Share The Good News: There’s A Christmas Special Coming This Year

Dear Posties, 

There’s a lovely tradition in English television of the Christmas Special episode. Think of Doctor Who.

Two years ago we released a Christmas Special focused on the night of the surf club Christmas party in 1991. The night is mentioned in the letters so it was a natural place to return to and looked at their burgeoning, and doomed relationship, while also seeing their lives through their family and friends.

It is a night significant to the past of Ella-Louise and Jude, and was an opportunity to broaden the canvas of their history together and see who they were through a more colourful palette of characters. It included, and gave voice to: Jude’s parents, Bill and Marion; Ella-Louise’s mother, Carol and Jude’s best mate, Adrian.

Old friends, like old characters, well met. We have a very soft spot for the characters of Ella-Louise and Jude; they were our “comfort writing;” the writing that flowed almost unconsciously to create the lives of characters we lived with for so long that we see them almost as real. That if we were to walk down the street we’d recognise them in an instant in the crowd.

Therefore it is with great pleasure we announce a new Christmas Special. The release date will be revealed soon.

We don’t want to give away too much at this stage BUT there may also be EXTRA bonus material released with the Christmas Special so you will want to keep an eye out for announcements.

Adam and Jodi

P.S. We need your input. We would like song titles to use as chapter headings. Drop 3 song titles into the comments.

What Are Your First Impressions?

In this world, first impressions have a marked effect on how we react to someone or how we engage with an event. Make the wrong first impression and it can be hard work to build positive relationships. Make a great first impression and people forgive the tea stain on your shirt.

As the editing on Post Marked: Piper’s Reach comes to a close we are now looking beyond “The End” to where and to whom we pitch our tome, which means carefully constructing how we want to make a good first impression.

Two weeks ago Jodi had the opportunity to pitch Piper’s Reach to the commissioning editor of a large publishing house. While it was unsuccessful in terms of being asked for a sample, it was the first step in looking for publication options.

Over the coming weeks we will be finalising the first round of edits, checking edits received from our good friend, Toni, and putting together a full synopsis and query to have a great package to make a positive first impression.

We firmly believe in the story we have told, its universality and connection to a wide range of readers, not limited by gender, age or geography. Therefore, about a month and a half ago the first 400 words of Piper’s Reach appeared at First Impressions, hosted by In High Spirits – Diane K Salerni and Maine Words – Marcy.

We wanted to see if Piper’s Reach had something to hook readers in and make them want to keep reading. It was a gamble for us to gain reactions and feedback from readers unfamiliar with the world and characters of Piper’s Reach. Diane and Marcy offered their impressions and left it open to readers to offer their feedback.

Overall, the feedback was very promising and positive and most commentators said they wanted to read more. The one thing they stumbled on was the use of the word, “pashed,” an Australian term for kissing.

You can check the comments here: Dianne Salerni and here: Maine Words.

In the coming weeks we will be revamping the website and offering a few teasers of the new version of Piper’s Reach.

If you’re a long time reader of Piper’s Reach, what do you like in the first impressions? Would you read on?

If you are unfamiliar with Piper’s Reach, have you read the first 400 words and have we piqued your curiosity to want to know more?

Let us know in the comments.

Blog Tour: Day 9 with Icy Sedgwick

The final stop on the Post Marked: Piper’s Reach blog tour is with the wonderful Icy Sedgwick.

In today’s post, Icy asks us about how letter writing differs from traditional narrative story telling, dialogue in letters and how email has affected modern communication.

A letter is perhaps the one form where backstory is integral to understanding the characters, their relationship and their current situation. The events of the past inform the present. As the characters replay significant events from their past, they focus on their perspective of that moment – Adam

All my old friends and I lament the digital age and the fall from grace of letter writing. While we love being able to see what each other is doing on Facebook, have instant access to photos, status updates and to comment on them… we miss receiving a letter – Jodi

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Blog Tour: Day 8 with Rebecca Emin

As we reach the eve of launch day of Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, today’s host is Rebecca Emin (@RebeccaEmin).

