Halloween at Dragon Hall


We have a treat for you this Halloween: an evening of strange and ghostly stories, held in the shadows of Dragon Hall, Norwich.

‘Strange Tales for Halloween’ by Wayne Adrian Drew, will take you on a haunting journey through classic and contemporary tales of horror – all set in East Anglia – from Black Shuck (the devil’s dog), to witches, ghouls and the ghastly lantern men. Above, you can hear Wayne read an extract from Black Shuck, recorded with the National Writer’s Centre.

Actor Richard Holliss, in the role of Montague Rhodes James, the famous ghost story author, will introduce actors Robin Watson & Susan Seddon and author Piers Warren, who will all read a selection of truly chilling stories suitable for adult audiences only. Meet some of the (living) authors, enjoy a complimentary drink and expect dim lights and sinister sound effects at this not to be missed traditional celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, held in the candle lit shadows of spectacular 15th Century Hall!

This Halloween event marks the launch of Wayne Adrian Drew’s Shadows on the Fens, an anthology of new and classic supernatural fiction set in East Anglia. Pick up a signed copy of the limited edition hardback (Indiebooks, £18) and meet the author on the night.

Find out more and book tickets.

‘Major’ Book Launches


‘Autumn Nightmares’, Friday 30th September 7pm

The weather has turned, the nights are drawing in (and we keep leaving work in the dark), but the nightmares don’t end there…

Autumn Nightmares – An Evening of East Anglian Ghost Stories.
Halloween comes early this year when on September 30th, at Waterstones in Cambridge, the launch of Shadows on the Fens, Wayne Adrian Drew’s anthology of new and classic ghostly tales, will be marked by a very special event. Please be aware that there will be low levels of lighting and ghostly sound effects at this chilling theatrical series of readings designed only for adult audiences.


Join us tomorrow evening in Waterstones, Cambridge, for the launch of the limited edition ‘Shadows on the Fens’.

This is no ordinary book launch! Expect spooky tales and ghostly actors – complete with sound effects – for something a little different this Friday night. Editor Wayne Adrian Drew is no stranger to putting on a great show so expect to be able to welcome the Autumn in in style.

Tickets for Autumn Nightmares are £4 (redeemable against the purchase of the book) and are now on sale from Waterstones’ Cambridge store and on its website.  Tel: 01223 351 688

People’s Book Prize Part II

Calling all fans! (Or anyone looking for the next book to read).

King’s Company and Latitude North are looking like they might be real contenders in the Autumn showcase of the People’s Book Prize,  with some really great – and well deserved – comments going up for both.

We’ve selected some of our favourite reviews as a taster, but make sure to check out the People’s Book Prize website for more, links below.

King’s Company (competing in the Children’s category)

I loved this book! For me it was a return to children’s historical fiction in the great tradition of Rosemary Sutcliff and Ronald Welch but with an exciting contemporary voice.

A cracking read. Masterful storytelling to grip the imagination.

A great piece of historical fiction that my daughter loved.

Latitude North (competing in the Non-Fiction category)

Evocative descriptions and a love of the North fill this fascinating work with atmosphere and emotion. I could see the clarity of the light yet felt the darkness of the history. This is an unforgettable book, worth every moment I spent reading it.

This book charts a lifelong fascination with the geographic north, told with affection, rare elegance, and a keen eye for detail. This is a wonderful and richly rewarding read.

Superb. Moving and emotive. Poetry in prose.

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It really is what it says on the cover, part travelogue, part memoire and part history of northern lands and seas. But it is Moseley’s skill in melding all three that makes the whole totally captivating. All is written as if he were talking next to you and anticipating your questions from what he has said. He draws on an impressive knowledge of several disciplines to help you understand what he is experiencing – concerns and delights – and so you feel you are on the journey with him. Such is the effect of this book, I have now planned my first visit to Iceland. Definitely ‘a must read’. So, without any hesitation, here is my vote.


Charles Moseley, author of Latitude North

People’s Book Prize

We’re pleased to tell you that two IndieBooks books*, King’s Company and Latitude North, have been selected for the People’s Book Prize this Autumn.

For any fans out there, please help support our authors Jessamy and Charles by registering and voting, or sharing wherever possible! Copies are available from our website for all those who are yet to have the pleasure of reading either title. blacklogotm

* and they are running in separate categories so feel free to vote for both!

Shadows in the Bookshop

Our highly anticipated anthology ‘Shadows on the Fens’  will be launched at 7pm on  Friday 30th September at Waterstones in Cambridge, accompanied by Autumn Nightmares– a special event celebrating the ghost story tradition in East Anglia.

Many great writers have set their finest ghostly tales in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, and over 20 of these are contained in this anthology. Several of these tales have not been available for many years.

The anthology features three new stories too. These include Black Shuck the Devil’s Dog, by Piers Warren, who is the winner of a special competition we held with the Eastern Daily Press to find a local writer who is carrying on the region’s famous tradition of the ghost story.

Tickets for Autumn Nightmares are £4 (redeemable against the purchase of the book) and are now on sale from Waterstones’ Cambridge store and on its website.  Tel: 01223 351 688

This event, only really suitable for adult audiences, will feature actor Richard Holliss in the persona of M.R. James. (Montague Rhodes James was a distinguished academic who was based at King’s College Cambridge, and the author of what are regarded as the finest ghost stories in the English language). Author Piers Warren, and actor Robin Watson, who recently triumphed in a production of The Dresser, will be joining him to read a selection of stories with accompanying sound effects etc.

Autumn Nightmares – An Evening of East Anglian Ghost Stories. Halloween comes early this year when on September 30th, at Waterstones in Cambridge, the launch of Shadows on the Fens, Wayne Adrian Drew’s anthology of new and classic ghostly tales, will be marked by a very special event. Please be aware that there will be low levels of lighting and ghostly sound effects at this chilling theatrical series of readings designed only for adult audiences.

