It is an exciting time for Ringwood, with many book launches and events to look forward to! In this instalment of the newsletter we get to share some of those events with you all, alongside the happy news that season three of the Ringwood Podcast is up and running! We hope you are all enjoying the welcome arrival of spring as much as we are!


Revenge of the Tyrants: Launch Event  By Júlia Pujals Antolin

Ringwood Publishing is delighted to invite you to the launch of Lynda Kristiansen’s Revenge of The Tyrants! The second in a planned series of eight novels on the Wars of Scottish Independence, L.A. Kristiansen’s Revenge of the Tyrants features some of the most famous (and infamous) figures in this brutal struggle for freedom, power, and revenge.
 
The launch event will take place on April 28th at 2pm in Glasgow’s Hillhead Library, and it will include an interview with the author, wherein she’ll discuss her writing process as well as explore themes relevant both to her work and to historical fiction in general. There will also be:

  • an exclusive opportunity for an audience Q&A.
  • a speech by award-winning historical fiction writer Rob McInroy.
  • signed copies available for purchase.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the Hillhead Library: the launch will also be live-streamed on Facebook. You can find the link and add it to your calendar here.
 
If you’re a fan of Robert the Bruce, Scottish historical fiction, and even films such as Outlaw King, you will not want to miss the second instalment of the Independence Chronicles series.
 
We hope to see you there!


Moot: Open For Pre-Orders & Event Announcement By Hristo Karastoyanov

We are thrilled to announce that Moot, the third book in Rob McInroy’s Perthshire-based crime trilogy, is now available for pre-order, and we have a date for a launch event!
 
From the author of Cuddies Strip and Barossa Street comes a new web of intrigue for Bob Kelty to unravel.

July 1939, and 3,500 young men from around the world arrive at Monzie Castle in Perthshire for the third international Rover Scout Moot. In the shadow of looming war the Moot seems to be a last gasp of international friendship and fraternity.

But among them is a murderer.

Bob Kelty discovers a dead body in a burnt-out tent on the edge of the camp. He is immediately suspicious but for some reason the authorities seem reluctant to become involved.

More strange things begin to happen and Bob’s suspicions increase. And if the authorities won’t look into them, Bob decides he must.

Moot is a novel of manipulation and trickery, murder and conspiracy. Unwittingly, Bob gets drawn deeper and deeper into events he does not understand and cannot control, events which reach to the highest areas of government.

And the question is: when is a murder not a murder?

 
Join us at Strathearn Arts in Crieff on the 26th of May to celebrate the next instalment in McIroy’s award winning series! Find more info and how to buy your ticket here

Make sure to pre-order to receive an exclusive signed copy of the novel a week before the launch!


Cover Event By Júlia Pujals Antolin

Are you an aspiring graphic designer hoping to get into publishing or expand your portfolio? Have you ever judged a book by its cover and want to know why?
 
Join Ringwood Publishing on the 19th of May at Hillhead Library for an afternoon full of workshops from the hand of Ringwood’s in-house graphic designer, Skye Galloway!
 
The event will have a series of exercises to build your knowledge of how to design effective covers, some fun contests to test your familiarity with Ringwood’s covers, and even a secret Prize!
 
These activities are great for all skill levels, whether you are a seasoned graphic designer wanting to learn about book covers or simply enjoy art and design as hobbies. The Ringwood team will be there to guide you through it all!
 
And, if any covers catch your eye, there will be some books from our beloved authors available to purchase, as well.
 
Stay tuned to our social media for more information!


Get to Know Our Interns: Annika Dahlman  By Matilda Eker

Please tell us about your background:

I’m originally from a town called Lund in Sweden, but I moved to Scotland for university back in 2019. I’d always known I wanted to move abroad at some point in my life but had never really considered Scotland. I can say now that I’m endlessly grateful for where I ended up! I did my undergraduate in Comparative Literature and Italian at the University of St Andrews, and during those four years in Fife, my love for Scotland was born. I then moved to Glasgow following my graduation last year — and here my love grows!

What have been your roles at Ringwood?
 
I’ve done a fair few different things since joining Ringwood in August of last year. For instance, I’ve organised and co-chaired a couple of writing seminars together with fellow intern Matilda. In connection to that, I helped promote Ringwood’s annual Short Story Competition last winter, and was actually one of the judges for it, which was great fun!
 
