Related to: 'riverrun'

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About Us

riverrun is Quercus's new literary imprint, established to showcase the best in literary fiction, upmarketing crime and top-class non-fiction. As part of Quercus, over the years riverrun have been curating a list that, in its diversity, has one feature to mark it out – the writing. We’ve found talent in many different forms, and it’s the writers themselves that make riverrun what it is. Choosing the name of the new imprint – riverrun – was more complicated than we could have imagined, but all along the solution was across the road. A river. It is, of course, the first word of one of the most famous – and probably unread – books ever written, Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. We hope our imprint will attain the first quality and our books will avoid the second. We will publish books we intend to be international, as relevant to Sydney as Sydenham – which brings me back to Joyce: in the particular is contained the universal.

riverrun books

Quercus proudly announces our new imprint, riverrun

This week we celebrate the official launch of the riverrun list – Quercus’s new literary imprint. riverrun has been set up to showcase the literary fiction, upmarket crime and top class non-fiction that we have built up at Quercus. For years we’ve been curating a list that, in its diversity, has one feature to mark it out – the writing. We’ve found talent in many different forms, and it’s the writers themselves that make riverrun what it is. Choosing the name of the new imprint – riverrun – was more complicated than we could have imagined, but all along the solution was across the road. A river. It is, of course, the first word of one of the most famous – and probably unread – books ever written, Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. We hope our imprint will attain the first quality and our books will avoid the second. We will publish books we intend to be international, as relevant to Sydney as Sydenham – which brings me back to Joyce: in the particular is contained the universal. Jon Riley Publisher riverrun

Eat Your Way to a Clean, Lean, Nourished Body in Less than a Week

The Soup Cleanse

Win a Champneys Detox Ritual Day for Two worth £250 with The Soup Cleanse Dieting is tough, especially around the Christmas season when there are tempting treats at every corner. If you are looking for an easy helping hand to get you ready for the party season then The Soup Cleanse is your best friend. With more than 50 delicious recipes and easy-to-follow detox programmes, you'll learn how to nourish and purify your body while flooding it with essential nutrients, as you sip your way through wholefood soups packed full of regenerative ingredients. Unlike many other diets, The Soup Cleanse is built on simple, satisfying recipes that won't leave you feeling hungry or deprived, making it accessible and easy to stick to, even for those with the busiest lifestyles. To celebrate publication, Champneys Health Resort & Spa are offering two people the chance to win a Detox Ritual Day at their Detox and Wellbeing Centre at Champneys Tring. It’s the first of its kind in the UK and launched in celebration of their 90th anniversary. Offering a range of water-based personalised treatments in a smart, ultra-modern purpose-built environment; this revolutionary hub has been designed to renew and reinvigorate. Using the recuperative qualities of seawater, algae and marine minerals, our treatments have been carefully selected for their stimulating, cleansing effects on both the body and mind. By harnessing the richness of the sea, you will feel the benefits of its revitalising and rebalancing properties – vital components of health and wellbeing. Their experts will provide a personalised programme that will: detox, improve circulation, promote wellbeing and help you to slim and tone. With five key treatments and the perfect post therapy relaxation experience, you will never feel so good. Step inside their haven of tranquillity to refine, relax and tone. Slow things down, take a step back and cleanse your body from the inside out. In six blissful steps, you will be taken on a voyage of discovery. Included in your day: 9am arrival Welcome and tour of the resort Light refreshments A detox ritual worth £69 3 course buffet style lunch, with the option of using our light diet room Unlimited use of swimming pool, sauna and steam room Access up to 20 fitness class per day* 6pm departure To enter fill in your name and email address below Terms & Conditions: 1. This is a prize draw to win a Champneys Detox Ritual Day for Two People worth £250. To enter, please fill in your name and email address in the boxes set out at the following webpage: www.quercusbooks.co.uk/soupcleanse. 2. Prize includes: Welcome and tour of the resort. Light refreshment. A detox ritual worth £69. 3 course buffet style lunch, with the option of using our light diet room. Unlimited use of swimming pool, sauna and steam room. Access up to 20 fitness class per day* 3. The Winner will be selected at random from the entries received in accordance with these terms and conditions by The Soup Cleanse authors, Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella, whose decision will be final. 4. The Winner may see their name posted on quercusbooks.co.uk and possibly other websites and Twitter accounts. 5. Prize must be booked and taken by 30th June 2016. *£3 charge applies for advanced class bookings only. Subject to availability. Valid Monday to Thursday only at Tring Champneys Health Resort and Spa. 6. Travel, accommodation and refreshments other than those stated at paragraph 2 above are not included in the prize. 7. Quercus Editions Limited (Quercus) is not liable for the operations of Champneys Health Resorts (Champneys) and accepts no responsibility for them. Participation in the Champneys Detox Ritual Day is subject to any terms and conditions set out by Champneys Health Resorts (for more information click here: http://www.champneys.com/spa-resorts/spa-resort-breaks/specialist-retreats/slim-and-detox/detox/champneys-detox-ritual-day/ here). 8. There is no purchase necessary to enter. 9.The prize draw opens at 12:01am GMT on 10 December 2015 and closes at 11:59 pm GMT on 31 January 2016. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates will not be eligible for entry into the competition. 10. The prize draw is open to anyone aged 16 or over in the UK except employees of Quercus and Champneys, their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families. If the winner is under 18 years of age, the Winner may be asked to have his or her guardian complete waivers, consent forms and/or other documentation as prerequisite for being awarded the prize. 11. Only one entry per person allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk. 12. Quercus is not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed. 13. Quercus reserves the right to alter the prizes or cancel the prize draw without notice. No cash alternatives to prizes will be provided. 14. The Winner will be contacted by email on or before Friday 5 February 2016 and his or her name will be published at www.quercusbooks.co.uk/soupcleanse on Friday 5 February 2016. 15. The email addresses of entrants may be shared with companies within the Hachette group of companies but will not be shared with other companies outside the group. It will be used by the Hachette companies to send you news about our books, products and promotions. You will be given the option of opting out in those emails if you don’t want to receive any further news from us. 16. By entering the prize draw each entrant agrees to be bound by these terms and conditions. 17. This competition is being organised by Quercus Editions Limited, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ 18. These terms and conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

