All fun … Book Launch and more

Writerly Debz

All the fun of Christmas 🙂

Book launches and everything …

Well I am back from my trip to the Manchester launch of Killing Daniel, by Sarah Dobbs. And what a great literary evening was had by all! The night was hosted by the publisher and agent Robin Jones from Unthank Books and kicked off with readings from Unthology 3 by yours truly reading an extract of The Theory Of Circles. Probably just as well I went first, before too much of the falling down water was consumed by the audience (or me!) … since my story is told using Tweets, Blog posts and Facebook statuses, with a connecting narrative but never the less it’s a lot of dates and times and like reading a Blog the beginning of the story is at the end … hmm … the art of reading backwards! It comes with a warning … pay…

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Manchester launch of Killing Daniel – the postapocalypse

I had 1.1 glasses of something alcoholic. And I woke up at 12.30 the next day. Always been a bit of a lightweight in this sense. Still, in my favour, I think it’s also because these things (and the build-up to them) are peculiarly tiring.

And now it’s all over.

Still, we had some lovely readings from Unthology 3 to start the night. Debz Hobbs-Wyatt read from Theory of Circles and AJ Ashworth read from Monolith. I noticed AJ wrote ‘Beware the Monolith!’ in her copies when people came to get the book signed and I thought – I need one of those. I think I wrote something lame like, enjoy the book, a lot. So sorry.

My Uncle Michael suggested I think about changing my name. Just a thought, he says. Sarah-Jane Dobbs. Which is my twitter account, but that’s because some other Sarah Dobbs (how dare she) who likes werewolves got there first.

I suppose it does feel peculiar that it’s all done and dusted. But there’s now the next book to focus on, and the one after that and so on…

I hope it’s the start of something. And thank everyone who’s supported it so far.

A nice little adjunct, is that the next day, Killing Daniel was out of stock on Amazon. It’s a temporary phenomenon, but if you would like a signed copy of the book before Christmas, I now have 6 left. Click here to buy or send a paypal payment for £12.99 to

You can get an unsigned one from the publisher for a tenner. Free p&p. Email to order.

Below be photos, to prove (to myself) that I’m not making it all up.

Thanks so much everyone! And now, onwards… back to slouchy pants, back to tapping away at odd hours of the morning. Can’t wait 🙂






my Dad!


The Lemonade Girl – or a long-winded way of saying how funny life is.

When I get any time, ever, to think clearly, I suppose things are … that word? When things connect naturally? Not serendipitous. Synchronicity. If that’s the spelling

My uni was Salford and the launch for Killing Daniel is in Salford. Unthank published this novel and they also published an extract from the would-be second novel that I always wanted to be the second novel years ago. It’s in Unthology 1 and was begun in 2010 in a tiny flat in the duff side of Walkden, oft-drug-raided (not mine) joyful little place.

And then, The Lemonade Girl started from a short story (Ghost in the Mechanic) that was broadcast on BBC7 in 2007. That story was written after finishing at Salford in 2005, redrafted on my MA at Lancaster in 2006, which made me think, hey I could do a PhD. Which was Killing Daniel.

Many of the people I met along the way will be at the launch on Thursday. Rodge Glass organised a really fun event at Edge Hill recently, where David Vann came to speak. Hearing how long novels languish in drawers, little paper hands drawn delicately over their cover-sheets in an anguished manner, is bloody useful. How things often look like a straight line to readers, but are often anything but.

So I think much more strongly now that this ‘second’ novel will be the second, even though there have been about three contenders since. A little sample lies beneath.

(If you’d like to come to the KD launch. Details here)

She looks around. This is the place.

The clientele are a who’s who of hicks. Guts resting on spade-wide thighs. Thighs on candy-apple red seats. Plastic getting hot, cooking up their unwashed jeans. Feet stupid and sweating in dumb, dull boots. Bear paw hands. The women that mirror them in the booths. Cheeks bloated and eyes getting obliterated in fat and age and sourness. Fat put there by their menfolk, or their own sad-sack lack of life.


Review: ‘Killing Daniel’ by Sarah Dobbs

Review: ‘Killing Daniel’ by Sarah Dobbs.

The form (but not the quality) of ‘Killing Daniel’ is what I would describe as a “train crash”. The story starts with two disparate characters, living in the same time, but separated by gulfs of distance and society. These characters are an English woman called Fleur and a Japanese woman called Chinatsu. Having met in adolescence, they think about one another and look forward to a nebulous idea of reunion. The plot advances in opposing directions, one starting in Salford and the other in Japan.

The characterisation of both Fleur and Chinatsu is detailed and fascinating. This is a profoundly female book.

By William Thirsk-Gaskill

Read more…

Killing Daniel