Posts Tagged ‘the summer we all ran away’

Today, we woke up to the referendum results. 52% of us said we should leave; 48% said we should stay; so we’re leaving, because that’s exactly how democracy is meant to work. I was one of the 48%, so it’s safe to say this isn’t the very greatest day of my life so far. So I thought I’d go to IKEA, because I’m basically quite shallow and looking at stuff with funny names and buying things I never knew I wanted makes me feel better about the world.

Unfortunately, everything they are selling today is horrific. Some examples:

This heap of dead rabbits:

Bright eyes, burning like fire

Bright eyes, burning like fire

This vat of slaughtered piglets:

Somehow rendered worse by the perspex sides

Somehow rendered worse by the perspex sides

This bin full of rats:



This child-sized cabin-bed (with integral night-time boogeyman):



This headless armless dummy dressed in a blue strait-jacket that wants to sell you an apron:


This surgical experiment combining a frilly blue fish with a human eyeball:


It gets worse the closer you get

The closer you get, the worse it becomes

This giant-sized photo of a leather vagina:


This man who regrets his robotic hands:


This woman being eaten by her own skirt:


Finally, this psychotic bookcase coming to crush the other bookcase while the lamp and sofa look on helplessly:


But hey, the Swedish word for “biscuit” still appears to be “kaka”! So that’s still fun.


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Stripeycat: I need you to open the door.

Me: The door’s already open.

Stripeycat: No, the other door. I need you to open the other door.

Me: You want me to open the front door?

Stripeycat: I do.

Me: Even though the back door is already open?

Stripeycat: That’s right.

Me: And you know that the front door and the back door both open onto the garden?

Stripeycat: Yaas.

Me: So you’re going out of the front door. Not the open back door. Or the open downstairs window. But the front door. Which is closed. So you need me to open it.

Stripeycat: Your point being?

Me: No point really. Just checking. There you go.

Stripeycat: ‘kaythanksbye, I’ll bring you back a dead mouse!

Me: No thanks, I really don’t want a –


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Fuck my Noguchi coffee table

This is the most poncey, self-indulgent, fuck-your-Noguchi-coffee-table hipster-crap thing I have ever done. AND YET I DO NOT CARE, because it makes me happy, damn it, and it was my birthday yesterday and I felt like I was allowed.

My favourite bit of my birthday was the books I got (Crafting With Cat Hair by Kaori Tsutaya from my husband, and The Wastewater Plant by Dodge Winston from my brother). My second favourite bit of my birthday was installing our new bookshelf / tchotchke-display area, and filling the best, most visible shelf with the following items:

To the left, books representing the writers and artists whose work has influenced me the most, plus a little model of a beach hut from my mum.

To the right, my author copies of my books, plus a seashell and an antique perfume bottle.

And in the centre, my beautiful retro typewriter (which, come to think of it, I still need to pay my friend for). This beautiful retro typewriter closely resembles the typewriter (at the time not beautiful and retro, but simply what there was) that I wrote my first novel on, when I was fifteen. The text on the paper is the first sentence of my first published novel, The Summer We All Ran Away.

No, I didn’t actually write “The Summer We All Ran Away” on a beautiful retro typewriter. I used a laptop like everyone else. Yes, I am aware this makes the whole thing even more pretentious than it was before. And I am not in the least little bit sorry. In fact I am rather proud of myself.

Furthermore, in a few weeks I will compound my ponceyness by adding my author copies of The Beach Hut, and switching up the first sentence on the typewriter. I can’t be 100% sure, but I don’t think I’ll be sorry then either.

What can I say? Sometimes you just have to do this stuff, in the full knowledge that you’re being ridiculous. But then you blog about it in a vaguely self-deprecating manner that you imagine gets you off the hook for doing these things. So that makes it okay. Maybe.

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The Summer We All Ran Away

Lovely people! “The Summer We All Ran Away” is on the Kindle Daily Deal today (14th September) – so if you have a Kindle and would like to buy my book, this is your moment…

If you’d like to read more about my book (or about any of the other books from my brilliant publishers Legend Press), you can visit the Legend Press blog to read more.

2PM UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who’s taken advantage of the Kindle Daily Deal price – “The Summer We All Ran Away” is currently in the Kindle Top 100, hooray! If you haven’t already bought and you’d like to, the Daily Deal Price will last until Midnight tonight.

