Showing Tag: "novel" (Show all posts)

Readers, if you were to write a novel...

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, December 20, 2016,
The saying goes that we all have a novel in us. As we prepare to take down 2016 submissions and start all over again in 2017, I can't help but wonder what we will see next year.
Personally, I have a good imagination and always think I could write a novel. I see something unusual - a woman crying on a park bench, a family cold with each other at a restaurant table - and I think, 'Oh, that's the beginning of a novel.' But, of course, a novel takes so much more than that - a plot that lasts longe...
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Mothers, Lovers and second novels

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 7, 2015,
We've written before about the pressure writers feel about that second novel. 
Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames was one of Hookline's most successful novels - frequently in the top 100 Kindle sales, runner up in the People's Book Prize. Ruby's second novel is more humorous, less intense, but retains that personal touch. For this week only it is selling at 99p on Amazon.
Want to know more?

Ever wonder what it's like to date an actor who hits the big time? Intrigue, jealousy, resentment – a...


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Riding a dull narrative? When do you give up?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, August 12, 2015,
When do you give up a book?
My motto used to be, "I've started therefore I must finish," and doggedly I would plough through text I no longer gave a damn about. Looking back, I blame my Scottish education and teachers who pushed me to complete novels like Ivanhoe and Moby Dick - novels that had some merit but gave me no pleasure.
I'm not sure when I changed. What novel I was reading when I decided that I no longer wanted to ride that dull narrative till the end. But it was a relief to jump to t...
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What I learned from my MA in creative writing

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, June 15, 2015,
From Victoria Owens, author of Drawn to Perfection
Discipline:
Like any other art, writing requires regular practise. The course framework, with its submission deadlines and workshop expectations, ensured that I wrote whether or not I was ‘in the mood.’ Over the MA year, I got used to putting words on the page when I was sick, miserable, hung-over or guilty about neglecting my family. Much of what I produced under these conditions was rubbish, but at least it was something to work on, and t...
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Hookline's times - they are a'changing

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 9, 2014,

Publishing is evolving. When Hookline began, we were on the front line of changes. Lately we have felt as though we are standing still. We love the Hookline process of letting readers find manuscripts worthy of publication. However, it is time to speed up the process – over the years, we have lost out as good writers were snapped up by other publishing houses during our lengthy ten-month, two-stage selection process.

The first thing is to assure you all that book groups will remain an inte...


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Urgently seeking book groups who read specific genre

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 22, 2014,
I love Hookline. I love watching feedback from the book groups who read our manuscripts and I get excited watching the vote tallies that finally reveal a winner. However, I have long felt some sadness for writers who submit work that comes from less popular genre - sci-fi, fantasy and the dark arts tend not to find favour among book group readers.
But I know there are book groups who read these sectors of fiction - and specialise in only reading others such as crime, historical fiction, etc.
As...
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When is 'The End' not 'The End'? Five tips on polishing your manuscript

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 11, 2014,

The scene is quite clichéd. A writer hits a paragraph break, types ‘The End’ and lets out a huge sigh.

However finishing a novel is never like this. ‘The End’ doesn’t happen until the editor says it happens. Prior to this point, an editor will highlight issues – plot discrepancies, dialogue that could be improved upon or even recommend a structural change. I compare this to the polishing of a very rough table top – it might look beautiful at a distance, but run your fingers ac...


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When is 'The End' not 'The End'?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, February 21, 2014,
Just because you type 'The End' doesn't mean the work is finished.
Find out what else might need to be done by visiting my guest blog at The Chipping Norton Literary Festival page:

http://www.chiplitfest.com/blog/meet-one-of-our-sponsors-hookline-books/



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Novel descriptions

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, December 2, 2013,
The back cover description of a novel can be more difficult to write than a novel itself (sorry, overstatement, but it got your attention).
This descriptive text should intrigue the reader so much that they take the book to the sales till - or at least open to the first page so they can gain a sense of your writing.
The best novel descriptions are short and give us a sense of the main character, the setting and the conflict the character faces - no more! Tell too much, and we may feel we know t...
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Book groups and new writers

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, October 25, 2013,
What brings readers and writers together?
Last night I met with a book group who have judged Hookline submissions for three years. We had a keen discussion, but one of my questions was: Does reading the work of new writers make you consider writing a novel yourself?
The group were flabbergasted at the idea, and "no way" was the definitive response. Many in the group said that reading the work of new writers made them appreciate the elements that go into a good novel - stretching the scale of th...
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Calling booksellers, join us in reading the Hookline five

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, September 9, 2013,
Who is best at choosing a good read?
Obviously we think readers are - especially book groups who meet regularly to discuss the parts of a novel that moved them or simply left them stalled.
We've been asking book groups to choose what we put to print for five years now and we've been more than pleased with their ability to spot a good plot. So we're calling on those within the publishing industry to join our book groups in reading the five finalists in the Hookline Novel Competition. Specificall...
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Hookline - bringing together new writers and good readers

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, January 29, 2013,
Many years ago, a new writer sent their manuscript to a publisher, and they would hear a 'yes', 'no' or 'maybe'.
Today, new writers send their manuscripts to publishers, and they are likely receive a postcard telling them to get an agent. Many agents now act like editors, helping their writers through rewrites. In turn, publishers turn to agents they trust - and agents stick to writers who have earned their royalties, or are writing in a fashion that is likely to earn good royalties (hence the...
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How do we find the quiet books?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, November 19, 2012,
'To own a certain book, and to choose it without help, is to define yourself.'
Julian Barnes


When browsing through a bookshop or library, we are often reluctant to stake our time and money on an unknown author. It feels safer to opt for the novel that has had attention in the media - either through reviews, author interviews or a billboard picture or two. But, as we all know, not all highly hyped novels turn out to be wonderful reads, and not all unhyped novels are worthless.
So how do we discov...
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Hookline Winner 2013

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, November 5, 2012,
Congratulations go to Victoria Owens, of Bath Spa University, with her novel Caelica's Bridge. Set in 18th century Wales, the novel follows a young woman who finds the courage to stand up to her father and her fractured community.
Hookline book groups said:
"The characters were strongly developed as the novel progressed."
"It had a good sense of period."
"This was definitely our favourite."
I look forward to working with Victoria, and we aim to have her novel published by April.
Congratulations to ...
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Hookline 2012 - no clear winner, so far

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, October 25, 2012,
Book groups are sending in their results as we move toward the conclusion of the Hookline Novel Competition.
Usually, we see a particular novel rise above the others, and I can easily bet on who might win. Interestingly, so far, there seems to be no clear favourite. So all bets are off.
For those unfamiliar with the Hookline Novel Competition: We take submissions only from students and graduates of MA writing courses and ask book groups to judge their work - in short, we bring together serious ...
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Where, Dear Reader, do you leave your mark?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, August 15, 2012,
It used to be that reviews were limited to the literary pages of our weekend newspapers. The books were often put forward by publicists, and the reviews were written by editor-appointed experts.
Then came Amazon!
Amazon allowed us all to be reviewers, and we loved it. Giving us the opportunity to rate the books we bought made us feel close to this company - the website was ours, we were contributing to it. Of course, some authors tried to create fake reviews, pumping up their book's assets. And...
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An Underground Party

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, June 18, 2012,
Hookline Books do not publish many novels - one or two a year. So a party to celebrate one of our books is a big event. 
Underground by Gayle O'Brien topped the approval ratings from our book groups last year - and we trust our book groups so much we let them guide us in choosing what goes to print. Underground is our fourth winner and, as a lover of a good story, I am proud to put it to print.
Underground follows two young American women - one contemporary and another from the 19th century - a...
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Hookline Novel Competition short list 2012

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, June 7, 2012,
Our reading groups have voted and we have our short list of authors for this year:

Ainscow and the Children of Fire by Paul Beatty of Manchester Metropolitan University

The Net by Andrea Case-Rogers of Manchester Metropolitan University

Charlotte by Andrew Chesney of Anglia Ruskin University

The Ivy Stone by AJ Morgan of University of Wales

Caelica’s Bridge by Victoria Owens of Bath Spa University  


An interesting point to note is that three of the five are men - so far Hookline has publi...
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Hookline Books - the Maverick

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, April 2, 2012,
The London Book Fair approaches and there is much to do. However, immersed in it all, I can't help but look back at Hookline's first appearance at the London Book Fair four years ago. The China Bird by Bryony Doran was our first winner - we had no other publication - so our entire stand was stacked only with Bryony's book. 
We looked pretty foolish among the more seasoned publishers with their shelves of new titles and a healthy backlist. Many of them asked why we only had one title and, when ...