Shadows Front Cover FINAL.png


A Lasting Relationship

We are once again celebrating the long and intimate relationship between writers and trees, with the release of a paperback version of ‘Why Willows Weep, an anthology of contemporary fables by nineteen of Britain’s most acclaimed authors. ‘Why Willows Weep’ is inspired by, and dedicated to, Britain’s native trees – a thank you for their priceless gift of paper and books.

But writers aren’t the only ones who owe a lot to trees. Trees and woods are important for a huge range of reasons, from their vital role in the carbon cycle to supporting wildlife, improving water quality, reducing flood risks, increasing numbers of pollinators, keeping soil healthy, enhancing landscape value and improving air quality – to name a few!

Why WIllows Weep cov#63FE95.jpgBritain is one of the least wooded areas in Europe, and yet trees continue to disappear from its landscape.

Sales from the first edition of Why Willows Weep helped the Woodland Trust plant approximately 50,000 new trees, and each paperback sold will help plant another.

This increases the resilience of the land,
in turn supporting existing woods and trees, helping them bounce back from current threats such as climate change, tree pests and disease.

So spread the word about ‘Why Willows Weep’ and help The Woodland Trust protect and rebuild Britain’s woodlands.


Robin’s resignation & the Chilcot report

It’s hard to find media coverage of today’s publication of the Chilcot report that doesn’t reference Robin Cook’s memorable resignation in 2003, due to his opposition to military action in Iraq – reportedly the first speech to ever receive a standing ovation in the House of Commons.

The findings of the Chilcot Enquiry, today, 13 years on, vindicate his decision.

His speech forms the epilogue to “Robin Cook: Principles and Power”, by John Williams – who as Press Secretary was at Robin’s side during a turbulent three years as Foreign Secretary. John also reflects on what today’s politicians – and voters – can learn from Robin Cook: a man who understood the realities of power but also remained true to his principles.



Robin and the Referendum

Today’s guest blog comes from John Williams, author of ‘Robin Cook: Principles and Power’ and ‘Williams on Public Diplomacy’, and press secretary during Robin Cook’s three dramatic and turbulent years as Foreign Secretary.

Robin Cook’s early death robbed British politics of one of its most distinctive and principled stars and, ten years on, his struggle to reconcile those principles with the realities of power remains as relevant as ever. John reflects on what today’s politicians – and voters – can learn from Robin Cook: a man who believed that, despite everything, politics can still be a force for good.

The referendum would have gone the other way had the champions of Britain in Europe spoken with hope and confidence for their case, rather than with fear and no confidence in the public’s intelligence. Nobody has dared be positive about Europe for a very long time.

Imagine if the case for Europe had been put like this:

‘It is a delusion to imagine that Britain is stronger if it is isolated. The best way to project British values and British interests is by doing so in partnership with those who share our values: democracy, human rights, justice and freedom….’


‘We are at the same time patriotic and pro-European…..:The fact is that the national identities, cultures and traditions of the democratic nations of Europe are too strong to be subsumed. The EU is unique in world history. No other nations have done so much to pool their strength in the common interest while retaining the sovereignty and identity that make them distinct and diverse.’

Robin Cook used a narrative of British confidence in Europe to win an earlier argument about our place in the EU, when he was Foreign Secretary negotiating the entry of Eastern Europe into the Union in 2000. Then, as now, the debate was framed by the Eurosceptic mythology about a superstate. The difference was that then the anti-EU case was all about fear, the pro-EU case based on hope: a stronger Britain in a wider Europe. Now, in the 2016 referendum, the Remain campaign dared not put its faith in its own case. Remainers destroyed their credibility by scaremongering.

I doubt that any of them troubled to look up Robin’s speeches and articles to see how the argument can be won. George Osborne is an unlikely disciple. We can be sure that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t consult the Cook legacy.

The current Labour Party (is it post New Labour or pre-modern Labour?) is struggling to find a way of talking about immigration. How about this?

‘Legitimate immigration is the necessary and unavoidable result of economic success, which generates a demand for labour faster than can be met by the birth-rate of a modern developed country. Every country needs firm but fair immigration laws. There is no more evil business than trafficking in human beings and nothing corrodes social cohesion worse than a furtive underground of illegal migrants beyond legal protection against exploitation. But we must also create an open and inclusive society that welcomes incomers for their contribution to our growth and prosperity.’

That comes from a speech famous – at the time – for Robin describing chicken tikka masala as ‘a true British national dish’.

Open-minded, positive, internationalist, hopeful for Britain’s future, confident in our country… Not a bad strategy for our time, should Labour be looking for one.’




Cameron’s (short-lived) comeback

In all the dramatic and bewildering political goings-on of the last week we thought it was time we revisited ‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ – the one thing we can be sure about at the moment after all is how we got here.

For all those whose political interest has been piqued by recent events, we are offering a 25% discount for the next month, when you buy direct from us.

‘Explaining Cameron’s Comeback’ is the fifth book in the series of definitive election studies led by Sir Robert Worcester and Roger Mortimore. It analyses hundreds of surveys and focus groups run by Ipsos MORI to make sense of the 2015 election campaign from the voter’s perspective: what they really thought of Cameron and Miliband; what made the 2015 campaign so unusual; why it made sense to go negative; and why the pundits read the polls wrong. Trend data going back six decades helps show what the 2015 election result means for the next five years of British politics, from the European Referendum to the implications for the 2020 election.

Just use code BECC25 to take advantage of this offer. And who knows, maybe now there will be another title in the series sooner than we thought!

Explaining Cameron's Comeback BLOG