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  • Writer's pictureElliot J Harper

The Launch of New Gillion Street


“Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.”



Terry Pratchett




I bet you’re probably thinking: not another blog. Well, dear reader, I promise I’ll calm down eventually and go back to one a month. But in my defence, I did just have a book published! It’s only fair that I crow on about it for a while. But I will keep this one brief.


In fairness, I didn’t really plan to do another blog so soon, but I had such a great time at my launch event at Truman Books last week that I simply had to write about it. Of course, I spent the prior few days worrying about the event - anxiety dreams, dodgy stomach, a feeling of increasing dread etc, etc – but when it finally arrived, I felt like I really settled into it. I’m not going to regurgitate what was said verbatim… mostly because I can’t remember, but a few things came up that I’d like to mention.


First and foremost, the avoidance of disaster! Unfortunately, Isabelle, the architect behind Fly on the Wall Press, was thwarted by the atrocious British transport system and couldn’t make it. Her buses were delayed and then cancelled, and she was diverted from place to place, until it was painfully obvious that she wouldn’t arrive on time. Which was a shame, and I know she was upset that she missed it. But into the void stepped my good friend and fellow writer, Robert Welbourn.


Literally off the cuff, Rob expertly filled the role of host/compere, sat in front of a crowd of people he didn’t know, and talked with me for over an hour about my writing and New Gillion Street. He saved the day, and I’m eternally grateful. Rob is a fantastic author, who has written two books – Ideal Angels & Belonging – and we have helped each other through the ups and downs that is the madness of publishing. It was great to have him up there with me. I had previously said that we should do something together – jokingly dubbed Between Two Gingers (the podcast name?) – and I must have accidentally manifested it into the world. So, thank you, Rob.


And speaking of Isabelle of Fly on the Wall Press, I talked briefly about her work with the Northern Fiction Alliance, and I think that it’s worth mentioning here. The Alliance is a network of publishers who help champion northern fiction, run by the incredible Comma Press. The work they do for Northern Fiction is invaluable, especially in a publishing world that’s usually quite London-centric, so hats off to them for giving the rest of us a chance. Isabelle and Fly and the Wall Press are an integral part of the alliance.


I would also like to mention Truman Books. Amanda, the owner of the shop, does fantastic work. She’s always willing to put on events for authors, whether they are with indie presses or the big publishers. She also runs the Farsley Lit Fest, which provides an annual focal point for the written word in the Leeds region. She, like Isabelle, is doing fantastic work for northern fiction, and the landscape would be very different without them.


Please support the press and the bookshop, especially if you live in the area.


I want to thank everyone who attended my launch event. I was nervous and excited in equal measures. I’ve never done anything like that before, and it really felt like a big, big step in the right direction for my emerging writing career. I enjoyed it immensely, and there were some great questions and participation, which really put me at ease.


And finally, keep your eyes peeled for the Blog Tour of New Gillion Street, which starts on Monday 26th February and runs for fourteen days.


Thanks for reading.


Elliot J Harper


Author of New Gillion Street, available to buy directly from Fly on the Wall PressAmazon in paperback and Kindle, Waterstones, and other U.K. retailers.



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