Tag Archives: julia keller

Location Blues

So, it’s raining, there are flood warnings, and there’s also a drought warning. And people think I’m contrary? Anyway, to cut a long thought short, it’s got me mulling over where I want to be right now, instead of sitting at my desk staring out at a violet and charcoal bulge of cloud looming in from the west, ready to burst over the Euston Rd.

I’ve always loved books that transport me to places: the fecund, tropical island of Dominica in Jean Rhys’s THE WIDE SARGASSO SEA, the vast white space of snow and ice in Jenny Diski’s SKATING TO ANTARTICA, the spice infused smells and sounds of fans whirring in the India of Paul Scott’s THE RAJ QUARTET or the sweltering heat of that infamous Long Island summer sojourn in F Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY.Of the books that we publish here at Headline, there are many that will carry you gently to another place, and Andrea Levy’s SMALL ISLAND bundles both the sun-drenched Caribbean and grimy 1950s London in one volume.  This year, we’ve had Eowyn Ivey taking us to a magical Alaskan landscape in THE SNOW CHILD, Roopa Farooki jet-hopping from Lahore, Hong Kong, Paris and Biarritz in THE FLYING MAN, Emylia Hall returning to an idyllic Hungarian summer in THE BOOK OF SUMMERS and Victoria Hislop luring us to the hidden backstreets ofT hessaloniki in THE THREAD. Forthcoming, let me tempt you with the vast plains of the Karoo desert in Barbara Mutch’s THE HOUSEMAID’S DAUGHTER, the secrets hiding in the beautiful yet forbidding hills of the Appalachians in Julia Keller’s A KILLING IN THE HILLS or a delicious campari and lemon infused Sicilian escape in Nicola Doherty’s THE OUT OF OFFICE GIRL.

That’s enough, I’m feeling refreshed. Back to the desk. Work to be done. But before I go, let me invite you to post or comment with your favourite book locations…

Nicola Doherty takes us to Italy's sun-drenched, seductive Sicily in THE OUT OF OFFICE GIRL







Posted by Imogen Taylor, Editorial

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Staff Hot Picks for 2012

The fairy lights have been packed away, it’s relentlessly gloomy outside, your rail ticket has gone up, there’s still Christmas cheese in the fridge. As months go, January isn’t the best. Perhaps that’s why we spend most of it looking forward – for it’s the month, is it not, where we peer into the year ahead and contemplate what it has in store for us.

Here at Headline we’re hugely cheered by the fact that we will be publishing some seriously brilliant books in 2012. We like to think this is true of every year, but it feels like we have a particularly fine crop this time round. So, as we half-heartedly sip on our miso soup and resign ourselves to the fact that post-Christmas TV schedules are truly woeful, it’s heartening to remind ourselves of what we have coming up to get us jiggling with excitement again.

In the interests of appetite-whetting, we thought we’d ask a few Headline staff to tell us about some of the books we’ll be publishing in the forthcoming months that are already getting them all hot and bothered. Here’s what they said:

PURE, Julianna Baggott (February)
I can’t wait for Pure to come out this February so I can finally get to see what everyone makes of it. What struck me about this brilliant novel was the breadth of themes it covers. This is a tale about a dystopian future that draws on past tragedy, a satire on technology and freedom of speech, a coming-of-age story – all delivered at the pace of a thriller. Pressia and Partridge are two very intriguing protagonists, divided by the formidable dome that separates the pure from the unpure, and as their stories collide and intertwine in their quest for the truth you’ll find yourself as battered and bruised as they are by the end. Thrilling.
Richard Roper, Editorial

This is a tense and unsettling story of one girl, Emily Koll, and the heinous circumstances that have led to her imprisonment in the psychiatric ward of a young offenders institute. Emily totally makes the book for me. She is a deeply fascinating and disturbing character, consumed by an unapologetic obsession with revenge; revenge for a crime that has shattered her family, her identity and most tragically her future. Her obsession ploughs through the lives and loves of others as well as her own, destroying everything in its path, and as the reader you’re left dragging along in its wake. I absolutely loved it!
Lynsey Sutherland, Marketing

THE OTHER HALF OF ME, Morgan McCarthy (May)
Half the joy of reading surely comes from being able to talk about a book you love. I think that’s why I’m champing at the bit for the publication of Morgan McCarthy’s  magical The Other Half of Me. From the very first page, Morgan deftly locks the reader into the world of brother and sister, Jonathan and Theo. Their carefree childhood comes to an end when their wealthy grandmother, Eve, starts to take an unprecedented interest in the children’s wellbeing. As they grow older, cracks begin to appear in Eve’s veneer and the stories she tells, and Jonathan and Theo’s relationship is tested as dark family secrets unfold. Morgan McCarthy’s melodic and witty prose is truly unique. She encapsulates the preciousness of sibling relationships and the heartache of adolescence as the naivety of youth ebbs and adult responsibilities take hold. Have the hankies at the ready – for both tears of laughter and sadness.
Vero Norton, Publicity

A KILLING IN THE HILLS, Julia Keller (September)
I finished this last night and thought it was brilliant. A thriller set in deepest America, it’s certainly no postcard for Ackers Gap, West Virginia, but I found myself totally sucked into this bleak and poverty stricken town and eager to read more about the steely protagonist Belfa Elkins – she is a total heroine for the hillbilly underbelly.
Frances Doyle, Sales

JEFFANORY, Jeff Stelling (April)
It’s hard to imagine a Saturday afternoon of football, anymore, without thinking of one man – Jeff Stelling. Whether you support Barnet or Barcelona, Jeff and the boys on Soccer Saturday have created a 3-hour window during which football fans all over the country are gripped and should, under no circumstances, be disturbed. Jeff’s book, Jeffanory, is full of new hilarious stories, memories of classic matches, the agony and the ecstasy and of course the banter, that we witness on Soccer Saturday each weekend. It’s the perfect way to get through the long weeks that divide each Saturday fixture. The personal touch that Jeff adds to his anecdotes really show why he is a national hero amongst all football fans, and why all fans should look no further than this for their footballing fix.
Anthony Simnica, Production

CIRCLE OF SHADOWS, Imogen Robertson (April) and WHATEVER IT TAKES, Adele Parks (June)
It was too hard to pick just one 2012 title, I have far too many favourites, so instead I have cheekily gone for two. Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson has to be one of my picks. I love Imogen’s writing, it is packed full of historical references, amazing characters that pop up out of the book and page-turning plots that get more and more interesting as the story develops. And then there’s Whatever it Takes by Adele Parks, which is one of the most addictive books I have read since joining Headline. The relationship between the two women, Eloise and Sara, is absolutely brilliant, with the added complication of men making this a refreshing, shocking and unputdownable read.
Holly McCulloch, Editorial

And there you have it, a mere taste of what’s in store for us in 2012. There’s much more where that came from, so be sure to keep a beady eye on this blog over the coming months for more gems.

Posted by Leah Woodburn, Editorial

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