I hope you’re doing well and ready for loads of great news!
So let's start with the tattoo anthology news: if you haven’t yet heard we now have a title and a cover and pre-orders are available from Guts! We’re calling it The Transformative Power of Tattoo, mostly because I was told that I couldn’t just call it ‘the tattoo anthology’ (not that something like that has ever stopped me before but I did realise the need to actually give it a title) and also because I was looking for a common thread among all the stories and poems. It was kind of tricky but finally it became clear to me that it was transformation.
And it’s true. Something does actually happen when a person gets a tattoo. Whether that is one’s body image, or reclaiming a body part, or commemorating a loved one, or the darker reasons such as tattoos during the Holocaust. But no matter what the reason, it really does seem to mark a turning point in a person’s life.
So, I had this chat not too long ago with a book publisher friend. I’m not going to drop names but let’s just say he was one of the larger book publishers (recently retired) who did very well. So I was at his apartment telling him about the tattoo anthology and how the main theme was transformation and how strangely magical tattoos seem to be and he said: Oh, that really makes me want to get one!
And I was like, I’ve just pitched the tattoo anthology to one of the most successful book publishers in London and he liked it! I sort of laugh at my self for saying that but really it was exciting. I hope you’re feeling excited about it too. If you’d like to pre-order a copy of The Transformative Power of Tattoo, it’s available on our website and for a limited time it’s £8.95, which is £2 off the retail price of £10.95. To get a copy click here.
We'll be publishing the anthology in September, or sooner if we can swing it!
I’m also excited to let you know that our tattoo contributors have been posting on our blog. We’ve got four fantastic pieces by some writers you may know, like Liam Hogan, a 4x contributor at Guts Publishing and also the person who first suggested the tattoo anthology.
There are also some new voices (new for us) like Maria Jastrzębska, a well-known poet who currently lives in Brighton. Di Lebowitz is another, a nonfiction writer from Hong Kong who currently lives in London and is an Expert Level Krav Maga Instructor (I don’t exacctly know what that is, but I’m going ask Di for a full briefing!). And Meredith MacLeod Davidson, a poet and writer from Virginia who lives in Glasgow, and opens her piece with: “I was raised with a firm no-tattoos policy.”
You can visit our blog to read these or click on the names above to visit the individual posts.
Each piece is an introduction to the writer and their work and why they decided to write about tattoos, with some interesting insights into the cultural stigmas that come along with this territory. I’ll be posting more soon (as they come in).
Other exciting news: I got an email a few days ago from a literary scout in London who is interested in acquiring the film/TV adaptation rights for Fish Town! So I guess that’s a fully loaded statement. What it actually means is that they are considering it, not that it’s a done deal, but still, it’s really exciting, especially because it’s a well-known literary agency. I honestly don’t know how they found out about Fish Town, but John and I are over the moon! I’ll keep you posted.
If you haven’t yet read Fish Town, it’s an experimental memoir by John Gerard Fagan written entirely on his phone. In the tone of Bukowski's Post Office, the book captures the experiences of a Scottish man living in Japan with humor, wit, honesty, and by all means without an ounce of political correctness. You can get a copy here.
For The Peanut Factory news, our punk squatter memoir, we had a mention yesterday on social media by influencer Michaela Blaney which we are so grateful for! Thank you Michaela, and thank you Deborah Price for being such an amazing promoter – even a year after the book was released it’s still selling! You can get a copy here.
I’ve also got some news about Aidan Martin (Euphoric Recall) and his new charity called The Scheme which he runs with Mark Deans, his childhood friend and the ER cover artist. The charity has been up and running for a while now and they’re offering free creative workshops (painting, writing, film, etc) in West Lothian. It is essentially an extension of the work Aidan began when he started writing Euphoric Recall with the goal of addressing the drugs-death crisis in Scotland and providing a safe and nurturing space for those who need it most.
Here’s the news – they recently received £10,000 in funding from an organisation called Tiny Changes, which will help them to continue offering free creative workshops. Congrats Aidan and Mark!
As for me, I’ve been doing lots of freelance work in the past month, including manuscript evaluations which I’ve really enjoyed. There is something so special about being transported into another person’s world. In case you are wondering what a manuscript evaluation is, it’s a thorough review and analysis of a manuscript including a close look at the plot, character development, reader’s engagement, voice, quality of writing, flow, and pacing. Then I make suggestions for how to improve the manuscript and get it in shape so the writer can start submitting to agents and publishers.
I’m now offering short and full-length manuscript evaluations. With both I offer a free 20-minute intro meeting so you can ask questions beforehand. The short evaluation is £295 and the full length price is based on word count. To find out more, or to book a meeting, visit our Coaching page.
So that’s about it for now. Oh yes, there’s one more thing, and I may have mentioned this in one of my blog posts but in case you haven’t heard, my publishing coach client, Erin Hosfield, got a publishing contract! We are over the moon! Her novel, Lacuna, will be published by Elsewhen Press in 2024. Congrats Erin.
Erin wrote a lovely testimonial which I’m delighted to share with you:
"Once I completed my first novel I was overwhelmed when it came to what I’d need to do to publish. After a few attempts at submitting I realized I was way in over my head, and in need of guidance. Thanks to Julianne’s help, I went from overwhelmed amateur to published author."
To find out more about my Pitch Your Book option, click here.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a fabulous summer. Also, I wanted to let you know that I’ve switched email marketing platforms (that why this looks a bit different) and I hope that after I get the hang of it this one it will be much better!