5PM UPDATE: I am at Number 5!

Since it’s quite conceivable this will never happen to me again, I’ve taken a screenshot to record the moment –

The Summer We All Ran Away Top 5 Kindle store

Huge, giant thank you to all the lovely people who’ve bought my book today. I really hope you enjoy it.

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The Last In A Three-Part Series Of Excellent August Happenings. (Although It’s Only Noon On 31st. So – You Know – There’s Still Time)

Lovely Thing Number Three

I’m very thrilled and honoured to be one of the panel members at Mumsnet Blogfest. I’ll be on the panel talking about better story-telling, along with Sarah Crown, A L Kennedy and Lionel Shriver.

Or, as I am persistently hearing it in my head, I’ll be on the panel talking about better story-telling, along with SARAH CROWN, A L KENNEDY and LIONEL SHRIVER.

confused cat 2


Mumsnet Blogfest takes place on 9th November in King’s Place, near Kings Cross, London, and the speaker line-up is absolutely stellar. It’s going to be a sell-out (not because of me, obviously, but it definitely will) – so get your ticket quick before they all go.

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Part Two Of A Three-Part Series Of Excellent August Happenings

Lovely thing Number Two

…is that “The Summer We All Ran Away” has been picked for the 2013 Amazon Rising Stars programme. Previous authors include Erin Morgenstern for “The Night Circus”, SJ Watson for “Before I Go To Sleep” and Elizabeth Haynes for “Into The Darkest Corner” – all of which I own, and love, and am now feeling slightly starstruck about.

smiling cat

The final winner is chosen partly on the basis of customer reviews – so if you have read “The Summer We All Ran Away”, a review on Amazon would be simply fab!

“The Summer We All Ran Away” is available from Amazon, in Kindle and Paperback editions.

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A Short Series Of Posts Where I Insist On Sharing All My News (With Added Photo Goodness)

Lovely Thing Number One
“The Summer We All Ran Away”, published by the brilliant Legend Press, has been launched and is out in the world, doing its thing. The official launch party was at the Falmouth Bookseller. My brother said it would be funny to go in during the day and do a Stealth Signing of a copy just for him, so that’s what we did:


(In defence of my utterly ungroomed condition, I had just got out of the sea about half an hour before.)

One of the many reasons why the Falmouth Bookseller is ace and you should go there is because they do brilliant things like this for visiting authors:


There just couldn’t be a nicer way to see your books displayed. Thank you!

Here’s me signing copies for the lovely, lovely people who came to buy it:


Here’s me trying to look all serious and writerly and stuff:


Here’s one of my mum – my chief rounder-upper of potential customers:


And here’s me with my nose in a glass of wine. Ahem.


Thank you again to the Falmouth Bookseller for hosting the evening and for making it such a success. And thank you to my lovely husband, who isn’t in any of the photos because he was taking all of the photos, including papping me in the street and making people think I might be some sort of celebrity. That was brilliant. As are you.


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Invite Falmouth - The Summer We All Ran Away

The Falmouth launch party for “The Summer We All Ran Away” will be at the Falmouth Bookseller on 14th August, 6.30pm to 8.30pm. If you’re in the area, please do come along – it would be lovely to see you!

The Summer We All Ran Away is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle editions, and from all good bookshops – including my kind hosts, the wonderful Falmouth Bookseller.

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Invite Hull - The Summer We All Ran Away

On Saturday 3rd August at 2pm, I’ll be celebrating the launch of “The Summer We All Ran Away” at Waterstones, Hull. If you’d like to come along and join in, please do! RSVP to info@legendpress.co.uk. Hope to see you there!

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Okay, I know it’s a long time till 1st August, which is when my novel “The Summer We All Ran Away” will be published by the brilliant Legend Press, but I’ve had a glass of Morgan’s Spiced Rum and I’m feeling reckless. Best caption for this entirely predictable and totally reasonable outcome of my Friday night will win a signed copy of “The Summer We All Ran Away”, just as soon as I get my sticky little mitts on my author copies.

Here you go:

Caption Competition

This promise is definitely being made while under the influence of alcohol, but we all know that everything lives for ever in cyberspace, so you can totally hold me to it in the morning. And let’s face it, if this is the worst thing I ever post that comes back to haunt me later, I’ll probably be doing okay.

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