Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Caroline Rance's blog

I have been putting off writing my guest post in the knowledge that it will probably appear with a photo of me at the Fulham event, looking like a red-faced version of the woman from Misery. Now we are back to the typical weather of a British summer, it's difficult to believe that only a few weeks ago London was so boiling that the audience (and us authors) did well not to keel over.

I didn't have such a long journey as some of my fellow writers, but it was long enough on a packed Tube at rush hour! I wouldn't have blamed everyone for staying at home with a cool glass of Pimm's, so it was wonderful to see so many people arriving to hear us speak - including my publisher, Corinne Souza of Picnic, whom I'd never actually met before.

The Hammersmith and Fulham News had plugged the event and featured pictures of us all, so we agreed that we would speak in the same order as the photos, and I was third to go.

I love reading out my work and was quite keen to do a couple of excerpts, but given the heat and the fact that there were still two authors left to speak, I didn't want to go on for too long. I chose one brief scene where Kill-Grief's heroine, Mary, encounters a sinister Hogarthian brothel-keeper.

I was really interested to hear the excerpts from the other featured books and the experiences of their writers. We're such a varied bunch, writing in such different styles and genres, that the event was an excellent showcase for the diversity of titles produced by independent publishers.

Back in April, I was delighted when I heard Kill-Grief had been selected as part of the Exclusively Independent scheme. It is so hard for smaller publishers to get their books in front of the readers who might enjoy them if only they knew about them, so it's a brilliant idea for independent booksellers and publishers to work together to raise the profile of interesting and sometimes unusual titles.

Huge thanks are due to Lauren at Legend Press and the staff of Fulham Library for organising the evening. Since my book was published, most of the events I've done have involved doing all the legwork myself, so it was lovely just to turn up and find everything under control. I'd love to be part of any future Exclusively Independent events – that's if I'm invited back, of course!


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