Tickets are now on sale for Edinburgh International Book Festival and you can see several Blake Friedmann authors there this August.

Margie Orford will be appearing twice, first together with Ben Mcpherson for the event MADE UP STORIES: REAL WORLD CONCERNS on Monday 17 August, from 5:00pm to 6:00pm at the Writer’s Retreat. You can also see Margie at the AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL IMPRISIONED WRITERS SERIES on Tuesday 18 August, from 5:30pm to 6:15pm at the Bailie Gifford Corner Theatre.

Janice Galloway will be talking about SEX AND LIFE AND PARENTHOOD on Thursday 20 August from 11:45am to 12:45pm at the Baillie Gifford Main Theatre. The talk will be chaired by Jackie McGlone. Before the festival, Janice will be launching her new edition of THE TRICK IS TO KEEP BREATHING, re-published by Vintage Classics as part of their Scottish Classics Collection, alongside A.L. Kennedy at Looking Glass Books, on Thursday 13 August from 6:30pm.  Janice will also appear at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on 28 August, 1:00pm, to read from JELLYFISH and discuss her work, admission will be free, and donations welcome.

Amy Mason will be speaking with Esther Gerritsen at the event MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS: A PSYCHOLOGICAL DUET at Thursday 20 August from 8:45pm to 9:45 pm at the Bailie Gifford Corner Theatre. Amy is also up for the First Book Award at the Edinburgh Festival, for THE OTHER IDA. You can vote for her here.

Following last year’s total sell-out run, Andrew Doyle will be doing his stand up show MINIMALISM at the Stand this year, from Wednesday 5 August till Sunday 30 August.

The Edinburgh Festival is one of the largest Arts events in the world and takes place for three weeks every August in Scotland’s capital city.

Charles Lambert’s THE CHILDREN’S HOME to Scott Pack of Aardvark Bureau

Aardvark Bureau publisher-at-large Scott Pack has acquired UK and BC rights excluding Canada to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, a chilling new novel by Charles Lambert . The two-book deal, with the novel PRODIGAL to follow in 2017, was brokered by Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann. Scott published Charles’s innovative and acclaimed memoir WITH A ZERO AT ITS HEART at The Friday Project and author and editor are now reunited at the new Belgravia imprint, Aardvark Bureau. Nan Graham and John Glynn of Scribner pre-empted earlier for North American rights to THE CHILDREN’S HOME, which will come out both sides of the Atlantic at the start of 2016.

In THE CHILDREN’S HOME shocking disfigured recluse Morgan never leaves the country mansion he is heir to. His isolation is only punctuated by the presence of his housekeeper, Engel, and the weekly visits of kindly Doctor Crane. But his solitary existence is disturbed when a young boy and girl arrive in the house, as if from nowhere. Drawn to the mysterious children, Morgan lets them stay, and with the help of Engel and Crane, begins to care for them – and others who soon follow them, in a strange Pied Piper-ish reversal. As the strangely wise children explore the corridors and abandoned rooms of the house, they reveal to Morgan a cabinet of curiosities – and bitter secrets of his own life.

Scott Pack says: “I'll be honest, I got a bit emotional when Charles said he wanted to come with me to Aardvark Bureau. I was thrilled that I would still be working with him. And then he delivered his most remarkable book yet. THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a masterpiece – disturbing and beautiful in equal measure – and I cannot wait to share it with the reading public.”

Charles Lambert says: “I was delighted when Scott invited me to be part of Aardvark Bureau at the start of its journey. He has courage, the kind of editorial sensitivity writers dream of and, last but not least, great commercial acumen. More than anything, Scott is a man who loves books. It's a privilege to work with him.”

Agent Isobel Dixon adds: “It’s a huge pleasure to seal this deal re-uniting a great author-publisher duo. We’re getting passionate pre-publication praise for THE CHILDREN’S HOME and are excited to share this brilliantly eerie, unforgettable novel with more readers.”



‘A beautiful and uncanny novel by a writer who never ceases to surprise.’ – Jenny Offill, author of DEPT OF SPECULATION

'Charles Lambert’s muted, beautiful prose leads the reader through THE CHILDREN'S HOME on a chain of burning questions: Who? When? How? Why? More delicate than Dickens and stranger than Snicket, this is a novel of odd, canny children; life-like wax figures; a wicked mother and her disfigured boy-man of a son. Sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes heart-warming, it is a provocative tale, ripe with intrigue and atmosphere. I loved every weird moment of it.’ – Nuala O’Connor, author of MISS EMILY

‘THE CHILDREN’S HOME is a not-nice sort of fairy tale, where the magic doesn't sparkle prettily but boils and oozes, where the Prince has a face of tatters, where the children take grown-up revenge on their monsters. It's also, somehow, a searching, empathetic narrative about forgiveness.’ – Owen King, author of DOUBLE FEATURE: A Novel


About the author:

Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of the novels LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the short story collection THE SCENT OF CINNAMON (Salt). His work is included in THE BEST OF BRITISH SHORT STORIES 2013 (Salt) and he has won an O. Henry Award and other short story prizes. THE VIEW FROM THE TOWER was published in 2014 by Exhibit A.

