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Behind-The-Books Blog

Inspiration and writing practice with A&B author Alanna Knight MBE

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Inspiration? The answer to that most-asked question is more like perspiration, constantly fighting time with six months to write one historical crime novel a year, excluding the research involved, meanwhile no coffee mornings for the novel’s duration, and my friends know the rules so it’s a quiet time. A computer at 9 a. m. is not […]


Across the Pond . . . Simplified English?

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Technically speaking, we Brits and our friends across the pond, the Americans, speak (and read) the same language. However, anyone who has ever crossed the Atlantic in either direction can tell you that isn’t quite the case. Somewhere along the way, after they dumped our tea into Boston harbour, declared their independence and grew into […]


Colouring Craze

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Five adult colouring books currently occupy Amazon’s top 20 bestseller’s list, with Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure beating Harper Lee’s anticipated Go Set a Watchman to second place, only to be outdone by Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as told by Christian. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry . […]


Disobedient Commuters

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Unused to the London commuter routine I was blown away by the queue when I stepped off my train at Vauxhall and headed for the underground, the whole of one side of the entrance was blocked by people and overflowing out of the station. The other side had sensibly been left free for passengers leaving […]


The Cheese Sloth and Other Curiosities

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The other week I went to the Embankment summer fair and spent a lovely few hours wandering around in the sunshine perusing the various stalls. One stall in particular caught my attention: Jimbobart – which is London-based designer James Ward who creates ‘a range of ceramics and illustrations centering on his expressive animal drawings.’ His charming […]


Missing Manuscripts

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Last night we heard the news that the new Fifty Shades of Grey manuscript was stolen just days before the book’s release. Police have launched an investigation amid fears that copies of the manuscript could be made and sold on the black market, or that extracts could be sold off to media outlets ahead of […]


Feline Fiction

Monday, June 8th, 2015

I spotted this article, discussing the lack of animals in adult fiction, on BookRiot, today. It’s an interesting time to stumble upon it, as we’re gearing up for the publication of the first in Mandy Morton’s delightful The No. 2 Feline Detective Series, next month. Following in the tradition of Watership Down, Black Beauty and the author’s favourite, Wind […]


Word On The Water

Friday, June 5th, 2015

I’d heard about Word on the Water – the London Bookbarge bringing you a great selection of second-hand books to buy – long before I saw them. The barge travels along the canal, which runs from west London to Hackney and east London – and so finding them isn’t always easy (although if you are more […]


150 Curious Years of Alice

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was first published in 1865. It has never been out of print since. Carroll first wrote it for Alice Liddell, a child who was the daughter of a family friend. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a little girl named Alice tumbles down a rabbit hole and finds the […]


Joining the Club

Monday, June 1st, 2015

After nearly three years of working in publishing, I have finally got round to joining The Society of Young Publishers. It’s been on my to-do list for some time and I’m glad I finally did. Established in 1949, the SYP is open to anyone and ‘caters especially for those with fewer than ten years’ publishing experience. Run […]


Reading on the Road

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Our author Emily Winslow told me, last week, about a brilliant and dedicated group of book lovers – ‘Books Afoot’. The Books Afoot group are part of the Book Group at Minnesota Women’s Press. They believe, quite rightly, that literature and travel make a rewarding combination. Reading the literature from a place illuminates your exploration of it, and […]


New Old Fairy Tales

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Last month saw the publication of a new collection of fairy tales: The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. But considering they were first recorded in the 1800s, ‘new’ may not be the best way to describe them… Franz Xaver von Schönwerth was a civil servant in Bavaria. […]


Literary Homes

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

It was announced this week that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s home is now up for sale in Long Island. The manor home is twenty miles outside New York and Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda are believed to have lived there between 1922 and 1924. The Mediterranean style home features seven bedrooms, six bathrooms, a music room and […]


Whose Line is it Anyway? LIVE!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

This year is proving itself to be full of delightful arts-related news. First, it was announced that a sequel of To Kill a Mockingbird has been discovered and will be published in July (yes, I have already pre-ordered my copy), and now my dreams have come true: Whose Line is it Anyway?, a hilarious improvisational […]


CrimeFest Bristol: A Roundup

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Susie and I have just returned from a trip to Bristol, for this year’s CrimeFest. It was a weekend of celebration as Catherine Aird was announced as the recipient of this year’s lifetime achievement, ‘Diamond Dagger Award’, and L C Tyler collected the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award, for Elsie and Elthered mystery, Crooked Herring. There were also […]


Laurie Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! King and the Pirates

Friday, May 15th, 2015

If you’re lucky enough to have a ticket to ENO’s Pirates of Penzance, on at the Coliseum at the moment, we’re VERY jealous. Directed by the wonderful Mike Leigh, the production runs until the 4th July. A&B favourite, Laurie R King’s book Pirate King is set around the set of a film by the same title, […]


Reintroducing The Literary Gift Company

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

A while ago now, I wrote a post introducing The Literary Gift Company, whose innovative book-related products are guaranteed to make any book lover smile. Well, now I have inevitably been drawn back into their fold, and have found a selection of items which are destined for my birthday wish list. The first being an […]


Sharing Suzette A. Hill at Gladstone Library Talk

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Back in February, Suzette A. Hill gave a talk about her books and her writing to a lucky few at Gladstone Library – did you manage to catch it?! For those who weren’t able to head along, we’d like to share a recording of Suzette’s talk – via this link. The author of A Little […]


What’s in a Title?

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Sometimes book titles can be incredibly obscure and give nothing away about its content. Like Shadow in the Wind or A Bend in the River. They hint at something mysterious and literary without actually making much sense at all. On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are some book titles that get straight to […]


Katharine Moore

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

We’re very proud of the reissues of three Katharine Moore titles, in e-book format this year – Summer at the Haven, Moving House and The Lotus House were all made available in March. And as we look forward to a three generation, literary celebration (in June Katharine’s daughter, the poet Jane Kingshill, will be joined […]


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    to see Sardo Cucina have a pizza delivery service - great excuse for A&B office lunch next week!

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    The New Republic

    by Lionel Shriver - Sophie: A scalpel sharp political satire. It’s humorous and completely engrossing, I can’t put it down.

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