This weekend I’m going to be appearing at the Historical Novel Society’s conference in Oxford. I’ve also been on the organising committee and I’m one of the judges of this year’s short story competition. All the more reason, then, to publish An Oxford Vengeance right now, as not only is the title story set in Oxford in the 14th century – it explores what might have happened in the wake of the events of Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale – but I’ve included ‘Salt’, which won the Historical Novel Society’s story award at the conference in London in 2014. ‘Salt’ is set at the start of the First World War and was triggered by my grandmother telling me, many years ago, that she was in Great Yarmouth at the time and remembered the soldiers going off to war.
Winning the HNS London 2014 Award with ‘Salt’
I’ve also included an expanded version of ‘Reputation’, set in late 19th century France, which was a finalist in the HNS story award in 2012. To round off the collection, I’ve included a short extract from my novel The Chase, this time set in France during the Hundred Years’ War.
Finalist in 2012 with ‘Reputation’
I’ve enjoyed producing this little collection so much I hope to write more stories set in Oxford during its long and colourful history.
Back in August I was delighted to guest on Dave Prever’s show on Radio Oxford. During the interview we talked about how I came to write The Chase, what it was like to republish it and the work I do through my literary consultancy, Fictionfire. (www.fictionfire.co.uk). With the BBC’s kind permission, I’m sharing the interview here. Enjoy!
The Chase on the shelves of Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford
Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford is one of the best in the world, so it’s wonderful to visit the fiction department and see several copies of my novel there. Even better is the recommendation card they’ve added, so I’ve immortalised the moment for this blog!
Well, The Chase has been available on Kindle for a few weeks now and I really appreciate the responses it’s been getting. However, not everyone likes or owns an e-reader and even those who do still cherish print books, so I’m keen that my novel should be available in paperback format too. My lovely cover-designer is currently working on the jacket and last week was spent editing and proofreading the novel again once it had been formatted. I’m really excited and also more than a little tense because I want it to be available in time for the Writers’ Conference in Winchester in late June! Watch this space!
Today, The Chase went live on Amazon. I uploaded it last night, fully expecting it would take 48 hours to become available through Kindle Publishing – but early this morning, there it was! It’s been a very exciting day after an exhausting few weeks – I’m delighted to give my novel another chance to be discovered by readers. It was originally published by Bloomsbury and the rights had reverted to me, so I decided to embark on the great self-publishing adventure.
I’ll be blogging more about this – about the novel itself and about the process of publication. I’ll also be e-publishing it for different e-readers and producing a paperback version too.
In the meantime, I’m getting ready to attend the London Book Fair next week. I’ll be promoting the novel in association with The Alliance of Independent Authors, which I joined at the time of its launch a year ago. The support and advice of the Alliance is invaluable.
These are exciting times for writers. More and more, authors are taking the ‘hybrid’ route to getting their work out there and I’m all in favour of that. Today I was also able to announce that my children’s novel, Hinterland, is on the eight-strong longlist for Macmillan’s Write Now Prize. i do hope enough people will vote for it at independent bookshops and get it onto the shortlist of four! I think that the fact that authors can choose indie-publishing, traditional publishing or a mixture of the two is just wonderful.
Welcome to Fictionfire Press, the sister site of Fictionfire Literary Consultancy (which is at www.fictionfire.co.uk). I’m Lorna Fergusson and I’ll soon be publishing my first book, a revised edition of my novel The Chase, which was originally published in hardback and paperback by Bloomsbury Publishing. The Chase will be available initially as an e-book – but I’m hoping to publish a print version later.
Look out for further updates soon: The Chase will be e-published in early April!