Dearest Ringwood Readers,
Our newsletter is jam-packed this month with upcoming events, an audiobook announcement and an exciting Ringwood author interview.
Make sure to watch out for a special excerpt from one of our upcoming releases!
Carol Margaret Davison
Bodysnatcher x The Edinburgh Dungeons.
Thursday, June 1st at 7PM – This event will take place in ‘The Anatomy Theatre’, a replica of Dr. Knox’s Laboratory.
We will be partnering with The Edinburgh Dungeons for another Q&A, and some readings. This very special event will take place inside a replica of Dr. Knox’s lecture hall, where he dissected the corpses procured for him by the murderers Burke and Hare, as depicted in Bodysnatcher. We can’t think of a better place to discuss this bloody, macabre tale.
Bodysnatcher is available to purchase here.
You can reserve your spot here (Admission Free!)
Carol Margaret Davison
Bodysnatcher x Guided Walk of Edinburgh.
Saturday, 3rd of June – This event will take place at 12PM outside The Stevenson House, Edinburgh.
Join us for an exclusive Bodysnatcher Guided Walk. You will get the chance to step into 1800’s Edinburgh and retrace the steps of the two infamous murderers. With author Carol reading excerpts of the novel in their original setting, the audience will have the full experience of the psychology and social background of the characters, accompanied by an insider glance of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Wheelchair accessible, though due to location, there are some steeper parts to be mindful of!
This event is admission free!
For more info and to reserve your spot, click here!
‘How to Write and Publish a Book’
Wednesday, 28th of June – This event will take place at Stockbridge Library at 6:45PM.
If you have ever fancied putting pen to paper and becoming a writer and want to know more about the writing and publishing process, then come alone to our panel event.
This event is free and open to all, whether you are still formulating ideas, you are ready to submit your book, or just want to know more about the book publishing process. Ringwood authors Flora Johnston and L.A. Kristiansen will be sharing their experiences and tips, along with Ringwood intern Megan Gibson, who will divulge what the submission team looks for when reading manuscripts.
Come along and bring some questions!
This is admission free! For more information click here!
Brendan McLaughlin’s The First of May.
By Jade McKeogh.
Brendan McLaughlin’s book, The First of May, was officially launched on the 1st of May at the Clutha Vaults. The event was a tremendous success with over 100 people in attendance!
Friends, family and book lovers gathered into the cosy atmosphere of the Clutha to celebrate Brendan’s life and work. Each book was sold with a free CD that Brendan wrote and performed himself. On the stage, there was a screen that featured pictures of Brendan and videos of him performing, along with his performances as a member of the Kingston Bridge Trio.
One of Ringwood’s senior interns, Shannon Genereau, introduced herself and the launch programme for the night. Afterwards, the Chief Editor of Brendan’s book, Sandy Jamieson, gave a warm-hearted and thought-provoking introduction to The First of May and Brendan himself.
Shannon Genereau & Sandy Jamieson.
We then had four readings from the book. Neil McDonald, an editor of the book, did a reading on ‘Brendan the Glaswegian’ while Sandy Jamieson did a reading on the quintessential essence of the book. A good friend of Brendan’s, Allan McPherson, did a reading on ‘Brendan the fighter’, and Natasha Cunningham, a former Ringwood intern, did a reading on a more personal aspect of the book. Each reading was followed by a song performed by Brendan which related closely to each reading and allowed for Brendan’s voice to be heard within his own launch event.
Brendan’s friend: Allan McPherson.
Shannon then returned to wrap up the official part of the evening before Brendan’s wife Joni and his other immediate family, Siobhan, Kevin and Katie, came on stage to thank everyone for coming to the event in an emotional closing speech.
Brendan’s Family: Joni, Kevin, Siobhan & Katie.
A feeling of remembrance epitomised the evening as live music and lively chats preceded the launch. Ringwood is ecstatic to announce that we successfully sold every copy of The First of May and ended the night by taking pre-orders for the book’s reprint.
If you haven’t got yours, you can now order Brendan’s book and the free accompanying CD here!
