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Headline Review

Our Liverpool

Piers Dudgeon
Piers Dudgeon

OUR LIVERPOOL is an oral history about the real Liverpool - about the city before its slick transformation to European City of Culture and about the spirit that remains at its heart. Here, at last, is Liverpool's grievous and glorious past. And here, through the people's voices, we find old Liverpool, without the gift-wrap. Its stories pulsate with the rhythms of an alternately funny, flippant, belligerent, stubborn and warm heart, and they broadcast the values of a community, which are the city's true legacy to the modern world. Piers Dudgeon has listened to dozens of people who remember the city as it was, and who have lived through its many changes. They talk of childhood and education, of work and entertainment, of family, community values, health, politics, religion and music. Their stories will make you laugh and cry. It is people's own memories that make history real and this engrossing book captures them vividly.

Headline Review

A Single to Rome

Sarah Duncan
Sarah Duncan
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Posted by Tony De Saulles, Author

Blog: 99 Dead Snowmen - Dead Funny!

Creative ideas come at odd times - many arrive in the night and are muttered sleepily into my dictaphone app. But inspiration for the latest title arrived while I was sitting on the coach to London, preparing for a meeting with my publishers.

Posted by Emily Kitchin, Editorial

Blog: Staff Hot Picks for Autumn 2012 (Part One)

Autumn is upon us. The weather has turned, the mornings are dark, and summer suntans have faded into oblivion. Already the mittens vs gloves debate is starting to rear its sleepy head. Christmas is drawing closer and soon the holiday season will be in full swing. Handily, Headline has a wonderful selection of titles to warm your cockles over the next few months, from laugh-out-loud gift books to stunning photographic books to outrageous celebrity memoirs. Here are a few of our staff’s favourites…

Settle down with a book this Valentine's

Date With A Book

Date With A Book


Our ebook of the month is THE HEIST, the first adventure in an electrifying new series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

Posted by Ben Willis, Publicity

Blog: Headline Goes To Edinburgh

The Headline Edinburgh Team had no less than FOUR objectives when we planned our trip to the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year: support our awesome authors during their packed-out events; hijack anyone and everyone even marginally famous; glug Irn Bru from a litre glass bottle down a poorly lit side street (pictured); and blast out awesome/ful renditions of One Direction songs at full volume in an overcrowded karaoke booth with people you've only very recently met. And it is with great pride that I can whole-heartedly confirm that we achieved ALL of our goals.


September's book of the month is Julia Keller's incredible follow-up to A KILLING IN THE HILLS...

Anne Baker


Set in Liverpool during the Depression and the Blitz of the Second World War, Anne Baker's dramatic saga brings a close-knit community vividly to life...

Posted by Nicola Doherty

10 Top Tips for Los Angeles

If people ever ask me about my favourite holiday ever, I don’t even have to think twice. California, October 2011. We drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco – stopping off along the way at Santa Barbara wine country (as seen in the film Sideways), San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and Monterey. I then stayed on in San Francisco for a further two weeks, writing my second book. Living the dream! It was easily the most memorable trip I’ve ever had and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Weirdly, one of my favourite parts of the trip was Los Angeles. LA has a bad reputation – you could easily imagine it’s a smoggy, tacky, endless sprawl full of identikit shopping malls. It can be all of those things but if you stay by the ocean, or go up in the hills, you’ll find a vibrant, arty, outdoorsy and endlessly fascinating place to explore. (It does help to be able to drive though, and have a GPS). I’d love to go back, but meanwhile I sent my heroine, Lily, there, for a family wedding that turns into a fabulous romantic adventure … Here are my top tips based on where Lily and I went: 1) Stay beside the beach – in Venice, Santa Monica, or (if you can afford it) Malibu. These places are also very handy from the airport. The Venice Beach House (where we stayed) is an adorable old-fashioned guest house that dates from the early 1900s; or try Shutters on the Beach for more updated luxe. 2) Hire a bike and cycle from Venice to Santa Monica (about two miles). You will see an unbelievable variety of local characters – think snake charmers, muscle men, rappers on segways and dogs on skateboards. 3) Be a culture vulture. Some people think there is no culture in Los Angeles. As Cher Horowitz would say: hello? As well as doing a Clueless tour, you can check out architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright, the John Paul Getty Museum, LA County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits, the Watts Towers, Griffith Park Observatory ... or of course do the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, where I met Actual Tom Cruise (though he may have been an impersonator because I don’t think the real Tom Cruise would accept tips). 4) Walk, don’t drive. Walk around the Venice canals which to my mind are just as pretty as the ones in Italy; hike in Runyon Park; or walk in Griffith Park where you can see the Hollywood sign AND the original Bat Cave! Or just get up early and go for a jog along the beach – you might see surfers out catching the morning swell, or photo shoot taking place, or (if you’re Lily) a cute boy out jogging barefoot … 5) Eat amazing food. You can keep up with the latest in the food truck craze at, or dine at Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite restaurants (yes, Gwyneth – she really does know her food). 6) Go vintage shopping. I’m not sure if it’s the ageing hippies, the film costume departments or the Beverley Hills ladies who wear and discard, but LA is a treasure trove for vintage clothes. The Way We Wore and Hidden Treasures (which looks like a madhouse, at the top of Topanga Canyon) are two of the best. 7) Visit the flower market, where Lily and Jesse go shopping for wedding flowers. Fact fans note: Ashton Kutcher works here in the movie Valentine’s Day! 8) Head for the hills: explore Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon. We ended up there by mistake because we asked the GPS to ‘avoid motorways’ when leaving Los Angeles. It was scary at the time as it was late at night, very steep and we were totally lost, but hey, we saw Mulholland Drive. 9) Don’t stay downtown or at Chateau Marmont. The Chateau is lovely but it’s on a pretty tacky part of the Sunset Boulevard strip. But do go for a drink in Bar Marmont (just don’t get hammered and miss an important family party, the way Lily does). 10) You probably don’t need this one but: drink Californian wine. It is expensive compared to wine in Europe, but it is divine – plus they don’t export it much, so it’s something you can’t get at home. An excuse for a glass of Pinot Noir if ever I heard one … For more fun in Los Angeles, don't miss LILY DOES LA, out now in ebook. And be sure to catch the rest of the Girls on Tour...

