Signed Cards for Christmas

Christmas

 

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.

Happy Christmas!

Post-apocalyptic Reading List

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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.

Here’s a list of my favourite end-of-the-world novels. Continue reading

Three Years Since Our Endless Numbered Days was Published

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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).
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. At the UK launch we had a chocolate cake in the shape of a cabin. It all got eaten. (Very Hansel and Gretel.)
  9. I am much more aware now of disaster preparedness and will sometimes buy more cans of beans than we actually need.
  10. 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.

Personalised cards for Christmas

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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.

Emphemera 1If 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.

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Our Endless Numbered Days on International Dublin Literary Award longlist

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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.

Christmas Offer

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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!

Our Endless Numbered Days  Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

Silvered Heart PB.indd The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements

midwinter Midwinter by Fiona Melrose

cell-7 Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery

the-mountain-in-my-shoe The Mountain in My Shoe by Louise Beech

the-unseeing The Unseeing by Anna Mazzola

the-ship The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

 

 

Flash Fiction: Add but don’t subtract

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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.

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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

Two Days, Five Events in France

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Festival du Premier Roman

A couple of weeks ago I was went to Chambéry in France, where I had been invited to speak at the Festival du Premier Roman, an annual literary festival all about debut novels. The organisers bring together 15 French authors, as well as writers from Spain, Portugal, Romania, Italy, Germany and Great Britain.

desmond-elliott-prize-logoThe list of British first novels is provided for the festival organisers by the literary director of the Desmond Elliott Prize (the premier UK prize for debut fiction), who adds another two books to the prize’s ten-strong long-list, bringing the Chambéry reading list up to twelve books. Although my novel, Our Endless Numbered Days, won the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2015, that was no guarantee that it would be one of those selected.

The Chambéry reading groups have about six months to read all twelve books before they debate and vote on their favourite. At the same time, schools in France, Portugal, Italy and Germany are also deciding on their favourite. The authors of the winning books are invited to the festival, and I was lucky enough to be one of them, with Carys Bray (one of the three short-listed authors of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize) being the other from Great Britain.

IMG_0782Before I visited, students from France, Germany, Italy and Portugal read and studied Our Endless Numbered Days in English, so that when they came together for the festival in Chambéry they were able to use the novel for inspiration for an Erasmus project about innovation in literature.

It was an intensive two days. I spoke to four groups of students  (with up to 60 people inDSCF7686 each group), as well as one group of adults where I joined Carys to talk about our books to the English book club readers.

Chambéry is a beautiful town, and I and my husband, were made really welcome. We were given a guided tour, taken out for drinks and coffees, invited to an art exhibition, met up with the Desmond Elliott Prize’s literary director for lunch, went out to dinner, and DSCF7683generally packed everything in that we could.

The students worked on designing alternative covers of Our Endless Numbered Days (you can see them here), asked me lots of amazing (and difficult) questions in English, and then went off to act out some of the scenes from my book which were videoed and edited.

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If you’re interested in the whole Erasmus project you can see a video about it here (click on
the picture), including a short clip of me being interviewed.

The videos the students made of them acting scenes from Our Endless Numbered Days are available online. Here are a couple (click on the images to view).

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It was a wonderful experience; all they need now is a festival for second novels.

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

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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.