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Surprise, Surprise! by Lesley Allen

Recently, during a panel at a book festival event, a member of the audience asked the question ‘what has surprised you about the publishing process?’ What hasn’t surprised me, I thought. Before you get The Deal, your debut deal, you’ll probably have a multitude of expectations. When I get The Call, you might think, I’ll scream at the top of my voice, no matter where I am: at work, on top of a mountain, in a public loo. Or perhaps you think you’ll probably cry, or collapse in shock, or crack open the bottle of fizz you’ve had on ice… More

The Dress: A bit of #everydaymagic

Do you need a little bit of everyday magic in your life...? Sophie Nicholls, author of The Dress - which is out now! - is here to bring a little sparkle to your life. Listen below as Sophie explains what The Dress is about and gives you a flavour of the characters. This utterly gorgeous book is out now in paperback and in ebook. It makes the perfect summer reading! Vintage dresses and a Chocolat feel... what more could you want?!   Meet Ella and her mother Fabia Moreno who arrive in York, one cold January day, to set up… More

Richard and Judy Competition Shortlist Announcement

Richard and Judy, publishing company Bonnier Zaffre and WHSmith are excited to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Search for a Bestseller Competition. After an overwhelming number of entries, Richard and Judy and their team of judges have completed the in-depth and exciting selection process, picking a shortlist that includes crime, psychological thrillers, women’s fiction and historical fiction. The eight debut authors will now compete for a £50,000 publishing deal with Bonnier Zaffre and specialist advice from literary agency Furniss Lawton. Richard and Judy commented: ‘We're hugely excited to now have our eight-strong shortlist - and what a shortlist it… More

Exclusive First Chapter of 'Little Bones' by Sam Blake

    The door to the back bedroom hung open. Pausing at the top of the narrow wooden stairs, Garda Cathy Connolly could just see inside, could see what looked like the entire contents of the wardrobe flung over the polished floorboards, underwear scattered across the room like litter. The sun, winter weak, played through a window opposite the door, its light falling on something cream, illuminating it bright against the dark denim and jewel colours of the tumbled clothes on the floor. Cathy’s stomach turned again and she closed her eyes, willing the sickness to pass. There was a… More

Rebecca Thornton, author of THE EXCLUSIVES, on writing

There was no big fanfare. No cymbal-crashing, soul-jarring moment, where I thought, "I want to be a writer." It was a quiet, subtle need to tell stories. To conflate the space between the real me, and the me I was projecting to the world. When I was about four-years-old, my English teacher told me she knew I was going to be a writer. I carried that around with me secretly, (see, teachers, how you affect the lives of your students?) but I had too little confidence to do much about it. Instead, when I was in my teens, people would… More

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