The Summer Of Impossible Things Release: Here’s What You Need To Know. 


Rowan Coleman’s latest novel, The Summer Of Impossible Things, is out later this month. And here is what you need to know about it.

  • It’s significantly longer than her previous works.
  • Expect some time travel throughout the book; it is sort of fantasy/thriller/drama. However, it forms quite an important part of the book.
  • This book will make you cry. Proper big gulpy sobs. Like her other books.
  • Family is the theme at the centre.
  • There’s one narrator, Luna.
  • It’s set in Brooklyn, United States.
  • There are so many twists!
  • What you read may surprise you.

The Summer Of Impossible Things is out later this month, on June 29th.

Untitled design

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My bucket list of experiences. (In association with Eventbite.)

Eventbrite recently contact me, in order to inspire me to create a list of experiences that I cherish, in the form of a bucket list. So, for today’s post, this is exactly what I’m doing. Feel free to join in also!

Ping pong for my birthday.

It was at Bounce in London-well, I think that’s what the restaurant was called-and most of my relatives were there, and we were just being silly. (I did get a few ping pong balls whacked at me…) Life goes so fast, and it’s often really intense, but this was the antithesis of this.

Listening to Golden Days.

The new album by Brian may and Kerry Ellis. I have yet to listen to all of this, but I already have firm favourites, such as The Panic Attack Song. There was so much excitement for me-and I felt like a kid again-in downloading it, and just walking round, playing it at home.

Teaching a relative the Presidents since Herbert Hoover.

One of the most prominent hallmarks of my version of Aspergers Syndrome is that I can become very obsessive, and some facts I can recall in great detail, as a result. (I use ‘a relative’ to be indirect, because my personal life is private, therefore separate from this ol’ blog.) I have been able to recite the Presidents since Herbet Hoover from the age of fourteen, I think. But my ASD has often served to alienate-people can be scared of me. (WHY??) But being able to teach presidential history-whilst sitting, key policy, impact, etc-has been great of me, because I can put my knowledge to use, passing it on. (Well, up, as they’re older than me, but still…..) Presidents are a love of mine.

Blogging daily.

Quite the challenge!

Seeing Emeli Sande live.

Although some things went a little bit wrong during the performance, to be asked to review her show, as a spur-of-the-moment proposal, it felt like I was ‘making it’. I had done what I had always wanted to do. And it was a great night out!

Beginning pilates.

Here’s a secret: I am neither athletic, inclined to exercise, or at all flexible. Beginning pilates has totally changed that! I go weekly, and it has helped my core muscles, as well as toning my abs just a little bit more. But I feel far more confident now! I feel better about myself, and able to walk tall, assert myself even, instead of slouching, scuttling away. If you lacked the confidence that I did, I really suggest that you give this a go.

Working with Bagleman.

What’s wrong about finding out about how Bagels are made? Not much, in my book, and I had to travel for it-all good in the end. I got to explore a part of Brighton that I didn’t even know existed also.

Reading The Summer Of Impossible Things.

I was sent this as a proof copy, but how I cried. A tour-de-force novel about time travel, bringing relatives alive, and changing times, this was affirming for me. (It was the last line of the book that got me: “Thank you for being brave”.) Rowan Coleman is brilliant. And I wish that I could write like her.

Interviewing Jemma Morgan.

Interview your blogging hero? Why not!

Getting accepted to the NTCJ.

The NTCJ is something that I have wanted to do for a long time-simply because it trains you to be a Journalist. And it’s recognised by various industry heavyweights. To be a journalist is what I have wanted to be for a long time-and getting the acceptance email was a truly happy day.

 

There’s still more to come in 2017; and all I have to say is, “Bring it on”.

Until tomorrow-

Lydia

XO

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

Interview: Rowan Coleman talks Writing And Her Love Of QUEEN.

Do you remember reading Mizz, the nineties-esque teen magazine, that advised teen girls on virtually every aspect of their life, on a fortnightly basis? I do. But I digress: I remember seeing a feature with Rowan Coleman-about Dyslexia and her novels. I got to meet her earlier this year, and am ever so grateful to her, for taking time out of writing her next book, to answer a few questions. (Thanks also to Tess Henderson, her publicist at Ebury.) For clarity, I have also added some additional remarks alongside my questions, to make this a more fluent, conversation-like exchange.