About Aardvark Bureau:

Aardvark Bureau is an imprint of Belgravia. Its mission is to publish innovative and unusual writing from around the world, in both fiction and non-fiction.


Hannah Lowe’s LONG TIME NO SEE, published in the UK by Periscope, will be BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week next week. The first episode will be broadcast at 09.45 a.m. on Monday 27 July and the last episode will go out on Friday. An accomplished poet and performer, Hannah Lowe will be reading her own work. 

Hannah’s memoir was listed for Guardian Hottest Caribbean Reads and picked as an Observer Holiday Read 2015. Poet Malika Booker called it ‘heartbreakingly tender, poignant and honest’ and Kerry Young, author of PAO and GLORIA said the following: ‘Sometimes we don’t cherish what we have until it’s gone. Such is the case with Hannah Lowe’s beautifully woven tale of father and daughter – a half-remembered, half-imagined reminder that our stories begin long before we are born, and never end.’

Hannah was chosen for the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets List 2014. Her debut poetry collection, CHICK (Bloodaxe, 2013), also about her father, was called ‘outstanding, unputdownable’ by John Glenday, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, The Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry 2014 and most recently the Michael Murphy Award. Penelope Shuttle described her as ‘as a poet with a commanding style; her voice is entirely her own, both rich and laconic’ – a voice that comes through in her moving memoir too.

Hannah’s father, Chick, a half-Chinese, half-black Jamaican immigrant, worked long hours at night to support his family – except Chick was no ordinary working man. A legendary gambler, he would vanish into the shadows of East London to win at cards or dice, returning during the daylight hours to greet the daughter whose love and respect he courted.

In this memoir, Hannah calls forth the unstable world of card sharps, confidence men and small-time criminals that eventually took its toll on Chick. She evokes her father’s Jamaica, where he learned his formidable skills, and her own coming of age in a changing Britain. LONG TIME NO SEE speaks eloquently of love and its absence, regret and compassion, and the struggle to know oneself.

Visit Hannah’s blog and follow her on Twitter


Amy Mason’s THE OTHER IDA has been longlisted for The Polari First Book Prize, awarded to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience in poetry, prose, fiction or nonfiction. The longlist was announced at the Polari Literary Salon in London’s Southbank Centre on 20 July.

THE OTHER IDA, published by Cargo, won the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize in October 2014. It has received fantastic reviews from fellow authors including Emma Jane Unsworth calling it, ‘a brilliant debut,’ and Kerry Hudson saying it is ‘a rare and special book full of compelling stories.’

The winner will be revealed at the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre in October.

Visit Amy’s website.

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Praise for THE OTHER IDA

‘Mason’s evocation of the tension, claustrophobia and melancholy of a dysfunctional family amid grief is well realised.’ – Claire Hazelton, The Guardian

‘A raw and powerful read with a rich seam of black humour.’ – Sunday Mirror

‘Funny, bright, bold and exciting, this debut novel sparkles with originality and insight.’ – Viv Groskop


Peter James’ YOU ARE DEAD was awarded the Dr. Lector Award for Scariest Villain, the award for the writers who keep us awake at night, at Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Festival in Harrogate on Friday 17 July. The winners were decided by public vote.

The other shortlisted candidates were Chris Carter for AN EVIL MIND, Stieg Larsson for THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, Elizabeth Heynes for INTO THE DARKEST CORNER, Lauren Beukes for THE SHINING GIRLS and Stephen King for THE STAND.

Peter James’ 11th Roy Grace novel, YOU ARE DEAD, was published on 21 May 2015, and went straight to number one in the hardback Bestseller chart. The Roy Grace novels are translated into more than three dozen languages. View more on Peter’s website.

His new standalone novel, THE HOUSE ON COLD HILL, will be published in November. Peter James is at his scariest best delivering a ghost story to chill your bones.

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Praise for YOU ARE DEAD

‘James writes meticulously researched police procedurals, so informed that you can smell the canteen coffee and the squeak of the linoleum in the Major Incident Room.’ – DailyMail

‘Another really solid read once again from the main man!’ – Best Crime Books

‘Assembled all the best of James’s attributes and emerged as his most frightening and gripping tale yet.’ – The Times