Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Kerry Hudson Blog Tour - Author Guest Post & Competition

I am delighted to welcome author Kerry Hudson to the blog today!

Kerry's debut novel, Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma, was shortlisted for The Guardian First Book Award 2012 and is now published in paperback on July 4th and she is celebrating with a #TonyHoganTour - below is a guest post from Kerry about the amazing past year of her life since publication! There's also a great competition, plus you can read my review of this novel and find out where Kerry is off to next on the tour.

A year after publication, by Kerry Hudson

This time last year I was up until 3am baking 75 cupcakes. They were for the launch of my first novel Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma. The next day I took those cakes, and my sleep-deprived self, to my local bookshop to read my entire book aloud in one day with the help of friends, family, actors and brave passers by. That evening (it took us eight hours in total, by the end I sounded like Marlon Brando) on my way to a celebratory to dinner in Soho I went into Foyles, saw my book on the shelf and burst into tears. I had no idea what to expect from having a novel published, particularly such a personal one, but seeing it on a shelf in a shop was dream come true enough. 

I genuinely didn't have any expectations but I did have hopes. I hoped people would read it, I didn't expect a lot to, but I hoped at least a few would. I hoped people would understand the characters actions, that they'd see how hard I worked to bring both laughter and honesty to the story. I hoped mothers would pass it to their daughters and vice versa. I hoped I might get to see a review of it in a paper; a nice one so I could show the people who'd supported me. 

In the last twelve months I've travelled to Poland, France, Scotland and umpteen other places to read my work. I have written articles for national newspapers and magazines. I travelled to back Vietnam (where I first wrote Tony Hogan) to finish my second novel and while out there discovered I'd been shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Prize, Green Carnation Prize and Southbank Sky Arts Award and so I got to put on a nice dress and drink some free cocktails at some ceremonies. Tony Hogan was sold to Editions Phillipe Rey in France and then to Penguin in the US. People did buy the book, all sorts of people, and they sent messages saying they laughed and cried, that the book had touched them in some way, that they'd passed it to their sister/mother/daughter/great-grandmother. I got good, thoughtful reviews and got to show them to people who'd been so kind and supportive to me before I'd ever written a line. Best of all, I met incredible, smart, decent, interesting, kind people; I've never met so many lovely people as I have this year.    

I have been very, very lucky and I don't forget it for a moment, I'm still grateful every day. Most of my luck has come from the kindness of others; bloggers who let me talk to their readers (thank you Lindsay!), readers who championed the book and passed it on, an agent and editor who first found it and first loved it. I have been lucky thanks to others.

Almost exactly a year later I am about to make more cupcakes to deliver to hard-working booksellers to celebrate the Tony Hogan paperback. I have finished my second novel Thirst (it's out this time next year – so more baking to be done!) and am working on a one-woman play of Tony Hogan which I  hope to tour around the council estates featured in the book. Many things have changed for me but what hasn't is that every day I sit down all by myself and make things up and I hope to God that I'm writing something worth reading, that it is as good as it can possibly be....and, of course, that my luck holds for a wee while longer.  


Want to win a signed copy of Tony Hogan? I'm  trying to put together a Tony Hogan soundtrack. Simply submit your song suggestion to me @kerryswindow on Twitter with the hashtag #tonyhogantune by the end of Monday 8th of July. If your song is one of the ten selected for the soundtrack (and you were the first to suggest it!) I'll send you a signed copy of Tony Hogan. 

Thanks to Kerry for her post and for the great competition!


Review - I reviewed this novel last year - here's a link if you'd like to read my thoughts (I thought it was very good!) 

Follow the #tonyhogantour - here are details of all the stops, the next one is at Writer's Little Helper tomorrow!


  1. Oh my goodness what an amazing title, exactly the sort of thing that would have me picking a book up.

    Great interview as well, I admire Kerry's dedication.

    As for your competition, not on Twitter I hope its ok to leave my suggestion here. I think Blondie's Sunday Girl would be perfect.

  2. Thank you for reading @PettyWitter! That's a great suggestion for a song anf I'll make sure it's included in the draw! Kerry x


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