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Why we exist?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, November 21, 2019,
This is not an existentialist question.
Instead, it refers to us, Hookline Books and how we can have a name, publish new authors and even sell books. The answer lies right here in a piece I wrote for our printer/distributor:
http://marketing.ingramcontent.com/MRKNG/2019/95_13867/index.html

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The joy of people watching

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, November 14, 2019,
When standing at the train station last week I saw that everyone gazed into their mobile phones. No one looked at those around them, at the people on the opposite platform. Instead, heads were downward as though gazing into a portal that might give them the latest news or the upcoming lottery numbers. When I see people so engrossed in their phones I often think they might be doing something important such as advising a colleague on how to do heart surgery. It's always disappointing to see tha...
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Do you sniff books?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, October 23, 2019,
My husband caught me at the weekend. We were in a bookshop and I'd opened a large coffee table book of maps. The aroma that came out from the pages was indescribable, and I gave an almighty sniff. I normally do this in secret, but I couldn't not have breathed in that smell and, even now, writing about it brings back such joy. When we met up with friends that night my husband told them that I'd been literally sniffing around a bookshop, and everyone laughed. No, they all said, none of them had...
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Marianne and Leonard - was it really romantic?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 17, 2019,

I finally saw the documentary Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love. I have to say I was left a little cold, by the end I liked neither Cohen nor Marianne. He was easy to dislike, taking her for granted while sniffing after every adoring female fan. But Marianne gave herself to him with so few conditions, even putting her son in a British boarding school so she could travel with Cohen. OK, maybe I’m not a romantic, but love of your child should surely come before love of a philanderer who has...


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Fiction can shine a light on reality

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, October 9, 2019,

Last week I wrote that fiction can reach behind fact and put clothes on a true story.
This week a reader wrote to me of the connection she felt with one of our crime novels, and her experience echoed readers of another of our crime novels.
I thought our crime novels were simply about crime. They tell stories of bad things done and the detectives try to solve those bad things.
Hear Me by Julia North involves a murder. Who Killed Anne-Marie? is not such so straight forward. However, the interest...


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Facts and fiction in storytelling

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, October 1, 2019,

Whether you are a fan of Leonard Cohen or not, you have likely heard of the new film, Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love. The documentary on the romance between Cohen and Marianne Ihlen has been well received. At Hookline, we have our own take on the story with the novel The Water and the Wine by Tamar Hodes. Tamar lived on Hydra as a child, and Cohen and Marianne were her neighbours.
While Nick Broomfield’s film is a documentary, Tamar’s story is fictional. You might think factual gives...


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Let us tell you a story

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Sunday, September 29, 2019,

I am new to audio books. I started with Stephen Fry and his Mythos and found that listening rather than reading allows my imagination to go further – a bit like being told a story as a child, I can see the Gods and monsters rather than being distracted by grey text. When I finished listening to Mythos, I stayed in Greece and downloaded My Family and Other Creatures by Gerald Durrell, and I have to say it made me laugh out loud. However, not all stories transfer well to audio. A crime novel ...


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Just a little bit of recognition

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, September 18, 2019,

It’s easy to feel little when you are a small publisher – going to book fairs and looking at your panel of twenty novels lost in the vast space dominated by the Penguin, Random, Harper Collins, MacMillan, Simon & Schuster and Hachette and all their glossy titles.
Thankfully I belong to the Independent Publisher Conference (IPG), a guild of small, innovative, hard-working publishers who are filled with enthusiastic zeal and wholeheartedly believe that their books have merit with consumers....


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Some of my best friends are books

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 16, 2019,

I read Overstory by Richard Powers for a book group. Many friends tell me they gave up on it as the 640-page tale of environmentalists lured to crime stretched too far. I have to say that while I grew weary at moments, I cared enough to keep going. But then I often like long novels – Tolstoy’s War and Peace, I have read twice; same with Anna Karenina and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
However, I am also a woman who gives up on a book after 100 pages. I believe it’s my life, my time ...


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Just Me


Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books

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