Monday, 29 October 2012

First Review

The first review of Sweet Home was published online this morning at the Lancs Writing Hub. It's a really thoughtful and generous review.

Product DetailsThis afternoon I really enjoyed Adam Marek's lovely piece in the Guardian. Having read several of the stories in The Stone Thrower this weekend, it was interesting to read Adam's thoughts about the collection. He reveals that the stories in The Stone Thrower are 'full of absurd, surreal and futuristic scenarios: contagion-carrying virtual pets, genetically enhanced schoolchildren in military uniforms, a superhero dictator – but at the heart of them all is a vulnerable child. My vulnerable child.'

It's a moving account and definitely worth a read.

Reviews of The Stone Thrower can be found at Bookmunch, The Guardian and Litro.

I remain fascinated by the way real life preoccupations bleed into fiction. I mention some of the real-life things that may have influenced my fiction here, here and here.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Launch stuff

I was in my local library this week with the children when one of the librarians said they have ordered my book. It was very exciting to think that I might pop to the library one day and actually see it sitting there on a shelf.

While I was there I noticed a pile of brochures for the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival. The festival begins on Bonfire Night and lasts for a week. My book launch is one of the free events on the programme.

There will be drinks and cake at the launch and I'm going to read a story from Sweet Home (which actually exists now - I've seen a photograph of it on a shelf next to The Lighthouse!).

I'm hoping it will be a cold, wintry night and the staff at Broadhursts will need to light the open fire.

Here are some of the other events that will be on during the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival week:

There is a Sweet Home Facebook page here.

I think the first review will be out next week *bites nails*. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

Booker announcement tomorrow

The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced tomorrow. My publisher, Salt is in the running with Alison Moore's haunting and disquieting debut, The Lighthouse. I would love to see Alison win, although I must confess that I haven't read the other books yet (that's what the Christmas holiday is for). 

It's an exciting time for independent publishers. In this New Statesman article, Six of the Best: Independent Publishers Outside London, there's some well-deserved praise for Salt Publishing and 'the prestigious' Scott Prize gets a mention, too.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival

My book is being launched during the Sefton Celebrates Writing Festival.

The full festival programme can be found here.

Details of my launch can be found here.

Friday, 12 October 2012

International Day of the Girl

Yesterday was International Day of the Girl.

This New York Times piece by Nicholas D. Kristof reminds readers that, 'the global struggle for gender equality is the paramount moral struggle of this century, equivalent to the campaigns against slavery in the 19th century and against totalitarianism in the 20th century.'

There are heart-breaking photographs of child brides at tooyoungtowed and horrifying statistics at halfthesky. I'm reading Half the Sky at the moment in an effort to turn my worry into something constructive.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


I signed off on the proofs of my book today. It was really nerve-wracking to let the stories go and concede that there won't (and can't) be any more edits or alterations. The stories are finished. Gulp. 

I also saw an image of the finished cover for the first time today. It's going to be beautiful, with French flaps. I can't wait to see it.

Some brilliant and very generous writers have made some lovely comments about Sweet Home

'Suburbia in all its tarnished glory - Carys Bray teases at the cracks, and pulls at all the loose threads dangling, in short stories that are funny and sad and achingly true.' 
Robert Shearman 

'Carys Bray lays to rest the myth that fiction which examines the domestic sphere is familiar and unchallenging once and for all. Her stories are never afraid to expose the darkness that exists behind suburban front doors, but at their heart are brave, moving evocations of what it means to be at home with those you love.'

Jenn Ashworth

'Finely tunedwitty
 and poignant, these wonderful stories are written with a startling emotional clarity. The  tragic and the absurd are absolutely inextricable. Carys Bray has an especially acute ear for children's voices, and for the dissenting murmurs that are usually kept behind the closed doors of the unconscious. This is the debut of a major talent.'
Ailsa Cox

'The match of technical accomplishment and psychological insight makes these stories not just excellent but significant.' 
Robert Sheppard