Category Scotland

…but we promise you: it was worth the wait!

Kirsty Wark THE LEGACY OF ELIZABETH PRINGLEIt’s with great pleasure that we unveil the cover of Kirsty Wark‘s forthcoming novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, published by Two Roads in March 2014.

We couldn’t be more passionate about this book, a captivating and haunting story of the richness beneath seemingly ordinary lives and the threads that hold women together.

 

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We received the first proofs of the novel yesterday and, as you can see, both Kirsty and Team Two Roads are really excited!

Kirsty Wark Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle proof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Two Roads Kirsty Wark Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Two Roads Kirsty Wark Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you wondered what writers like to read when they go on holiday?

Research material for their next book?

The classics?

Nothing at all?

Well, we have the answer: we asked a few of our own authors to share their summer reading piles and to explain why they picked those books in particular. Take a look!

Judy Fairbairns, author of Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild

I like variety when I read a pile of books. All these

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are about man’s relationship to something or someone and that, for me is the fascination of life.

Judy Fairbairns summer reading pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lea Carpenter, author of Eleven Days

Anna is enough on her own, but the others offer balance. And each of the others is also riveting.

Lea Carpenter summer reading pile

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Kirsty Wark, author of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle

I like the way books accumulate. I think of them as a treat in store rather than a daunting task – though the Su Doku has stuck in there for a while now: my game plan for burnishing my brain cells isn’t really working. I will add to and subtract from the pile over the summer.

Kirsty Wark author of The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle summer reading pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book

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Club

The Watch Tower is part of a series called ‘Text Classics’. It’s a great series of books from a terrific Australian publisher. Everyone has been talking about Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration Trilogy’ gave me some of my best reading ever – so of course I can’t wait to read her new one, Toby’s Room. I heard William Dalrymple speak and he was captivating. And this is such an important piece of history. I started The Stranger’s Child and was so enthralled that I actually made myself stop for a while so that I could save it for a perfect summer day. Leigh Newman’s memoir goes between Alaska and New York, portraying a remarkable childhood. And The Orchardist is a bookseller favorite – I kept seeing it on ‘staff recommends’ shelves.

Of course I’ll pick up lots more along the way. And I’ve already raced through some wonderful books.

Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club summer reading book pile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nancy Horan was featured in the Book Expo America Daily edition of Publishers Weekly and luckily we had an insider in New York ready to bring back evidence (thanks Lisa!). Read the interview below and head over to our Facebook page to see pics of Nancy signing advance readers copies of Under the Wide and Starry Sky.

NANCY HORAN

Follows Her Heart

by Genevieve Valentine

 

In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson was on a train to California in pursuit of Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, 10 years his senior and married, with whom he’d fallen in love. For Nancy Horan, the journey sparked her curiosity; her curiosity sparked a new novel.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky (Two Roads, January 2014) uses letters, diaries, and essays to chart a complicated love story.

He was from an upper-class Scottish family, she was almost like a Henry James character, a very independent woman – self-made, pre-feminist, she explains.

Horan began ‘an exploration of an amazing pair of people.’ The relationship spanned two decades and three continents, and left plenty of material. ‘ Stevenson alone, eight volumes of letters!’ she says, laughing. But Horan’s careful process (the book was five years in the making) relies on the historical context the documents provide.

That’s what really draws me to a story. I like it if there’s an engaging series of events and a change in the characters. I begin by doing research, but it continues all the way through, and it’s absolutely the case with this story. I know where it’s going, I have a general idea of what they’re doing in a given year and what their lives were like, but during that process there’s so much to read and so much to learn.

It doesn’t all find a place (‘Chapters will bite the dust,’ she explains pragmatically), but the background ‘enriches the whole process.’

Horan is no stranger to reconstructing historical figures: her 2007 blockbuster debut, Loving Frank, took Fran Lloyd Wright’s mistress, Mamah Borthwick Cheney, from historical footnote to heroine of a novel about identity and the

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public eye. That approac brought Osbourne’s voice to the fore in Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Though their stories differ, Horan sees both women in conversation within the genre of historical fiction.

You find they were up against challenges that we don’t necessarily face any more. In particular, the issue of divorce was alive for both of those women, and a very hard obstacle to overcome.

Despite being well-regarded among his contemporaries, Stevenson’s writing fell out of favor in the 20th century. However he’s enjoying a critical renaissance, and Horan hopes that readers might come back to Stevenson’s work with a new eye.

But historical and literary significance aside, she considers the novel a personal journey.

I hope that people are as engaged and captivated by these people as I was.

Two Roads Books is literally made up of two roads: Lisa and Fede. Which is why, every once in a while, we are very happy to welcome work experience people to our lovely HQs: they get a better idea of what it is like working in publishing (the fun bits, the exciting bits and the incredibly boring bits) and we get much needed help. Last month we had a student – Jamie – from UCL’s MA in Publishing spending two weeks with us, and we thought it might be nice for him to share his experience and tell you how wonderful we are!