About Us

Quercus Publishing Plc is an award winning publisher acquired by Hodder and Stoughton, a major UK-based publishing group and wholly owned subsidiary of the Hachette UK group. We publish a variety of fiction and non-fiction books and are enthused to extend the passion we have for our wide range of books to the reader. Founded in 2004 by CEO Mark Smith and Wayne Davies, Quercus produced its very first titles – Universe and Speeches that Changed the World, which went on to be bestsellers across the UK and US. Another title, The Digital Photography Handbook remains the best-selling photography book to this day. Alongside Stef Penny’s The Tenderness of Wolves, which won the Costa Book of the Year Award, Quercus’s first imprint, The MacLehose Press achieved worldwide success with the release of Stieg Larsson’s award winning Millenium Trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire, became a number one bestseller and made publishing history. The non-fiction list exploded with the release of Mark Logue and Peter Conradi’s The Kings Speech, the true story behind the award-winning film and a Sunday Times bestseller. In fiction, Peter May’s The Black House was the first title to be picked for the Richard and Judy book club and achieved spectacular sales success. Peter has since gone on to write Lewis man, Entry Island, The Critic and Runaway amongst others. We continue to publish outstanding talent, such as fiction writers Anna Smith, Elly Griffiths and Jessica Cornwell, as well as a non-fiction list covering areas such as cookery, children’s novels, sci-fi and world literature. Our crime and thriller lists boast exceptional novels from some of the best writers, like Tom Callaghan and Elena Forbes. It’s about delivering the best to Quercus, to our authors, to you.

Travel the World this Summer with Bestsellers from Quercus Books

Pick your Perfect Poolside Read

The Campaign In June, July and August 150 libraries around the UK will be promoting our fantastic summer paperback programme to thousands of readers by creating summer reading displays, using materials we have supplied, and championing seven of our books. Each library will receive a pack that contains posters, shelf talkers, bookmarks, an ideas document and a set of the seven summer reads. The seven books featured in the campaign are: The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Last Dance in Havana, Florence Grace, Love Notes for Freddie, Asking For It, The Tenderness of Wolves 10th Anniversary We’ll also be spotlighting each of the seven titles over the three months online with an abundance of additional content provided by authors and editors. Alongside recipe cards, extracts, reading group questions we’ll also be hearing from editors and authors on their top summer reads, favourite settings and their best (and worst…) holidays. The order we will spotlight the titles The Girl in the Spider’s Web (1-15 June) Kitchens of the Great Midwest (16-26 June) Last Dance in Havana (27 June – 10 July) Florence Grace (11-24 July) Asking For It (25 July – 7 August) Love Notes for Freddie (8-21 August) The Tenderness of Wolves (10th Anniversary) (22 August – 1 September) Display competition Libraries will be invited to take part in a display competition by tweeting us photos of their displays using the hashtag #QuercusSummer. The winning library will receive a summer hamper and Pimms set so it’s all to play for! We also have a data capture initiative running whereby readers can enter into a prize draw to win £200 travel vouchers and sign up to hear more from Quercus. Blogger Book Club We've teamed up with fifty influential book bloggers who will be reading along with us and reviewing three of our key summer titles between June and August. We'll also be launching a competition to find the best summer-inspired photo of one of our books, and the winner will receive a fantastic beach bag filled with summer essentials.

