Hope you are all well, and if the sun don’t shine you get a tan from standing in the Welsh rain. (Get the adapted reference?)
I have broken my Summer silence (of which everyone is a fan) to bring you some excellent news. Our very own Laura Shepherd, who has not been for a little while, owing to performing many and significant re-writes and edits of her first novel, has this announcement to make:
Hi all, I’m really excited to finally be able to talk about this openly! My first book – The Trials of Lila Dalton (which you all know as Assumption Island) – is being published on 1 February 2024! Thank you to everyone at CWC for your fantastic feedback on the first few chapters, and for being firm but fair about purple prose when I first joined! Looking forward to seeing you in September x
Pushkin Vertigo signs barrister Shepherd’s high-concept courtroom drama.
Pushkin Press imprint Pushkin Vertigo has acquired The Trials of Lila Dalton, a high-concept legal drama with a psychological twist by L J Shepherd, in a two-book deal. Harriet Wade, who has since left Pushkin, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Jenny Savill at Andrew Nurnberg Associates. Pushkin Press publishing director Laura Macaulay is now the book’s publisher. Pushkin Vertigo will publish in hardback and e-book on 1st February as its crime and thriller superlead of 2024.
Written by a barrister who has worked on several high-profile cases, the publisher says the “thrillingly inventive depiction of a UK courtroom” is rooted in the author’s extensive experience and is perfect for fans of Stuart Turton, Hanna Jameson and “Black Mirror”. Shepherd has been a practising barrister since 2017 and has prosecuted and defended in many jury trials in the Crown Court. She is now a human rights barrister instructed in high-profile public inquiries. The Trials of Lila Dalton is her first novel.
In it, Lila Dalton finds herself in a courtroom with no memory of how she got there. The man in the dock is accused of mass murder, and she’s his barrister – but she can’t remember anything about the case. She can’t remember anything at all. Stranded on an island hundreds of miles from the UK, where they try domestic and foreign criminals for the most serious crimes, the next flight out doesn’t leave for days. And she’s being watched. Someone keeps breaking into her hotel room to leave cryptic notes, threatening her with deadly consequences if she doesn’t get her client off. Can Lila Dalton win her case and solve the mystery of her own identity?
Macaulay said: “This novel is so cunningly plotted, so mind-bendingly clever, and so fresh – it surprised me at every turn. We’re delighted to welcome the remarkable L J Shepherd to the Pushkin Vertigo list.”
Shepherd commented: “As soon as I met with the team at Pushkin, I knew that it was the perfect fit. They understood the book from the off and helped me to hone the manuscript so that Lila’s story could come to the fore.”
And this from our lovely Angela: Honno publishers in Aberystwyth are currently open to submissions for a range of genres – the email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and of course is for women only!
Angela then contacted Honno and they replied thus:
Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry you won’t be joining us but I hope you have a lovely visit across the border. Thank you also for your offer of promoting our submissions call out to the Cardiff Writer’s circle. We still have space on our publication list for next year so it’s a great time for anyone wanting to submit to us.
We keep all our submission information on our website here:
We’re currently open for fiction and non-fiction but we are especially looking for crime fiction and would be very interested in crime non-ficton too. I’m attaching our new leaflet with some submissions information on the back but I’d be very happy to post some out to you if you think your writers’ circle would be interested.
Lynzie Fitzpatrick (she/her)
Gwasg Menywod Cymru Honno Welsh Women’s Press
And don’t forget this date: Jane King’s new play ‘Not just like other girls’ to be performed for three days from October 19th 2023. All details to follow.