Since late November, I have been Ringwood’s Submissions Secretary, which requires me to oversee the submissions that Ringwood receives. I’m the one who makes sure that every single submission is acknowledged and, if it catches our eye, added to our system. Being Submissions Secretary has also granted me a spot on the Editorial Committee where I get to be part of the decision-making process behind the titles Ringwood publishes.
 
My biggest role at Ringwood, however, is my role as Lead Editor and Marketing Leader of Song of the Stag, one of Ringwood’s forthcoming titles.
 
And what have you enjoyed the most?
 
Definitely being editor for Song of the Stag! Written by the amazing R.M. Brown, the novel was first sent to me back in November, and within reading the first page — scratch that; within reading the first couple of lines — I had a feeling I was going to have the best time working with it. And I couldn’t have been more right!

This book is a folkloric fantasy reimagining of the Scottish fight for independence. It deals with complex and profound themes, such as abuse and autonomy, but it does so with lightness and, more importantly, with hope. And Brown creates a set of fascinating characters that I dare say will stay with me for the rest of my life.
 
The book will be launched on June 27th, so make sure you pre-order your copy now — trust me, you’ll want to get your hands on it as quickly as you can!

What are your favourite books and genres?
 
Truth be told, I think I can get behind most anything, so long as it’s quite character-driven. I love to read about relationships of all kinds — the messier and more complicated, the better. Give me Jane Austen’s drama of awkward courtship, or Elena Ferrante’s tumultuous female friendships, or books such as Beloved and Shuggie Bain and their depictions of the complexity of motherhood. I know the authors and titles I’ve listed just now do not exactly differ greatly in genre, but truly, I’ll take anything and everything, as long as you give me a character to care about.
 
What would you like to see more of in Scottish Publishing?
 
I know this has been said before, but it does bear repeating: more of it! I think having been Submissions Secretary especially has made it really evident for me how many exciting stories this country has got to yield.


Song of the Stag: Launch Announcement

Ringwood is thrilled to finally announce the launch event for the much-awaited Song of the Stag by R.M. Brown, which is to be held on Thursday June 27th at 7pm at The Tinsmith in Dundee! The event is completely free and unticketed. 
 
Join us for an exciting evening where you’ll get the chance to hear all about this extraordinary book and the mind behind it. 
 
Song of the Stag may be a fantasy, but above all it is a love letter to Scotland’s historic and folkloric legacy. From ancient kings and black-hearted patriots to bonnie princes and Jacobite songs, this book is a celebration of a complex, beautiful, and all too often tragic, land.
 
Come one and come all – though we’re of course hoping for the latter.

We can’t wait to see you there!


New Podcast Season By Annemarie Whitehurst

Season 3 of the Ringwood Publishing Podcast has arrived! In our first episode of the new season we are excited to have T. Y. Garner with us to discuss his debut novel, The Hotel Hokusai. Tony is a Glasgow-based writer of fiction and poetry and has worked as an English as a second language teacher for many years. We discuss a whole range of topics related to his gripping historical mystery novel, from writing challenges, inspiration, and major themes. Here’s the link to listen!
 
If you haven’t yet gotten your copy of The Hotel Hokusai, order yours here.

Do you have a favorite Ringwood author you’d love to see on the podcast? Or are you interested in learning about a particular part of the book-publishing process? We’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions! Write to us at: mail@ringwoodpublishing.com
 
Stay tuned for future podcast episodes… Happy listening!


Thoughts on Sustainable Publishing and a Ringwood Earth Day Reading List By Matilda Eker

Photo of a beach on the North Coast of Scotland, by Matilda Eker.

With this year’s Earth Day having just passed on April 22nd, I have found myself reflecting  some on sustainability in publishing. Green initiatives in the industry can take many forms, with everything from securing sustainable and ethical investments and sponsorships, to ensuring that printers and offices use renewable energy sources. But of course, the main culprit in the industry is obvious: paper. Some ways to reduce emissions from printed books can be reviewing the materials used to print books, and opting for recycled paper, as well as avoiding any glues or finishes that can’t be recycled later on.
 