Thank you to everyone who came along! We hope to see you all again at some of our future events.
A Ringwood Audiobook Announcement
Bestselling true-crime title Ruxton: The First Modern Murder by Tom Wood, becomes Ringwood’s first audiobook.
By Hayley Bannon & Felicity Primrose.
Following the success of Ringwood’s true crime bestseller Ruxton: The First Modern Murder, we are excited to announce that the title will become our first ever audiobook. Over the last six months, we have been working in partnership with Publishing Scotland and Offbeat Studio, who have funded and produced our new venture into the audiobook market.
In November 2022, Publishing Scotland announced that they would be funding audiobooks for five independent Scottish publishers. A team of talented interns worked tirelessly over Christmas and New Year perfecting the required marketing plan. Their hard work paid off as Ringwood became one of the lucky five to receive a grant covering the cost of audiobook production, beating fifteen other hopefuls.
Shannon Genereau, Ringwood Social Media Manager, Ringwood’s Simon McLean, Author Tom Wood, Narrator Steve Worsley, Audiobook Manager Hayley Bannon & Offbeat Studio Producer Iain McKinna.
The audiobook is now available to buy on both Audible and iTunes and an official launch will take place on the 9th of July 2023, venue TBA. The launch will be an opportunity to hear author Tom Wood, Offbeat Studio producer Iain McKinna and Vikki Reilly from Publishing Scotland as well as a chance to talk to the staff here at Ringwood about the exciting process of creating and marketing an audiobook.
Author Tom Wood, Publishing Scotland’s Vikki Reilly, narrator Steve Worsley & Iain McKinna from Offbeat Studio.
Click here to read the full article.
And tap on the websites below to purchase the audiobook!
Carol Margaret Davison’s Bodysnatcher.
By. Eleni Koumentakou and Megan Gibson.
On the 28th of May, Carol Margaret Davison’s highly anticipated novel, Bodynsatcher, was officially launched at Hillhead Library, Glasgow. Carol flew out from Canada for a cosy get-together, with over 30 attendees who joined us for a reading, Q&A session and book signing.
The launch began with an introduction to the event by board member, Lynsey Smith. Lynsey introduced both Carol’s novel and Ringwood’s collaboration with Women’s Aid, to whom ourselves and Carol will be donating a portion of our proceeds. Following this, Carol then gave a heart-felt introduction, discussing the process of writing such an emotional novel and her intentions in doing so, right up to getting it published. This introduction was further punctuated by two readings from the novel, both atmospheric and poignant.
The Q&A session was held by senior Ringwood intern, Mridula Sharma, who discussed many fascinating topics with Carol, such as exploring the inspiration behind Bodysnatcher, and the author’s research and writing process. Most heartfelt, however, were the discussions of the victims highlighted in the novel, in which Carol discussed the importance of doing justice to these real-life people, and the process of writing such emotionally draining content.
The evening concluded with a brief Q&A from the audience, a book signing, and an invitation to a nearby pub for further discussion of all things Bodysnatcher.
We cannot wait to experience the rest of the events planned this week, in which Carol will focus on different aspects of her multifaceted novel. There is still much of Bodysnatcher to learn about, none of these events lined up will be the same, so attendees are welcome to attend them all! Three book events in one week? Sounds amazing to us!
You can buy your own copy of Bodysnatcher here.
An Interview with Charlie Laidlaw.
Author of upcoming e-book launch, The Time Between Space.
By Jade McKeogh.
Charlie Laidlaw is a PR consultant, teaches creative writing, and lives in East Lothian. He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and was previously a national newspaper journalist and defence intelligence analyst. His other novels are Everyday Magic, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, Being Alert! and Love Potions and Other Calamities.
All of Charlie Laidlaw’s novels have a strong local connection, collectively forming an East Lothian Quartet. The Time Between Space is his forthcoming e-book, which is to be launched on the 25th of June in Hillhead Library at 2PM.
How would you describe The Time Between Space?
