Name: Stella Grey*
*Stella Grey is a pseudonym
What’s it about? When her husband fell in love with someone else, Stella Grey thought she’d be unhappy for the rest of her life. But then she realised that she needed to take her future in her own hands. She needed to meet someone wonderful, and find a heartfix for heartbreak.
So, she joined online dating sites and embarked on a mission. What followed were 693 days of encounters, on screen and in person: dates in cafés and over glasses of astringent red wine, short term relationships and awkward sex, but mostly there were phone calls and emails (many, many emails). Her journey was never dull, featuring marriage proposals, invitations to Tangier, badly timed food poisoning and much younger men – but was it ultimately successful? Read more…
What’s it about: ‘Jersey 1987, and the storm clouds are gathering over Colin Bygate. Sitting on a headland stewing over the discovery that his wife used to date Rob de la Haye, a brash hotelier who is everything that Colin is not, he spots a pupil near the edge of the cliff. Worried that the boy may have intended to jump, he drives him home, hoping that his gloomy imagination was playing tricks. But when the boy fails to turn up to school the next day, Colin feels duty bound to track him down, pitting him against the Island establishment who would rather there was a little less noise around this particular absence. A web of characters is spun around this mystery, each with their own secrets. For living in Jersey, where everyone knows everyone else’s business, you must become your own island.’ Read more…
Occupation: Assistant Editor of Arete
Book: Left of the Bang
What’s it about: For failing concert pianist Tamsin Jarvis, the pressure is mounting. She thought she was happy with her adoring schoolteacher boyfriend Callum, but when Chris comes into their lives, that starts to change. In a few months Chris will be gone, leaving for his first tour of Afghanistan. Nothing seems to be working out the way Tamsin wants it to – in fact, she’s not even sure what it is she wants. Read more…
This month, ‘Fresh’ gives us a chance to bring you the amazing new content that we’ve got planned for the year. Not only do we want to focus on our fresh new authors, our fresh food, or our upcoming books for 2015, but we want to take a look at our new covers. For ‘Fresh Look’, we’ll be asking about the old covers that are being given new life. We spoke to cover designer Jo Walker about the re-issue of ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’ by Elizabeth Smart.
‘It was suggested by the editor that we concentrate on the classic photos of Grand Central Station that are so iconic. The beauty of these images is the light and scale of the station, the people look so tiny and the station so impressive. I found some of these images and tried a few different approaches. Read more…
Occupation: English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing
Book: A Reunion of Ghosts
What’s it about: Meet the Alter sisters: Lady, Vee and Delph. These three mordantly witty, complex women share their family’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They love each other fiercely, but being an Alter isn’t easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. Yet no matter what life throws at these siblings, they always have a wisecrack – and each other. Read more…
Occupation: Writer, editor and translator
Book: Blood Relatives
What’s it about: Leeds, late 1975 and a body has been found on Prince Philip Playing Fields. Ricky, teenage delivery van boy for Corona pop, will be late for The Matterhorn Man. In the years that follow until his capture, the Yorkshire Ripper and Rick’s own life draw ever closer with unforeseen consequences. Set in a time in England’s history of upheaval and change – both personal and social – this is a story told in an unforgettable voice.
Why we’re excited: Not only is Blood Relatives written in a startlingly unique and transfixing dialect, the setting offers a completely separate, parallel account of the Yorkshire Ripper murders. The resulting tension that supports an already astonishing narrative is surely the reason why Alexander Masters, proponent of the uncanny within the real, called Blood Relatives ‘Thrilling, poignant and fresh’. Read more…
Occupation: CEO of The Book People
Book: The Museum of Things Left Behind
What’s it about: Full of wisdom, humour and light, The Museum of Things Left Behind is a heart-warming fable for our times that asks us to consider what we have lost and what we have gained in modern life. A book about bureaucracy, religion and the people that really get things done, it is above all else a hymn to the inconstancy of time and the pivotal importance of a good cup of tea.
Why we’re excited: When The Museum of Things Left Behind first came into the office, it was submitted anonymously. That it was snapped up by editorial director Clare Reihill instantly is a testament to its magnificence, its instant pull, and the confidence that Seni Glaister knows how to tell a story. Read more…