Just another 2 weeks to go for the Amazon 3 for £10 summer promotion, including Invisibles – ranked #6 in the Fiction section by customer review.
In fact, there are several superb Myriad Editions books in the promotion, such as:
- Nina de la Mer’s 4 a.m. “I really liked it. Really credible characters and great sense of time and place. Very original too.” (Ian Rankin)
- Sue Eckstein’s Interpreters, “A compelling exploration of memory and loss.” (Observer)
- And last but not least… Elizabeth Haynes’s Into the Darkest Corner - an international bestseller, which featured on the TV Book Club and was Amazon UK‘s book of the year 2011.
You could even use the savings on three of them to buy the fourth!
I’m delighted to report that Invisibles has been included in Amazon’s top-selling paperbacks summer promotion – 3 books for £10 – and is ranked 12th of over 500 books based on average customer review. Get it on the cheap while you can!
In honour of Father’s Day, I’m delighted to say that my novel Invisibles is on sale for Kindle for 99p from amazon.co.uk, or for $1.53 from amazon.com.
Read about one son’s quest to find his long-lost father in Rio de Janeiro.
Ed Siegle’s moving and dynamic tale of loss and discovery is a meditation on being seen, and being unseen. Full of surprises, crackling with energy, and with characters bristling with life, Invisibles pulled me along from the first page and didn’t set me down until the last (Kathryn Heyman)
The most surprising fact about this story of identity is that it is a debut novel. From the first chapter, the richness of Brighton-based author Ed Siegle’s plot, as well as his instantly charming characters, pull you in and don’t let go. Brimming with lush descriptions of the colour, tastes and sounds of Brazil, this is a satisfying and engaging story about the reality of one man’s childhood memories. A fantastic read. (The Scotsman)
Rob a poor author blind while you can!
I’m delighted to announce that I’m going to be spending a long weekend at the inaugural Brympton Festival, near my home town of Somerset this weekend. Set at the beautiful Brympton d’Evercy - once described by Auberon Waugh as the most beautiful house in England – this new festival of literature and the arts promises to be a real treat.
I’m hosting the first of the ”Tea with the author” sessions on Friday 20th at 4.30pm, during which I’ll be reading from my novel Invisibles and talking about its creation and themes.
But I’m also really excited to be chairing talks by some really interesting authors, such as Liggy Webb (Thank you – Your Guide To Appreciating Life), Susan Popoola (Consequences: Diverse to Mosaic Britain), Katherine Quarmby (Scapegoat), Martin Polley (The British Olympics) and Brian Clegg (A Simplification and guide to green issues) – as well as two different events with blockbusting historical author Alison Weir.
The festival promises 7 days of talks and workshops, not just on literature but music, food and art – not to mention, cricket, skittles and croquet on the magnificent lawn. If you’re anywhere in the Yeovil area over the next week, or can get there by any means, it would be almost criminal not to check it out.
Last Saturday I spent a wonderful day in Yeovil Waterstone’s, meeting shoppers and talking to readers and trying to sell a few copies of my novel Invisibles. It was a great experience to be at the coal-face, so to speak, selling my book directly to punters for a change, rather than relying on all the usual people that sit between writer and reader.
A day selling Invisibles in Yeovil Waterstones
I must admit I was unsure how my sales patter would be received, but found that people were mostly open to listening to my amateurish spiel, and even those who said it didn’t sound like their kind of thing were kind enough to listen and wish me luck. Thankfully, many others did decide to buy a copy, and each sale gave me a real buzz.
It was fascinating to have so much direct contact with readers of all kinds – none of them having come into Waterstones with the intention of buying my novel. It was even more interesting to meet and talk to people who will now (hopefully) read Invisibles. Lest one should ever be tempted to think one’s novel would appeal only to a particular type of person, here was evidence that it is impossible to predict who might and might not be interested.
I think it is also quite important as a writer to have contact of this kind with readers. There can be a tendency to become absorbed with the journey of writing, which is understandable – but one should never forget that readers await (if you’re lucky). Without them, writing is little more than vanity. I felt this keenly through the questions they asked about the book and from the looks in their eyes as I tried to communicate its appeal.
Six hours hawking my novel made for a highly enjoyable day – one I would happily repeat. It made me think a lot not just about Invisibles, but also my novel in progress. I may have a good feeling for what I want to do with my next creation, but I’d better make sure I’ve got my answers straight. Then hopefully Yeovil Waterstones will have me back to flog a few copies of that one too.
P.S. A big *Thank You!* to Marcus and all at Yeovil Waterstones for organising the event and for making me feel so welcome.
Hooray! On February 23rd I’ll be giving a talk on Invisibles in Cambridge , in conjunction with a screening of the superb film Bus 174. Cambridge University Brazilian Society have very kindly organised the event, a particular pleasure having studied at Cambridge too many years ago and also because Bus 174 holds a cherished place in the history of Invisibles. Indeed, the title of the novel was inspired by observations made about an underclass of people in Brazil during the documentary and in an interview I did with the Director, José Padilha, for an article I wrote on the film.