I spent the first two weeks of my UCL Publishing placement with Two Roads and couldn’t have asked for a more useful time. I was made to feel welcome upon arrival with a copy of Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and a de rigour tote bag to carry my possessions around town in. Right from the get-go Lisa and Fede included me in the processes that went into making their books, whether that was allowing me to attend meetings or giving me tasks to do. With any luck there were one or two things I did that they found useful in return!

The majority of my time was spent working with Judy Fairbairn’s memoir Island Wife, which was published during my first week at Two Roads. This involved a mixture of marketing and editorial work. Firstly, I worked with the title on social media platforms, but beyond simply providing information about its release an important element of the work was to develop a community around the title, such

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as with the Vintage Island Wife photoset that added to the greater sense of the book. I was also able to fulfill a couple of editorial jobs and it was great to approach the title from the two angles and see how it all came together.

Published at the same time was Z: a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, which we celebrated with a prohibition themed party, replete with lipstick-stained teacups, pearls and gossip. As the title went through its final stages before becoming an eBook I was tasked with checking translations and prelims. I was also able to sit with Fede as he filled out the eBook conversion form – a task I did not envy him for.

Overall, I’d like to thank Two Roads for making my time with the company both enjoyable and useful. Lisa and Fede were kind enough to regularly explain elements of the business to me, whether that was how the Australian book market differed from the UK’s or some of the finer nuances of the London Book Fair as a myriad of agents, editors, sales and rights workers rushed around us in the Hachette stand.

See? We are nice! Thank you Jamie for your hard work and for always tackling projects with a great deal of enthusiasm, even when they involved Excel spreadsheets!

 

Milngavie Books, Travelling Editor, Water for Elephants

The first thing to know about Milngavie is how to pronounce it* (Mill Guy or Mull Guy to my untutored Southern ear).  A cold and wet evening outside Glasgow but all snug and cosy in the Susan Frize’s Milngavie Bookshop.

I’d just clocked over 4000 miles of train travel since I started the Travelling Editor.  As I’ve said, a lot of terrible railways tea but so many warm welcomes around the country. It might have been cold outside but the good showing of keen intelligent readers was undaunted.

Although I’ve discussed Water For Elephants with many groups before, I’m always amazed how different groups always bring something new to a book.  In this case many news things:

Milngavie Books, Travelling Editor, Water for ElephantsWonderful elephant biscuits, specially baked.

continue reading »

Main Street Trading Company Books, travelling editorEvery time I go to Scotland on the sleeper I’m a bit The Lady Vanishes and The Thirty Nine Steps about the train, always expecting something dramatic to happen (still living in hope…).

Driving down south from Edinburgh to St Boswells with Jack (our legendary Hodder man in Scotland) took us through the spectacular Scottish Borders to the very pretty village of St Boswells. It clearly does rain in Scotland but whenever I go it’s sunny and spectacular with added rainbows, the whole country looks like it’s prepped for a calendar shoot.

Main Street Trading Company Books, travelling editor

Roz multi-tasking, writing her newspaper report during the book group meeting

Main Street Trading Company Books, travelling editor

Mainstreet Book Group - class of October 2011

 

The Mainstreet Trading Company was our destination, a fabulous award-winning emporium which is clearly the go-to place on the village street. Beautifully renovated, it was packed with people and very very welcoming. Coffee, cake, books, gifts, events – everything one could want. Like all good bookshops it’s a place to linger and discover (and of course spend money, as I did). Ros DeLaHey and her husband Bill, who is responsible for the cafe, have created a buzzy book-centred community. Lovely to see and experience. continue reading »

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Edinburgh…


Edinburgh festival

a bit of The Fringe

Edinburgh coffee

a perfect flat white

Festivals from Fringe to Edinburgh Book Fest

Decent coffee

The Playfair Steps

The view of Arthur’s Seat from Holyroodhouse

Canongate Kirk, especially the blue pews inside

Waiting in Edinburgh Bus Station

Edinburgh National Gallery

View of Edinburgh Castle from my window

Arthur's Seat from Holyrood

Arthur's Seat from Holyroodhouse

Wynds

Carson Clark Map Gallerythe Royal Mile – who remembered the details of a map from eleven years ago

Surprise views of the Firth of Forth

The view of Edinburgh Castle from my hotel window

 

Pratfall Edinburgh

scene of pratfall on the Mound - tried to laugh it off - failed

The People's Story, Edinburgh

The People's Story Museum, the Royal Mile

The Holyrood end of the Royal Mile

The Bow Bar, Grassmarket and the walkway and the (soon to be) One Day tribute tour.

 

See you again soon Scotland…

 

 

 

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