Travel the World with Quercus

Perfect Poolside Picks

The Campaign In June, July and August 150 libraries around the UK will be promoting our fantastic summer paperback programme to thousands of readers by creating summer reading displays, using materials we have supplied, and championing seven of our books. Each library will receive a pack that contains posters, shelf talkers, bookmarks, an ideas document and a set of the seven summer reads. The seven books featured in the campaign are: The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Last Dance in Havana, Florence Grace, Love Notes for Freddie, Asking For It, The Tenderness of Wolves 10th Anniversary We’ll also be spotlighting each of the seven titles over the three months online with an abundance of additional content provided by authors and editors. Alongside recipe cards, extracts, reading group questions we’ll also be hearing from editors and authors on their top summer reads, favourite settings and their best (and worst…) holidays. The order we will spotlight the titles The Girl in the Spider’s Web (1-15 June) Kitchens of the Great Midwest (16-26 June) Last Dance in Havana (27 June – 10 July) Florence Grace (11-24 July) Asking For It (25 July – 7 August) Love Notes for Freddie (8-21 August) The Tenderness of Wolves (10th Anniversary) (22 August – 1 September) Display competition Libraries will be invited to take part in a display competition by tweeting us photos of their displays using the hashtag #QuercusSummer. The winning library will receive a summer hamper and Pimms set so it’s all to play for! We also have a data capture initiative running whereby readers can enter into a prize draw to win £200 travel vouchers and sign up to hear more from Quercus. Blogger Book Club We've teamed up with fifty influential book bloggers who will be reading along with us and reviewing three of our key summer titles between June and August. We'll also be launching a competition to find the best summer-inspired photo of one of our books, and the winner will receive a fantastic beach bag filled with summer essentials.

When looking for that special someone, we've put in the extra effort so you don't have to!

Have a Classy Christmas

UNDER A POLE STAR Stef Penney returns to the wild Arctic landscape she portrayed so beautifully in her debut The Tenderness of Wolves, to bring us the story of ‘The Snow Queen’ Flora Mackie and her Geologist beau Jakob de Beyn. Their paths cross on the frozen landscape of Greenland whilst on opposing expeditions, yet they have an instant connection that has the power to transcend any distance between them. A passionate love affair, and a couple of trips back to the North later, and it seems nothing can tear Flora and Jakob apart. Until… Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siècle New York and London, Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the ‘golden age’ of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story. It shows that sometimes you have to travel to the furthest edge of the world in order to find your true place in it. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local indepdendent bookshop. THE BOOK OF TIDES An idiosyncratic, richly illustrated guide to Britain's rivers, seas and shores, for everyone who loves the water and the natural world - a Norwegian Wood for Britain's waters. Both graphically beautiful and lyrically written, The Book of Tides is a unique and essential book, ideal for anyone who knows and loves the British coast, and who wants to understand, discover, surf, or sail it better. Inspired by his own witnessing of the power of the sea through travelling around Britain's coastline in a panel van with his young family, William Thomson tells the story of the cycles of the sea. He combines a lyrical, passionate narrative with graphically beautiful renderings of the main forms of water which affect Britain: Rip, Rapids, Swell, Stream, Tide, Wave, Whirlpool, Tsunami. Available to buy at Waterstones, Hive, Amazon and from your local indepdent bookshop. (photo credit: West End Lane Books) BILL BAILEY'S REMARKABLE GUIDE TO BRITISH BIRDS Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to British Birds is all about comedian Bailey's love of birds. A visual feast - it is packed with illustrations, sketches and notes by Bailey - as well as informative, it is funny and insightful, and positively crackles with energy, knowledge and wit as he takes us on a journey around the British isles, zooming in on those birds that enthuse him the most. A beautifully and originally designed hardback, it will delight Bailey's fans as well as those who like a bit of armchair escapism. Available to buy at Waterstones, Amazon, Hive and from your local independent bookshop THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF NOT GIVING A F**K: CHRISTMAS EDITION It was the 'self help with an edge' book of 2016 (Vogue said that, so you know this thing's legit) - and now it's back with a gorgeous new jacket to help you give fewer, better f**ks this Christmas! A genius parody of the bestselling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Sarah Knight's no nonsense guide to focussing on the things in your life that make you happy, and giving way less of your time and energy to the things that don't, will help to revolutionalise your thinking. From family dramas to having a bikini body, the simple 'NotSorry Method' for mental decluttering will help you unleash the power of not giving a f**k and will free you to spend your time, energy and money on the things that really matter. This festive red edition will sit perfectly in any stocking, and would make an ideal office secret santa gift for that stressed colleague... Available to buy from Waterstones, Amazon and from your local indepdendent bookshop. NO PICNIC ON MOUNT KENYA A classic tale of derring-do: The Great Escape meets Touching the Void No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a rediscovered mountaineering classic and the extraordinary true story of a daring escape up Mount Kenya by three prisoners of war. It's a remarkable story of three incredibly brave men with an outrageous, dangerous, brilliant idea. It is also a powerful testament to the human spirit of revolt and adventure in even the darkest of places. A Waterstones non-fiction Book of the Month, No Picnic on Mount Kenya is a terrific gift for the adventurous type, yet equally for the armchair traveller! Available to buy from

Summer Reading

Pick the Perfect Poolside Read

The campaign In June, July and August 150 libraries around the UK will be promoting our fantastic summer paperback programme to thousands of readers by creating summer reading displays, using materials we have supplied, and championing seven of our books. Each library will receive a pack that contains posters, shelf talkers, bookmarks, an ideas document and a set of the seven summer reads. The Girl in the Spider’s Web (1-15 June) Kitchens of the Great Midwest (16-26 June) Last Dance in Havana (27 June – 10 July) Florence Grace (11-24 July) Asking For It (25 July – 7 August) Love Notes for Freddie (8-21 August) The Tenderness of Wolves (10th Anniversary) (22 August – 1 September) Alongside recipe cards, extracts, reading group questions we'll also be hearing from editors and authors on their top summer reads, favourite settings and their best (and worst...) holidays. Display competition Libraries will be invited to take part in a display competition by tweeting us photos of their displays using the hashtag #QuercusSummer. The winning library will receive a summer hamper and Pimms set so it’s all to play for! We also have a data capture initiative running whereby readers can enter into a prize draw to win £200 travel vouchers and sign up to hear more from Quercus. Blogger Book Club We've teamed up with fifty influential bloggers who will be reading and reviewing three of our key summer titles between June and August. We'll also be hosting a competition to find the best photo of a Quercus summer read in a summer location, and entries will be in with a chance of winning an ultimate beach bag bundle.

Information

Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions: 1 This is a competition for an early copy of How To Play the Piano by James Rhodes, To enter, please tweet @quercusbook or post on facebook.com/quercusbooks why you’d love to learn the piano using the hashtag #HowToPlaythePiano. 2. The winner will be selected from the correct entries received in accordance with these terms and conditions based on the following criteria: creativeness of entry and creativeness of reason for wanting to win the prize. The winner shall be selected by Quercus Books, whose decision will be final. 3. The winner may see their entry posted on the Quercus Books (hereinafter the ’Company’) website and on other websites and social media accounts. 4. There is no purchase necessary to enter. 5. The competition opens at 12:01 am BST on 10th August and closes at 11:59 pm BST on 17th August. Any entries received outside these specified times and dates will not be eligible for entry into the competition. 6. The competition open to anyone aged 16 or over in the UK except employees of the Company, their families, or anyone professionally connected to the competition either themselves or through their families. If the winner is under 18 years of age, the winner will be asked to have his or her guardian complete waivers, consent forms and/or other documentation as prerequisite for being awarded the prize. 7. Only one entry per person allowed. Second or subsequent entries will be disqualified. Entries will not be accepted via agents, third parties or in bulk. a. By submitting your entry, you agree and warrant that (i) your entry is your own original work; (ii) nothing in your entry is defamatory, private or an infringement of copyright or other intellectual property right or in any way a breach of another’s right; (iii) any music used in your entry is original to you or you have written permission from the owner. We reserve the right to ask for the permission before any prize is distributed. Any entry in breach of this clause will be disqualified from participating in the competition and from winning any prize. b. By entering the competition, you hereby grant to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty free, worldwide and for all languages, licence to copy, adapt, edit, distribute, publish, sublicense, and in any and all other ways use your entry for any purpose, in any manner and in all media now known or hereinafter devised. Furthermore, you waive all moral rights whatsoever in your entry. For the avoidance of doubt, the Company is under no obligation to make any use of your entry and the Company shall make no payment to you for any use of your entry. c. We reserve the right to use all the submissions received on our website, our Facebook pages and on our other social networking sites. We will try to include the name of the entrant but this may not always be possible. 8. The Company is not responsible for contacting or forwarding prizes to entrants who provide unclear or incomplete information or for entries lost, misdirected, delayed or destroyed. 9. The Company reserves the right to alter the prizes or cancel the competition without notice. No cash alternatives to prizes will be provided. 10. The winner’s name will be published on the Quercus Books Twitter feed on 19th August. 11. The Company will make available the name and county of the winner to anyone who requests this information by writing to the following address Quercus Books, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DZ. 12. The email addresses of entrants may be shared with companies within the Hachette group of companies but will not be shared with other companies outside the Hachette group. It will be used by the Hachette companies to send you news about books, products and promotions. You will be given the option of opting out in those emails if you don’t want to receive any further news. 13. By entering the competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions. 14. This competition is being organised by Quercus Books, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0DZ. 15. These terms and conditions and any disputes or claims (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of these terms and Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England, whose courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction.

Information for Agents

Submission Guidelines

About Us

Jo Fletcher Books is an imprint of Quercus Publishing, an Hachette UK company. Jo Fletcher Books is a specialist science fiction, fantasy and horror imprint, but as Jo’s own personal tastes in fiction have always been so wonderfully eclectic, and as the field of imaginative literature is so incredibly wide, Jo Fletcher Books is going to be as broad a church as possible, hopefully publishing something for everyone. Submissions Jo Fletcher Books currently accepts unsolicited submissions, but only by email. If you wish to submit, please email the first 10,000 words, or the first three chapters of your novel to submissions@jofletcherbooks.co.uk in the following format: Word doc Font: Times New Roman Font size: 12 Spacing: Double-spaced Please include a brief covering letter in the body of the email, and a short synopsis (no longer than one page) in a separate attachment. Please note the following: We only accept submissions that can be categorized as Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror. If your novel does not fall into any of these genres it will not be considered. We do not accept short stories or novellas. We do not publish children’s books. We will consider YA, but only if it can be classed as YA/Adult crossover. We accept manuscripts that have been previously self-published as long as the author is happy to let all rights revert to us on signature of any contract. Jo Fletcher Books is not an agency, but a publishing house. If you are looking for representation we recommend you use The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook, which contains a comprehensive and up-to-date list of agents currently taking on new authors We get a great many submissions, so it is not possible to respond to everyone individually, and we do not give feedback. If you have not heard from us within six months, please assume you have been unsuccessful in this instance. Agents: please note this email address is for unsolicited submissions only.

