Nicola Monaghan's news, events and general thoughts about life and writing.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Harrogate Crime and Dina's chain letter...

I'm very excited because I'm doing an event on Friday, and I haven't done anything like this in a while. I do enjoy them. Which came as a surprise to me.

Heads up, then, I'm at the Harrogate Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival. A bit of a mouthful but it promises to be a corker. There's a party Thursday night, where I get to meet all the other writers and remember their names to drop when I come back :) Then I do my thing Friday at midday. The event's called New Blood, and I'll be sharing the stage with several other debut writers. To paraphrase, well, more accurately cut and paste from the brochure:

A quartet of exceptionally talented authors will introduce you to their very different first novels. Nick Stone’s Mr Clarinet is a noir tour-de-force set in Haiti, Tom Cain’s The Accident Man features action hero Daniel Carver, Caro Ramsay’s atmospheric and emotionally intelligent thriller, Absolution, is set in Glasgow, and Nicola Monaghan won a Betty Trask award for her darkly moving, twisty debut, The Killing Jar. Joanna Hines, novelist and paperback crime reviewer for the Guardian, chairs.

Joanna Hines in fact is the person responsible for the lovely review I had in the Guardian a few months ago so A It will be nice to know she genuinely did like my book and B I will be able to thank her in person, which I'm looking forward to.

Well, if you fancy a jolly out to North Yorkshire you know where I'll be. Full details and tickets available here.

Meanwhile this wonderful blogger has taken up the baton with Dina's book. Yay!


Monday, 16 July 2007

Dina Rabinovitch

I've become involved in a piece of blogging chain mail. I don't usually do chain mail, but this one is different. Your head won't fall off if you don't join in and you won't get lots of gold and chocolate or your biggest wish come true within 7 hours if you do. But it might just pass an important message on.

The point is breast cancer, and Dina Rabinovitch, a long term sufferer of the disease. Long term sufferer is an important idea, because such a thing, with breast cancer, did not exist until recently. Advances in treatment and drugs have changed this. Dina lives on the cutting edge of cancer treatment. She blogs about it here.

Dina's book is beautifully written and full of information. It made me cry, it made me realise how lucky I was and it made me check for lumps again. Thanks Dina.

I now need someone to continue the chain. The deal is, I send you the book, you blog it and ask for someone to send it on to, and continue the chain. Each blogger writes their details in the front. The first person to comment on this post asking for the book will get it. You can blame this minx for starting the chain. Thank you Minx.

Pass it on....

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

The Left Lion mystery

The left lion in Nottingham's slab square is an institution. Everyone who grows up here has countless nights out that start there. Why the left lion? Nobody knows. Years ago, I'm told by older friends, it just used to be 'the lions' but it's evolved. How do you tell which one's the left lion? It's on the left hand side when you are facing the building, not standing outside looking out. There is even a (rather good) cultural magazine named after this most famous meeting place. And yet, although everyone claims to meet there, the place is rarely packed with people. How does that work? It's all a bit platform nine and three quarters if you ask me.

Today, though, there were hundreds of people there. The event was a meeting of minds or, at least, a photocall, for all of the creatives in Nottingham. And they came. And they all tried to stand at the front, which was quite funny to watch. Especially the girl in the hat who was just determined not to be moved backwards no matter what. You go girl! Lol.

All my creative friends have been banging on recently about how cool it is to work in Nottingham right now, and how there's a buzz, and how it truly is becoming a creative hub. I knew this. But to see it today in flesh and blood in the market square, it was quite something.

What's more, I met Troubled Diva, whose blog I've been reading for a while. And what a very nice man he is too. We talked blogging and people we knew in common, while drinking wine in the sunny mezz bar at the Broadway, and he had his caricature drawn. I love being a writer :) He was off to see Armistead Maupin afterwards, together with most of the Nottingham literazzi, but I didn't have tickets.

Talking of talking about blogging, I must point you in the direction of a new website I've been involved with which has just gone live; Bookarazzi. It's been put together by a support/networking group I was invited to join a while ago. It's a diverse group of writers who all have blogs and who all have book deals. That's probably as far as the similarities go. There are memoirists, chick lit writers, literary types, artists,... Actually, there is another couple of things they all have in common and that's talent and energy and ideas. Oh, that was three things. In fact, this is in danger of becoming a 'what have the Romans ever done for us' comment so I'll stop here. Visit the site. It is good there.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Waverton Good Read

I received an email this afternoon telling me I've won the Waverton Good Read. I'm very pleased and excited. I've been invited to a dinner and presentation in October.

The really cool thing about this prize is that it's voted for by readers in Waverton. Part of the aim of the whole scheme is to get people reading. I'm really proud to have won this on the basis of readers' opinions.

I'm now looking forward to finding my way to Waverton Village and meeting some of the readers in person.


Friday, 6 July 2007

Starfishing, across the universe...

So, the news from the coalface is that my editor is more or less happy with my latest draft. Perhaps some polishing, and she has a few questions, but no major work. Yay! The second novel is almost out of the way :)

I said it was all over bar the shouting. Perhaps this is where the shouting begins.

The image here is work in progress for the jacket. It's all moving along nice and fast now. I wasn't sure about this at first, but it's growing on me.

I went to see Irvine Welsh at Bookslam in West London last night. He was class as ever. Funny and entertaining and he 'did the voices'. Chad always wants me to 'do the voices'. There aren't many to do from The Killing Jar that are far away from the narrator's Nottingham voice, so coming from Nottingham myself I can pull it off. The Essex and American accents in Starfishing are going to provide me with a bit more of a challenge methinks. Help!

Happy Friday.


Sunday, 1 July 2007

Event in Harrogate on 20th July

Just for a bit of advance warning, I'll be at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival on 20th July. I'm well up for an event; haven't done one for ages. For more info and ticket details go to their website.

I'm also going to go to next week's bookslam. Irvine Welsh is performing. Should be class. DJs and all sorts of other stuff happening too.

Now I'm going to think about what to do about Shots and watch some Six Feet Under.