Tag Archives: flesh of the peach

Interview on For Books’ Sake and review in The Big Issue


The Big Issue review of Flesh of the Peach (illustration by Dom McKenzie)


Later today the Unsung Letter of the week will go out, but for now – I’m very chuffed to see Nicola Balkind’s lovely review of Flesh of the Peach in the Big Issue the other day, next to Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag (which I’ve also been hearing positive things about). I’m putting it up now since the issue after this one is now out, so I won’t be discouraging anyone who wants to read the review from not buying a copy (in case you don’t know, the Big Issue is a magazine that supports homeless people by allowing them to pay for the magazines and sell them on to make some money and support themselves).


Also: I was interviewed for the A Room of One’s Own segment on the For Books’ Sake podcast by Rebecca Smith. You can listen to the whole thing here (the main theme of this episode is ‘escape’). It’s not long, just about the length of a cup of tea (or coffee). And yes, as I write this, my situation is as described!

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A night with the Riff Raff + upcoming plans




This post is a little late going up – I was floored by an epic London cold, which has only now receded. On the 11th of May I had the treat of taking part in the first Riff Raff meet up at the Effra Social in Brixton. Five authors took part in the lineup, reading from our new books and taking audience questions. It was a great mix of genres, from the comic real-life adventures of co-host Amy Baker, to the dreamy-sounding French novel of Fran Cooper, Paul M.M Cooper’s historical novel of poetry and love, Vanessa Potter’s stunning true story of her sudden-onset blindness and subsequent recovery. For a full read up with photos that capture the cosy atmosphere of the Effra (and links to all the works) go here. If you can get to their next event (as I wish I could as an audience member) you absolutely should. Rosy and Amy are delights, and the evening promises to be every bit as good as this first one was.



Copyright: Alice Lubbock


If you missed me when I was down storming London, there’s another chance to see me coming up, and this time with my good friend (and excellent writer and wit) Gillian Best, author of The Last Wave. You are cordially invited to Listen Softly London at The Barley Mow on Sunday the 4th of June at 7pm. Admission is free, there will be other writers, more books for sale, and I promise to scribble something interesting in your book if you ask me to.


Some sad news: my short story collection On the Edges of Vision, which won the Saltire First Book of the Year in 2015, is facing going out of print as the publisher Queen’s Ferry Press is closing its doors. It’s a hard thing to face, unexpectedly grief-filled, though I know of many other authors who have gone through this. Small indie presses, the risk takers, the ones who support what might otherwise be marginalised into silence, are always in precarious positions. I greatly hope there is life yet for my collection, but until something is sorted out, copies of the book are still being sold here, and I will bring down the handful I have to sell at Listen Softly London. If you have read and enjoyed my work, or the work of any other writer, really – support us and our presses by leaving reviews, and writing to us, and passing your battered copies on to friends and family. It’s lonely old work here, always on the precipice of the abyss. Love and appreciation to those who have put themselves so far out over it to get our words out in the world.


Still – more ahead for Flesh of the Peach. I’ll be on some podcasts discussing it (& writing process, & publishing experiences, & gun smuggling incidents & other books I love etc. etc) soon, so links will be here when I have them to share. For now – I’m off to bury myself in work and reading. Happy times.


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Reading at the Riff Raff


One week from today, I’ll be joining a group of other debut writers to read at the Riff Raff‘s first event in London. We’ll be talking about publication journeys, reading from our books, and selling copies afterwards – of course accompanied by lots of friendly chat and advice, and there’s a bar. Buy your ticket here!


I’ll be selling copies of Flesh of the Peach, and the first fifteen folk who buy a copy will receive a small secret gift. I might also doodle on you book and complement your style. It all depends on the moment.

Hope to see you there!


Also while I have you – here’s a nice and very short review of Flesh of the Peach in Diva Magazine.


More events are in the planning stage (including a second trip down to London in June, and another to Leeds around the same time). All TBA as soon as they’re firmed up.

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Flesh of the Peach – On The Night


Credit: Olga Wojtas

What a wonderful evening – thank you so much to all who came out to celebrate Flesh of the Peach last night at Blackwell’s South Bridge, and a huge thanks to Roanna for introducing Jenny Brown and myself, and for organising – and all the staff who helped out! Thanks as always to Jenny for her hard work and for chairing.


