Monday, April 18, 2016


This posting started off in error as I meant to post on Blackbird Digital Books' Press Release blog. As I have had no time at all to update here lately I decided I'd post it anyway. It's a magical story.

Last week was the London Book Fair and tomorrow I go to Ukraine. Blackbird author Diane Chandler and I will be on a mini-book tour, appearing at the Arsenal Book Fair, Kyiv and at several private book events. Diane's book The Road To Donetsk is a finalist in The People's Book Prize and The Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award. It's a beautiful love story about an overseas aid worker set in Ukraine at the end of Communism in the 90s.

LONDON 18 APRIL: Blackbird Digital Books' new imprint, Nightingale Editions, launches today with news of its first signing, a debut novel Dark Water by Sara Bailey.

On the day Orkney resident Sara received her contract with Nightingale in the post, a visit to her local library brought an auspicious surprise. She was settling down with her library book group to discuss The Cuckoo's Calling when the author JK Rowling walked in. She had heard about the group after Orkney's chief librarian Stuart Bain had jokingly Tweeted an invite to her for some lemon drizzle cake. She stayed and chatted with the group for over an hour and posed for photos.

As Sara only had a digital version of the book with her, she asked if JK would autograph her Moleskine notebook, a brand favoured by writers the world over.
"She smiled," said Sara, "and looked at the notebook,
'Are you a writer?' she asked.
'I just signed my first book deal this morning.' I blurted out, my face going a deep shade of beetroot. She gave me a huge hug and looked round the room,
'Do they know, you're a writer? You must tell them?'
I hushed her and went even redder. This is Orkney we don't shout out things like that in public.She signed the notebook and wished me lots of luck. I didn't read what she'd written till I left the library. Good job too. I nearly cried when I did."

Dark Water, a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession set in the Orkney Islands, will be published in ebook and paperback in October 2016. Nightingale's founder, author and writing coach Jacqui Lofthouse, says: "The Nightingale, of course, is a bird which sings in the darkness, and is considered symbolic of beauty and immortality. We aim to publish unique, original voices, voices which will endure. We believe in nurturing writers' careers and will publish only those who are deeply committed to their craft, to honing their own talent and thrilling readers with their 'song'."

CONTACT: Stephanie Zia, Blackbird Digital Books 2/25 Earls Terrace London W8 6LP
tel: +44 (0)7816 491189 Email: 

No comments: