Monday, 28 July 2014

Back Soon

I'm off to America tomorrow, sans family, to speak about A Song for Issy Bradley and Mormon fiction at the Sunstone symposium at the University of Utah with my friend Jenn Ashworth. So long!


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Win a copy of the U.S edition

More U.S editions of A Song for Issy Bradley arrived yesterday. I'm giving away one copy - I'll sign it and mail it anywhere in the world. All you need to do to is comment on this post or on the equivalent post on my Facebook page and one name will be drawn out of a hat at the weekend. 

I loved A Song for Issy Bradley. It's wry, smart, human ... it's moving and comforting in a way that makes sense even to the agnostic.
Nick Hornby, The Believer

*The draw has taken place. The winner is Stephanie Ramquist.*

Friday, 18 July 2014

The Verb, RTE and new books

Yesterday I went to Media City to record  The Verb with Ian McMillan. Jackie Kay and DBC Pierre were also on the show, but they were in Inverness and London respectively (so they couldn't sign the books I'd fangirlishly - not sure if that's a word - carried to Manchester with me). However, brilliant folk singer Martin Carthy was in the studio and it was lovely to listen to him perform live. The program can be downloaded here.

Afterwards I went to Liverpool where I bought some of my favourite chocolate in the world. Then I popped to Radio Merseyside where I did a live interview on RTE

Here's a link to the podcast.

When I got home I discovered a parcel containing 2 copies of the U.S edition of the novel. I think they're gorgeous. 

Here's a photo of my fish reacting to the cover (could be that he's just swimming around obliviously, of course). 

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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Miracle Boy

Here's a video from Word Factory of me reading the first part of Jacob's chapter 'Miracle Boy' from A Song for Issy Bradley.

Carys Bray reads 'Miracle Boy' from WordFactory on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Book at Bedtime

Some lovely news.

A Song for Issy Bradley will be BBC Radio Four's Book at Bedtime for two weeks, beginning 11th August. 

^ That was me being calm and dignified.

For a more authentic depiction of my response, imagine a combination of the following:


Tuesday, 8 July 2014

And breathe

Last weekend I dragged the children and my husband to London and bored the socks off them with a long game of spot-the-tube-poster, followed by a visit to the Tate (the Tate was slightly better received - in part due to the large numbers of naked statues and paintings).

On Saturday evening I read at Word Factory which took place in Piccadilly Waterstones - a gorgeous shop - alongside two fantastic writers, Vanessa Gebbie and Val McDermid (who also sang, beautifully). Afterwards I went out for a meal with two school friends I hadn't seen for almost two decades, a lovely experience.

On Tuesday I attended Short Stories Aloud in Oxford and listened to work by myself and Kerry Hudson, performed by Julie Mayhew and Melissa Berry. Julie did the most incredible job of reading my story My Brother is Missing - she read it so well that it felt like it had been written by someone else.

On Thursday I attended the Edge Hill Prize award ceremony. The main prize was won by John Burnside whose collection Something Like Happy was outstanding. The readers' prize was won by Rachel Trezise with her confident, cosmopolitan collection, Cosmic Latte. I really enjoyed being a judge on the prize this year. All five of the shortlisted collections were excellent. I'll always remember Bernie McGill's beautiful title story 'Sleepwalkers' and the concluding story of Jaki McCarrick's dark and evocative collection The Scattering - 'The Jailbird', a gripping and horrifyingly funny depiction of a co-dependent mother and son. And I was fascinated by David Rose's wry, slightly off-kilter worlds in Posthumous Stories. It was a diverse and deserving shortlist.

After the Edge Hill Prize ceremony I hurried away to Literary Death Match at Foyles.

John Boyne won the death match with a very funny story about football (and Nick Harkaway, Anthony Anaxagorou and I all survived, which was good). 

On Saturday I read and signed copies of A Song for Issy Bradley at Formby Books

Yesterday I read and signed books at Chorley Library with Ebb & Flo Books

And that's it. I've finished my novel-related commitments until the autumn. Phew! 

Now I just need to make the corrections to my PhD poetics, start working with my WoMentoring mentees and prepare my presentation for the Sunstone Symposium in Utah on 1st August. Oh, and there's the small matter of a second novel, too...