Hello Rowan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Often, you talk quite openly about being a writer with Dyslexia. How has your experience of this shaped you as a writer?

I think it shapes me in oblique ways, maybe the way I structure sentences, use words. Dyslexics are visual and lateral thinkers, which contributes to my voice. It also means I need a really good edit!!

“I LOVE QUEEN!!!!!”

-Rowan Coleman, Mademoiselle Interview, on loving the rock Band, Queen.

That’s quite fair enough! Would you ever consider writing about the condition for a book?

I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure yet how to go about it in an engaging and meaningful way. I do like supporting The Quick Reads charity though, getting quality adult fiction to people with literacy issues.

Additionally, you sometimes choose quite upsetting issues for a book; why did you choose AD for The Memory Book?

I met an elderly couple in my local supermarket. The lady was quite distressed as her husband had gone to get something he’d forgotten. I chatted to her and she told me her husband was coming, but she didn’t always remember what he looked like. Later just before I left, her husband thanked me and told me that she might forget what he looks like, but she doesn’t forget that she loves him. It started there. AD is a terribly cruel and destructive disease,  but always in the middle of it you find ordinary brave heroes battling for the people they love. I like to write about ordinary heroes.

How did you go about structuring how somebody with Alzheimer’s thinks and feels?

I read quite a bit of first person accounts, which gave me the confidence to try. In the early stages of AD there seems to be a disconnect between internal and external communication skills. After that it was like any type of first person characterization, taking a leap of faith and putting yourself in another person’s shoes, and imaging what it might be like.

Well, I think you did that quite effectively: Was this hard?

Yes, hard to get a voice that felt authentic to me and to readers. In the end though I think Claire is one of my favourite characters ever.

Similarly, how did you begin We Are All Made Of Stars?

Running! I took up running, (slowly) and the idea for Stella came out of that. I wanted to set the book at night, and so gradually her character formed around the idea of being a night nurse. This collided with my interest in hand written letters and a book was born! I did research at my local hospice, and now I regularly lead creative writing workshops there and on the area, with patients, relatives and staff.

“I met an elderly couple in my local supermarket. The lady was quite distressed as her husband had gone to get something he’d forgotten. I chatted to her and she told me her husband was coming, but she didn’t always remember what he looked like.”

-Rowan Coleman, Mademoiselle Interview, about The Memory Book

Will there be a sequel?

There is a tiny little sequel. Not sure when it will be available, keep your eyes peeled.

*Punches air in jubilation to self* What are you currently working on?

My new novel. This is my longest ever write, because it’s very complicated! Nearly there though.

Could you take us through your daily routine as a writer?

Get up, coffee, dog walk, coffee, desk, Twitter, coffee, write, write, write, coffee, write, write, write, go home, wine.

“You never know what you can do until you try – the single biggest reason first novels don’t get published is because they don’t get written! Give it a go. ”

-Rowan Coleman, Mademoiselle Interview, her advice for writers.

What is essential for you to do when writing a book?

Get in the zone. I can spend a long time skirting round the edges, but to get it done I have to be in it.

For anyone who wished to follow in your footsteps, so you have any advice?

You never know what you can do until you try – the single biggest reason first novels don’t get published is because they don’t get written! Give it a go.

Random: What is your favorite rock album? (We talked about Queen, essentially in memes, on Twitter.)

I LOVE QUEEN!!!!!

I love A Night At the Opera also Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi.

But mostly Queen. I would like Brian May to adopt me.

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Thanks once again to Rowan Coleman and Tess Henderson. Click here to buy Rowan’s latest novel, We Are All Made Of Stars.

Review: The Memory Book By Rowan Coleman.

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Credit: Amazon.

Rowan. Coleman. I do love her books-the easily understandable books, dealing with intense issues such as Cystic Fibrosis. They’re emotionally tense, with utterly relateable characters. For any bookworm, what more could you possibly want?