It’s about one girl’s journey from childhood into adulthood. Told in the first person, the central character wants us to believe the narrative she’s writing: that her mother was an angel, and that everything that’s gone wrong in her life is the fault of her father. More than anything, it’s a narrative she wants to believe. The book is about how she comes to terms with a more nuanced past.
All of your books are written from a woman’s point of view. What is it that draws you to that perspective?
To be honest, I don’t know! I’ve certainly never set out to write from a woman’s perspective. But I’m a great believer that inspiration only comes in bite-sized chunks, and my inspirations have only come with female protagonists. That said, I do believe that women can make more interesting characters. Being infinitely better than men, women can be more caring and nurturing; more attuned to their emotions, and better able to express them. As a writer, that gives me a broader canvas to paint on.
The Time Between Space features difficult topics such as childhood trauma and mental health issues, is this something you found difficult to write about? And was it important for you to write a story that featured these topics?
I think that, in writing about difficult topics, you have to approach them with great sensitivity. I don’t believe that they were particularly difficult because I knew and understood my character. I therefore knew what she was going through. Luckily my writing style allowed me to balance show and tell in a way that I hope comes across as authentic.
As to whether it was important for me to write about mental health issues, they simply flowed from the original inspiration for the story. Emma, my character, has depth and complexity but is also scarred by false memories of her childhood. It was therefore important to build those scars into a narrative where she can come to terms with her past, and heal the mental problems that she has carried with her from childhood.
All of your books balance humour with poignancy. How do you find that equilibrium while writing about such difficult topics?
I think that stems from the books I have enjoyed, and still enjoy. I don’t much like books that don’t have some humour in them because, ultimately, I want a book to entertain me. I certainly don’t like books that are depressing. Getting that balance right, between humour and poignancy, is really what life is about…and, for me, a good book should reflect that balance.
The protagonist goes through a lot of trauma and hardships within The Time Between Space. What was the most challenging scene to write about?
I can’t point to any one scene because, like any book, it went through multiple rewrites and edits. Along the way, I got to know my character and her faults and foibles. More than that, I got to know what she would say or think. In that sense, my character mainly told me what to say, or tell me if I wrote something that was wrong. In my writing, I’ve always been lucky in having characters that I’ve closely connected with. Good writing is about having close and two-way connections with your characters. It means you can make them real, with real dialogue and narrative, however difficult a particular scene may be.
Who would you say The Time Between Space is written for?
I hope it’s a book with wide appeal although, I suppose, it has a slight slant to women readers… largely because the protagonist is a woman. I know that writers should always have a clear idea of their target market but with this book I didn’t. I simply didn’t want to pigeonhole the book, because the themes it covers are more universal.
Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
Probably lots! Hemingway was perhaps the biggest influence, but I’m constantly being influenced. Not so much in writing style, because I now have a writing style, but in the way that authors express ideas or construct their stories. The simple truth is that you can’t be a writer if you don’t read, and you can’t grow as a writer if you don’t go on reading. Books are teachers, so keep on reading!
Thank you for your time Charlie!
Keep an eye on our socials for the pre-order announcement.
Read an excerpt from The Time Between Space below!
I now know that in any one year, each of us has a one in 387 chance of dying from cancer and a one in 16,800 chance of being killed in a road accident. In a desolate place far from help, my mother was struck by lightning. It didn’t kill her, not immediately. Maybe she could have been saved, except she was alone and there was nobody to raise the alarm. She wasn’t now just one in a million. Statistically, she was one in 18,700,000. I still don’t really know why I went looking for Mum, or why I climbed the Law. Maybe just that she’d always been at home when I was around, and she never ever went out when it was wet. Her absence had therefore been unusual, and the Law was one of her favourite places. Inevitably, every newspaper, radio and TV station in the world carried the story of her death: “Film star’s wife killed in freak accident is found by young daughter.” For a while, I too was a minor celebrity.
Admission is free!
For information, click here!
Get to Know Our Interns: Shannon Genereau.
Introduction & Questions by Megan Gibson.
