Posts filed under Novel

2014: an excellent year of booky things

2015 snuck up like a sneaky thing with sneaky bits, didn't it? Jo Gatford books

All things told, 2014 was a pretty good year for my bookshelves. My first novel, White Lies, was published by Legend Press, my story, Bing Bong, won the Fiction Desk flash fiction competition, another story, Someone Elsewas a finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing competition, and yet another, Vitamaximafeatured in the beautiful third issue of Vector Press. Online, the wonderful editors at Sundog Lit and FlashFlood published a couple more of my stories online.


And if that wasn't enough, I ended 2014 with two very exciting pieces of news... which I can't yet shout about, because they're highly covert and, well, I love a good dramatic pause.

So, as the first day of 2015 settles its cold, cloudy arse down upon the land, I will start the year as I mean to go on: by making a cushion fort with my kids and reading comics by torchlight.

Thanks to everyone who made 2014 an excellent year of books and writing - to the generous and supportive publishers and editors who decided my work was worth the paper; to the readers who picked up a book with my name on it, left a review, or listened to a live reading; to the many wonderful writers who have held my hand, kicked me up the bum, raised a glass, and helped me be a better writer; to friends and family, my tirelessly encouraging husband and my ever-inspiring boys.

Cheers for a great year, and here's to a brand spanking new one.


Posted on January 1, 2015 and filed under Competitions, Flashes, Novel, Publications, Short Stories, White Lies.

A launch and a poem for 'White Lies'

White Lies by Jo Gatford

My book is released on Tuesday (1st July) although several friends have been shouting excitedly at me that they've already received their copy. It's all a bit mad. The launch party is next Wednesday (2nd July at Brighton Waterstones from 7.30pm - come along if you're in the area, there will be free booze and nervous reading!) and I'm being interviewed on BBC Sussex radio on the Tuesday (around 4.20 pm) to talk about booky-type things. To say I'm anxious/ecstatic/fluff-brained would be an understatement. This beautiful monster of mine has taken me 6 years and now it's in print - and although selling hundreds of thousands of copies would be frankly marvellous, simply holding my book in my hands as a real, live thing (you have to put your ear really close to hear it breathing) is all I've ever wanted.

So... all is well.

If you've bought, borrowed or stolen a copy, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave me a review somewhere - Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, on a slip of paper sellotaped to a bus stop, whatever. Ever picked up a book (or clicked one into your virtual basket) because of a really enticing review? It really helps get the word out and encourages more people to take a look, so I would be eternally grateful for your reviews and thoughts - even if you hated it - because readers' opinions are so important to an author's success. (Holy shit I'm an author now...)

This whole marketing spiel wasn't meant to be the point of this post. I actually planned on coming here to post up one of my favourite Dylan Thomas poems. His collection has been sitting neglected on my bookshelf for a long time but I flicked through it today, remembered Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, and realised that it is the perfect introduction to both central characters in White Lies. I'll just leave it here, and hope it inspires you to read a) more Dylan Thomas, 'cause I love him, and b) my book, to find out how this poem relates to Peter and Matt...


Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night

By Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height, Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

White Lies Publication Launch Partaaaaay!

White Lies is due to launch on the 1st of July (excuse me while I hyperventilate into this paper bag) and we're celebrating with a launch event at the beautiful booky wonderland of Waterstones in Brighton on the 2nd. Come and drink! Come drunk! Come alone! Come with friends! Come and listen to me read! Watch me crack awkward jokes because I am uncomfortable with public attention! Heckle! Throw things at me! Buy my book! Have it signed! Buy three books! Have me draw crappy pictures in them! Buy someone else’s book and ask me to sign it! Loiter in the corner and look menacing! Whatever! Come to my book launch! Woooooo!


White Lies Jo Gatford book launch

So, if you're in the area and fancy dropping by to hear me read an excerpt and get a copy of the book signed then you are more than welcome. What's more than welcome? You are REQUIRED to attend.

Hope to see you there!


Posted on June 6, 2014 and filed under Events, Novel, White Lies.

Past and Future Jo Stuff

A vague calendar of past and future events: May 15th: I turned 30. Not much has changed except I can't get on certain lists of 'successful people under 30' any more. Ho hum. To celebrate, we went out for steak and watched Godzilla. Meat = good. Godzilla = terrible. Godzilla steak = probably tastes like napalm and regret.

Early Junish: My story, Vitamaxima, will be published in Vector Press' third issue. Take two Vitamaxima capsules with every meal to ensure long life and literary satisfaction (side effects may include feelings of inadequacy and uncomfortably sexual public dancing).

Vector Press Issue Three

Also Early Junish: Another of my stories, Bing Bong (which won the 2014 Fiction Desk flash fiction comp), will appear in The Fiction Desk's seventh anthology. Press the button. Just press the fucking button.

June 11th: I sit a 3-hour exam on Shakespeare and finish my current OU module. Much drinking and carousing will follow.


July 1st: My first novel, White Lies, will be released, published by the marvellous Legend Press! (Involving more drinking and carousing. And possibly a small heart attack.) Pre-order it now, or the type of things you see in threatening chain letters will happen to you. For sure.

Date TBA: Launch party for White Lies - details as yet unknown but will surely include, yes indeed, drinking and carousing (and a demonstration of terrified public speaking from me).

White Lies by Jo Gatford

To sum up: June/July are lined up to involve several hangovers and a real life book thing. If you can't wait until then, fill your time with my 'How to Procrastinate' guide, as featured on Brighton Writers Retreat.

Posted on May 26, 2014 and filed under Competitions, Flashes, Novel, Publications, Short Stories, White Lies.