Pam Evans


Pam Evans' family saga brings post-war London vividly to life as, amid rationing and food shortages, a young girl finds a passion for growing her own vegetables...

Lynda Page


Following on from the success of The Time of Our Lives, Lynda Page brings us another nostalgic and heartwarming saga set in Jolly's holiday camp in the 1960s...

The perfect place to write a novel

Blog: The Writing Shed

What's your commute like? Mine's not so bad. Out the back door, across the deck, down the steps, skip across the lawn on the railway sleeper stepping stones and I'm there. My name is Julia Crouch and I am a shed worker. About ten years ago, I was running a very busy graphic design/illustration business from one end of the attic bedroom I share with my actor husband. When he was home from tour he tended to work there too, writing plays in our bed at the other end. With three kids crammed into our tiny terraced house, there was nowhere else for us to go. But our bedroom was hardly a sanctuary from our busy lives. Instead it was a major part of it all. I had two desks in it (one for computer and gear, the other for dirty work - paint/pencil/charcoal/collage), an A3 printer and a giant plan chest. Every available surface was taken up with bits of paper, books and various other sorts of equipment. And then, from time to time, Tim was there, too, with all his work stuff as well. Something had to give. So, when I had a particularly good year, I decided to invest some of my profits in building a garden studio. I bought it from a company that specialises in what they call 'huts'. All we had to do was make a level concrete base and run out the electrics and, within a couple of days, the prefabricated office was up and standing, ready for me to move all my gear out of the house and down to the bottom of our small garden. With this quiet, leafy retreat, I found that not only had I bought myself actual space, I had also secured a place where my imagination could grow and flourish. Having been with my husband since we were at university, it was the first time since childhood that I had had a room all to myself. I furnished it exactly as I wanted, filling it only with things I wanted to be there. It was, quite literally, a room of my own, kept as tidy or as messy as I feel like, removed from the domestic pressures and distractions of the house and children, yet close enough to be present in case of disaster or need. It was precisely because of all this physical and mental space that, about six years ago, I started to write in earnest. I'd do my money-earning work, then, every day, I'd stay down in the shed and work for an hour or so on short stories and, later, my novels. When I got my book deal with Headline, I happily and quickly gave up the day job, then instantly set about reconfiguring my shed. The plan chest was exchanged with an artist friend for a woodcut and the dirty work table went off to Freecycle. The liberated space now houses a cushion-covered day bed. This is where I read and dream stuff up, although I generally have to write at my desk in my fancy back-friendly chair. I've got some great wireless speakers down here now, so I can fill the space with the background music I've found helps the words out like nothing else. The walls around my desk are decorated with a mixture of artworks and ephemera relating to my current work in progress – currently lots of Greek stuff, because my fourth novel is partly set on the island of Ikaria. And behind me there is a whole wall of books – novels to be read, research items, reference books and writing books. I do about eighty per cent of my writing down here now. Although I have a heater and the shed is well insulated, sometimes, when the weather is really freezing, I prefer to curl up in front of the living room woodburner to work. Other times I need a change of scene just to chivvy things along, so I go out and work in one of the many great little cafés we have here in Brighton. But, on a day like this, when the sun is bright, and the birds are doing their spring thing, there's nowhere better. I have the doors and windows open, paperweights holding everything down against the breeze, my two cats sleep in a spot of sunlight on the day bed, and Nick Cave sings God is in the House on the speakers. What more can a writer girl want, really?

Posted by Ben Willis, Publicity

BLOG: Can the real Dan Brown please stand up?

As the announcement of Brown’s latest novel hit Twitter yesterday, we felt it was only right to show you a few writers we feel should deservedly become ‘The Next Dan Brown’ (if only because some of them are actually also called ‘Dan Brown’…).

Rita Bradshaw


A gripping family saga of heartache and betrayal in the North East of England in the early 1900s...

Josephine Cox


The bestselling classic story of a woman determined to overcome the brutality of life as a convict to return to the man she loves...