Welcome back to another segment of get to know our interns! As many interested in publishing will know, the industry is a difficult and competitive one to get into. As a result, Ringwood wants to give anyone who is willing, the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to kick-start their careers. The intern programme spans across all departments, giving everyone valuable insight into all aspects of publishing.
This month, let us introduce you to Shannon Genereau! Shannon joined Ringwood in December 2022, and is currently one of our Senior Interns, along with being our Social Media Manager and much more!
Tell us about your background and how you came to Ringwood.
For the past several years, I was working as a proposal manager for Thomson Reuters in Minnesota, USA. After much consideration, I made the decision to go back to school last year and decided to pursue an MLitt in Publishing from the University of Stirling. As a part of my course, I had the opportunity to take on an internship. I searched the Publishing Scotland website and found Ringwood. After sending in my CV, I got an interview, and here I am now!
What is your role at Ringwood?
I have several roles at Ringwood. My primary role is as the Marketing and Social Media Manager, but I also help manage all Ringwood interns. I was Head of Marketing for our most recent release, Brendan McLaughlin’s The First of May, I am part of the Audiobook and eBook Promotion team, and I am an author support worker to Charlie Sharkey and the McLaughlin family. Needless to say, there’s never a dull moment for me at Ringwood!
What are your favourite genres of books?
I have many favourites, but I would have to say my top three are historical fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction.
What do you most enjoy about working in publishing and what are your goals for the future?
I have been an enthusiastic and voracious reader my entire life. The opportunity to work with books, and help bring them to life, has long been a dream of mine. I really enjoy seeing a book go through the many stages between manuscript and bookshelf, which I get to see and experience a lot of as an intern at Ringwood. My goals for the future include getting a job in publishing, preferably in academic or professional publishing, and continuing to help bring quality literature into the world.
As a Senior Intern, what advice would you give people wanting to get into the publishing industry?
Always go for it! If you are on the fence about whether or not to apply for a role, be it a work placement, an internship, something part-time or a full-time job, it never hurts to try! I didn’t know what to expect with a publishing internship, but now I’m so glad I found Ringwood. The experiences I’ve had and the connections I’ve made would never have happened if I hadn’t decided to try for a placement here.
I would also say to make sure you use your connections and network. The publishing industry, while large, gets much smaller when you have connections to call on.
What has been your favourite moment at Ringwood?
The launch of Brendan McLaughlin’s book, The First of May, has been one of my favourite moments since starting with Ringwood. It was so nice to see all of the hard work and efforts of the editorial and marketing team come to fruition at the Clutha Vaults in Glasgow. We even sold out of books! It was a wonderful way to honour the memory of the author, Brendan, and it really showed me what it looks like to successfully prepare for and run a marketing campaign and book launch.
What would you like to see more of in the Scottish publishing industry?
I want to see more publishing businesses thriving in Scotland. While London has always been a hub, I know the Scottish publishing industry is growing, and I would love to see that continued growth in the coming years. The more Scottish publishers we have, the more opportunities there will be for future publishing employees like me.
Thank you for your time, Shannon!
Becoming a Volunteer for Ringwood Publishing
Ringwood Interns / The First of May marketing team, celebrating its launch.
Do you love books? Retired or have time on your hands? Want to contribute to Scotland’s creative sector? Then we want you!
Ringwood has managed to survive as a publisher by utilising an intern model where Ringwood has provided experience and support to young graduates and undergraduates in exchange for their commitment and hard work. This has been managed by a couple of older (retired) volunteers who are also unpaid. As Ringwood grows we need to share the load and are seeking more older volunteers to help support this model.
This opportunity offers a lot of fun and excitement, the opportunity to produce high quality books and work with talented authors and the chance to mentor and learn from young people starting out in their career.
We are looking for people who could commit to around 8 hours per week to work on a wide range of tasks depending on their interests (reading submissions, proofreading, promotion and marketing).
If this is you, please contact:
We can’t wait to welcome you to the team!
Until next time,
Jade McKeogh (Editor), Megan Gibson & Vicky McCormick (Assistant Editors), and the Ringwood team!