Tamar Cohen's Blog: Where did that year go?

January 9, 2014

New year, new pile of books teetering next to my bed waiting to be read. Am in the middle of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent which is set in 19th Century rural Iceland and is an amazing book in terms of the density of detail and research, but makes me feel bloody relieved to live here and now. I made the mistake of turning to the back cover flap while half way through, to discover the author was born in 1985, which nearly made me want to WEEP. Some of us were already fully-fledged grown ups in 1985! Oh well. It's a great book - dark and brooding.
I finished the copy edits this week on my next book, The Broken, which should be out in May. It was going to be called The Fallout, but wouldn't you know it another author had a novel coming out the same month with the same title? Great minds, and all that. Anyway, after an initial gnashing of teeth, I'm coming round to the new title. I think it suits the mood of the book which is about a couple who get caught up in the middle of their best friends' bitter break-up with catastrophic consequences all round. It's one of those scenarios where you start off vowing 'we're going to stay completely neutral' only to find impartiality is much harder than you think... Anyone ever been in that situation?
Anyway, Happy 2014 to one and all. Something tells me it's going to be a very interesting year
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Published on January 09, 2014 07:17 • 90 views

December 11, 2013

Please say it isn't really the middle of December. Not one single Christmas present bought, not one single New Year's Eve resolution achieved. Where on earth did 2013 go?
As a kid, I used to laugh when adults talked about the years zinging past, but now it's me wondering how I'm going to get my head around writing 2014 on things when I haven't yet mastered 2013.
Funny how subjective time is. You think isn't - I mean, an hour is an hour is an hour, right? But some hours last years. Some days are gone in a nanosecond. One minute my son was standing in front of the television in a superman cape pointing a plastic sword at Cruella Deville, and the next he's walking through the door with a beard and a hangover, freaking me out when I momentarily mistake his deep man's voice for an intruder in the house.
When I feel time galloping away from me, it helps me to think of books. Books I've written this year, or had published, or books I've read and enjoyed. Books is where I find my sense of achievement, my answer to the question 'what have I actually DONE this year?'
2013 saw the publication of the paperback of The War of the Wives, as well as the hardback of Someone Else's Wedding. Both big milestones for me. 2013 is also when I wrote my new book The Broken (out next May), making a conscious decision to edge more into psychological crime (or the label I like best Domestic Noir).
2013 is also the year I've read some amazing books. Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty has to be up there near the top, along with Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. But I also loved The Shining Girls and The Woman Upstairs and Longbourn and The Husband's Secret. Most recently Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch kept me engrossed and amazed as did The Silent Wife, and I'm currently eking out May We Be Forgiven, not wanting to finish it.
When I see the year mapped out in words and pages, I finally relax, knowing it was a year not wasted. The power of books is an incredible thing, isn't it?
Happy holidays to all
Tamar x
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Published on December 11, 2013 07:41 • 39 views

June 1, 2012

Ok, I've resisted this whole blog thing up 'til now, but I'm coming in, hands raised up high over my head, white flag waving. Technology triumphs!

And now I'd like to say a massive 'hello' to everyone here on Goodreads. When I wrote The Mistress's Revenge, I knew it wasn't going to please all of the people all of the time. I knew it wasn't even going to please all of the people some of the time. I realised right away that some people were going to respond to it, and some weren't. And that's absolutely how it should be. Otherwise I might as well have written an instruction manual.

But in general the reviews here have been from the heart, and they've been constructive, and I thank everyone who wrote something for taking the time to do that. Like any author, I LOVE it when someone writes that they 'get' what I was trying to say, but I also like it when someone has taken the time to read it and says why it didn't connect with them.

Reading is one of those rare experiences where you're allowed to have your own emotional and intellectual responses, and there's no wrong one and no right one. That's the joy of it.

The Mistress's Revenge is coming out in paperback in the UK in three weeks time (21st June) which I'm very excited about. I'm also thrilled to announce that my second book, The War of the Wives, will be published in hardback in the UK on June 19th.

Now that I've ventured a toe into the blogging water, I think I'll be back here regularly, so if anyone has anything to say, please do make a comment. Sometimes as a writer it can feel like you're just throwing words out there into the wind, so any response is always very welcome (although clearly a positive response, is PARTICULARLY welcome - I'm only human).

Anyway, it's the start of Jubilee weekend here in the UK - a four-day extravaganza to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (any excuse for a party). So I wish you all a very happy few days. Cheers!
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Published on June 01, 2012 11:37 • 421 views