Headline #NewVoices2019

The Headline team has been travelling around the country with its New Voices event, showcasing their debut authors and on 30 January completed the tour at Headline HQ, Carmelite House, London. This event was a public one, organised through Eventbrite and the £10 ticket included two drinks, a tote bag and a lucky dip proof copy in the bag. Having attended this event last year (you can read the post here), I wasn’t going to miss this one and bought my ticket as soon as they went on sale. The line up for this year looked great, I had already read and reviewed on the blog one of these books (The Girl in the Letter) and have 3 of the others on my review pile, I was very much looking forward to the evening. It was also good to meet up again with fellow bloggers Linda (Linda’s Book Bag) and Jacob (Hooked From Page One)

Becky of Headline introducing Richard Lumsden, Emily Gunnis, Rhik Samadder, and chairing the panel, Hannah Beckerman

Hannah Beckerman did a fantastic job of interviewing – the questions were interesting and the answers enlightening. These evenings are always a good way of getting to know the authors behind the books. The panels were divided into two, with Richard, Emily and Rhik up first, and then Harriet Tyce and Sarah Davis Goff. All authors then got together for a final audience Q&A and some light hearted dinner guest party questioning from Hannah. Unfortunately Dominic Nolan couldn’t be there (but I managed to pick up a proof copy of his book (Past Life), which apart from Rhiks (which isn’t available yet) was the only one I didn’t have a copy of.

Rhik, Hannah, Harriet Tyce and Sarah Davis Goff

These Rooftop events are really good fun and if you get the chance to go along to one, I recommend them. Keep an eye out on the Rooftop Book Club Twitter feed for updates or that of any of the Headline publicity team.

The Authors and their Books

The Six Loves of Billy Binns – Richard Lumsden (24 January)

THE SIX LOVES OF BILLY BINNS is a deeply moving and honest debut set in London against the backdrop of the changing 20th century. it is reading group fiction perfect for those who loved the quirky pathos of Gail Honeyman’s ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE and the humour of Rachel Joyce’s THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY

I  remember my dreams but not where they start.
Further back, I recall some of yesterday and the day before that.
Then everything goes into a haze.
Fragments of memories come looming back like red London buses in a pea-souper.
Time plays funny tricks these days.
I wait for the next memory. I wait and I wait.

At 117 years old, Billy Binns is the oldest man in Europe and he knows his time is almost up. But Billy has a final wish: he wants to remember what love feels like one last time. As he looks back at the relationships that have shaped his flawed life – and the events that shaped the century – he recalls a life full of hope, mistakes, heartbreak and, above all, love.

Blood Orange – Harriet Tyce (21 February 2019)


Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

Last Ones Left Alive – Sarah Davis Goff (7 March)

Remember your Just-In-Cases. Beware Tall Buildings. Watch Your Six

Raised by her mother and Maeve on Slanbeg, an island off the west coast of Ireland, Orpen has a childhood of love and stories by the fireside. But the stories grow darker, and the training begins. Ireland has been devoured by a ravening menace known as the skrake, and though Slanbeg is safe for now, the women must always be ready to run, or to fight.

When Maeve is bitten, Orpen is faced with a dilemma: kill Maeve before her transformation is complete, or try to get help. So Orpen sets off, with Maeve in a wheelbarrow and her dog at her side, in the hope of finding other survivors, and a cure. It is a journey that will test Orpen to her limits, on which she will learn who she really is, who she really loves, and how to imagine a future in a world that ended before she was born.

Past Life – Dominic Nolan (7 March)


Waking up beside the dead girl, she couldn’t remember anything.
Who she was. Who had taken her. How to escape.

Detective Abigail Boone has been missing for four days when she is finally found, confused and broken. Suffering retrograde amnesia, she is a stranger to her despairing husband and bewildered son.

Hopelessly lost in her own life, with no leads on her abduction, Boone’s only instinct is to revisit the case she was investigating when she vanished: the baffling disappearance of a young woman, Sarah Still.

Defying her family and the police, Boone obsessively follows a deadly trail to the darkest edges of human cruelty. But even if she finds Sarah, will Boone ever be the same again?

The Girl in the Letter – Emily Gunnis (4 April)

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Kathryn Hughes, this gripping novel of long-buried secrets will stay with you for ever.

A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late. 
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…

Read her letter. Remember her story…

I Never Said I Loved You – Rhik Samadder (8 August)

“I’m in bed with my mother, in a Bangkok sex hotel. It is my 30th birthday. It is time for me to become a man, and I have grave worries about the kind of man I’m going to become”.

On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment – so he seizes the opportunity to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from.

I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.


although she wasn’t actually part of the New Voices author event, Hannah Beckerman also has a new book coming out soon (hooray), it’s been way too long since The Dead Wife’s Handbook. If Only I Could Tell You is published on 21 February. I’m reviewing this for the blog tour in March and can’t wait to get to my copy of it.


Audrey’s family has fallen apart. Her two grown-up daughters, Jess and Lily, are estranged, and her two teenage granddaughters have never been allowed to meet. A secret that echoes back thirty years has splintered the family in two, but is also the one thing keeping them connected.

As tensions reach breaking point, the irrevocable choice that one of them made all those years ago is about to surface. After years of secrets and silence, how can one broken family find their way back to each other?


2 thoughts on “Headline #NewVoices2019”

  • Glad you managed to get to this event. I went to the Liverpool one and it was a great evening, books, authors, bloggers AND wine – a perfect evening.

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