, since it’s about things that people leave behind in books, I’ll also send you a piece of ephemera to include as well.
This offer is available worldwide, and won’t cost you thing (apart from the cost of the book of course, which you will need to buy yourself either online or from your local book shop). I’m happy to include cards for each book you buy, and of course, you can buy it for yourself.
So if you’d like me to post you a signed card, contact me here with which book, or books you’re buying, the name of the recipient, and your postal address.
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.
Me and a few of my writerly friends have an offer for you this Christmas. Buy a copy of one of our books (for yourself or a friend) and we’ll post you a personalised card to include with it. My offer extends worldwide, but for the others listed below, you might need to check with them whether they are happy to post a card outside of their home country.
Clicking on the link will take you either to the author’s website or some other means of contacting them, so that you can ask them for your card. Happy reading!
Her body sank to the cobbles, each bony vertebra grazing skin against whitewashed wall. In slow motion she slid sideways into the shade, eyes glassy and the taste of dirt and leather in her mouth from a million sandals that had trod the alley before her. It was empty now, everyone indoors – away from the midday sun. As sleep, or something greater overtook her, she saw her mother pouring homemade lemonade from a pitcher she had never owned.
This is a Friday Fictioneers story. A re-run (because it’s summer and we’re all busy) of an FF story I wrote in 2012. It became a Continue reading →