Cold Light Review

Cold Light
by Jenn Ashworth
Review: Grace Read

Cold Light is about how to be. How to be a daughter; how to be a friend; how to be a survivor. It is about how to be honest, how to be safe and how to be grown-up. But Cold Light doesn’t give us the answers. It just repeatedly, implicitly, asks the question, ‘how?’

Cold Light is a beautifully enticing novel; it brings joy and horror in equal measure. Laura (Lola for short), Ashworth’s protagonist, is fascinating; her voice is strong and packed with all the intense emotion, wisdom and the bittersweet humour of a disillusioned 14 - 24 year old girl. Lola recounts her teenage years from her flat one sleepless night. She tells us about her intense and uneasy relationships with her parents, her friends and herself.

Lola’s voice is nostalgic and poignant. She remembers exceptional detail and is wise beyond her years. She is a mixture of childlike imagination, teenage anxiety and adult grief. Ashworth has created a remarkable narrative voice.

His Last Farewell?

Reader Logo by  Ann Giles

Why are so many British singers forced abroad? Audiences in Britain seem too cool to like almost anything, with the possible exception of television talent shows. In fact, why do people love these programmes, while sneering quietly at former favourites?

40 years ago I liked Tony Christie, but lost touch with what he was doing until the Peter Kay Amarillo success a few years ago. Seriously uncool, I found a secondhand greatest hits CD, which soon became popular with my teenager. Hence our shared enthusiasm recently, when we discovered Tony Christie was coming to our local theatre the following evening. We quickly bought some concert tickets (well, not that quickly, seeing as the volunteer ticket seller couldn’t quite cope with her computer, but...).

Grim Fairytale in the Supermarket

Reader Logo by  Annette Green

It never ceases to astonish me how easily UK publishing allows itself to be seduced into the most self-destructive commercial ventures, apparently never considering the bigger picture. It’s like the ridiculous Dr Pangloss – ‘everything is for the best in the best of all possible business models’. Or like the old joke about the man who falls off a skyscraper and is heard as he passes each floor, saying ‘So far so good’.

I’ve gone on at length before about the Year Zero impact of the scrapping of the Net Book Agreement (hilariously described by Thatcher’s beloved Institute of Economic Affairs as a cartel operated by ‘Hampstead socialists’). That was the result of a court decision (we know how sensible the British courts can be), but it needn’t have led to quite such a comprehensive surrender to book chain and supermarket bullying as we soon witnessed. The court ruling was that bookshops are free to discount any book they wish. But the consequence of this was not, as the Office of Fair Trading appeared to expect, greater choice and access for consumers – rather it put power firmly in the hands of a few big book chains and supermarkets who would demand ludicrously inflated discounts to fund their price cutting, leaving publishers hopelessly divided. If one publisher refused Waterstones’ demands, another would happily step up and oblige.

The View From Here Interview: Nathan Bransford

The View From Here Interview: Nathan Bransford

by Jen

Nathan Bransford is a former literary agent with Curtis Brown in the United States and now works in the tech industry in San Francisco. Born and raised in Colusa, California, he graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English. Nathan is also the author of middle-grade book ‘Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow’ which was recently published by Dial Books for Young Reader (a Penguin imprint). He is agented by Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management. Nathan’s experience, advice and sense of humour (not to mention competitions and sporting challenges and debates on the merits of e-readers and the future of publishing) are generously shared and enjoyed in equally copious amounts by his (5478) online followers as well as facebook fans at his blog .


FIRST, as an agent:

When evaluating whether or not to take on an author, what did you look for beyond a high standard of writing?
Mainly I was looking for books I loved and that I felt had a place in the market.


by Marcus Speh

“A grammar has been called a list of what is to be done with it.”
–Gertrude Stein, How To Write (1931)

Blogging is a writerly virtue, not a necessity. It is a journal left on a subway seat but found again, every week. It is an absurd effort for the literary minded. But it can also be a refreshing change from writing that is up its own arse. It can be a complete pain to have to write a weekly post if you've either committed to it or started doing it and attracted readers (called 'subscribers'). It is not unlike showing up on the page every day. See?

An estimated 150 million people and organisations have blogs today. Readers of your blog might turn into readers of your books. Readers of your books may appreciate hearing your voice via a blog. If these readers are younger than 30, chances are good that these “digital natives” will expect it unless you (or someone) has branded you (based on your haircut, your habit of wearing duffle coats or because your first name is 'Trevor') as a “non-blog person”. That's not sad, it's a choice. Make it a choice.

Debut Novel from Senior Editor of The View From Here

"The Ascent of Isaac Steward? Well, I expect book sales of 25 million..." 

(Obama's remark drew laughter and a high-five from Mike)

The release date for the debut literary novel The Ascent of Isaac Steward from Mike French, the senior editor of The View From Here and published by Cauliay Publishing  is ....

June 16th 

You can now pre-order the novel here:

For FREE worldwide delivery of The Ascent of Isaac Steward order here...
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

"Moving and lyrical, original and hypnotic—Mike French’s The Ascent of Isaac Steward is a remarkable debut novel”

 About the Book

Isaac Steward thinks he has had a good life so far.
That is what he chooses to remember.

Written with a literary, lyrical voice,
The Ascent of Isaac Steward follows Isaac in an emotional and original tale as he struggles to deal with the resurfacing of a suppressed memory. 

Isaac becomes increasingly dysfunctional and delusional as the story unfolds bringing into play childhood memories of a Punch and Judy show and the revelation from his half-brother, Ishmael, that he must be brought to a tree from his father’s wood called The Dandelion Tree. 

To help him, Isaac slips in and out of being Major Tom Donaldson, an SAS commander fashioned by his mind to help him regress back to a time of naiveté and happiness. But Donaldson brings only death and violence and Isaac struggles to keep a grip on reality as he descends into his mind. 

Read an interview with Mike about getting a publishing contract at click here.

Mike's blog:

Last Issue of The View From Here

Digital edition: for your computer and the Sony Reader:
the view from here
Pay in dollars $1.00 ...

Pay in sterling £0.69p ...

OUR LAST EVER ISSUE - a note from the editor

This is the last issue of The View From Here and whilst we will continue on-line there is still a sense of something passing as we publish our last magazine.
It’s been a joy to edit the magazine and bring together a wide range of talented people to bring a diverse mix which somehow found cohesion and a sense of something bigger, something world changing – and in a small way I think we achieved that and hopefully helped some writers establish themselves along the way.
We were different, we were bright, we were strange, we refused to be boring and we burned brightly for three years producing something we were all proud of every month.
Thankyou to those who were part of us, those who read us, those we published.

Mike French

For the Printed Edition order here  for $7.35 inc P&P for USA & Canada.

and £4.99 inc P&P for UK delivery directly on site here ...
Cost: £4.99 inc postage for UK delivery

Delivery address: