Thursday 11 January 2018

Revitalised January

We’re almost halfway through January and are coming to the annual inevitability of cheating on our New Year’s Resolutions or falling off the Dry January wagon. It’s a tricky time of year to stay motivated and feel refreshed so we’ve put together our pick of events to brighten up your mind, body, and soul – after all, what could make you feel better than a shiny new book?

Lose yourself in Matt Haig’s captivating time-travelling novel, How to Stop Time. You can meet Matt at WHSmith Brighton where he will be signing copies to celebrate its release in paperback. Matt is a global bestselling author and vocal campaigner for mental health awareness, a theme which runs through his wonderful novel of love, loss, and hope. 

Think you can’t enjoy a full flavoured meal without a high calorie intake? Think again! Much-loved Michelin-starred TV chef Tom Kerridge’s latest cookbook will help you lose weight for good, without sacrificing the delicious meals you love. Hear from Tom himself at this special event in association with Chorleywood Bookshop and learn how to embrace a new, healthy approach to eating. Take home a (discounted) signed copy too! 

It may seem odd that we’ve included an event which inspires discussion about death in our ‘Revitalised January’ picks, but Kathryn Mannix’s new book is hopeful, tender, and beautifully written. Death is the biggest taboo in our society and palliative medicine pioneer Dr Mannix tackles this with touching, tragic, and sometimes funny stories of real people dying real deaths. With The End In Mind encourages talking and sharing, so why not come to this event in Newcastle to meet Dr Mannix and find out more about this fascinating book.

We are flooded by health crazes year after year, all promising to be the new and unusual way to lose weight and be healthier. Cut through the myths with authors Renee McGregor, Emma Woolf and Bee Wilson at this event questioning what it really means to ‘eat clean.’ This is a great topic for discussion and the speakers will host a Q&A after their talk, so bring all your health and diet queries.

Eat yourself happy with Melissa Hemsley’s new cookbook! Melissa is one half of the Hemsleys, bestselling authors of The Art of Eating Well and owners of the Hemsley + Hemsley cafĂ© in Selfridges. In her new solo book you’ll find delicious and healthy alternatives to takeaway favourites, which will still give you that feel-good factor. Her recipes focus on supermarket ingredients, simple dishes that everyone can cook, and bold flavours. Meet Melissa at Waterstones Edinburgh to hear all about the creation of her mouth-watering recipes.

Ruby Wax, a monk, and a neuroscientist walk into Ely Cathedral … This may sound like the set-up for a joke punchline, but it is in fact a fantastic event discussing How to Be Human, the new book from these three collaborators. Go back to basics and question what it means to be human, how our minds and brains connect, the importance of mindfulness, and whether we have started treating ourselves more like machines and less like the evolutionary wonders we are. The book is being hailed by critics as engaging, inspirational, and full of wit, and this evening in the grand setting of Ely Cathedral is sure to deliver the same!  


Rosa Park: A Balloon Away Launch | 23rd January 7:30pm

Adults and children alike will fall in love with Rosa Park's beautiful new children's book, A Balloon Away. Full of adventure, hope, and friendship, Rosa's book tells the tale of little Sona who travels to stunning new landscapes with her bear friend, Grey. Celebrate the launch of this special story at Toppings Bookshop in Bath. 

One for the kids – meet brilliant author Abi Elphinstone and find out about her dazzling new book, Sky Song, full of heart, adventure, and magic! Sky Song has been on a whirlwind journey: Abi was inspired by the story of a young girl and her eagle in Mongolia, then travelled to the Arctic tundra, and now the tale arrives at Blackwell’s Edinburgh for you to enjoy! 

Monday 8 January 2018

Kimberley Chambers Interview

Some people are made for a life of crime...
Dragged up on a council estate, Jason Rampling was determined to change his lot. Jason's a chancer, shameless with his good looks and his gift for earning a few quid. Life is easy when the money rolls in. 

Some people are ruined by it...
Melissa thought she'd struck gold marrying Jason. Being on his arm meant she was finally a someone. But there's no glamour in waiting for your husband to come home, or waiting for a knock on the door. Melissa made her bed the day she made her vows - will she lie in it without a fight?

