First public appearance talking about If I Die Before I Wake – and other news

This week I had my first public appearance talking about If I Die Before I Wake – at an event at Cheltenham Literature Festival.

It all went really well. I couldn’t have asked for better company on stage, being interviewed by Caroline Sanderson alongside Imogen Hermes Gowar and Mary Lynn Bracht. Their excellent debuts are also out in January – Imogen’s The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a hilarious 18th century romp about a widower, a courtesan and a grotesque mermaid; Mary’s White Chrysanthemum is a heartbreaking but beautiful story about Korean sisters separated by war. It was interesting to have three such different books being discussed in the same event.

The one question that took me by surprise, which I will now go away and have a think about, was “What do you hope for your book?”. It’s a good one! I said that I hoped as well as readers enjoying it as a mystery, I hope it inspires them to seize the day and get on with the things they want to do in life. But I’m sure there is a better answer than that…

Being a “home” event for me (I grew up in Cheltenham), it was lovely to see familiar faces in the audience, including one of my English teachers from school, Linda Armitage.

In the run up to the festival, I wrote a feature which appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo, Gloucester Citizen, Bristol Post and Western Daily Press (why write for one paper when you can do so for four in one go?!) about some of my inspiration for the novel, and how I met my agent. I can’t find an online link for it online but you can view a PDF of it here.


A couple of weeks ago I also appeared at an event in London, meeting book bloggers, book sellers and journalists – this time alongside other crime writers from my publisher, Vintage. It was a brilliant evening, mainly because there was a cocktail named after my book and I got to meet some first class writers such as Ruth Ware, Denise Mina and Abir Mukherjee to name only a few.

And if that wasn’t enough excitement, I’ve also been visiting bookshops in London, Bristol and Bath to tell book sellers about the book and find out about all of their gorgeous shops. It’s been a fantastic few weeks.

Here’s to many more events talking about the book… see you there?

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