Claire, the mother in the story, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, at an incredibly young age: maybe forty? And in the prime of her life: an English teacher to a local secondary, dressed in red, with a young family. It’s a shock, needless to say. And that is where the story truly takes flight.

Gran moves in.

The elder daughter comes home.

Claire slowly falters, little by little, every day.

What I found to be most endearing is how Claire, despite this horrible condition, is a Mother, despite everything. She attempts to care for her elder daughter, on a shock revelation. She writes out memories, whilst she still has them, for the family. She plays with her toddler still. It made me want to cry, knowing what’s going to happen eventually.

The character of the grandmother really annoyed me, however; she’s angry at her daughter, somebody now virtually unable to defend herself. Just a little tolerance would have worked well for the relationship. She also encaged Claire, with a Toddler’s gate. Surely that’s going to be a trigger, for something to overcome? They could have had further help from medical professionals, instead of being angry. Stupidly, almost, that really upset me.

And then the ending. Oh, the ending…

I loved that best of all.

And I think you should all read it.

Click here to buy.

Foyles: Quick Reads, Galaxy, And A Very Special Night Out.

Last night, as part of my Christmas present (thanks Mum!), I was at Foyles Bookshop, London, as part of Quick Reads’ tenth birthday. They have recently published an anthology of short stories-including by Rowan Coleman and Matt Haig.

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The Panel. Credit: Foyles’ Twitter

(Left to Right: Matt Haig, Rowan Coleman, Elizabeth Buchan, Fanny Blake, Veronica Henry, and Cathy Rentzenbrink.)

Sponsored by Galaxy, the chocolate giant, it was lovely to find a bar on our seats; chocolate and books! What more could you possibly want? But I digress..

This event was to celebrate the tenth birthday of Quick reads, a charity aiming to making reading less scary: if one in six struggle with reading, then it’s a good thing. It was founded, after a conference being attended, and the opinion voiced about the lack of resource to teach adult reading. How humiliating!

Quick Reads is a part of The Reading Agency, aiming for more impact.

A brief chat with each author followed, as well as a reading; maybe an abridged version, a cliffhanger. To condense the information, I thought I’d do it writer by writer, in order of which our host, Cathy, spoke:

Love Me Tender By Veronica Henry

The discussion began briefly, with the comparative analogy between food and reading. (I just had to check: does anyone else eat and read simultaneously? No? Just me then?) Cathy asked this to be written-with the short story being like “Canapes”, and “less intimidating”. Yet, to write a short story was described as being a “very satisfying medium”-a discipline, creative process, etc. The idea was pitched at a party. In case you haven’t guessed, the story relates to Elvis..

The Other Half By Fanny Blake

This short story was a tight spot to fill, due to someone dropping out. Having been completed quite brilliantly, Cathy admitted-jokingly-to that as having “took down my sympathy levels”. (Laughter of approval all around.) A good nugget of advice was also said: “Just write it as you would”. Take note, would be writers!

Moment Of Glory By Elizabeth Buchan

This was one of my favorite extracts that was read-being a history blogger. This was based around-partially-a true story told. It’s about an elderly women, looking back retrospectively a decade later, knowing that she was one of the first people to know it was D Day. (During the reading, I had shivers up my spine, though I couldn’t quite hear..)

Birthday Secrets By Rowan Coleman

There was a brief account of feeling “terribly marginalized” at school, from Rowan. (In my opinion, this is one of the best writers-good with a plot line, overcoming Dyslexia.) One teacher, however, understood, contributing to the “beginning of a long journey”, to accept the condition. This is based on meeting a lady at Smiths.

Sadly, I didn’t quite manage to capture any of what Matt Haig said-not enough for some accurate reportage, any way. I feel quite sad about that, having just read one of his books for the book club I attend. (Sorry for any unintentional bias!)

Quick Reads has put together this small  book, as a way of de-stigmatizing reading; they wish to challenge the perception that it’s boring, or it’s not possible to have the time. With some of the wittiest, best writers in the business, I feel you’d be missing out if you didn’t take a look. You can buy it by clicking here. After a brief Q&A, and having my books signed, I came away feeling very happy.