She asks us about how we came up with the idea before exploring the ups and downs, advantages and disadvantages of a collaborative project.

Writing collaboratively has always been a bigger and better experience than going solo for me. I find it almost intoxicating… Most of all I love watching my characters come alive through another writer – Jodi

We write independently of each other but the narratives are intrinsically tied to the other. We weave in and out of each other’s stories. The advantage of collaboration is the perspectives and insights another person provides. The downside to this project is the ‘no spoilers’ clause – Adam

Click to read the rest of the interview here.

Blog Tour: Day 7 with Victoria Boulton

As launch day approaches, we have a few more stops along the way. Today we drop in on Victoria Boulton (@Vicorva) and have a chat about why we wrote a story in letters. We also chat about the origin of our characters and how the narrative is affected by letters.

A letter is intimate and personal. It is a private, shared moment between two people – Adam

There is a sense of freedom and danger in pursuing a non-traditional form of story telling – Jodi

Ella-Louise is broken and burned out, living a sea change to try and reclaim her life. This is the most intimate connection I have ever had with a character. I’m drawn to the first person POV, but this is something altogether different – Jodi

Jude is the essential every man. But at the same time he’s vulnerable, he’s loyal and has a deep centred sense of place and purpose – Adam

To read the rest of the interview click here.

Blog Tour: Day 6 with Nicole Murphy

On the 6th day of the Post Marked: Piper’s Reach blog tour, we have the extraordinary privilege to be hosted by Australian fantasy, science fiction and romance writer Nicole Murphy.

When first brainstorming a project you find the most convenient format to establish the parameters. We used text messaging and Nicole asks “Why?”

Creating a fictional town as the setting for the project has its own challenges and we explore how we developed the town and its impact on the characters.

Location is important because where you live shapes who you are, what you do, the opportunities available (especially during adolescence) and the way people see and treat you – Jodi

We created the fictional town of Piper’s Reach before we even had characters. Location puts the characters into a frame of reference… it became the framework for understanding the relationship between the characters – Adam

To read the full interview click here.

Blog Tour: Day 5 with Alan Baxter

My Mum used to ask why I could remember song lyrics better than my History or Mathematics homework. ~ Adam

I don’t remember a time without music (apparently I could sing ABBA before I could talk). ~ Jodi

Today’s launch ambassador is dark fantasy and horror author Alan Baxter, who is also a music aficionado of the top order. In preparation for the blog tour we slipped the playlist from the letters to-date to Alan and today’s interview evolved from there, looking at the influence of music on our lives and writing, and how music accidentally shaped the narrative, characters and the manner in which we’ve chosen to exploit the digital platform.

Ella-Louise uses music as a mirror to her past, and later the changing dynamic of her relationship with Jude. ~ Jodi

Even though they have different musical tastes, the music they share amplifies their emotional connection. ~ Adam

Read the full article at The Word According to Me.

Blog Tour: Day 2 with Paul Anderson

This narrative lives and breathes under its own impetus, in the pause and nuance between what is said and what remains unsaid. ~ Jodi Cleghorn

Paul Anderson is today’s launch ambassador and in vintage Anderson fashion the interview includes a run down on just what an outsider thinks when all they are feed is hints and shadow truths during an information embargo… as well as getting to the bottom of the process of organic narrative and the influence of handwriting.

“…once the pen starts, I don’t pause to add or change things. It is what it is.” ~ Adam Byatt

Read the full interview at Once Upon a Time in the West of London.



Blog Tour: Day 1 with Laura Meyer

“…it raises the question of how would you react to meeting someone ten, twenty or thirty years later.” ~ Adam Byatt

In her indomitable style and with extra lashings of wicked humour Laura Meyer hosts us for a behind the scenes chat today about nostalgia versus challenge, story vs form and the most favourite part of journey to date.

“Reading that first letter was a homecoming… tearing open the envelope… I was simultaneously thirty-something and a teenager.” ~ Jodi Cleghorn

Read the full more interview at I’m Not The Messiah Just A Very Busy Mum.