I’m thrilled to welcome Kerry Hudson to the blog today (this should have gone up this morning but for some reason hasn’t, and god knows why). Aside from being very lovely, Kerry’s debut, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, looks amazing. I’ve only read the first couple of pages but even from those I know I’ll love it.
‘Get out, you cunting, shitting, little fucking fucker‘ must be one of the best opening lines ever.
So, here she is, talking about launching the book and publicity. AND with details of a competition. Over to you, Kerry!
“As a debut novelist, even with the mighty Random House, I can honestly say I didn’t expect too much publicity. Even when I was assigned the exceptionally brilliant Fiona Murphy as my publicist I was realistic about how many books out there are clamouring for attention and press. I have been very lucky so far though (all due to Fiona’s excellent work I hasten to add) and my experience is that when press comes it comes in a little flurry. So you will find yourself getting a lunchtime impulse blow-dry that makes you look like a Dallas extra (yes, blokes too) and then trying to pose vertically along a brick wall for a photographer saying ‘lovely, lovely, hold it, lovely’. You’ll write features for magazines and Q&A’s for websites long into the wee hours well aware you have to get up for your day job in four hours and most of all, you’ll agonise over that Stupid Thing You Said and pray their dictaphone went faulty and that exact moment. And then the good bits will come: you’ll meet wonderful, intelligent people who are interested in you and your book, you might not end up sounding as stupid as you expected and people who care about you will be proud.
So how does that all feel? Well, like most writers I am a private person. I like spending a lot of time alone, running or writing or just drinking tea. In a social setting I’ll always ask questions rather than answer them and I’ll be the person at the back watching the evening unfold. Truthfully, I thought I might find publicity jarring, so against my natural behaviours that it would tie me in knots, and maybe it would have if it hadn’t been for one essential thing I hadn’t realised – I really wanted to communicate. Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma is a very personal book, based as it is on my own upbringing, and if doing interviews, writing features, ultimately selling more books means people understand a bit more about kids from a background like mine then I can only be thrilled about that.
But what if you don’t have an excellent publicist at your side? Well, be your own excellent publicist. Get on Twitter and start chatting to people (you’re all on Twitter right? If not, permission to abandon this post now and go join (but please do make a note of the Amazon link first)). Do a blog tour like this one. Need a budget book trailer? Advertise for a film-maker at your local art college (that’s where the brilliant MoshBreakBoogie Productions saw my ad…). Contact your local paper and create a bit of noise in your local community (we did a read-a-thon at my local indie bookshop to mark the launch of my book)….wow, that’s a lot of parentheses…anyway, you get the idea.
Quite simply, as many voices as there are clamouring for attention, if you speak up, and have something unique to say, there’ll likely be people ready to listen.”
Kerry Hudson was born in Aberdeen. Growing up in a succession of council estates, B&Bs and caravan parks provided her with a keen eye for idiosyncratic behaviour, material for life, and a love of travel. Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma is her first novel. Kerry now lives, writes and works in London.
About the Book
When Janie Ryan is born, she’s just the latest in a long line of Ryan women, Aberdeen fishwives to the marrow, always ready to fight. Her violet-eyed Grandma had predicted she’d be sly, while blowing Benson and Hedges smoke rings over her Ma’s swollen belly. In the hospital, her family approached her suspiciously, so close she could smell whether they’d had booze or food for breakfast. It was mostly booze.
Tony Hogan tells the story of a Scottish childhood of filthy council flats and B&Bs, screeching women, feckless men, fags and booze and drugs, the dole queue and bread and marge sandwiches. It is also the story of an irresistible, irrepressible heroine, a dysfunctional family you can’t help but adore, the absurdities of the eighties and the fierce bonds that tie people together no matter what. Told in an arrestingly original — and cry-out-loud funny — voice, it launches itself headlong into the middle of one of life’s great fights, between the pull of the past and the freedom of the future. And Janie Ryan, born and bred for combat, is ready to win.
You Should Probably Check Out
This prize draw is open to anyone who hosts or comments on a Tony Hogan post. There is no purchase necessary. There is no limit to how many times a name can be entered i.e. if you comment on three blogs you have three entries but it’s only possible to win one prize per person. The winning names will be drawn at random on Wednesday 1st August and announced on my Tumblr blog and on Twitter.
1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes consist of:
1st prize – A three chapter or synopsis critique plus afternoon tea at Beas of Bloomsbury, London (at a mutually beneficial date and time) with Juliet Pickering from the AP Watt Literary Agency to discuss your critique. Plus a personalised copy of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before he Stole My Ma.
2nd prize – A literary hamper containing a personalised copy of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma as well as three of my most recommended writing theory books and Hotel d Chocolate chocolates to enjoy while reading them.
3rd prize – A personalised copy of Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma.