by September on Mar 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm
Be afraid…be very afraid…Mo Hayder’s new book Poppet is published tomorrow…March 28th 2013. In anticipation of the latest chilling story to surface in the Jack Caffery series Mo will be taking part in a blog tour. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for exclusive Q&As and extracts from Poppet to come from the bloggers detailed on our blog tour poster below! Read the rest of this entry »
by September on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm
We’re thrilled that the truly wonderful S. J. Bolton has had her brilliant book Sacrifice picked up by Hollywood movie makers! Sacrifice is currently being prepared for pre-production as lead cast members Connie Nielsen, Charles Dance and Rupert Graves are announced to star in the film adaptation. It is hoped that filming, mainly in Ireland, Shetland and Manhattan, will commence in late spring this year. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kate on Nov 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm
Today, the paperback edition of The Winter Palace is published. Described by the Daily Telegraph as “A wonderful novel, riven with intrigue and startling details”, The Winter Palace is a novel that describes the rise to power of one of histories most illustrious female rulers, Catherine the Great. The author Eva Stachniak has answered 9 questions for us about her favourite time period in history, her favourite figures from history.
1. If you could go back in time and be any figure from history, who would it be?
Catherine the Great, the heroine of my last novel, still consumes me. I’ve spent so much time with her in the last few years, I’ve read so much about her, and have thought of her so often and with such intensity that there is still no space in me for anyone else. Becoming Catherine, ever just for a few hours, would help me penetrate her mystery, test my own vision of her, my representation of her thoughts and feelings.
I would finally know if she thought herself happy, satisfied with her accomplishments, or if she despaired of what couldn’t be achieved. I would know what she feared the most, and if she—especially toward the end of her life—was able to see the depths of Russia’s future troubles.
2. What year in history would you have liked to live in?
1913, in Paris. I would put on a shimmering flapper gown, a turban with feathers, and head off to see Ballet Russe perform Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring,” choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. I wish I wouldn’t know how the performance would end…
3. You’re having a dinner party and you can invite 5 people from history, who would they be?
Catherine the Great for whom I would order her favourite dishes (boiled beef, cucumbers with honey and potatoes—her pet project, new food she wished to introduce to Russia) and trust her to be a superb conversationalist.
Cleopatra, an equally powerful Queen, equally preoccupied with her political image. I know how careful, the two of them would be, how keen on concealment and cautious explorations of their experience, and how determined not to be out-shined.
Plato, whom I would sit between Catherine and Cleopatra, for both of them would know his work very well, and would welcome him as a conversationalist and mentor. He, too, would find them fascinating, a unique chance to test his vision of a Philosopher Queen from his ideal Republic.
Mark Twain who would be able to bring America into the conversation and who would be trusted to come up with a funny and poignant story when the mood became too serious.
Frederick Chopin who would not refuse to play the piano for us and whose gentle but irresistible spirit would imbue the evening dinner with serene beauty and deep reflection.
4. What castle from the past or present would you like to live in?
Sissinghurst Castle, in Kent. I would like to savour its beautiful garden, with its rich literary associations. It was first laid out by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson in the 1930’s. Spectacular garden rooms surround the remains of an Elizabethan mansion, and the place was a scene of passionate affairs and famous Bloomsbury parties. I would love to write a novel in Vita’s writing room, with its books, brick arches and the spirit of Virginia Woolf hovering over me.
5. Two fellow historical fiction authors you’d like to go on a history themed tour of the world with?
Hilary Mantel who doesn’t shrink from dissecting historical reality whether she writes about Revolutionary France or 17th century England. I admire her ability to live inside her characters, to become them, and not to judge. She is a shape-shifter and she knows the world she invites the reader into inside out.
Kate Grenville, who writes so beautifully about early 19th century Australia in “The Secret River.” She explores the past for its link with the present, probes into the origins of the modern. She makes history both timeless and universal.
6. Who was more dashing and interesting, King Henry VIII of England or King Louis XIV of France?
They were both equally fascinating and exasperating, but I’d cast my vote with Louis XIV. Though spoiled by constant adulation, and far too self-centered, he loved theatre and made room for the wide tree lined Parisian boulevards.
