Thursday, 31 January 2013

'...We'd buy the big kind - the ones that would near choke ya if you didn't suck 'em right.'

        "The eponymous "Jawbreakers", by Jen Campbell, concisely evokes a child's attempts to assert themselves in a world of muddled morals. This flash captures a kind of disillusionment alongside tactile sensations, so that the reader can almost feel the gobstopper's stickiness on the tips of their fingers."
('Jawbreakers: National Flash Fiction Anthology' reviewed in 'Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine').
The collection itself, with stories from me, Ali Smith, Ian Rankin, David Gaffney and others is available over here.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

'girlhood cape - never never landing here'

My poem 'Poem in Which She Dissects Herself' has been published in Poems in Which: Issue 2.
You can find it online, over here, with poems from Sheila Hamilton, Jon Stone, Kirsten Irving and Melissa Lee-Houghton.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

20% off The Hungry Ghost Festival

...You pick my arms up and spread them out
so we are matching. Our woollen scarves
touch our noses - catch our breath 
like cloth balloons. We dig our feet into the soil
and stamp down into the very deep. ..

This week (until midnight 3rd Feb) I've got copies of my poetry pamphlet 'The Hungry Ghost Festival' at 20% off.

These are signed, so if you'd like it as a gift for someone else, please put their name in the box provided. :)

This offer has now expired. Click here to buy the pamphlet from The Rialto, or here to buy it from me. 

If you'd like more than one copy, you can drop me an email and I'll work out postage costs for you. xx

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

and the winners are....

Thanks to all for entering the 'Weird Things...' giveaway! Lots of responses, and the random number generator picked K to win 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' and Shawna to win 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores.' Congrats, both - I've emailed you using the email addresses on your blogger profiles.

For those who didn't win, you can track down a copy of 'Weird Things...' in your local bookshop. If you'd like a signed copy, or if you're in an area of the world where 'Weird Things...' isn't available, then there are signed copies available here, and I ship worldwide. x

Monday, 21 January 2013

'No one sees the prints / down the pine stairs. Nor the acorns thrown.'

My poem 'the bearded creatures,' is in the current issue of Poetry Wales (Winter 2012/13 Issue 48.3). That issue is available over here.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

“I know I'm an acquired taste - I'm anchovies. And not everybody wants those hairy little things.” ― Tori Amos

(A blog post for the weekend, folks. I'm about to head out for the day in the snow - going out somewhere secret for my birthday. No idea where... well, er, obviously, as it's a surprise. Anyway. Yes. I will report back later. Happy weekend! x)

Quite a few people have been asking me what kind of music I like listening to. When I write, I tend not to listen to music (though I sometimes listen to classical music/piano solos - Dustin O'Hallaran etc), but when I'm out and about I've always got earphones in, and I've no doubt that this music inspires my writing. So, here are some of my favourites. 

(You'll notice that I have a thing for women and pianos.)

Imogen Heap owns my soul. If you ever get the chance to see her in concert, do. She is pretty much queen of everything.

Two years ago I wrote a short story that was released in a limited edition Paper Aeroplanes CD. Their music is beautiful.

Pretty much everything Tori Amos, but especially the live recording: 'Welcome to Sunny Florida.'

One Eskimo

the wonderful Charlotte Martin

Of Monsters and Men



the beautiful Florence

(& there should be more Amanda Palmers in the world.) 

There you go. Happy weekend! x

Friday, 18 January 2013

'Weird Things...' giveaway!

To celebrate reaching 4,000 followers over on the Facebook page - I'm giving away one signed copy of  'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' (UK edition) and one signed copy of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores' (North American edition). I'll dedicate them to whomever you like.

