Media

Catch up with what’s happening on our social media feeds, and find out about the latest authors to publish with The Book Guild… there’s also company news, the latest author events and a round-up of our latest reviews and media coverage.

Video introductions

Media

Catch up with what’s happening on our social media feeds, and find out about the latest authors to publish with The Book Guild… there’s also company news, the latest author events and a round-up of our latest reviews and media coverage.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day – Author Spotlight

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we’re putting Irish literary author, Dermod Judge in the author spotlight.

Dermod Judge is an Irish author, currently living in South Africa. He has had a varied career and has worked in many industries from designer, typographer and copywriter, to actor, filmmaker, film and stage director and international lecturer on storytelling and filmmaking. Now, having some time on his hands, he has turned to writing novels.

His first novel, Clash, is a fast-paced sports thriller about an eccentric Irish millionaire who takes the dangerous sport of hurling and transforms it into a ruthless gladiatorial contest, spearheaded by a team called The Danann. This was published in late 2017. The sport featured within the novel is one of the fastest ball games in the world – Irish hurling, which has been played for centuries with a supple ash stick and a hard, leather ball.

His next book, Two Jam Jars for the Manor, came out in the same year. It’s set in Dublin in the 1950s and follows Johnny who has a passion for filmmaking as he tries to make it big in the world. Dermod Judge has been involved in story telling in theatre and film for a large proportion of his professional life, and has written over ten full length feature film scripts as well as twelve professionally produced stage and radio plays. He has won a variety of local and international awards for his video making and this inspired the idea for this story.

Dermod has just released his third novel, also set in Ireland in the 1950s. Bopping in Ballymalloy is a romantic drama, following Curly and Mary who are both running away – Curly from failure as a dancer in New York and Mary from the utter boredom of Ballymalloy in West Ireland. Mary is seduced by his flashy car, his collection of great swing music – and his style on and off the dance floor. To atone for the inevitable shame she suffers, he has to give her the only thing she wants – entry into the unforgiving world he thought he’d left forever…

Dermod says, “My three books were originally conceived as screenplays, during which process, the stories and the characters were carefully created and the action plotted with care. They also feature activities which impacted on my life at various stages. During the seemingly never-ending pre-Google world, I honed my research skills so my books have an added dimension which appeals to the target market – the avid reader.”

Dermod’s books are available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Book Extract

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. Podric Moon is a computer games champion and inventor of Ultimate Alternative Reality. Podric and his friends roam the world of computer games experiencing adventures both in the 21st century and days of yore…

Extract:

“It was the trip of a lifetime. His dad having organised him a ride in a Typhoon, Podric Moon sat in the instructor’s seat. The aeroplane pulling four and a half G banked hard over the coast and levelled out low over the grey North Sea below. Not only was he flying in the type of fast jet his father flew – a T3, but in his dad’s actual plane and on his actual seat! It was blowing his mind.

The pilot of ZA119, Squadron Leader Ian Shawcross was both younger and junior to Podric’s father, Wing Commander Sean Moon, but the two men had been complicit in getting Podric his ride. It was his prize for the boy’s latest victory in computer games. At a recent competition in London, Podric, nearly seventeen, had won the title of ‘Best under twenty-one player’ in Europe. In fact, he had played and beaten several of the top adult contestants in the world. Both Sean Moon and Shawcross were avid computer games aficionados and their interest in virtual reality formed a special bond between them and Sean’s son. The flight, which was a regular training sortie, had been all too simple to organise and now as they climbed, bursting out through the clouds into brilliant sunshine, Podric knew this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. One day he’d be in the front seat flying with his dad in this same jet.

“Want to feel the controls, Podric? They just about match the new Fastjet! game console.” Podric could barely speak, he was so excited. Shawcross’s voice was calm, controlled and very RAF. “I know you know what to do. You have control, Moon.”

Podric Moon is available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Author Spotlight

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. We asked Ian P. Buckingham, author of Legend of the Lost to chat to us about the writing and publishing process:

What’s your favourite thing about writing children’s fiction?

Ooh, lots of things. Just one? Well at the top of the list has to be knowing that the work will help young imaginations expand and grow, hopefully inspiring another generation of storytellers as authors like Blyton, Lewis, Tolkien and Rowling etc have inspired me.

What has the response been like so far for Legend of the Lost?