Then, of course, we might avoid the printed page altogether and opt for e-books, but as Anthropocene Magazine points out: what ends up being most sustainable might depend on your reading habits. If you buy a Kindle or similar product just for digital reading, you will have to read a considerable number of books before your total greenhouse gas emission is less than what those paperbacks would have been. But this also depends on whether you recycle your books when you are done reading them, which I must confess I could only bring myself to do if I really disliked the book. But of course, it does make your reading habits greener, so perhaps I have some learning to do.
 
Another player in the game is Print-On-Demand, which is a great way to avoid excess stock and unnecessary emissions from overseas shipments. For instance, we use Print-On-Demand at Ringwood, so that buyers in other parts of the world can get our books printed locally, saving them money while getting rid of much of the transportation.
 
However, there is also another altogether aspect of sustainability which is far less concrete, but still important in its own way– content. This might include publishing resources on sustainability, or it might even entail publishing content about the natural world. At university, when studying a course about ecocriticism and Romanticism, we read Jonathan Bate, who writes in his The Song of the Earth (2000) that ‘poetry is the place where we save the earth’, which became a constant point of discussion throughout the semester. The consensus of the class was, as you might guess: no, poetry is not the place where we save the earth. However, while Bate’s words have become dated, the root of his idea is still one I think is worth considering. Of course, the notion of reading Romantic poetry and suggesting that we are thus saving the earth, is far too idealistic, but at the same time, we should not underestimate literature’s role in changing attitudes surrounding climate change. In contrast to other media like newspaper articles, novels have the advantage of containing a much more emotional component for the reader. Through literature, we might experience the effects of, for example, the climate crisis in much more intimate ways, such as through the eyes of characters that we feel attached to. In that sense, anything that brings people’s awareness to the natural world and to climate change is a powerful tool.
 
Moreover, even if a book doesn’t directly speak of climate change, stories with evocative descriptions of natural scenery might serve as reminders of all the beautiful spaces on this earth that we must fight to protect. In the same way that we might feel particularly attached to places where we have travelled, we might also feel the same way about places we have visited through books. If literature can help us become more attuned to the wonders of the natural world, we might also end up feeling more strongly about topics surrounding climate change, hopefully influencing our habits for the better. In other words, while poetry or literature might not necessarily be the best tool for saving the planet, it still definitely has a part to play. 
 
If you feel inspired to celebrate Earth Day by reading some books which speak about nature, here’s your very own Ringwood Earth Day reading list:
 
The Activist Alec Connon tells the story of a young man’s gap year that soon turns into over a decade of animal rights activism. The novel gives insight into the endangered life of marine animals and into different aspects of ocean conservation– the perfect Earth Day Read.
 
Millenial Munros The author Charlie Campbell recalls his journey of tackling all of Scotland’s 284 Munros in a world record breaking 49 days. Includes maps and walking trails if you find yourself inspired to follow in Campbell’s footsteps.
 
A Guide to the Geology of Islay and A Guide to the Geology of Islay, Jura and Colonsay Vol II Throughout the two volumes, author David Webster describes 18 excursions on the three islands, each one complete with a description of the geology one will encounter on the walk. Perfect for anyone interested in learning more about Scotland’s fascinating geology.
 
The Bone on the Beach Author Fiona Gillian Kerr had the idea for the book while walking along a North Highland beach, and the result is a mysterious ghost story which is deeply rooted in the surrounding landscape.
 
-Inference Stephanie McDonald’s first novel takes place on a rugged, windswept Scottish island, where the protagonist mysteriously wakes up one morning. The so often romanticised escape from the city is put into new light in this thriller.
 
-Dark Loch Charles P. Sharkey explores the effects of the First World War on small rural crofting communities in Scotland. The book is set in the fictional village of Glenfay on the West Coast of Scotland.
 
-What You Call Free Flora Johnston’s historical fiction novel depicts female friendship and freedom, with the magnificent backdrop of the Pentland Hills.
 
-Remember the Rowan This forthcoming novel is not yet available for preorder (but will be come June), but deserves a mention on this list thanks to its many evocative descriptions of the West Highland, where the novel is partially set.

Sources:
Jonathan Bate. 2000. The Song of the Earth (Picador)
 
Anthropocene Magazine. 2020. https://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/2020/08/the-environmental-footprint-of-paper-vs-electronic-books/


Until next time, 

Matilda Eker & Megan Gibson (Editors), Jiyuan Li, Rebecca McGuire, and Felicity Deacon (Assistant Editors), and the entire Ringwood team!

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