Credit: Olga Wojtas


There was a write up of the evening by Love Books Group. Check it out.



More news – I will be on BBC  Radio Scotland on the Janice Forsyth Show hosted by Edi Stark TODAY from 2.44pm, and after me 404 Ink (makers of Nasty Women and general all-round excellent women themselves).  Listen live online here, and find the archive if you miss it.



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Flesh of the Peach Launch Party

Edinburgh and Edinburgh-adjacent folk (and anyone further afield who would like to come to this): Flesh of the Peach is getting its launch TONIGHT at Blackwell’s South Bridge, starting from 6.30pm. Jenny Brown will be chairing the event. There will be free wine and sweet things, and tickets are utterly free. I’ll be talking about the book itself, my journey across the US, and all sorts on the writing and publishing processes, and of course signing books. I would love it if lots of you could come.


Here’s the link to book (free!) tickets, or just simply rock up at 6ish. Say hello!

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Flesh of the Peach Publication Day!



Today’s the day my debut novel is officially out in the world! So many feelings swirling around me.


If you’d like to help the book (and me out), here are some things you can do:


Read it – obviously I’m going to say this, but I want to say why – to me, a book is only real if it exists in the mind of others. It is a conversation between my mind and yours. And each mind does something different to the text. I’m sure a dozen theorists have said this more eloquently than me (or argued otherwise) but I believe it – readers create the book. Something transpires, and is made when readers engage with a text. It’s why I’m a reader just as much as a writer. For this sort of magic.


Review it – given the unique way everyone engages with a book, it can help others to know whether or not they should buy it. If a book is not reviewed, silence surrounds it. Mystery. Sometimes, that’s good – perhaps years from now, a reader will discover a solitary copy of my novel in a library (if we are fortunate to have libraries in the future, and I hope s0 with all my heart) and come to it utterly fresh, and find something good in it. But that’s one, currently fictional person. I’d like it if others could find the book more easily. If you can, leaving reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookshop websites, booktube or your personal blog would make a huge difference in allowing the book to be discoverable by others – this goes too for reviews that are critical. Thoughtfulness is important, and real engagement.


Buy it – this is the way I can keep writing – not that my income is supported greatly by writing (as you probably know, most writers make less than minimum wage from their writing, most a lot less) but because it shows future publishers that my next book is worth taking a chance on too. And I get to keep going in this quixotic endeavour.  Obviously, buy the book however you can. If it’s cheaper to do it one way than another, if it means you will have a chance to read it, then do it! But supporting indie presses and bookshops is hugely important to the health of literature, so if you can afford to, support your local bookshop. Booksellers the ones who will help you find something unique next time  you’re stuck for something to read. They’re the ones that know what’s good and what’s hyped. Some of them are on social media too, sharing and singing out about all sorts of books by authors you might never have heard of. If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy of Flesh of the Peach, you can order it in, supporting both the bookshop and the book by letting others know of it. Or ask your library to get it in. Or buy it directly from the publisher.


Help me launch it25th of April in Edinburgh, Blackwell’s South Bridge. I hope to be at other events (TBA shortly). Come out and tell me you want to read it, have read it and loved it (or didn’t – but please, be kind in person!). Party with me. Books don’t have weddings, real birthdays or give birth. They are out in the world and sometimes vanish after a few months or years. Come out with me and fight the hush.


All of these of course hold true for other books that have just come out. If you don’t fancy reading mine, pick another, and help it out into the world. If you are a reader and you love books, my hope is this – that you will be your own Unsung Letter. So I can keep reading new and wondrous things too.



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Interview on The Skinny

I was interviewed by Gary Kaill for The Skinny, and he had some really kind things to say about Flesh of the Peach:


Flesh of the Peach is both a gripping re-imagining of the traditional American road trip and a character examination whose deep focus is testament to the author’s forensic detailing and abiding humanity. In a novel that weighs the twin uncertanties of who we are and how we got here, it’s a pointed summarising of the ongoing struggle to outrun the past and establish yourself in the here-and-now.


read the full interview here

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