Blog Tour | Urbane’s 12 Days of Christmas: A Monster by Violet by Laura Wake *Author Q&A & Book Review* @LauraWakeWriter @urbanebooks

Welcome to my second stop on Urbane’s 12 Days of Christmas Blog Tour, today I’ve got a Q&A with Laura Wake, author of A Monster by Violet, and I’ll also be sharing my review of Wake’s debut novel, which I received a copy of in my Urbane Book Club subscription.

Q&A with Laura Wake:

  • Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

I grew up in the suburbs of London. As a child I read a lot, and wanted to either be a roller waitress or a marine biologist. I was obsessed with being on wheels, rollerblading, skateboarding, go karting, motorbiking etc and performed a lot of stunts. After school I went to Italy and became a ski instructor, which I did for seven years worldwide. When I wasn’t ski instructing I did part time jobs from factory work, sandwich making, teaching English as a foreign language and stewardessing on boats. When I was 25 I decided to do an English degree, and started writing stories, one of which sparked the idea for A Monster by Violet. A lot of the places I lived and worked crop up in my writing, and generally there is a theme of travel present in most of my work.

I teach Creative Writing and currently live in Sheffield with my partner, son, and two cats.

My novel, A Monster by Violet opens with twenty one year old Violet Kale waking up after a three day drug and alcohol binge to the sound of her friend’s five month old baby crying with hunger. It’s a familiar situation for Violet, but this time she takes the baby… and runs. It was a perfect way for me to start the novel as the character had to think on her feet as she ran with a five month old baby, and so did I! Intercut with the main narrative is the story of Violet aged seven. Young Violet inhabits a nightmarish world of hunchbacked gardeners, a headmaster with a giant tumour of the side of his head and the very real monster, Mrs Martin, a teacher with an obsessive fixation on Violet. In the childhood story you see glimpses of the ingenuity that serves the reckless twenty one year old Violet as she runs. Likewise in the adult narrative are echoes of the tough little girl who wasn’t afraid to take a claw hammer to a teacher’s desk to prove her innocence, and reflections of the daredevil child who climbed higher on the climbing frame just to see how far she could fall. Continue reading “Blog Tour | Urbane’s 12 Days of Christmas: A Monster by Violet by Laura Wake *Author Q&A & Book Review* @LauraWakeWriter @urbanebooks”


Book Review: Dodgers by Bill Beverly

Dodgers - Bill Beverly.jpg

After reading Annie’s review of Dodgers last year, I’ve been meaning to read it; I finally acquired a copy from the library. This was a very welcomed and refreshing read!

Book Description:

When East, a low-level lookout for a Los Angeles drug organisation, loses his watch house in a police raid, his boss recruits him for a very different job: a road trip – straight down the middle of white, rural America – to assassinate a judge in Wisconsin.

Having no choice, East and a crew of untested boys – including his trigger-happy younger brother, Ty – leave the only home they’ve ever known in a nondescript blue van, with a roll of cash, a map and a gun they shouldn’t have.

Along the way, the country surprises East. The blood on his hands isn’t the blood he expects. And he reaches places where only he can decide which way to go – or which person to become. By way of The Wire and in the spirit of Scott Smith’s A Simple Plan and Richard Price’s Clockers, Dodgers is itself something entirely original: a gripping literary crime novel with a compact cast whose intimate story opens up to become a reflection on the nature of belonging and reinvention. Continue reading “Book Review: Dodgers by Bill Beverly”

Bookish Rambling: Back to Unbound and my third book pledge…

Unbound New

I’ve been unbounding again! I remember it so clearly, it was the night of the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, I had a cup of coffee and I was browsing Twitter, when it hit me – this overwhelming urge to buy a new book! Despite a wish-list that is exceedingly long, I couldn’t decided what book I wanted so I thought I’d browse Unbound and see if anything took my fancy… And that brings us to now and my third Unbound book pledge.

Now, my long time followers should know immediately what I’m talking about so feel free skip this recap and head straight to the I Pledged section. If you’re new to the party, you may be wondering what on earth I’m going on about so I’ll break it down for you real quick. Unbound is a crowdfunding publisher, they have a variety of books on their website that you can pledge towards, if the book reaches 100% of its funding, the book is published and you receive a copy of the book and any other perks included in your pledge packet. Everyone who pledges, if they wish, gets their name printed in the book as a patron. You can find all the information on their website here. Continue reading “Bookish Rambling: Back to Unbound and my third book pledge…”

Book Review: Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

Other Voices, Other Rooms - Trueman Capote

This was my first book by Truman Capote, if I planned to read any of his books, it’d be ‘In Cold Blood’ but when Other Voices, Other Rooms was chosen as this month’s book for one of the many book clubs I read along with, I thought I’d give it ago. Interestingly, this book didn’t really work for me but I was so interested in the Introduction to this novel, written by John Berendt.

From the back cover:

After the death of his mother, thirteen-year-old Joel Knox is summoned to live with a father he has never met in a vast decaying mansion in rural Alabama, its baroque slender now faded and tarnished. But when he arrives, his father is nowhere to be seen and Joel is greeted by his prim, sullen new stepmother Miss Amy and his debauched Cousin Randolph – living like spirits in the fragile decadence of a house full of secrets. Continue reading “Book Review: Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote”

Book Review: This is the End of the Story by Jan Fortune

This is the End of the Story - Jan Fortune

I’ve been doing some secret Ninja Book Box reading, this time it was a coming-of-age novel by Jan Fortune – This is the End of the Story. Don’t fret, this book won’t be featured in your box but it’s a worthy contender for their book club!

From the back cover:

Belief is Cassie’s gift, so much so that she believes herself to be whoever those in her life tell her she is Cassie, Kat, Kitty, even, as Miriam insists, Casilda, an 11th century Muslim princess from Toledo. Cassie’s loyalty to Miriam’s extraordinary internal world survives a traumatic incident on a beach and a coming of age fraught with hostility, but is strained by an act of betrayal that propels her towards Liam, another person waiting to tell Cassie who she really is.

But Cassie may be more resourceful than either Miriam or Liam imagine. Caught in a labyrinth of friendship, hope and obligation, she must decide her own identity, and when she visits Toledo, tracking down the elusive Casilda, is this the end of the story?

A Quixotic coming of age novel exploring the ways we enter the fantasy lives of those we love, This is the End of the Story is the first in a trilogy of new novels from Cinnamon Press founding editor. Continue reading “Book Review: This is the End of the Story by Jan Fortune”