Friday, 28 January 2011

oxford times interview, our book reviews online, oxford writer

One or two new pieces have been published about Invisible and StreetBooks over the last fortnight.

Yesterday, the interview I did with Gill Oliver of the Oxford Times came out ( and earlier in the week an interesting review of Invisible appeared on the Our Book Reviews Online website ( The piece was entitled Dark Romance, which I liked.

There were also three articles in the January issue of the Oxford Writer (newsletter of Writers in Oxford: that mentioned Invisible and StreetBooks.

The first, in the Book News and Reviews section, drew attention to the 'beautiful cover' (above), which was designed by my friend Andrew Chapman (also a member of WiO). The piece concluded: 'A story of love, the forging and loosening of relationships and a strong sense of place pervade Invisible and its inner nature has been beautifully caught in Andrew's cover.'

The other two articles--a report on my talk to WiO, Bespoke Publishing, the Way Forward?, and the front page story, Making Our Own Luck--were linked.

In the former, Dennis Hamley wrote:

'Frank looked back eight years, when he was planning his second novel Invisible, and an encounter with an established novelist who told him, "You are a writer. Publishers are publishers."

'Frank strongly disagreed, realising that he wanted to be a writer-publisher, and started the long process of setting up his own small press. So began a long apprenticeship in learning new technology, through visits to the London Book Fair, The Bookseller and papers on the Web...

'Retrenchment by the big publishers has long passed a reasonable level and the number of new ways to find publication, helped by the new technology, has burgeoned.'

As a novelist and a tutor of creative writing I am fascinated by the opportunities that new technologies, such as e-books and print on demand, offer writers.

The lead article in the Oxford Writer drew on my talk and those by other members, including Andrew Chapman and Mary Cavanagh, to start a debate among the membership on the possibility of collective publishing--for both new work and back-list titles.

This debate is timely and one that I shall watch with great interest.

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