I’m very pleased to say that it’s attracted the reactions I’d hoped for when the children and I first committed the ideas to paper and planned the trilogy.

Comments like “compelling from start to end”,“beautifully written” and “couldn’t put it down”are great to see in the reviews on Amazon, Book Guild bookshop and feedback on social media and in person.

It really is pleasing that adults are enjoying reading the book and am especially delighted to hear of parents reading the book to and with their children as I really wanted it to be a collaborative experience. In my view there’s nothing quite like parents and children exploring a magical adventure together.

When did you realise that you wanted to become a published author?

I’ve been published in more high-brow, adult genres before, but I’ve since discovered that apparently when I was a little boy myself, I said that I would write books for children (so I’m now reminded).

Whatever the type of book there’s really something special about watching a project catch fire from a spark of an idea to something that will spread around the world lighting up dark corners of the imagination.

Now, with the wonders of social media, authors can receive feedback and connect with readers much easier. It really is lovely to receive photos of the books from all sorts of exotic destinations, often featuring local landmarks or indeed crazy pets, as we have been.

One very lovely lady has been reading the book to the animals at her animal rescue centre in the US. She says it soothes them. Who could have predicted that?

Is there any advice you would give to other writers/how have you found the publishing experience?

First and foremost, believe in yourself and just do it. Write! There is no given technique or approach. Sure, read a lot and be informed by other voices. But find what works for you – whether that is scribbling in notebooks when the creative impulse strikes or having a routine and schedule if you must. Only you know yourself. Go with what feels right. But write.

I remember the story of Joseph Heller who wrote one of the Iconic Books of all time, Catch 22. Famously he jotted scenes on postcard-sized cue cards which he kept in a shoe box. Allegedly he dropped them one day and rather than re-arrange as a linear narrative, he wrote up the story in the random order in which the cards fell. True or not, this illustrates the point. Do what works for you. But write.

For me, the best part of publishing, as a process, is the creative collaboration. For example, I have strong opinions about each project including the visuals. When I received the first draft of the cover for Legend of the Lost, it wasn’t what I imagined at all. I could tell there was a degree of trepidation about the proposal, perhaps because of my background in brand and advertising. But it was actually better than anything I had pictured. Jack did a great job. I love it, and the feedback has been unanimously positive. I made a couple of supplementary suggestions and we agreed the finished product in a few minutes. THAT’s the power of collaboration

What’s next in the writing pipeline for you?

 Well, I committed to writing a trilogy and Legend of the Lostis the first part. I’ve written the next two, The Ends of the Earthbeing the second part. Without spilling any spoilers, the adventure continues in Cornwall and Africa. I’ve promised our growing community of readers that I will aim to finalise the sequel next year.

I can’t wait to see what the team does with the visuals and am sure the story will evolve further during the magic of the editing process and as the readership grows.

I’m personally excited to watch this complex family develop as individuals and a group over time as they confront and overcome fresh challenges. Because as any parent knows, growing up is filled with twists and turns of fate. We need to be reminded, from time-to-time, especially during the festive season, that the real secret to finding our magic is not to lose heart, not to shut down in the face of adulting and to keep believing.

Legend of the Lost is available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Author’s Top Tips

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. We asked Wendy Keefer, author of “Hey Dog! Let’s Talk!” to share her 7 top tips for ‘keeping your child safe from dog bites’:

With dog bites on the rise in the UK, we all worry about protecting our children, not to mention our dogs. Hey Dog! Let’s Talk! can offer a few basic tips to teaching children to keep themselves safer through calm and respectful behaviour around dogs. Here they are in a nutshell:

Stand Still – when first approaching or being confronted by a dog, stand still so you don’t come into the dog’s space.

Hands Down – dogs are attracted to movement. Keeping your hands at your side shows the dog you mean no harm. If you are frightened of having your hands sniffed or touched by the dog, tuck them into your armpits.

Look Away – don’t look directly at the dog. Dogs consider eye-contact to be either an invitation to come closer or a threat of aggression. It is polite dog language to look just to the side or above his head.

Wait – wait for help to come or take the time to assess whether the dog is approaching you in a friendly way.

Ask Permission – if the dog looks friendly and you want to say hi, ask permission of your parent and the dog’s owner.

Give the Dog the Choice – if permission is given, call the dog to you, don’t go to the dog. If he doesn’t want to come, remind yourself he probably just doesn’t feel like it today and say ‘that’s ok’.

