Here’s what Sharon on Goodreads thought of Thaw:
I couldn’t put this one down. Ruth is so real and tragic she made my heart hurt. Some books stay in your head and heart forever, and this is one of them. Profound. (5 stars)
Thank you Sharon, I’m so glad you took good care of Ruth.
If you can’t wait, you can get the hardback of Thaw now, or the paperback comes out on the 1st of February, or you can wait until the 1st of March and read it for free here.
I’ve got over 80 blogs signed up for the Blogsplash now, but I’m still a LONG way from 1000. Have you signed up yet? Have you asked your friends if they can help? Come and join us by emailing me your blog address to email@example.com. Thank you.
Here’s a new-ish poem – a couple of years old – I’m just not writing them any more. Maybe I’ll start again one day. I think Ruth would understand it. Happy Tuesdays x
After listening to a woman
who tries to stop babies from dying
for a living, I drive home.
The fat moon has fallen
onto its back behind the trees.
Clots of words bob up:
I don’t want to die right now.
How strange this all is.
The truth is I’m sad and a little lonely.
I take the seven bends of death slowly.
Now the moon is in front of me,
bigger, a cup tipped over
and spilling grief.
The books are here!
And they look rather lovely. Thank you Snowbooks.
The hardback of Thaw isn’t officially out until the 1st of November, but if you have a sneaky look here (or here if you’re not in the UK) you can read it before everyone else…
Yay! yay! yay!
I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have a good feeling about this one…
Time for cake! Cake all round.
PS I know two blog posts in one day is a little excessive but I couldn’t wait to let you know…
I’d like to run something by you, lovely people.
I’m planning on blogging my ENTIRE third novel, Thaw.
The novel consists of Ruth’s diary over three months as she decides whether or not she wants to carry on living.
Ruth’s diary starts on March 1st, and the paperback of the book is out on February the 1st next year. I’d be blogging the book, one day per day, one month after the book comes out and over the next three months.
Here’s how the blog will look.
So what do you think? Would you be interested in reading an entire novel in this fashion? Might you be tempted to buy the book rather than wait for the rest of the story to appear? Have you heard anything about authors that give away books ‘for free’? Would it be better to just blog the first month or two? (that feels mean to me)
I’d be really interested in your feedback.
PS the photo is Maggi Hambling’s Scallop (2003) in Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, which is important to the climax of the novel…
PPS I have checked this out with my lovely publishers at Snowbooks. It would have been naughty not to.
PPPS many thanks to the lovely jem of - the sound of splinters - for making the little pictures for me – she’s offered to make me three months worth – hurray for jem.
Yesterday afternoon I decided to make a path between my vegetable patch beds by putting down weed suppressing membrane and covering it with bark chip.
I didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was doing. I didn’t know if I was strong enough to get the five bags of bark chip into my car. I didn’t know how to attach the membrane to the soil. I didn’t know if the whole project was a waste of time – if my path would be a complete failure.
It reminded me of starting my first novel, Thaw (out next year). I didn’t know anything about writing fiction. I hadn’t read any how-to books or taken any classes. I didn’t know anyone writing novels. I’d read prodigiously all my life and written poetry for years, but had never put more than a few hundred words together, never mind eighty thousand.
The only way to approach it without scaring myself half to death was by calling it an experiment. I decided to write 1000 words a day and just see where I got to. This is how I felt about my vegetable patch project yesterday and, now I come to think of it, about most of my life.
The path is finished – it looks a little raggedy, but it’s functional. I’m rather proud of it. I’m currently working on my fourth novel, and I still don’t have the foggiest idea about what I’m doing or how it will turn out. Isn’t it fun?!
“I hear those voices that will not be drowned.”
These are the words pierced into the metal at the edges of this magnificent steel scallop shell. They come from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. The shell was created as a tribute to Britten by Maggie Hambling, and it sits on Aldeburgh beach in Suffolk.
I was in Aldeburgh this weekend with a good friend to listen to poetry. She hadn’t seen the sculpture before, and so we tramped down the pebbled beach to see it. I picked up a perfectly smooth pebble speckled with blue. The sea sang. The pebbles gave under our feet. The cold rubbed at our faces.
It has changed colour since I first saw it, in 2004, from blank silver to a subtle palette of terracotta rusts. It is battered around the edges as if the wind and the water has shredded it, fragmented it. Hambling intended the piece to be ‘in conversation with the sea’. I put a hand on its flank, as if it were a horse.
The shell has a special significance to me, as it is where the final scene of my novel, Thaw, takes place. My troubled character Ruth comes home to the sculpture at the end of her torturous journey. I can’t tell you what happens. I feel so fond of Ruth, as if she is one of my children who now lives too far away for me to visit her. I left her there, sitting on the pebbles with her arms around her knees, and my friend and I walked back along the beach. The scallop shell is there to hear her voice, and mine, and yours.