Leigh Bardugo Event

 

Hey everyone so on October 25th I went to Leigh Bardugo’s talk in Edinburgh and I am so glad I did.

Yay for @Clo for talking me into it!

My husband was supposed to come with me, not for moral support but so I could use him to get two more books signed, and so he could finally see what his wife does when she’s off with her notepad to an author event. And also because Leigh Bardugo is amazing, but, we all knew this.

So onto the event!

IMG-5336

[I have no clue who that couple is and I am so sorry they got randomly photographed, but it was either that or more of that guy’s face to my left and that felt somehow more awkward.]

So that’s how close to the stage I was! That actually worked violently against me, but more about that later.

I’m sure you’re wondering, hey where is Leigh Bardugo in that photo? But I have to admit I try to not photograph or video when the authors are talking, mostly because I find it more polite for me personally and also because I’m too busy writing down things they say….more that than the ‘manners’ thing lolol. [I’m not at all bothered or like annoyed when others video or photograph, it’s not really any of my business, I just like to keep my focus since I’m easily distracted]

It was a nice surprise for me that Kristy Logan was the chair-person of this event, she’s so sweet and she genuinely seems interested in every aspect she asks about so it’s always a nice surprise!

I’d never seen Leigh Bardugo ‘live’ before so I was freakin’ thrilled when it turns out she’s absolutely hilarious.

Seriously, I’ve never laughed so hard at a bookish event. [I try very hard to be stoic and quiet and invisible. Jk on the stoic.]

They discussed SO MUCH.

And probably my favorite thing to come of it was Bardugo’s term ‘Goth Adjacent’ and we all now agree there should be a goth housing suburb, and I’m probably going to join her cult that she’ll inevitably make someday.

Interesting topics that they spoke of was the fact that once you’ve hit her level of renown as an author, it’s a question of is their a public voice?

Logan asks ‘has your voice changed for a public face?’

And Bardugo gives a pretty great answer, ‘The Process has changed [shut out world to write and now that’s more difficult].’

This is a great point, if your writing process, which I know for me is similar in that I shut out the world, is a bit of isolation, it’s so much harder when you’re as well known as Bardugo. She definitely has to take social media breaks and talks about how the fact that once you ‘hit it big’ sometimes it can result in being afraid of what you write as in being worried and playing it ‘safe’ a bit and ‘scared artists make bad art.’ And let’s face it, that’s true for all artists, we hear musicians who don’t take the leap they want with their music and sometimes that means they lose that magic we loved before because they’ve become afraid. So the same applies to all artists.

Of course this talk was also a way for us all to rejoice in Bardugo’s latest book, her first adult work, ‘Ninth House.’

The writing process for ‘Ninth House’ was a little different in that Bardugo had to face her memories from when she went to Yale, to see the reality and not just the good memories she’d carried with her.

I know I definitely keep hold of more of my good memories from Uni, and that if I were to look harder I would then suddenly recall all the not so fun memories too lol so I think it’s easy to be guilty of that.

Going on, Bardugo says that though this is a work of fantasy that the trauma in it, the monsters in it can be real and I have to say this gave me a lot of pause. Because it’s so true, aren’t the best fantasies the ones that we know have this kernel of truth, when the monsters are too plausible in their actions and minds? I mean we love the escapism but, the trauma and pain are still real, just in different ways. And I love that Bardugo does not use magic to ‘cure all’ this is another part that makes it more ‘real’ for me, when characters with flaws or differences keep those because not everything should be easily wiped away by magic, no matter your world building. If you take away the trauma your characters went through, they become a little less real, in my opinion. It takes away their growth in a way.

So, we got some heavy talks in between the laughter and cult making plans. Oh and of course talking about Ben Barnes. -Swoons-

Overall this was a great talk to go to and if she’s ever in Scotland again, I’ll definitely be going to see her!

Afterwards, when we all lined up for the signing, chaos ensued. I was on the side where the line was going to form and I was suddenly stuck, unable to get out lol, in the end, I was at the end of the line. Which normally wouldn’t have been a problem but I did miss my train…BUT in the end I met some amazing people and I was glad enough to have ended up where I did. Some great fellow readers that I thoroughly enjoyed talking with, and of course, getting the chance to say hello to Leigh and have her sign my edition of ‘Ninth House.’

Anyone else go to see her? Are you all joining the cult too?

In The Absence Of Miracles – Blog Tour

 

 

In The Absence of Miracles Final Jacket .jpg

ratingiconratingiconratingiconratingicon

Synopsis:
In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets. 
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. 
In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. 
And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence… 
Book Information:
PUBLICATION DATE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2019
Published By: ORENDA BOOKS
Format: PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

This book threw me through a few loops, in all the best ways. Sometimes with thrillers I always try and guess what’s going on, or sometimes I become disinterested if they put too many twists. But Malone does a perfect balance of unexpected twists and reveals against the logical conclusions you expect and perhaps sometimes need in a book to further the suspension of disbelief.

John is a rather heartbreaking character, you can tell he wants to be better, that he’s struggled his whole life trying to be a guy he’s not ashamed of but there’s still something haunting him. The problem is that not even John knows what’s haunting him.

His mother has suffered a horrible stroke, his father had passed away a few years before that, and though he has a brother, Chris, he’s left to deal with selling the family house to pay for their Mother’s care.

But, John makes a chilling discovery while trying to clear out the house and it’s leading him down a path where the truth may cause more damage than the lies he’s accepted. However, he feels a powerful urge to find out more about the secret older brother he had. Is it just the familial connection that drives John, or is he hoping the truth will set him free?

This is a dark and powerful story and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish.

You watch John in his self-destructive behaviour, you find out more about his family, and everything just weaves into a tragic form of truth.

Really, such a great story, and one that focuses on an important message, the predators aren’t always the ones that we assume, and money often speaks louder than words to a lot of people who do things that seem monstrous.

Definitely, a four cups of coffee read for me, I actually plan to reread this one soon, it was too good not to, and if you enjoy thrillers then I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda books for a copy of this to read and review honestly as part of the tour.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, and Child Abuse. This includes abuse of a sexual nature.

*Apologies on a late post, suffering my third day in a row of migraines!*

 

About the Author

thumbnail_Michael Malone.jpg

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr. 

 

About the Publisher
in the absence of miracles proof aw.jpg

Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

Publisher Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

In The Absence of Miracles BT Poster.jpg