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Underground - our latest Hookline Winner - by Gayle O'Brien

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 27, 2012,

On the run from a killer, Annie and her mother flee to a remote farmhouse in New England. When Annie finds an unsent letter from a debutante in the Civil War, she is drawn to the story of a Southern girl immersed in a love that cannot see light in the American South. Determined to find out what happened to her, Annie risks bringing the killer to her farmhouse door.Underground chronicles two remarkable journeys – one across modern-day America and another through a country on the brink of its...


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Why does this make me angry?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, March 19, 2012,
Who can write a novel? 
Any celebrity apparently - it seems to go with the gene that blesses them when they talk on television and appear at award shows.
The latest celebrity to sign a book deal for fiction is Richard Madeley - of Richard & Judy fame. Previous celebrities to be blessed with the fiction writing gene are Anne Widdecombe, politician and dancer; Michael Howard's wife, the former model Sandra Howard; Katie Price, model and feminist icon. We can also add to the list Naomi Campbell, S...
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Book groups

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, February 23, 2012,
Our 2012 manuscripts are going out to reading groups - always exciting as we pack, but daunting as we arrive at the Post Office and have to unload 30 boxes and queue for service. Those behind us fire daggers at the packages, but what can we do?
Reading groups - I hope you enjoy your work, and we look forward to hearing your results.
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First Lines

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, February 14, 2012,
First lines are the entry into a novel. If you're like me, you read the first few lines, paragraphs or even pages when browsing for something to read. And if you're like me, a good first line can pull you straight into a story and have you at the till, ready to purchase, without a second thought. 
I felt like this when I opened Anne Tyler's Back When We Were Grownups and read, One upon a time there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person.
I so wanted to know more.
The mos...

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Uploaded to the printer

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, February 10, 2012,
All submissions for this year's Hookline Novel Competition have been typeset and the files have been uploaded to the printer - I love those words, 'uploaded to the printer'. It doesn't mean our work is done - in the next two weeks, we should be in receipt of the paperbacks and the floor will be littered as we pack them for our book groups and drive to the post office where everyone in the queue shoots irritating looks at our 30 plus boxes. 
But 'uploaded to the printer' means that we can have ...
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Hookline Books needs you

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, February 9, 2012,

This is the final two weeks of voting for The People’s Book Prize.

One of our novels, Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames, has been nominated.

It is tough for a small publishing company like ours to rise – we may have great stories, terrific writers and a wonderful niche in allowing reading groups to choose what goes to print. But what we don’t have is the money for a publicity machine.

As a result, we rely on readers to promote our good name.

To refresh your memory Seven Days ...


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So much to be learned from Charles Dickens

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Wednesday, February 8, 2012,
Much praise has been heaped on Charles Dickens this year - rightly so! His stories have engaged generations, and his depictions of life at the bottom of the ladder helped alter Victorian sensibilities. But I think we have to discuss why his work captivated so many readers over so many years.
My theory is his serialisation - his chapters, written for periodic journals, had to grab readers so they couldn't wait for the next episode to be printed. So often today, a novel might grab us in the firs...
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Is a week long enough to learn the truth?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, February 7, 2012,

Kate and Marc have a perfect marriage – until one morning Marc goes out, and doesn’t come home. Where has he been? Is a week long enough to learn the truth?

Seven Days to Tell You by Ruby Soames has been nominated for The People's Book Prize - however it needs votes. Yours! Please follow this link to read an excerpt -
http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/section.php?id=6 
ease follow this link where you can read an excerpt -  http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/section.php?id=6 
































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Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books - where book clubs and readers choose the novels that go to print.

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