Paul Engles: MacLehose Editor in the hot seat

Quercus Summer Quiz

What would you pick as your perfect poolside read? I might go nuts and re-read Game of Thrones or Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses series. Though last time I was away I read a submission that ended up being too good to turn down: The President's Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli, out in April. What five items would you take with you to a desert island? A drum kit, a kindle, an ice cream van, a Blackadder Boxset and a football (and 9 other people to play with if possible). If you could travel for 6 months with a fictional character, who would that be? Oedipa Maas from The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. We'd be guaranteed crazy adventures. Describe the best meal you’ve had while on holiday Fresh fish from the sea in Sri Lanka -- but bear in mind that was the most recent holiday. What’s your favourite setting in a book that you’ve read? The world building in A Song of Fire and Ice is the most convincing I've ever come across. Jurassic Park would be fun to visit, of course. Quick fire round Beach break or city break? City Hot climate or cold climate? Hot Plane or boat? Boat Scuba dive or pedalo? Pedalo Sandcastle or bat and ball? Sandcastle UK or abroad? Abroad Pool or beach? Beach Have you ever had a nightmare holiday? I went one too many times to celebrate King's Day in Amstersdam. And the vibe is changing there, seems more narrow-minded to me. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? I'm not falling for that one!

Welovethisbook.com

Q&A with Elly and Keith Walters

Elly Griffiths tells us about her fourth novel in the Ruth Galloway Investigation series, a possible BBC adaptation, and why she hates Time Team In A Room Full of Bones, new mother and forensic archeologist Ruth finds a museum curator dead ahead of the opening of a new medieval bones exhibition. How have the character dynamics changed now that Ruth Galloway’s one-year-old daughter Kate is around? It feels like a real privilege to have the time and space to develop the characters. It does get easier but I have to say that Kate was a challenge. I wanted her to be a distinct presence in Ruth’s life – every parent knows that a baby disrupts your life completely – but I didn’t want the books to become diatribes about the hardships of being a single parent. Are museums somewhere you spend a lot of time? I used to live in South London and visited the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill a few times. I have to say, though, that the museum that influenced me most is the Booth Museum in Hove. It’s very near my old school and I remember many happy stolen hours staring at the Great Auk... Was it always your intention to make Ruth dissimilar to traditional female detectives, with her clumsiness and weight issues? I just wanted to make her real. It wasn’t until after the book was published that I realised how many crime heroines were, in essence, superwomen – looking beautiful, cooking gourmet meals, running twenty miles before breakfast. Ruth could certainly eat a gourmet meal but she would struggle with the rest. Are the Rebus and Springsteen references in the books favourites of yours, as they appear to be the books and CDs of choice to Ruth Galloway? Do you have a favourite Boss album? Yes, I’m a big fan of both Ian Rankin and Bruce Springsteen. My favourite Springsteen album is Born to Run and my favourite track is Thunder Road. Are there any crime writers who have been a particular help or influence when you started out? I hadn’t read a lot of crime novels when I wrote The Crossing Places. My biggest influences were probably Victorian writers like Wilkie Collins. Since then I have met quite a few stars of the crime world and they have all been incredibly friendly and supportive. Val McDermid, in particular, has been delightful. Crime writers seem particularly charming. Maybe they exorcise all their demons in their books. I don’t know any Brighton-based writers, though I did meet Peter James when we were both shortlisted for the same award. You featured a location map in the first book, The Crossing Places, are there any plans to get maps into any future books? I love drawing maps and managed to get one into The House at Sea’s End. I think every book should have a map at the front. How do you write? My system hasn’t really changed. I write a rough chapter-by-chapter outline and then go for it. I write for about three hours a day and the rest of the time it’s going round in my head. I hope my plots have got a bit better as I’ve gone on though. Is Ruth going to be brought to the TV screen? The BBC has expressed interest, but I don’t think I’m allowed to say more than that. I would love to see Ruth on TV. Not sure who would play her, though... The location of your books is fantastic and they all give a tremendous sense of place - but could you ever see yourself writing Ruth into Brighton, or writing a standalone novel in Brighton? Or is your hometown too crowded with fictional crime already? Peter James does have Brighton sewn up and I’m sure I couldn’t better him. I do have a vague idea about a historical crime novel set in Brighton, though. My granddad was a music hall comedian and I’d love to write about that world. Ruth has no plans to leave Norfolk, although in book five she does visit Blackpool. Why does Ruth not like Time Team? Well, I have a bit of a grudge against Time Team, as my husband had a well-paid city job before he started watching it and now he’s a poorly-paid archaeologist! I think it’s a great programme, but Ruth, being a professional, would be rather sniffy about it (whilst, at the same time, watching it avidly). What can we look forward to next from Ruth Galloway or from Elly Griffiths? I’ve almost finished book five, which will be about Roman remains found near Blackpool. It takes Ruth into Nelson’s territory and, of course, into danger. I’ve already got a pretty good idea for Book 6. After that, who knows? A Room Full of Bones is out tomorrow, published by Quercus.

