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My Novel, Writing

Autumn 2016 on the Literary Sofa

panier-des-sensI hope you’ve had a fantastic summer.  It’s definitely not ‘business as usual’ on the Literary Sofa yet but just wanted to say hello – especially to my new followers, welcome! – after a long break from the blog and almost three hot lazy weeks in Provence. We’ve returned to a house that is literally upside down; the works to repair the major damage caused by last winter’s underfloor leak have finally taken place and we had to empty the whole ground floor before going away.  The place looks great, filthy and an absolute tip.  It’s going to take a while to get my act together with that and a lot of other things happening, so for now, here’s some blog and book news.

Fortunately I had a lot of time for reading and got through most of my intended Summer Holiday TBR and a couple of other books.  Next week I’ll be giving my verdict – there was plenty to enjoy but, as it turned out, little serious competition for the titles I previously picked for my Summer Reads 2016.

After that, you can look forward to a lively and varied autumn programme featuring some very interesting and talented guest authors.  For starters there’s Rod Reynolds, author of vintage American crime novels The Dark Inside and Black Night Falling; followed by Jane Lythell, author of Woman of the Hour, and author and editor Debi Alper (see Events below) on her wide experience of the different routes to publication that exist now.

(Don’t know how I managed to forget this when the post was first published, but later this month it’s the 5th birthday of the blog and I’ll be running the ‘traditional’ Literary Lunch competition.)

On the day I left for France, my debut novel Paris Mon Amour was released by Canelo in the USA and Canada and it’s very exciting to see it picked as this week’s global Spotlight Book on NetGalley.  Many thanks to those who have already read and reviewed the book or hosted me on your blogs – I’m always happy to do interviews/Q&As so if you’re interested please do get in touch via Twitter (@isabelcostello) or the comments section below.

Whilst on holiday I jumped at the opportunity to contribute a piece on The Senses for The Prime Writers excellent blog.  It’s their theme for September and a favourite subject of mine – find out how my professional training as an aromatherapist added sensory layers to Paris Mon Amour and follow the series to hear from other Prime Writers every Friday this month.

Finally, a couple of events I’m doing:

Saturday 15 October – Killer Women Crime Writing Festival, Shoreditch Town Hall

Thanks to the Killer Women for inviting me to take part in a chaired discussion on How to write a successful book blog, alongside Ayo Onatade of Shots. It’s a fabulous programme whether or not you write crime and no doubt I’ll see many of you there!

4-8 November – Self-Edit Retreat at the Beach House, Chesil Beach, Dorset

Perseverance is my middle name (well, it’s slightly more interesting than Mary) as indeed it needs to be for most writers, and on this 4 day retreat I’ll be offering an informal taster session of a workshop on Perseverance and Motivation which I’m currently developing with author and psychologist Voula Grand.  Admittedly this pales beside the attraction of Amanda Saint’s wonderful hospitality and the exceptional (and transferable) editorial nous of Debi Alper, who will be giving two 3-hour workshops.  Not to mention the stunning scenery of the Jurassic Coast.  I am now attending for the duration (to work on a new book) but best be quick if you want to join us – there are only two places left.

I can delay the vacuuming and scrubbing no longer.  See you next week!


As I was busy writing this, a new review of Paris Mon Amour appeared on Vicky Newham’s blog and I am too delighted not to share it! These are the moments when you realise it’s all been worth it…



About Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.


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