If you haven’t seen Bus 174
I’d highly recommend it, and don’t just take it from me: The New York Times said
the film was “so wrenching and absorbing that you can easily lose sight of the sophistication of its techniques,” and voted it one of the ten best films of the year (in 2002). The review makes reference to Fernando de Meirelles’s film City of God
, and it is worth remembering that these films came out at a similar time. Whilst both show the violent underside of life in Rio de Janeiro their perspective is very different, something Padilha was keen to point out when I spoke to him. His point was that there is a difference between the gun-toting drug gang youths of City of God
and the homeless street kids thieving for survival in Copacabana, though they are sometimes lumped together.
My novel really only skims the surface of such issues, and the theme of invisibility explored therein has other connotations too. But it will be a great honour to be the warm up act for such a fine and interesting film.
I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be officially loitering in Waterstones, Yeovil, on Saturday February 18th. Having spent my childhood living within a few miles of Yeovil it’s a great honour to be doing this “meet the author” slot in my hometown’s book shop. Whilst I live in Brighton now, my parents still live in the area and I’m down that way often. I hold a huge affection in particular for South Somerset and the Levels, a beautiful part of the world, and indeed the area is one of the principal locations in my next novel, which I’m working on now.
View from Burrow Hill
So, if you’re in West Country on the 18th and fancy coming along and saying hello or having a book signed it’d be great to see you.
Happy New Year! Ok, so it’s been a few weeks but this is my first post of 2012, as you’re no doubt aware, having noticed something was strangely missing from your life which you couldn’t put your finger on. But there is a good reason why I haven’t been blogging: I’ve been writing, working on my next novel, at long last, writing almost daily words as opposed to monthly words, having come to the ugly realisation one night that instead of writing a blog post about how I never seemed to find time to write… I should perhaps get on with writing.
And so I decided to make a new year’s resolution: 500 words a day, minimum - even if I still didn’t know exactly what my new novel was going to be about, even if I’d be making it up as I went along, even if I might have to throw a lot of it out - I would nevertheless be progressing, little by little, so that one day soon, this year I hope, if I keep on finding ways to make it all make sense, I’ll have a draft of another novel.
2011 was all about Invisibles, my beloved first and only published novel, and I’ve got a lot of events related to it coming up. But you can only spend so long thinking about the last novel before you have to remember that being a writer is all about writing, not about words you wrote last year or books that sit on a shelf. For me it’s about the thrill of scenes created and characters brought to life where there was only space, it’s about getting up tomorrow and making a whole load of new stuff up that you hadn’t even thought of yesterday.
I love being at this stage of a novel where the whole world I’m creating lies ahead of me. I’m in the early stages of getting to know my characters and working out their histories, their eccentricities, and what on earth they’re doing in the story. It feels as if the possibilities are infinite. I still have lots of questions about the plot, but day by day pieces of the puzzle come. And now that I’ve got the words flowing again – slowly, slowly, not even 500 words some days when the dayjob interferes too much – I feel I can blog a bit too without feeling guilty.
I’m delighted to proclaim that Invisibles is now on sale in Castor & Pollux, a great art and design book shop on the Brighton seafront.
I popped in yesterday so there are now signed copies aplenty, and lots of other Myriad books on sale too. There is something particularly pleasing about Invisibles being on sale on the seafront, I suppose because it is such an important Brighton location in the novel. Like the protagonist, Joel, perhaps a reader, armed with their new copy of the novel, could wade into the shallows and gaze across the sea towards Rio de Janeiro:
Joel edged round until he could stare across the sea, southwest at 219 degrees. It was 5,734 miles to Rio de Janeiro. Keeping his eyes on the bearing, he kicked off his flip-flops and walked barefoot across pebbles, hurting the hollows of his feet until they sank into the shallows. If his old man were also in the water, in Brazil – would they not be connected by a transatlantic wave of particles? It would be half-past eight in Rio. Perhaps he still went for a morning swim on Ipanema beach.
If gazing wistfully towards Rio is not your thing, there are other seaside episodes you could recreate within a stone’s throw: staggering onto the beach at the end of a drunken night, getting caught in a downpour on the promenade, burning a selection of your ex’s possessions on a floating pyre.
Of course, the best place of all to read Invisibles is sitting with a caipirinha in a low-slung deckchair on Ipanema beach, but reading it on Brighton beach comes a close second - and thanks to Castor & Pollux maybe a few more people will do just that.
What do people really want for Christmas?
A half-knitted jumper and a Danish Christmas gnome are two examples of presents I’ve received which demonstrate my family’s failure to answer this question (or their indifference to me, admittedly).
If you are wrestling with this very issue, why not give a copy of Invisibles?
Here are 10 reasons why Invisibles makes the perfect gift for a friend, loved one, or acquaintance to whom you have a secret santa obligation:
- A book is for life, unlike a puppy
- It comes ready-assembled and does not require batteries
- It is immaculately conceived
- Giving a book by an obscure author makes you look very well read
- If you buy the eBook version you are helping to save the planet
- You can’t light a fire with a DVD
- There is nothing people like more than to receive a book they didn’t request from an author they’ve never heard of
- Gold is expensive, Myrrh is hard to spell, and Frankincense sounds vaguely creepy
- There is little danger you will be embarrassed to find someone else has bought them the same gift
- Yule love it!
When all is said and done there are worse things a person could receive. And besides, if they really don’t like it, there is a perfect traditional remedy: they can give it back to you next year.
Gnomes should be a last resort...