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

Our favourite reads this winter

February Round-Up

Our favourite reads this winter

Q&A with Andreas Norman

If there was a film of Into A Raging Blaze, who do you think would play the main characters of Bente Jensen, the Secret Service Head, and Carina Dymek, the civil servant on the run? Well, the Swedish original of Into A Raging Blaze (En rasande eld), is actually being adapted for bigscreen right now by a major Swedish film company. They are right now starting to cast it! But then of course, Bente and Carina will be played by Swedish actors. In a British remake I would love to see a character actress like Jodie Foster or Imelda Staunton play Bente, who could take on that utterly unsentimental, tough-minded, no-nonsense type of woman. Carina – I think Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt or Sarah Solemani would be perfect for the role. Brainy actresses with a lot of energy. You worked in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for ten years in Counter-terrorism and Security. Can you tell us anything about the kinds of projects you worked on, and what it was like? They were mainly projects launched to prevent further terrorism – in other words, the recruitment and radicalisation of individuals and groups in countries around the world. I can't tell you much more, it is all very classified information; other than that we worked in partnership with other countries on this, and their police forces, intelligence agencies as well as various local non-governmental organisations. Our main slogan was: counter-terrorism without the respect for human rights is counter-productive. That was a one-liner I came up with, actually, in order to easily convey the Swedish view on these matters. And I still believe that it is absolutely valid. If you violate people's basic rights, you will end up with more politically motivated violence, and that is unfortunately what is happening today in, for example, Pakistan and many other places around the world today. How much is the diplomatic service as portrayed in the novel based on your experience of that world? The descriptions of the Ministry’s interior and other places are absolutely authentic; you could use the book for a guided tour around the Swedish MFA and the Government offices! If you ever visit the pub Pickwick’s on the corner of Fredsgatan and Drottninggatan in Stockholm, where all the civil servants hang out after work, look out for the elk head hanging on the inner wall. You'll find that place, and all other locations in the book exactly as I describe them. It was great fun to portray my workplace and the people in it. There are such a wealth of stories and characters in the diplomatic and intelligence community, that for most of the time remain untold, unseen, due to the secrecy that surrounds the trade. At the same time, there’s a lot that is universal which every person who spends their days in an office can easily relate to: the struggle for having an office with a nice view, the byzantine procedure for requisitioning an ergonomic chair, the career angst, all that. You left the Ministry to become a full time writer. What do your former colleagues think of the novel? Were you worried about revealing any government secrets? They think it’s great! I was surprised and happy to get so many positive reactions from colleagues in the MFA. Dozens of ambassadors and desk officers from all over the world have emailed me to congratulate me on what they felt was both a very entertaining and wholly accurate panorama of the rather absurd everyday life in the foreign service. I think many felt that, for once, their profession and work life had been portrayed in an authentic way. I wasn't worried for a second that I would reveal any secrets. I'm so used to handling classified information, you know, and the people in the ministry knows that. But just to be sure, I actually read my first draft as if I were looking for intelligence, classified procedures, etc. In some cases I obscured one or two details to make sure that Into A Raging Blaze would be useless – as intelligence, I mean. Your novel has a plot point whereby British agencies and GCHQ use cyber-spying to access private communications in European countries, even from governments. Was this based on fact when you wrote it, and if so, how did you come across the information? Sure, this is common practice. Just look at what Snowden revealed: NSA tapping the mobile phones of Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. My book basically outlines GCHQ’s mass surveillance programme code-named Tempora. I was not aware of the code name at the time I wrote the book, but knew something like this existed. That was in 2009. It was also in this period that NSA got enormously enhanced capacities to collect and store data, and later, to mine them. They were building big new facilities in Utah for data storage. As part of my job in the Foreign Ministry, I had the opportunity to learn how the signals intelligence agencies were organised, their methods, their technology. It was top secret back then; now you can find all about it on Google in an instant. Since you wrote the novel and it was published in Sweden, the world woke up to the same reality when Julian Assange published Edward Snowden’s leaked documents. What was the reaction to your book when this happened? A lot of readers were surprised by how close to reality my book actually was. Everyone who read it reacted with, ‘Wow, did you know about all this?’ Especially since the depth of the partnerships between NSA, GCHQ and the Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA was revealed later that year. Then even political op ed's in the main Swedish papers started using my book as a starting point for discussing the surveillance scandal, which thrilled me. The Swedish agency took a lot of criticism for being mixed up in the mass surveillance revealed by Snowden, and my story pointed towards precisely this partnership. It´s called Five Eyes, by the way. Al Gore has now come out in support of Snowden. What do you think of Snowden’s and Assange’s actions, and the reaction to them? I completely agree with Al Gore's statement. Snowden has done everyone a great service. Leaking classified information is always damaging someone, and sure, if it’s being revealed to the public, there is a risk of jeopardizing national security or hampering operations that can save lives. But when state agencies like the NSA or GCHQ operate massive systems that violate the basic civil rights of millions of innocent people, and do so without any democratic control, you end up with a state within the state; an omnipotent machine working outside the boundaries of democratic society, and that is very dangerous. That cannot be tolerated in an open, democratic, rule of law-based society. Assange created the platform for leaks, and Snowden provided the content. How uncomfortable it ever may be for state agencies and corporate executives, I think society will always need whistle-blowers like them. That the intelligence community reacts with horror is no surprise. Disappointing, but not a surprise at all, is the way the Obama administration is pursuing whistle-blowers like Snowden and Manning, in spite of their rethoric about openness. What is most worrying is the complacency of the public. But I think this is due to the fact that we, the ordinary internet users, have no alternative to the internet. Even though our digital lives are being monitored we have no real way to protest, since you can't really say, ‘Hey, I'll stop using the internet and go buy some other product!’ In a way, it shows the limits of consumer power. What is needed are sound state policies that put citizen rights first. The leaked documents in your novel are plans for a Europe-wide intelligence service that would not only cross borders, but skirt national and international law in the name of counter-terrorism. Are there any signs that this is a real possibility, and what would you consider are the major risks of such an operation? The idea came to me when I learned about the US drone warfare in Pakistan. There you have exactly this situation. The US Air Force fly thousands of drone missions for the CIA over Pakistan every year. They fly wherever they want, target whomever they want, regardless of Pakistani law, and probably also in violation of international law. What if drone missions were carried out over UK soil, with the silent approval of the British government and the EU? That is the question I hope my book raises. Even more chilling is that the US administration also targets its own citizens, putting not only foreigners but Americans on so-called 'kill lists'. This practice not only violates basic rights of individuals, but weakens the judicial system, and corrodes the trust we put in our governments. It's a disturbing development. Your fictional ‘European Intelligence Service’ had a clause allowing American services to launch attacks within European borders if they could justify a potential threat. Your novel shows convincing ‘threats’ can easily be created from little evidence. Do you think that US intelligence services pushes the boundaries of acceptable strategy, and how much are European services in thrall to them? Yes, well, you know, intelligence services are masters of fabrication and betrayal. To fabricate ‘threats’ to support wars and other foreign policy adventures are textbook tactics. Just think of the introduction to the Iraqi war, and the massive fabrication of ‘threats’ back then. Or the last and current US administration's circumvention of international law, in order to justify huge counter-terrorism operations. Today, the Obama administration have moved more towards extrajudicial assinations, drones and special forces operations, and the CIA, together with parts of the US military, like the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have turned into smooth war machines. What if it would lie in the interests of the US to launch the same counter-terrorism operations they carry out in Afghanistan or northern Pakistan in the heart of Europe, and the EU would condone it? That question lies at the core of my book. It's fiction, but at the same close to reality. Because all intelligence services depend more or less on each other. You trade intel, you build alliances. The US service is the most powerful player, simply on the strength of their vast capacities. They can push boundaries to fit their objectives and cooperate with European services when it serves their interests. The Brits have a privileged position in this business, being very close to the US system, whereas the Swedes are just a minor, but useful partner. As I put it in Into A Raging Blaze: the Brits and Americans create the weather of tomorrow, while the Swedes are forced to guess the forecast. In the novel, a young Egyptian-born civil servant in the Swedish Ministry of Justice is suspected of being linked to a terrorist cell. How much do you think immigrated Arabs, North Africans and people of Islamic origin are at risk of being unjustly persecuted? Or is paranoia justified in the face of a terrorist threat? Intelligence services nurture professional paranoia, and rightly so; it’s part of their job description to be suspicious. But in the today’s era of counter-terrorism, with its strong focus on Islamic fundamentalism, whole Muslim minorities run the risk of being regarded as a ‘problem’, or an environment conducive to political violence and terrorism. When a security service try to pin down someone who might pose a terrorist threat, a large number of people are screened, which is standard procedure for all investigations. The problem is, with the mass surveillance currently in use, it is possible to screen literally millions, which means that whole populations of Muslims or immigrants – for example, everyone in the UK with the surename ‘Mohammad’ – could be routinely monitored. This is a depressing reality, and adds to the strong islamophobic tendencies we witness in Europe today. In the UK, John Le Carré’s novels were instrumental in forming the spy compromised group in opposition to the realpolitik practices of ‘big brother’ CIA. In your novel there’s a similar relationship, but between the Swedish and British, relatively. Is this a realistic portrayal? Yes, absolutely! The only difference is, Swedes are nicer because they are weaker and further down the food chain in global politics. If Swedish services had the same spying capacity as the colleagues in Vauxhall, not to mention Langley, they would be meaner, I'm sure. But there are historic reasons as well to why Swedish services are less ruthless than their AngloSaxon counterparts: we have not been forced to fight for our survival in World War II or fight terrorism at home; we have no recent colonial history, no real ambition to dominate the world – other than perhaps through exports of pop music, cars and crime novels. Swedish intelligence services are just small, efficient sub-suppliers in the global security business. It’s funny you mention LeCarré, since his latest novel A Delicate Truth is quite a turnaround where he portrays the British government and the MI6 as the corrupt and morally rotten ones, don't you agree? I hope Mr LeCarré nods in approval of my portrayal of the Swedish-British relationship. The recent European elections saw a surge in extreme right-wing groups gaining votes. Why do you think this is, and how might it affect counter-terrorism and relationships between diplomatic services? Oh, I just get depressed when I think about the recent EU-parliament election . . .The reasons for this can probably be found in the recent economic recession that plagued many European countries since the Lehman Brothers crash in 2008. Europe is being strongly affected by globalization, and financial crises with immediate repercussions in national economies, resulting in redunduncies and harsher everyday lives for a lot of people. This generates fear and hatred. When citizens don't feel that there is a social contract anymore, that there is no state to provide them with basic services, there is always a temptation to join the populist chant. It’s easy to blame immigrants, or a weak minority with no voice, like the Roma. Fascism offers a tempting dream of unity and strength. It’s an enthusiastic ideology, selling easy solutions. Unfortunately, a lot of people are lost in this dream nowadays. To diplomats, the appearance of right-wing extremists in leading positions around Europe complicates bilateral relations. Some relations will become frosty, new alliances will be made. For example, a social liberal democracy like Sweden cannot rely on support from Hungary or Denmark in the EU-council for its view on migration. And so on. For professionals in the intelligence services, an increase of militant right-wing extremists of course means more work, and in the long-term perhaps also a shift towards monitoring right-wing terrorist networks more closely. After the Utöya massacre and the bombing of the Norwegian government offices in 2012, this has certainly been the case with Norwegian and Swedish security services. What are you writing next? I have a book out in autumn, 9,3 på Richterskalan (9,3 on the Richter scale). It's an eyewitness account of my days in Thailand after the tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. I was sent to Thailand as a member of some one the first response teams, being a young diplomat who just entered the service. My publisher calls it a harrowing read, I suppose it is. Right now, I'm writing the sequel to Into A Raging Blaze. You'll see more of Bente Jensen, this time in a family crisis with lethal consequences. Surveillance, counter-espionage, deadly lies and deception, all against the backdrop of the recent Crimea crisis. That’s about all I can tell you, the rest is classified!

