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Roll on, September

With the so-called summer fast disappearing, I’m gearing up for my autumn bookings, with some charity group bookings, a presentation at Leeds Day Limmud but first, on Wednesday September 9th, a return visit to Reading Matters in Derbyshire.

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I’ll be talking about ‘Not in our Hands’ of which copies will be available. Looking forward to seeing Lyndsey and Sue again, and hopefully meeting friends I made there, first time round – not least Lyndsey’s lovely Mum. (Hopefully, I’ll make some new friends as well.) So if you know Chapel en le Frith, why not join us at the shop at 7.30? There’s a £5 entry fee, which includes a warm welcome, tea and cake. Sorry the image doesn’t do justice to the delightful shop, with its homely interior.

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September 9th Another book talk date!

Just been invited back to READING MATTERS, that lovely book shop in beautiful Chapel en le Frith. I daren’t call it my favourite bookshop, lest others are offended. Suffice it to say that Lyndsey and Sue’s welcome last time was enough to keep out the winter chill of the Derbyshire hills…but on SEPTEMBER 9th the weather should not be a problem. I’m calling my talk ‘From Lancashire to Tuscany, a writing journey’ which will of course give insight into ‘Not in our Hands’. I wonder whether any of the people I met there last time will be there again – but no matter, I love meeting any people who like reading. So put it down: 6pm Wednesday Sept 9th. See you there.

How time flies! The Northwich LitFest is nearly here, planned so long ago! Sandiway Library, here I come, next Tuesday June 1st at 7.30. I’ll be chatting about my books – mainly the latest, Not in our Hands. After the WoW fest in Liverpool, here’s hoping the Sandiway Library space will be as full as the venue in Liverpool !And according to Susan Osborne, the Northwich LitFest’s energetic organiser,there are cakes to look forward to after the event.

Full house at Northwich Lit fest

Full house at Northwich Lit fest

June 3rd 2015

The Northwich Lit Fest (photos soon) came and went – leaving such a good feeling. Susi Osborne, the lone organiser, clearly has her finger on the pulse of a Lit Fest. All the seats were all taken – and more added – in the welcoming Sandiway Library, whose staff took as much of a personal interest in the event as Susi and myself. If not more, since they provided wonderful home made cakes afterwards. The people there were charming, interested, interesting and generous. It was such a pleasure to chat to them all – I hope to hear that they enjoy ‘Not in our Hands’ – as well as ‘The Purple Rose’, which people also bought. Onward and upward! I am very lucky.

WoW is the best word!

Well, it’s the best word to describe what’s been happening and what is about to happen to my life with my second novel, ‘Not in our Hands’. It’s been a while since I had a minute to update this, partly because I’ve been giving book talks or launches almost every week, interrupted by the break for both Pesach, Easter and a short holiday away.

But now I’m ready to start again, with talks to groups and most excitingly at the WoW festival in Liverpool (as in: Writing on the Wall) and at the Northwich Lit Fest. In Liverpool why not come down to the Siren Cafe on St James’ Street  on Wednesday May 13th, at 6 pm? The session is called ‘Jewish Threads‘ when I and Anita Canter will be in conversation with Publisher Helen Sandler and reading extracts from our books (mine being fiction, Anita’s memoir). It should be fun. http://www.writingonthewall.org.uk/festival-events/10-festival/377-jewishthreads.html

I’m giving two more talks to book groups later in May and then on Tuesday June 2nd, at 7.30pm I’ll be appearing with my book (s) at Sandiway Library as part of the Northwich Literature Festival. The most helpful organiser and author, Susi Osborne will be there too, on that evening. http://www.northwichlitfest.co.uk/p/events.html

On both these occasions I’ll be talking about both books,The Purple Rose and ‘Not in our Hands’, for those as yet unfamiliar with my writing.

And then? Two London spots. One, a book reading circle at Emunah House in Hendon on June 21st and the night before,another very special private one organised by my wonderful daughters-in-law. June 30th sees another talk to a Manchester book circle, then it quietens down till an Autumn booking. Or maybe it won’t! The books are readily available even if stores don’t have them in stock the day you want…Liverpool Waterstones will be stocking them ready for WoW! And the eBook is out there too.

And that’s it. The future of the book is, of course ‘not in my hands’, but in yours. So, dear readers, keep the reviews coming on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=charlotte+gringras&sprefix=charlotte+grin%2Caps%2C335  or write it up on Goodreads…https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24395988-not-in-our-hands?ac=1  – why not?

The Pleasure and Pain of e-Publishing

February 14th sees the publication of the e-version of Not In Our Hands. I know you all remember that date for other, romantic reasons but my second novel does contain romance, too, and my trusted and clever editor,  Helen Sandler at Tollington Press chose the 14th as it’s precisely one month after the launch of the print version.

Thank goodness I didn’t go down the untested route of formatting my own Kindle version for this, or for my first novel, The Purple Rose. I actually thought that Helen’s e-version of The Purple Rose was the best presentation of an e-book I’ve seen, with hyphens in the right place, lines set out logically and so on.

Yes, of course there was lengthy soul-searching about the financial advantages or rather, disadvantages of putting an e-book out there, since I receive so very little per book. It works out that from the asking price of £4.99 per e-book, I receive £2.88. And we’ve dropped the price of The Purple Rose to make it attractive for people who want to read that first, which has already happened at book shop events I’ve attended.

But look how the readership can spread – if you self-publish, it’s impossible to balance the importance of returns on your money with the wish to have as many people as possible reading the book that you have written. I – and you – want both, but we can’t have it all. Similarly, I also get as much of a thrill seeing my books in libraries as I do on any book shelf – long may libraries live!

Naturally, it does matter to me to try to ‘break even’, as I did with The Purple Rose, but knowing that more people will read that and Not In our Hands because they are e-books as well, is a good – if not as good – a feeling.

Link to buy Kindle edition of Not In Our Hands

Two words you don’t want to hear!

I am working hard on promotion events at the moment, two last week and one this Thursday in central Manchester. It’s hard work, distributing posters, leaflets, contacting friends and groups and liaising with the bookshop managers to make sure everything goes smoothly and that the events are busy.

So the last two words I wanted to hear this week were ‘Weather Warning’!

Plummeting temperatures and snow are forecast – so come wind, come weather – but please let the people come too!

Thank you to the lovely people at Thackeray’s in Denton and Inmans in Didsbury for all their hard work and support last week. It is always lovely after the solitary writing process to get out there and meet people who love books as much as I do and even lovelier when some of them buy my books!

Look forward to seeing you 5pm Thursday 29th January at Waterstones Grand Cafe on Deansgate central Manchester.

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When you bake your best cake and no one eats it

So it’s finally here – the publication of ‘Not in our Hands ‘. To me, it seems to have been around for so long that I’ve kind of lost touch with the excitement I should feel.
I did a local radio interview on Monday night which was great and got me thinking again about how I came to write this book. The interviewer asked me how I got under the skin of a 22 year old male and I can honestly say I didn’t think about it! He just came to me grown up from The Purple Rose. How effectively I’ve captured a young man’s voice is up to my readers of course but he doesn’t feel contrived to me. You can listen to the interview here for as long as the link stays live! http://podcast.canstream.co.uk/scr/index.php?id=28824  (scroll to Mon 12th Jan, Jewish Hour and I am at about 15 minutes in). I will certainly be using a quote from Jeff the interviewer in promotion;
“One of the joys of the latest book is the sense we get of the lovely Umbrian scenery and Italian food… It’s a great book; I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
I’d welcome feedback from any readers particularly on Goodreads and Amazon where both my novels are available. Although this brings it’s own anxieties, what will people say? Will they be congratulatory, cruel or constructive?
I need people to read and enjoy it…just for now it’s like when you bake your best cake and no one eats it.
So , readers out there, buy a copy, light the fire, snuggle up in a onesie with a hot drink and bury yourself in the novel, in the warmth and beauty of Italian sunshine, scenery and cuisine. Join Jake and friends as they adapt to new surroundings & experiences while studying in Umbria & Tuscany. And let me know – does it remind you of being 22 like them? Independent but not quite; in touch with your identity – or maybe not. Knowing how to handle falling in love?
Read and enjoy!