I was very kindly sent some thoughtful questions on my writing (both flash fiction and my forthcoming novel). In it, I push The Unsung Letter, talk about my nervousness of Plath (it’s true, one day I will face it) and what I’d take if my house was burning down.
Read the full thing here.
(the finished cover!)
(it’s all scuffy-looking in real life, which I love)
My debut novel Flesh of the Peach is now available to access on Netgalley, an online service that allows publishers to grant early access to their titles to the people who might read it and promote it to others. That means if you’r a reviewer, bookseller, librarian or journalist, you can request a title before it makes it to the shops. Here’s the link to Flesh of the Peach. Review copies have started going out, so I have thrown myself into my work in order not to think about that much at all (I still do). If you’re a bookseller and think you might like to have me read, please get in touch (hlmcclory at gmail). I’m fond of it, and I can go wherever there’s a cheap flight or bus and a friendly face at the other end waiting for me.
It’s March and still cold and grim here, so I don’t have many pictures to show you. I hope I will go outside for longer stretches, and then have something green to share. I dream of flowers. One way to fulfil the need for blooms is to follow writer Alyssa Harad’s #FlowerReport every Sunday on her Twitter feed. Flowers from all over the world, showing it’s always Spring and Summer somewhere, even if that somewhere is a vase on an indoor shelf.
As soon as I see something more than a sorrowful bent-over daffodil I’ll share it with her.
As a reminder, the book launches in Blackwell’s Edinburgh on the 25th of April. Tickets are free and available here.
Flesh of the Peach‘s pub day is the 20th of April, and you can pre-order now from Freight, which is a good way to support the press directly.
An excerpt from Flesh of the Peach appeared in 3AM Press (back before the character’s name changed) and Sundog Lit.
Just a moment ago, my copies of Flesh of the Peach arrived, bringing with them a sleety snowfall against the windows.
I’m overwhelmed by how pretty this thing is. the cover is scuffed, doodle-y, but that’s all part of the book itself. Ah! You could, if you were so inclined, pre-order the book directly from Freight right now. The launch will take place on the 25th of April, at Blackwell’s Bookshop on South Bridge in Edinburgh (I will be making up a Facebook invitation nearer the time) at which there will be wine and possibly snacks (and definitely both at the afterparty).
I’m in the process of arranging readings for the book elsewhere, and have some big ones to announce (again, a little nearer their dates). Copies of the novel are going out for review. You can add the book to your Goodreads TBR.
If you’d like to hear me read anywhere, and have suggestions, please get in touch. I’m about on Twitter, trying not to let my heart fly out of my chest.
It’s been a long time – I’ve been travelling, and writing (writing and writing very slowly, and thinking about writing while the world spins on its terrible path) but today, some news. There’s a review of On the Edges of Vision up on Gutter, written by Laura Waddell:
Free from the debut trope of self-reference and loosely-disguised autobiography, McClory engages in a kind of inquisitive modern mythmaking. Within settings as diverse as forests, airports and ideal homes, a pleasing jumble of styles and references emerge: fantasy, horror, classicism, fairytales, and other dark flavours. Such macabre turns bring to mind the terror of Ann Radcliffe or poetic justice of Roald Dahl.
Read more here!
There has been little to report of my writing life, mostly because I’ve been working away on the witchy novel, which will hopefully be done by late next year. It evolves away from me, first a moth then a snake, then sometimes just pages that I have to let slip from my hands and fall around me and gather again. I’m happy with the work though. Time taken is time (and hopefully text) made richer. The biggest thing ahead is the emergence of my debut novel, Flesh of the Peach. That’s April, next year, out from Freight. Less than six months away. I hope to share the cover here as soon as I am allowed. A cover makes it real, doesn’t it?
Squint and you can see my name on the cover
The new issue of Gutter is out now, and features one of my stories from Mayhem & Death – as well as a wonderful review of On the Edges of Vision. My book turns one year old on the 18th of this month. It was launched at Waterstones Argyle Street, right before I headed out on the American book tour. Hard to believe that it’s been a year already! I’m still not over the book winning the Saltire First Book of the Year award either.
A year, a year – and what have I been up to lately. I know I’ve been quiet here. Much of that is to do with the fact I’ve been working away on line edits for Flesh of the Peach, coming out next spring. It’s been a wonderful process, neither too invasive nor not rigorous enough – edits from an excellent editor are so important for tweaking bits into focus and letting the heart of the novel shine through. Now the book is off to the proofreader, and I’m anticipating the next phases: the cover and blurbs. Still floating ahead of me in the dusk. While that happens, I’ve work to do on the witchy novel I’ve spoken about here. Drafting and redrafting. Circling in on what is important there. The bones and the flesh of the thing refined. It’s easy to get discouraged at this – so far from the finish line that it seems to be an impossible distance away. It’s been almost two years since I completed the novella version of the book, and by optimistic calculations perhaps another year before it’s finished. I think come the autumn it will be easier. It’s an autumnal book, a little eerie, a little surreal. Littleg at all in kinship with Flesh of the Peach, which is, as my editor said, a ‘dark star’ of a novel. But part of me now, having read the earlier book, wants to bring something in line with the latter. I might have to dig down for texture, something a bit brutal – but trying to do so without crushing the sweet, folktale feel I want it to have. Hmm. Work to be done. I’d better get started.
If you’d like to buy Gutter no 15, here’s the link. You’ll be supporting writing from Scotland and elsewhere. Lots to read and much to discover, and only £6.99.
I know it’s coming on April Fools Day, but we’re after noon here in Scotland, so I’ll go ahead:
You may have seen that my book Flesh of the Peach is due out with CCM in October of this year – well, things have changed quite dramatically:
It’s now, instead coming out with Freight in about a year.
The decision to go with Freight, a brilliant rising press based in Scotland, means that among many other benefits, when the book is out, it will be far easier for readers (and bookshops) to find copies. I’m really thrilled at this, and at a chance to work with the team at Freight.
I’ll keep you up to date on any other developments with Flesh of the Peach and with my other exciting news.
Now tea, and working on the new witchy book and thinking of projects ahead…
UPDATE: Here’s a short piece on The Bookseller about this!