Three Prime Writers on Publication Day

Today is a busy day in Prime Writer-land, with a whole slew of debut publications and paperback releases. We asked three of our authors some questions about the day, and about their books:

So, it’s publication day at last! What will you be doing today?

Claire: My husband is taking the day off, my mum is coming over, and, along with my two children, we will be going into some of the bookshops and supermarkets in Bath where the book is stocked. I just can’t wait to see it on the shelves! And, I have to admit, I’m sure I’ll be tempted to do the cringeworthy taking-photos-of-myself-next-to-my-book thing. So please excuse the photos that you might see on Twitter or Facebook of my gurning, excitable face! I promise I won’t do it any more after today.

Sarah V: In an ideal world, I’d be spending today revelling in my paperback launch. I’d swan round the bookshops and supermarkets of Cambridge where I know it’s being stocked delighting on seeing it on their shelves. And yes, I’d do that cringeworthy but hopefully forgivable thing of taking too many photos and – sorry! – posting a couple on Twitter. For just one day, I reckon that’s allowed. The reality is, though, that I’m trying to finish the edits of my second book ahead of going on holiday at the weekend. I have two young children and childcare arranged for tomorrow and so I’ll be at my desk for most of it, imagining myself in a bleak bedroom in north Cornwall in the winter of 1944. No doubt I’ll stray into social media and make it to my local Waitrose, at least, where I know it’s being stocked, because the bubble of excitement in my stomach will be irrepressible. But the aim is to be mature and professional and stick at book two. Wish me luck.

Sarah J: I’m heading down to London! First there’s a meeting with my fellow Prime Writer administrators, Vanessa Lafaye and Antonia Honeywell, where we’re going to talk about what happens next for the group. Then, in the evening, I’m having a launch party on a very special boat. Word on the Water is a bookshop on a barge, moored in Granary Square behind Kings Cross. Some very special people will be there, and I’m already feeling giddy with excitement. And I’m not apologising: there’s going to be a LOT of tweeting today!



 What are you reading?

Sarah J: I’ve just started Beth Miller’s second novel, The Good Neighbour, and it’s brilliant. Everything is deceptively cheerful along a normal-seeming road, but I have a feeling that all hell is about to break out…

Sarah V: A biography of Boris Johnson by Andrew Gimson. I’m hoping to set my next novel partly in Westminster, where I used to be a political correspondent for The Guardian, and this has been recommended by my one-time boss, former political editor Mike White. After that, though, I have a real mixed bag of books to take on holiday including Summertime and Song of the Seamaid by fellow prime writers Vanessa Lafaye and Rebecca Mascull; Sarah Winman’s A Year of Marvellous Ways; and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. And of course I’ll be hoping to pick up both your books at the airport.

Claire: I’m currently reading a psychological thriller (of course!) called The Other Child by Lucy Atkins. I’m only half way through but it’s gripping, with that creepy sense of dread that I love in novels.

The Summer of Secrets

 If your book was an animal, what animal would it be?

Sarah V: This is an impossible question! My book focuses on the reasons why five women, and one admittedly less-important man, bake. With so many different motivations, it’s too complex to be represented by one animal. But if you asked me what kind of cake it was, I’d say a Claudia Roden-inspired clementine and almond cake. Rich and indulgent; moreish yet not cloying; and with just a hint of piquancy – a little citrus to cut through the sweetness and take you by surprise.

Claire: Ooh, difficult question. Well, I like to think that the story is a bit like a polar bear; what appears to be attractive, unassuming and passive on the outside is really quite deadly and not to be trusted.

Sarah J: As a family, we sometimes play a game dividing people around us into cats and dogs, and this is so apt for Helen and Victoria. But I’ll leave you to decide which is which… 😉


 Sum up your novel in five words:

Sarah J: Friendship, loyalty and loss. And, of course, summer and secrets!

Sarah V: Motherhood; nurture; love; perfection; cake.

Claire: Paranoia, identity, obsession, unsettling, claustrophobic.

And in a headline:

Sarah V:

Competing Bakers Aspire to Vintage Domestic Goddess Status


Twins Hide Dark Secret!

Sarah J: We’re having some fun concocting Daily Mail headlines here, but I’m going to go with this:

Reunited! Friends Recall Lost Summer


Find out more about the writers and their books by following the links below:

Sarah Jasmon

Claire Douglas

Sarah Vaughan



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