Use these Tips with Your Own Dog – even the dogs we know best need to be offered the choice at times. If you always call him to you and he comes, you know he’s happy to be there!

Get these tips and more in the beautifully illustrated book for children – Hey Dog! Let’s Talk! is available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Book Extract

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. Squad Average is the incredible true story by Mark Inman. From soldier to bodyguard living with PTSD – this is a story of survival…

Extract:

“The flashbacks were to become more frequent, almost a twice-weekly occurrence. The flashbacks would manifest in different scenarios. I could be sat at home watching the television and the news would come on; before watching a report about Iraq or Afghanistan, I would rush for the remote control and change television channel. This itself could trigger a memory which resulted in another flashback, be it then or at another point in time. I started to wait for them to happen, knowing they would at some point rear their ugly heads. I was beginning to live in dread of them occurring. When they did, they would not be pleasant. As well as reliving an incident through my eyes, it would destroy the rest of my day. I would be tearful, angry, sad, desperate, lonely and depressed, all these different emotions rolling into one.”

Mark has launched a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the military charities who save lives and support PTSD sufferers.

Endorsements for Squad Average:

 “An outstanding solider, Corporal Inman was one of the best I have had the privilege to command. Right from the outset, he stood out among his peers; not just for his physical ability and accomplished fighting skills, but for his compulsion to do the job he was trained to do. A genuine ‘soldier’s soldier’, Inman thrived on operations. Professional and focused, he had an ingrained sense of courage and commitment. I relied on him to deliver and he invariably did.” – Lt Col J Green, 1 STAFFORDS

“Imagine being back in the school playground. Two captains picking from the best of the bunch. My first pick would be “Inman”. Nobody comes close to his diligence, professionalism, confidence and ability. He brought the aggression to the fight, which gave myself and the team that feeling of invincibility.”Richard Moon, Close Protection Officer 2005–2008

Squad Average is available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Book Extract

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. The Paper Chase is the next must-read thriller by Jersey author, Ron Welling. The below extract gives a flavour for what’s in store for Rick and Claire…

 

Extract:

“Clearing border control and then customs at Gatwick Airport on a Friday afternoon was chaotic and Claire was beginning to feel weary. She met Rick in the arrivals hall. It was dusty from the building work being carried out, the space to linger and meet was tight, just squeezed between escalators and hoardings. Through a melee of people Claire saw Rick and she welcomed a tight hug and kiss from him. ‘Let’s get out of here, you look tired,’ Rick said as he took her travelling bag and Claire held his other hand. ‘Just a Friday afternoon, that’s all,’ Claire said. ‘We’ll soon shake that off, but I hope you liked Barcelona.’ ‘It’s a great city. The sun, the sea, and with a lot to see around the centre, I liked the place.’

‘So welcome home to the cold of London. Tell me how you got our man out there to pay up what he owed so easily.’ ‘Leave it until we get in the car, Rick, it’s just too noisy here and you’re walking too fast.’ ‘I’m sorry, it’s me, you should know by now I always walk at a trot.’

They reached Rick’s car and within a few minutes were leaving the dark of the concrete building and heading along the motorway to London. Claire closed her eyes as her head rested on the top of the seat and she could feel Rick’s closeness in the car with their mutual silence. With light traffic they arrived in Mayfair and Rick’s underground garage within an hour.

On a summer’s evening his penthouse apartment, which had a wide-sweep view of the Thames, was a place that Claire found easy to relax in. She gratefully sank into an armchair and sipped a glass of cool Chablis. The past two days she had spent tidying up a business problem in Barcelona where Rick was owed money. She now slowly unwound from the travelling and the tension of trying to follow a Spanish businessman as he spoke quickly in his halting English. For Claire, it had been an interesting time but she could now forget all about chasing after money in Spain, she would take time to change and be comfortable to welcome the coming evening when she could really enjoy Rick’s closeness…”

The Paper Chase is available to buy from our bookshop.

Book Guild’s Cracking Christmas Reads – Author Spotlight

To celebrate the festive season, we’ve put together a 9-day programme of some of Book Guild’s ‘Cracking Christmas Reads’. We asked Dick Warburton, author of Stoker to chat to us about the writing and publishing process:

Why did you write Stoker?