Some would kill for it...
After a stretch inside, Jason wants to pull off just one last job, the biggest of all, it could solve all of their problems. But this is a game that could cost them everything...

We can't wait to read Life of Crime, the gripping new title from the Queen of Gangland Crime, Kimberley Chambers. We caught up with Kimberley to find out about her new book and what you can look forward to on the book tour! 

You can find all of Kimberley's upcoming events here, including signings, talks, and chats with her favourite authors at venues across the country.

We can’t wait to read your new book Life Of Crime! Please tell us a little bit about your inspiration for writing it and what we can expect.

Having just come away from a gangland crime series I wanted to do something a little bit different.  The first scene of Life Of Crime is set in the Dagenham Sunday market, a place I used to work. Jason Rampling works on a shoe stall and is a bit of a chancer. He has a choice to make: love or money. The choice he makes changes his life forever, and is how he ends up in a life of crime…

What is a writing day like for you?

 I normally write of an evening. On a good day, I get up and go to the gym, have lunch and take the dogs out, then have a bit of a siesta. I usually start writing late afternoon and will write through the evening, often to the early hours. My previous jobs include DJ-ing and mini-cabbing, and I used to do the night shift – I’ve always been a night owl.

At BookGig we are passionate about bringing readers closer to the authors they love at events across the country. As both an author and reader, why do you think this is important?

Writing can be quite a solitary life and it’s amazing to get out and meet my readers, as well as the people I’ve connected with on social media.  It’s lovely to meet people face-to-face. I enjoy doing talks at libraries, as the people who come to my talks are passionate about my books. I recently did a talk at Styal Prison in Cheshire. My books are popular in the library there.
The inmates were so passionate about my characters and stories they could practically recite them word for word. One of my books was also featured in World Book Night, which aims to get people reading from all walks of life, and that’s really important to me. Finding a love of reading can help you through the tough times in life.

 Do you have a particular memory from a talk or signing event that sticks in your mind?

Early on in my career I did some events to a large group of very posh Jewish ladies – little did they know that my old boss on Roman Road market taught me some Yiddish slang which wasn’t to be repeated in good company! So, there was a few shocked faces in that crowd when I sprinkled it through my talk. Still makes me chuckle now.  I’m a little better behaved these days, mind.

     What’s the best thing about meeting your fans?
I don’t see my readers as fans – probably because I come from a council estate and am as down to earth as they come. I love meeting my readers face-to-face and we often pop to the pub after my talks or signings – so come and join us, the more the merrier!   

     Do you spend a lot of time in bookshops? What makes a bookshop special for you?

I don’t spend too much time in bookshops as I’m usually busy writing, but I love unique independents. My first event was Newham Bookshop so that remains special and close to my heart. I met Gilda O’Niell there, she was a lovely lady but unfortunately has since passed away.

We can see that your dog Fred often joins you at events and is a big hit with fans! If you could choose any author to do join you for a literary chat, who would it be?

Fred outshines me by a mile. Whenever I come back from events I come home with a case of treats and presents people have given me to bring back for Fred. Now he has a sister, Doll, I’m even further down in the pecking order! 

On my upcoming book tour I’m really looking forward to doing events with some author pals and legends – check out for all the dates and authors I’m on tour with.  If I had to choose an author I haven’t been on tour with it would have to be Jilly Cooper.  I’m a big fan of her books, I loved Riders, Rivals and Polo and recently had the great pleasure of meeting her at the WHSmith Anniversary Gala Ball.

Did you read any books over Christmas?

Yes, my favourite was The Woman in the Window, by AJ Finn – I was lucky to get an early copy sent by my publishers and I couldn’t put it down. It’s out a few weeks after Life of Crime is published and I’d highly recommend it.  

What sort of storylines of yours can we be looking forward to in the near future?

My next book is very different to anything I’ve written before, I’m currently a third of the way through it. It’s about a young lad who, in the first few chapters of the story, finds his life is turned upside when he loses everything. And one very cruel act means he’ll spend the rest of his life hell bent on revenge.  This book is set in the 70s and 80s, two of my favourite decades to write in. I love the music and fashion of those days and the world was a better place back then.

You can follow Kimberley on her Twitter and Facebook pages.