Outside the box
(publication date February 21)
Seven authors, all with impeccable writing credentials, present their anthology called OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women.
We've each proved our worth with awards, fellowships, teaching posts and commercial success. We've all self-published to keep our hard-earned independence and our artistic identity. Now we’re teaming up for an ebook collection of our full-length fiction featuring a diverse collection of unlikely heroines. There’s no one genre. Each novel is a character-led page-turner.
We want to prove that fine, original writers are creating work of value and quality. And we want to entertain you.
The anthology will be available for 90 days from February 21, 2015.
Follow the tour every day to read what each of these great writers has to say about writing and so much more.
BLUE MERCY by Orna Ross
The book: Mercy stands accused of killing her elderly and tyrannical father. Now, at the end of her life, she needs Star, the daughter she fought to protect, to know what really happened that fateful night in 1989.
The author: Orna Ross writes novels, poems and the Go Creative! book series. The Bookseller calls her "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" for her work with The Alliance of Independent Authors.
CRAZY FOR TRYING by Joni Rodgers
The book: A regional bestseller short-listed for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. In the 1970s, a troubled young woman heads west to create a new identity and shake off the burden of her mother's radical past, but love and loneliness take her life in an unexpected direction.
The author: Joni Rogers hit the New York Times bestseller list with her cancer memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair. She is also ghost-writer of numerous other bestsellers and founder of the League of Extraordinary Authors. Joni lives in Houston, Texas.
MY MEMORIES OF A FUTURE LIFE by Roz Morris
The book: In this work of literary fiction, a brilliant pianist’s career is ended by injury. She turns to a mysterious healer and faces the possibility that her life is someone else's past incarnation.
The author: Roz Morris earned her spurs as a ghost-writer, selling more than four million books writing the novels of other people. She is a writers' mentor and a radio show host, and she teaches writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper.
THE CENTAURESS by Kathleen Jones
The book: Bereaved biographer Alex Forbes goes to war-ravaged Croatia to research the life of a celebrity artist and finds herself at the centre of a family conflict after she uncovers a mutilated photograph, stolen letters and a story of indeterminate gender, passion and betrayal.
The author: Kathleen Jones lives in Italy and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. She is best known for her award-winning biographies, and has also written extensively for the BBC.
AN UNCHOREOGRAPHED LIFE by Jane Davis
The book: Alison gave up the chance to be a prima ballerina when she became pregnant and turned to prostitution to provide for her child, but the tempting hope of a better life may come at a terrible price.
The author: Jane Davis won the Daily Mail Award for her first novel, which secured her a publishing contract. She has now gone on to self-publish four other novels and isn’t afraid to tackle the trickiest of subjects.
ONE NIGHT AT THE JACARANDA by Carol Cooper
The book: Diagnosed with cancer, Sanjay has no time to waste. Laure is a successful lawyer, Harriet is a struggling freelance writer, and Karen is a single mother of four. Before they can find a soul-mate, they each need to confront who they really are.
The author: Carol Cooper is a London-based journalist and award-winning non-fiction author. Her debut novel was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards 2014. In her spare time she’s a doctor.
WHITE LADY by Jessica Bell
The book: Sonia, unfaithful wife of a Melbourne drug lord, yearns for sharp objects and blood. But now that she’s rehabilitating herself as a “normal” mother and maths teacher, it’s time to stop dreaming about slicing people’s throats. Easier said than done.
The author: Jessica Bell is an Australian novelist, poet, singer/ songwriter /guitarist who lives in Athens, Greece. She is Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and author of the bestselling Writing in a Nutshell series.
Some of the authors have answered a couple of questions PLUS there’s an excerpt!
What would you be doing if you weren’t a fiction writer?
I originally studied law in order to become a barrister, so maybe that's what I would be now. But I think I'd probably have been scribbling crime fiction on the back of my papers in court when I should have been paying attention, and my career would have been very short! I've also lectured in Creative Writing at various universities and I'm currently at Lancaster, so there's a good bet that I'd have become an academic. The detective aspect of research is what drew me to writing biography in the first place - it's very seductive.
My career is actually a balance of writing and editing. For me, writing is like painting and editing is like sculpting—two very different art forms, but you employ the same craft skills to a certain extent. Writing is my soul, but I love helping other writers unpack their stories and discover their voices.
Excerpt from Crazy for Trying by Joni Rodgers - Tulsa weaved on shaky sea legs down the narrow aisle to the cramped lavatory. The door closed behind her with a hydraulic hiss. Tulsa leaned against it, not knowing where to set her bulky purse or her bulky self.
She remembered being on an airplane when she was small. Her mother had nudged her inside and closed the door, leaving Tulsa alone in the dim, steel-walled closet. She was afraid to sit down, thinking if she flushed, a trapdoor would swing away and ka-roosh her right out the bottom of the fuselage, under the sucking scream of the jet engines and into the vast, silent atmosphere. She tried to go standing up like she’d seen a man in the park do once but emerged with her pants and kneesocks damp and her chin trembling.
“Mom,” she gulped, “I was—I was—”
“You know what, Tuppy-my-guppy,” her mother said, “I have your burgundy cords in my bag, and I’m thinking they’d be a little more seasonable when we get to San Francisco. Comfort-wise. Would you mind changing?”
“I don’t mind,” the guppy gratefully shook her head.
Grown-up Tulsa closed her eyes, missing the scent of baby powder in low-heeled shoes.
Alexandra Firestein: “A woman has no reflection so pristine as her mother; no stronger ally, no greater enemy—except, perhaps, herself.”
Tulsa hitched up her dress, did what was necessary in the cramped space, and then washed her hands, trying to avoid the mirror. She wrestled her gigantic purse onto the sink, took out her Noxzema and wiped away the smudgy raccoonish remains of her mascara. She rubbed at a smear of blush above each sallow cheek and scrubbed her pudgy neck where the brocade pattern of the seat cushion had left a bold red imprint while she slept. She prodded her heavily padded bra, trying to push it back to semiroundness. Her hair looked like a bad night at the Ice Capades. Her forehead showed signs of premenstrual breakout.
She was ugly.
Tulsa savored the mouth-watering sting of it; it was her uniqueness, her red badge of courage, the only familiar thing left in her world. Someone at some time had opened some tiny puncture wound on her, and by carefully continuing to peel around the edges of it, Tulsa was able to open it wider, just enough to prevent it from healing. She had nurtured it through a spotty childhood and into raw red adolescence. It had become easier to lay the wound open during high school as others rushed to reaffirm her worst fears about herself.
She was asked out only once, and not by one of the three boys in her class who were taller than she was. Radley Baenmeier was the ill-fated short boy who waited for her after assembly the day Dr. Fursthort called her forward and gave her a certificate for getting the highest SAT score in the history of Lighton Valley Christian Academy. The good doctor was scowling because Tulsa was about to graduate with a D average and was known to cut classes early and often. What’s more, the girl was a Jew—a hell-bound, Christmas-concert-shunning Jew—and that mother of hers was a pestilence, God help us, a threat to decent people. Tulsa ran the gauntlet of spattering applause to the front of the auditorium, nicked the embossed certificate from his chubby fingers, wriggled out of a damp handshake, and dodged behind the heavy stage curtain. She hid, heart pounding, in the velveteen forest until everyone was gone.
But Radley Baenmeier waited for her.
Congratulations, he told her and did she suppose, he wondered, would she maybe want to go see a play or something sometime, because his mom would drive them on Friday, you know, if Tulsa wanted to go see Othello, which the state university theatre department was doing, and it might not suck, you know, so…you know. Would she? Did she want to go?
Tulsa wanted to go. Truly she did. Radley was a known brain and not completely unattractive. He was almost as tall as she was and smelled like he’d just taken a shower with Dial soap. Tulsa thought she could stand being driven by Radley’s gushy mother and sitting close beside him for two Dial-scented hours in the aching, artistic dark of Othello. But somewhere between Desdemona’s passion and Iago’s deceit, she became convinced that this must be an elaborate practical joke and someone was about to pour a bucket of pig’s blood on her head just like in Carrie, and then she got terribly thirsty and crept down the back stairs to make her way miserably home in the snow. Radley never spoke to her again. He just schlubbed over to the other side of the hall when he saw her, and Tulsa just quoted Alexandra Firestein on the archaic, meat-market practice of dating. It was easier that way. For a girl who looked like she did.
Excerpt from The Centauress by Kathleen Jones
In every tragedy there is the accidental moment – choosing a particular seat on a train, turning down the wrong road, deciding to take a lift from the 89th floor – the arbitrary, pivotal moment that means destruction or survival...
Afterwards they sent me a phial of ash and it goes with me everywhere. Every night before I go to sleep I hold it in my hand and close my eyes and try to visualise a face that is gradually becoming more and more remote. The glass is cold and hard to the touch, but it warms in my fingers and I like to think that somewhere in it there is a flake of skin, a fragment of bone, a few remaining atoms of the person I loved. Flesh of my flesh; bone of my bone.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Women Writing Women (February 20, 2015 for 90 days) £7.99/$9.99 from Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo and more. More information on www.womenwritewomen.com.
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS OF THE TOUR TO READ SOME FANTASTIC POSTS BY THIS SUPER GROUP OF WRITERS
1st Prize- brand new kindle pre-loaded with the book
10 runners up prizes – A Digital swag bag