Tag Archives: Helen McClory

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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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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An interview at Burning House Press

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.

 

 

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Review of On the Edges of Vision in Gutter

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?

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