Goodreads Readalong

From 1st November, and throughout the month of November, I will be taking part in a readalong of my first novel Slur with the Goodreads group ‘A Good Thriller’. If you want to join in the readalong, please follow the link: Goodreads Readalong. You will have to join the group in order to post comments but otherwise you can just follow the chat. For anyone who is interested in thrillers, I would recommend joining this lively group. Later in this post I’ve outlined some of the fun online activities that this group organises.

Readalong

The format that the readalong takes is that readers have an opportunity to read the book and discuss it with the author while they are reading. This gives them a chance to ask any questions about the author’s writing process, plot lines, characters or anything else that may interest them. The author then dips in and out of the thread to respond to questions and comments made by members.

Readalongs aren’t just open to people who choose to read the book during the discussion; people who have already read the book can join in too. The group has already hosted a number of successful readalongs, which have been enjoyed by both readers and authors.

Pick it for MeThis is just one of the threads that members of ‘A Good Thriller’ can take part in. It’s a very active group and one of the friendliest I have come across on Goodreads. As well as various themed chats, two of the popular threads that members can take part in are ‘Book Pals’ and ‘Pick it for Me’. With ‘Book Pals’, members read and discuss a book along with a partner. ‘Pick it for Me’ involves listing a selection of books that you would like to read, and members will then help you choose which books they think you should read next from that selection. There are many other fun threads too so this group is well worth checking out if you are a fan of thrillers.

If you would like to join in the readalong and get an insight into the mind of a crime thriller writer, it will take part from 1st November – just follow the link: Goodreads Readalong.

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Interview with North Manchester Radio

On Saturday 17th October I took part in a radio interview with Hannah Kate from North Manchester Radio: http://northmanchester.fm/. Hannah hosts a regular show at 2pm on Saturday afternoons called ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’. During the show she discusses books, creative writing and publishing. Her guests include local authors as well as others involved in the book world such as publishers and librarians. Hannah has had some interesting and esteemed guests so I was honoured to take part in the show.

The show lasted two hours and you can listen to the recording or perhaps just catch snippets by following the link: Hannah’s Bookshelf.

Fig 1

Hannah (left) and me (right)

We met an hour before the show was scheduled to start so that Hannah could set everything up and find out a bit of background information about me. This was in addition to the information that she had already gleaned from my website. Hannah was very professional in her approach, which helped to put me at ease.

Initially I was nervous at the prospect of talking about my work for two hours but it’s amazing how the time flies when you find someone else who shares your passion for books. The format of the show is an informal chat in ten minute segments with one or two tracks played in between each segment. For the first ten to fifteen minutes of the show Hannah talks about a book she has recently read and announces any literary events that are taking place locally. Then, after a track it’s time to introduce her guest.

Fig 2

Sharing a joke

It was daunting at first knowing that thousands of people were listening to my every word, cough and splutter but Hannah is an experienced interviewer and she soon helped to settle me down. One of the things I tend to do when I am nervous is waffle, go off at a tangent and completely forget the question that was asked in the first place but Hannah skilfully kept me on track.

During the course of the two hours we covered the background to my writing career from the time that I decided to swap credit control for writing right through to the publication of my novels and short story book. We also discussed my writing influences, my reasons for writing the type of material I write and my typical writing day.

Hannah also includes a fun session in the latter half of her show where she asks her guests which three books they would choose to save in the event of an apocalypse. I won’t include my selections here but they’re all included in the audio recording if you would like to check them out.

Fig 3

Chatting about books

It was interesting to see how a radio show works. The host has to be careful to get the timings right and I followed Hannah’s lead to make sure I didn’t get too carried away with my responses and muck up the schedule. It was a fun afternoon and a real pleasure to meet the lovely Hannah Kate.

As well as hosting ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’ Hannah wears many other hats. She is a published author and editor whose work has appeared in anthologies and national magazines, and she runs a small press and events company. Hannah is also an academic lecturer, researcher and writer. You can find out more about this talented lady by visiting her website at: http://hannahkate.net/.

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