I had always hesitated to write a novel, mainly because I had absolutely no ideas. The potential canvass is huge, and it wasn’t until a publisher mentioned that westerns were selling well that I could focus. I am a cinephile with a good understanding of the tropes and conventions of western films. I felt this would help in planning the book. Understanding the iconography of the genre is useful when deciding which conventions to subvert and which to adhere to.

How did you carry out the research and planning for your book?

The research was fun. I had to understand horse riding, paddle steamers, weaponry and the topography of the mid-west. All without going to America. After all, Stephen King has never met a vampire and I’m sure Lee Child has never shot or beaten anybody to a pulp. Therefore a writer can rely on his imagination and if you want to hear a Mississippi paddle-steamer’s whistle you can ask Google. In fact it took some self-control to stop researching and get writing.

What did you enjoy the most about writing Stoker?

I enjoyed about 40% of the writing process. When it’s going well you feel ecstatic. I particularly enjoyed writing fight scenes where a quick event is slowed down in the description yet gains a powerful, almost balletic flow. Dialogue was also fun to write and finesse.

At the Stoker book launch!

Is there any advice you would give to other writers/how have you found the publishing experience?

Invite and get used to criticism. Join a group or do a creative writing course where people will give feedback on the stuff that’s good and the stuff that needs work. If you can take negative comments you are more likely to be able to cut out chunks from your own work. I removed 15,000 words from Stoker, much of which was a flashback that I felt interrupted the rhythm.

What’s next in the writing pipeline for you?

I’ve started a sequel set in London. If Stoker goes well, I’ll crack on with it. I’ve also written a radio play and am trying to find a producer.

Stoker is available to buy from our bookshop.

Ex-soldier to run 22km for 22 days to help army veteran PTSD sufferers

From soldier to bodyguard living with PTSD – Mark Inman tells his story of survival in Squad Average, which is due for release this Sunday!

Beginning his military career on the wrong foot, Mark found himself incarcerated in Hong Kong for a crime that he did not commit. Back in the UK, he rapidly progressed through the ranks, but was halted after a serious incident which threatened to end his career. Through pure determination, he picked himself up and fought to achieve his dreams. However, soon after attempting his ultimate goal of SAS Selection, Mark made a decision which changed his entire life.

Opting for a career change, he became a qualified bodyguard, subsequently picking up a close protection contract in Afghanistan. During his adventures in Kabul, Mark encountered endless close shaves including suicide bombings, a kidnap attempt and a plane crash. He became addicted to the adrenaline which would eventually become his downfall. His journey came to an abrupt end and, once home, flashbacks and nightmares controlled Mark, severely affecting his life. After discovering that he was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Mark was able to regain control.

From a man who had everything to being faced with homelessness, Mark Inman’s whirlwind life story is one of both great opportunity and immense heartbreak. Squad Average is a bold and inspirational memoir.

Mark has launched a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the military charities who save lives and support PTSD sufferers. Statistics show that there are 22 suicides a day from army veterans suffering with PTSD. In light of this statistic, starting on 27th October, Mark will be running 22km a day for 22 consecutive days, some of which will coincide with book signings. Mark is donating some of his book royalties to The Royal British Legion, Once We Were Soldiers and Daz’s Den – all of which help veterans combat this devastating illness. Donations can be made via JustGiving.

 

Pretty People by R. A. Stokeld

In celebration of National Poetry Day, R. A. Stokeld shares a poem called “Pretty People”:

While still in the land of the living
Though not far from Heaven’s stares
The pretty people gathered
Flashing their pretty people wares

The not so pretty people
Were honoured just to be there
For the pretty people gave them
Glamour beyond compare

The voices were loud
In the pretty people crowd
So the not so pretty people had to change face

To keep pace
In the pretty people race

Each shining star
Was admired from afar
Consumed by the flame
The not so pretty people played the pretty people game

R. A. Stokeld is the author of Breathe – a debut poetry collection!

The Future by Sarah Davis

In celebration of National Poetry Day, Sarah Davis shares a poem called “The Future”:

I’m sure that in the future
We’ll have many conversations
When you will tell us all about
Your plans and aspirations.

I hope that you will use
The many things that you’ve been taught
And we will be right there
If you want guidance or support.

You know we’ll always love you
Whichever path you choose
Whichever of your skills and talents
You decide to use.

When it comes right down to it
What I want most for you
Is independence, health and happiness
And to have your dreams come true.

Sarah Davis is the author of Baby Daze – a debut poetry collection exploring her journey into motherhood!