2017 – The hours gone but not forgotten

In Christmas, Historical Fiction, medieval manuscripts, reviews, self-publishing, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, Shropshire by [email protected]

The Labours of the Months, January, The Golf Book, workshop of Simon Bening, Bruges, 1520-30.

I felt rather muddle-headed over the Christmas holidays. I expect I’m not alone! After all, t’is the season to be busy – at least that is how it is in the 21st century. But I thought that the last day of 2017 was a good time to look back over the year and be grateful for all the lovely things that have happened.
As many of you will know, I’ve been working on the sequel to ‘The Errant Hours’ for some time now. The good news is that it’s close to being finished, and I expect to be publishing it in June 2018. Soon I will be able to reveal the front cover, which is always a highlight for me. I love the designs that MA Creative have done for my two existing books, and the new one is both beautiful and intriguing.
It’s been an unexpectedly exciting year for me in the poetry realm. I was given the chance to work with the acoustic group, Whalebone, and this has transformed the way I think about my poems. It has been a powerful experience and a joy to work with such talented and professional musicians. Out of this collaboration emerged Flocks of Words – the performance, and ‘Flocks of Words’ – the collection! New gigs will be announced soon.
In the meantime, ‘The Errant Hours’ has continued its travels. Rather bizarrely, at the Wenlock Christmas Fair I was told by a customer that it is now on the reading list for Harvard University’s Celtic Studies course. I am awaiting confirmation of this, but if it is true, expect loud celebrations!
Sales are well over 2,000 now, which, according to Writing West Midlands, is higher sales than for many Booker nominated novels. I must thank the extraordinarily committed Shropshire Indie Book Shops and outlets in Shropshire, particularly Wenlock Books, Pengwern Books, Castle Books, Burway Books, BookShrop, Eaton Manor, The Raven Hotel and Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery for selling close to 600 copies, and for their enthusiasm and support for this locally grown story.
And many thanks to all of you, who have been advocates for my independently produced books. I am very lucky to have so many good friends and readers who have spread the word that a book which is not published by a multinational publisher can still be a great read.
I recently received this lovely review (below) on Amazon. It means such a lot to get this kind of feedback, and to know that a reader has thought deeply about the themes in the book. But it is also wonderful to hear from people who read it all in one sitting because they couldn’t put it down, who enjoyed the rush of the chase. I need both of these experiences – adventure and contemplation. And I hope to share more of both with you in 2018.
‘Being a historian I usually avoid reading historical fiction, but I loved this moving story which makes excellent use of authentic period and local detail. I’d recommend getting the beautifully produced high quality paperback rather than the Kindle, it would be a shame to read this in digital format as it wonderfully conveys and celebrates the power of books as artefacts in a largely illiterate society. I very much look forward to reading more from Kate Innes.’