I first met Dania el Kadi when she came on one of the Writers' Workshop courses I ran with Emma Darwin. From the beginning it was clear that Dania had something special. Her writing was fresh and original and it was immediately obvious her concept (chick lit story set against a back drop of the war in Lebanon) had serious potential.
Following the course, Dania had more than one edit with me, finishing up with a close line edit to ensure the MS was polished to perfection. It took time, hard work and commitment to bring her wonderful story to life, but it has certainly paid off.
Earlier this week, I received an email from Dania to tell me that her book, Summer Blast, is a number 1 bestseller in Lebanon! This is the link to the good news breaking on WordCloud. I'm looking forward to seeing Dania at the Getting Published event in October.
Summer Blast is available on Amazon.
Last night I went to a very special book launch.
Why 'special'? I hear you ask. Well, for starters it was in a gorgeous bookshop, Woolfson and Tay in Bermondsey. The format of an interview with the author was also different and made for a really interesting evening.
But without a doubt, the most special aspect of the event was the author, Michael Richmond, and the book he had written. Drawing on personal (and very painful) experiences, Sisyphusa is an allegory of the mental health system. Michael's writing is influenced by Kafka and Orwell and, as you can guess from the title, also owes much to classical Greek mythology.
This is an important book. It was important for Michael to write it and it's equally important for people to read it and try to understand how it feels to grapple with mental health issues, both as a sufferer and as a 'service user' (a term that is used in the book but one that Michael dislikes). As Michael pointed out, one in four people will fall into this category.
Most importantly, it's clear from the discussions and readings that the book is a stonking good read, written with wit, wisdom, humour and astonishing insight.
Sisyphusa is available on Amazon here.
So, getting back to that winning formula. (Ha! You thought I'd forgotten, didn't you ...)
Here it is:
fresh and original concept + writing talent + a willingness to learn and improve + objective feedback + hard work + perseverance
= A BOOK PEOPLE WILL WANT TO READ!