May You Live In Interesting Times

There appear to be some mighty things afoot. Autumn is going to be very busy. Three – yes, three! – books coming out, although the real highlight is going to be Free From All Danger, the first Richard Nottingham novel in over four years. The proofs have been completed and it’s with the printer, due out in October.

Richard and his family have always had a place deep in my heart, so it’s only right that the book launch should be a celebration. It’s going to be at the Leeds Library on Commercial Street on Thursday, November 9, at 7 pm (free, of course, but please contact them and book a place). It’s going to be an event, with a script and a specially-composed soundtrack by Chris Emmerson. There may also be some live music.

To start the ball rolling, here’s the first trailer for the book

May 2018 will see the publication of The Tin God, the sixth Tom Harper novel. My publisher said this about it: “…this latest entry continues the ongoing series themes of social change and progress, tradition vs modernisation, female emancipation, the grinding poverty and social injustice of the times, to superb effect, highlighting all too vividly the tensions caused by such rapid social change: what is highly welcome for some being anathema to others.  (Such tensions being all too evident in politics today).


Once again, devoted family man Tom Harper and his spirited wife Annabelle, battling passionately for the causes she believes in as an early pioneer on the long march towards women’s equality, make for thoroughly likeable lead protagonists, and the plot skips along at an impressive pace, conjuring up a compelling sense of rising tension as the election approaches.”


The launch event for this one will be a little different; it will be folded into an exhibition called The Vote Before The Vote at Leeds Central Library (2018, of course, marks the centenary of some women receiving the vote, although the exhibition highlights that many could vote in local elections before that. It will be curated by independent academic Vine Pemberton Joss, whose suggestion sparked the book.


Lastly, it looks as if Dan Markham from Dark Briggate Blues will star in a play. And a play with live jazz, at that. Nothing’s set in stone, but it seems likely to happen at Leeds Jazz Fest next July, and will mostly be a celebration of Studio 20, Leeds’ pioneering jazz club ibn the 1950s. No title yet, but the next 12 months promise to be very exciting.

2 thoughts on “May You Live In Interesting Times

  1. Barbara Oehm

    Thanks for latest blog. Always interesting. I note the idea of a Dan Markham play with live jazz. It all sounds fantastic. The sad thing is that I wouldn’t be able to be there!. But I wonder if this could lead to other things? I would love to see your books made into TV series. Perhaps the two Dan Markham books for a start!!
    Annabelle’s struggles for equality for women, with Mary at the back of her mind, reminds of that other literary genius JB Priestley. One of his characters In his book “Lost Empires” (which became an excellent TV series) was asked “Should women get the vote”? and the reply was “No, and neither should most of the men”. 🙂 This of course was not Priestley’s own view. My brother did our family history and got it back to an ancestor born in 1726. When I read the Nottingham books I think of these people, and how hard life must have been for them. But they struggled on, and we are here because of their struggles. As my mother used to say “Your don’t know you are born” Cheers. Barbara.

  2. Well, thank you for those lovely comments. I wouldn’t place myself anywhere near Priestley, but he’s a man I’ve often admired. I would say don’t hold your breath for anyone approaching me and wanting to turn the books into TV shows; historical is always so costly. But the play should be interesting – I’m hoping it happens.

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