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Heron Books, an imprint of Quercus Books, publishes high-quality storytelling in both fiction and non-fiction. Our fiction list is concentrated in narrative of the past – stories which resonate across the ages, reflecting the modern day and bringing characters, culture and history to life. Heron Books’ non-fiction includes thought-provoking and narrative-driven explorations in science, politics and history. Our selective approach enables us to take time to care for and develop authors, projects and new approaches to publishing – allowing authors the chance to be as involved in the publishing process as they want and cultivating a lasting creative relationship.

Jessica Cornwell talks about her inspiration for writing her new novel, The Serpent Papers.

Writing The Serpent Papers

When I set out to write a novel, the first thing I encountered in the dark recess of my imagination was a man. His name was Ferran Fons, and he was a lonely, aging, professor at a drama school in Barcelona. Fons had an office window facing the theatre across the courtyard and so he spent the majority of his day staring at an enormous poster hanging from the wall of the building. The poster featured a portrait of a beautiful young woman. Her name – I knew in a flash – was Natalia Hernandez. And very soon she was going to die. In the weeks and months following my discovery of Natalia Hernandez, I found myself writing a mystery. New characters sprang into being – the irascible Inspector Fabregat with his love of rich food and distaste for murder – tormented by the unsolved deaths of four young women, bodies tattooed with cryptic letters, tongues cut from their mouths. Next came Rex Illuminatus: a thirteenth century Majorcan mystic who hid The Serpent Papers beneath an alchemical scrawl, secreting away an ancient manuscript written in the language of witches. Anna Verco presented herself as a young, American academic whose psychic abilities and quest to find the Serpent Papers lead her into the drawing room of Inspector Fabregat… a decade after the murder of Natalia Hernandez. I had not set out to write a thriller, but suddenly I was. Not only that, but I knew, without doubt, upon finding Anna, that I was also writing a trilogy. I read and reread the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. While making notes in the margin of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, I repeatedly returned to Wilkie Collin’s The Moonstone and the gothic novels of Horace Walpole and Mary Shelley. I wanted to write a contemporary thriller that had its roots in nineteenth century crime, so I analyzed the structure of the gothic novel, and decided that the first pulp books had evolved into vampire stories and then into serial killer narratives. I set the book in Barcelona’s gothic quarters, with its air of supernatural menace. Amidst the distinct flavor of an old, and violent, fairy tale – I saw Anna Vero driving the action forward. I loved her feminism, her single mindedness, her independence and focus, and how little she wanted to share of herself. Anna takes her lead from The Killing’s Sarah Lund, The Bridge’s Saga Norén (with whom I am completely obsessed) and Lisbeth Salander – the queens of Scandi Noir – but she’s also a very different interpretation of the genre’s damaged ‘woman detective’ or female protagonist. She blends the supernatural and the hyper-real, and in that way I think she’s quite original – and genre-bending. She also consistently surprises me, leading me on unexpected adventures into Palaeography courses at Senate House in London, the Manuscript room at the British Library, and up rocky Majorcan trails in the pouring rain. Throughout, Anna Verco remains deliciously, autonomously her own.

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