Books


Sorry about the recent quiet from within the walls. I’ve been editing and writing and thinking about a new cover and…

But I couldn’t let yesterday’s double anniversary go unnoticed.

Three years ago, my first novel, NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, was published by Crooked Cat. Seven years ago, my metastory, called NO MIDDLE, was published online. Here it is:

Strawberries

No Middle

His eyes lit up. “You’ve made soup. And strawberries. Mmm. What’s the main course?”

“Sorry, I didn’t get round to making a main course.”

“No main course? You wouldn’t write a story like that, with a beginning and an end but no middle.”

When they finally broke in, the smell drew them to the kitchen. On the table, beside two empty soup bowls, lay two dishes of rotting strawberries.

***

The novel is here.

Neither Here Nor There

Following on from the news that my book, Social Anxiety Revealed will be published by Crooked Cat later this year, hence giving a big boost to my passion: raising awareness of social anxiety, I looked up quotes about passion and found these:

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.

~Oprah Winfrey

If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

~Benjamin Franklin

We must act out passion before we can feel it.

~Jean-Paul Sartre

It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.

~T. S. Eliot

Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.

~Jon Bon Jovi

I started posting one a day on Facebook. In fact I was ready to post the last one when tragedy struck in Manchester, UK, making me think again. Whatever you want to do, be passionate? I think the perpetrator of that horrendous crime was passionate, but he was passionate about the wrong thing. Considering the beliefs he held, I think it would have been better if he hadn’t been passionate about them.

So instead of posting that last quote, I wrote one of my own:

Your passion should stimulate you to help fellow humans – not harm them.

I added: “Over the last few days, I’ve been posting quotes about passion. This one is mine, inspired by Manchester and similar atrocities, perpetrated by people with the wrong sort of passion.”

Promote Positive Passion

I’m delighted to be visited today by Katharine Johnson, author of Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings, and now of The Silence. She’s going to talk about her fascination with secrets, so, over to her.

KatyJohnsonI know publishers and bookshops like books that have clearly defined genres. It makes them easier to market and display which in turn makes them easier to sell. The trouble is not all readers are as easy to categorise. I’m sure there are people who only buy romance or historical novels or detective stories but I’m not one of these. I like books from lots of different genres. You’re as likely to find me reading a family saga as a thriller and some of my favourite books don’t fall into any genre that I can identify. But I suppose if I had to find a common thread to the novels I love it would be secrets. I’m drawn to stories where things are not as they first appear, and where a long-held secret is threatened with exposure and the effect it has on people when it is revealed. 

 

SecretsI hadn’t really noticed that this was the case until someone recently pointed it out. My favourite book about a long-held secret is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. To me secrets are what make people interesting. We all have them to some extent but I’m curious about how people deal with having a big secret in their life, how they feel about it and to what lengths they will go to hide it. Perhaps it’s because I’m so bad at keeping secrets myself – I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I’d make a terrible spy – that I’m fascinated by people who can do so successfully for years.

 

I suppose the first person you need to convince is yourself. George Orwell said in 1984 “If you want to keep a secret you must also hide it from yourself.”

 

SunflowersInTuscany

In my novel The Silence which is being published on 8th June the main character Abby has a secret that goes back 25 years to a summer she spent in Tuscany as a teenager. Now in her thirties, she loves her job and is happily married with two lovely little girls – but she knows that if her secret gets out her perfect life will implode.

 

TuscanVilla

Villa in Tuscany

She has driven the details of what happened during her last day at the villa to the very back of her mind and has done this so successfully that she has almost convinced herself it never happened. How else could she have got on with her life, got a degree, got a job, married – all the things normal people do? But when human remains are discovered at the villa she realises her secret is no longer safe.

 

The other thing about having a secret is that you can only be sure of keeping it if you are the only person to know about it. But Abby wasn’t the only person at the villa that day and now someone else wants the truth to be told.

 

Special Offer

TheSilenceThe Silence will be published on June 8th in eBook and paperback versions and is available on this link  Amazon – The Silence

Grab the eBook at the special pre-order price of 99p (after publication it goes up to £1.99). 

Message me (or email katy@espressomedia.net) with proof of order and you will be entered into a goodybag prize draw which includes prosecco and chocolates, an Amazon gift card and a signed paperback of my first novel Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings

 

Come to the Party

I’m having an online book launch for The Silence on 8th-9th June. There will be fun and games, information about the book, visiting authors and prizes to be won. Please come along! Click on this link for more details: The Silence launch Party.

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About the Author

Katharine Johnson is a journalist with a passion for old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. 

 

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know what I’m most passionate about:

RAISING AWARENESS OF SOCIAL ANXIETY

I’ve explained why it’s not better known, despite being very common, and why it should… must be better known.

Now I’m one big step further towards furthering that aim.

Crooked Cat is going to publish my book: Social Anxiety Revealed.

Announcement

I say my book, and it is mine, but it also contains a lot of quotes by a lot of other people who know SA all too well. Without them, I couldn’t have written it.

Social Anxiety Revealed will be published later this year.

The excitement is only just beginning.

Yes, this post is for people who don’t read books.

NoBooks

I might have tried to persuade you to start reading. But I don’t need to, because someone has done it for me. Thank you, Al Kennedy! Have a listen; it lasts for just ten minutes.

And when you’ve heard it and your mind has been changed, hop over to Amazon, where all Crooked Cat books are free or on sale (99p/99c) until tomorrow night, including:

The Women Friends: Selina, the first of a series of novellas based on Gustav Klimt’s famous masterpiece: The Women Friends.

Neither Here Nor There, a romance with a difference, set in Jerusalem.

I won’t mention this sale again on this blog – I promise!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has bought Neither Here Nor There during this weekend’s Crooked Cat sale.

A reminder that The Women Friends: Selina is also on sale (99p/99c) until Monday.

In other news, I wish could write the other posts I planned about Ethiopia, but I’m busy editing two books and writing another. And I have a short trip planned. More about that on my return.

Happy holidays to all!

RedSeaCrossingSelfie

Originally posted on Facebook by Gedaliah Gurfein

I’ve just finished reading an amazing book. Books that I mention on this blog are all special, but this one is extra special and I’m shouting about it from every rooftop I can find.

Here’s my review:

33635771

I was in Liverpool, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland – not now, but nearly two hundred years ago. Actually, I’ve only been to one of those places and what I saw in no way prepared me for what I read in this book. The descriptions are so vivid, the scenes so real that I felt I was there with the characters, through all their hopes and suffering.

I’ve never read a historical story that has held my attention as this one did. Most historical fiction has sections that are less interesting, that I have to struggle through to move on to more appealing parts. But this novel captivated me throughout.

I’ve read Jo Carroll’s travel memoirs, but never realised she was capable of this. I salute her and sincerely hope she’s planning more novels like this one.

Blurb

It’s 1848. And Sara, aged fourteen, must leave her family in the stinking potato fields of Ireland to seek a better life with her wealthy aunt in Liverpool. But her uncle has different ideas.

Will she find solace among the dockers? She finds love, but becomes embroiled in the unrest of the Irish men and women who live in squalor in the Liverpool slums. Yet her efforts to help them only enrage her uncle further.

Her escape takes her to the other side of the world. But there is no comfort in the dusty outback of Australia nor the gold fields of New Zealand. For she has left behind something more precious to her than life itself.

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