To enter, just reply to this post saying which book you'd like to win. I'll pick two winners, using a random number generator, at midnight on Monday 21st January. I'll ship to anywhere in the world. :) x

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

"As far as I can tell, you remain a mystery to yourself until the day you die.” (Born Weird)

Yesterday I met the wonderful Andrew Kaufman (author of 'All My Friends are Superheroes', 'The Tiny Wife' etc) and we talked about novel-writing. I said my novel was eating my soul. He gave me this wonderful little advice-speech. I may print it out and stick it on my wall and make myself read it ten times a day:

Andrew: "You see, Jen, when you write a novel, there's this person in your head who you don't like to talk to too much. They say things like 'this has to change,' and 'this isn't good enough' and 'you're doing this wrong.' And you ignore this person for a while, until you realise that they're actually trying to help you. It's difficult because this voice, this part of you, wants you to write something that's going to tear you apart. It wants to completely dissect you and put you back together again, only differently - and you're not sure you can do it. It's difficult, very difficult, and you'll be somebody else by the time you've finished writing it. But it is possible, and it is necessary. If you feel like your novel is eating you alive, then you're probably doing something right."

I think I love him.

You should all go buy his new book, Born Weird. It's very good indeed. 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Events for 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops'

Happy weekend, folks!

I'm organising events and signings for the release of 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops', which will be published on the 18th April.

If you're a bookseller and you'd like me to do an event/signing at your bookshop, drop me an email and we can chat. :) If you're a reader and you'd like me to do an event near you, then point your local bookshop in my direction.

At the moment, future events are lined up for north London, south London, Edinburgh, Wigtown, Salisbury, Sudbury, Southampton, Lichfield and Cheshire, with other events being finalised. All details of events are in the sidebar of the blog *points to the left*

I've had a lot of fun since the release of 'Weird Things...' last April, visiting bookshops and festivals and meeting so many lovely booksellers and book-lovers. I'm looking forward to meeting even more of you this year. :)

Lots of love. xx

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

a blog post for writers

Joanna over at The Casket is running something called the Tube-Flash project. I'm taking part in this, and have written a piece of flash fiction for Angel tube station. Submissions are now open for all writers, to pick a tube station and write a story of no more than 300 words. There are beautiful brooches for each of the train stations to get you inspired.

I think it's a lovely project, and encourage you to grab a pen and get scribbling! All the information is over here. Winners will be published on the website, and there may even be a book, too. Deadline is the 31st January.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Dutch edition of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops'

Thanks for all the responses to the 'Notes on Postcards' requests yesterday! I will get them written and posted, but you'll have to be a little patient so I can spread out a. the act of writing them and b. the cost (there are over 100 to send! Phewf!).

In other news: I've just signed a contract with BBNC uitgevers. The Dutch translation of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' will be published summer 2013, illustrated by The Brothers McLeod. x

Friday, 4 January 2013

Notes on Postcards

It's the beginning of the year, and to celebrate I'm going to open up 'Notes on Postcards' again. I've done this twice before, and it's always fun (though sending out 80+ postcards each time hurt my hand somewhat! ;))

If you'd like a postcard from me, then drop me an email with your address, and I'll send you one. It might have a 'Weird Thing...' on it from the sequel, or it might have a couple of lines from a poem of mine. If you have a preference as to which of these you'd prefer, let me know in your email.

Closing date is midnight, Saturday 6th January, and is open worldwide. x

ETA: Thanks for all the responses to the 'Notes on Postcards' requests! I will get them written and posted, but you'll have to be a little patient so I can spread out a. the act of writing them and b. the cost (there are over 100 to send! Phewf!).

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

2012 has been a very exciting year, with the release of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' in the UK & Commonwealth, followed by the North American edition, and translations in Swedish, Finnish (and forthcoming in German and others, too). 'Weird Things...' has found itself in English bookshops as far away as Japan and South Africa, and (very pleasantly!) surprised us by being in the Sunday Times Bestseller List for five whole weeks. It's been so much fun chatting to book-lovers and booksellers worldwide. Thank you so much for all your support, lovely blogger folk. It's thanks to you that 'Weird Things...' became a book in the first place. 

2013 will be a fun year, too, with the release of 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' on the 18th April. I look forward to sharing it with you all. Here's the front cover!

lots of love xx