7. Which of the six wives of King Henry VIII is your favourite?
Anne Boleyn, because she was such a riveting character. A strong woman who was not satisfied with a passive role alongside her royal lover and later husband, unrelenting in her grasp of power and influence, spiteful and ruthless, yet ultimately tragic in her defeat. And the mother of one of the most powerful women monarchs…
8. English monarchy or French monarchy?
English. The Parliamentary system constrained the monarchs and their consorts far better. As the result, the English kings and queens, though equally colourful, could wield less harm on their nation.
9. What three novels could you read over and over?
“To the Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf because it always manages to surprise me with its poetic cadences, reveal something new about loss, creativity, pain and everyday acts of love.
Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, with its crucible of high drama, grand passions, the search for moral truth that spans the extremes of the Russian soul.
Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. It is both funny and profound. It appeals to the child in us and to the adult who has to makes sense of the world it so beautifully portraits. And I can listen to Huck, the narrator, endlessly. His voice is true and strong and it carries the whole novel flawlessly almost until the end.
by Kate on Nov 7, 2012 at 7:28 am
Congratulations to the following entrants on winning copies of Joanne Harris’s latest two books -
Each winner will be emailed and notified. The competition is now closed. Thank you to all who entered.
We’ve been spoiled this year with three new titles from the bestselling author Joanne Harris. Back in May we released Peaches for Monsieur le Curé where Joanne revisited Lansquenet and Vianne Rocher, the location and main character of her renowned novel Chocolat.
Today, her second collection of short stories A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String is published along with the second of her YA novels Runelight. A Cat, a Hat and a Piece of String is a new collection of sixteen tales combining the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality. In Runelight Joanne Harris draws us back into a richly imagined world-a world not unlike our own, had it been shaped by the Vikings instead of the Romans. A world of Norse gods that remains divided – an old regime been wiped out but with nothing to take its place, anarchy is beginning to spread.
To celebrate the publication of these two very different books we’re offering 5 sets of both books to 5 lucky people who can name the title of Joanne’s first printed collection of short stories.
To enter simple comment below this story with your answer and the winners will be picked at random and announced on 20th November.
You can follow Joanne on Twitter – @joannechocolat or visit her website – www.joanne-harris.co.uk
by Lynsey on Oct 30, 2012 at 10:54 am
Never read a Terry Pratchett book? Always meant to but never got round to it? Well now’s your chance!
Enter our lucky dip to win a mystery Terry Pratchett book! It could be a Discworld title, it could be a collaboration like Good Omens or it could be one of his children’s books. Whatever the occasion, we’ve got a Terry Pratchett book for you!
Just email the address below with your name and address and the subject line Pick up a Pratchett and we’ll send you a Terry Pratchett novel. It’s that simple. Some books may even come with a special gift – a bag, a badge or even a poster!
Just email us at Discworld to be in with a chance at winning!
Lucky dip closes on Sunday 4th November, winners will be sent books and potential goodies!
by Lynsey on Oct 23, 2012 at 10:06 am
This month sees the publication of Terry Pratchett’s A Blink of the Screen, collected shorter fiction spanning the career of the great fantasy writer/
For a limited time only we’ll be hosting one of the stories from the collection right here!
For all readers who love the Discworld or are completely new to the flat circular world that floats through space on top of four giant elephants who are perched on the back of a space turtle. May I present to you, the wonderful, the erudite…
THEATRE OF CRUELTY
W. H. Smith Bookcase magazine, July/August 1993
It was a fine summer morning, the kind to make a man happy to be alive. And probably the man would have been happier to be alive. He was, in fact, dead.
It would be hard to be deader without special training.
‘Well, now,’ said Sergeant Colon (Ankh-Morpork City Guard, Night Watch), consulting his notebook, ‘so far we has cause of death as a) being beaten with at least one blunt instrument, b) being strangled with a string of sausages, and c) being savaged by at least two animals with big sharp teeth. What do we do now, Nobby?’
‘Arrest the suspect, sarge,’ said Corporal Nobbs, saluting smartly.
‘What suspect, Nobby?’
‘Him,’ said Nobby, prodding the corpse with his boot. ‘I call it highly suspicious, being dead like that.’
‘But he’s the victim, Nobby. He was the one what was killed.’
‘Ah, right. So we can get him as an accessory, too.’
‘He’s been drinking, too. We could do him for being dead and disorderly.’
Colon scratched his head. Arresting the corpse offered, of course, certain advantages. But . . .
‘I reckon,’ he said slowly, ‘that Captain Vimes’ll want this one sorted out. You’d better bring it back to the Watch House, Nobby.’
‘And then can we eat the sausages, sarge?’ said Corporal Nobbs.
by Leanne on Sep 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm
Michael Logan author of Apocalypse Cow, and the joint winner of the inaugural Terry Pratchett First Novel Award, appeared at this year’s StoryMoja Hay Festival in Nairobi. The festival works across five continents, bringing writers to debate and meet with audiences around the world. Other writers taking part included Giles Foden, Dinaw Mengestu, Precious Williams and Muthoni Garland, to name a few.
You can read about Michael’s experiences at the festival on their blog:
Michael also wrote a short story as part of the Hay Festival, ‘The Red Lion’ for the Telegraph, which can be found here:
by Jonny on Sep 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm
Ben Fogle was travelling the length and breadth of the country last week to promote his new book, The Accidental Naturalist. Here’s what he had to say about the week:
I am on a train speeding along the Northumberland coastline. The North Sea looks cold and stormy, frothed up by a stiff offshore breeze. The sky is a light, soft blue; cloudless and bright. We are skirting past small fishing communities and empty beaches, and soon Holy Island comes into view. I am on the East coast train from Edinburgh to London; I’ve spent the week on a book tour that has taken me across the country, and what has become glaringly obvious is what a magical land Britain is.
I began in the West Country and the spa town of Bath, a World Heritage Site with its magnificent Palladian architecture, before heading north to Peterborough and then Spalding. I have always loved Edinburgh, but it also gave me an excuse to visit Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the pandas who arrived from China last year to much fanfare. Who would have thought that a blustery hill overlooking this historic city was where I would catch my first glimpse of one? I was quite moved – but there was no time to loiter. I headed south towards the Scottish Borders and the pretty little village of St Boswells on the Tweed, which holds the record for the most award-winning shops in the country. The bookshop, butcher, post office and fish-and-chip shop have all won awards. From my hotel window I could see an endless landscape of rolling wheat fields. The scene took my breath away as I watched fleets of combine harvesters making maximum use of early September’s warm, dry weather.
From St Boswells I headed to York, with its magnificent cathedral, then to Leeds, before returning to Poole in Dorset and hitching a lift in a boat back to my alma mater, Portsmouth University, from which I have received an honorary doctorate. I made a triumphant entrance into Gunwharf by speedboat, where my South American travel companion, the comedian Hugh Dennis, was waiting to welcome me. Finally I visited Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire before returning home.
It was an exhausting week but it reminded me how beautiful and varied Great Britain is. The country looked magnificent from the window of a speeding train. I’ll miss the late-summer sunshine and warmth as I head deep into the Alaskan wilderness next week.
From The Sunday Telegraph 9th September 2012
Follow us on Twitter: @TransworldBooks
by Jonny on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm
Adam Smith, head of Sky Sports Boxing will be appearing at the Chiswick Book Festival to talk about his book Beautiful Brutality.
Beautiful Brutality is the first book to examine the world of boxing from the perspective of family. Sky Sports boxing expert Adam Smith lays bare the raw emotion at the heart of the sport.
Now in its fourth year, the festival raises money for St Michael & All Angels Church, which hosts the event, and three charities which support reading and literacy. Adam will be appearing at the festival, which this year features events with Clare Balding and Michael Palin.
Tickets are available from the Chiswick Book Festival website here
Saturday 15th September
The Tabard Theatre
Here’s a great video from iFilm London, who were at the recent launch of Adam’s book.
by Lynsey on Jun 26, 2012 at 10:20 am
Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter’s The Long Earth was published last week and follows the journey of Joshua and Lobsang as they travel on the Mark Twain across parallel earths!