Caroline Smailes and Black Boxes

This morn­ing, I blew my nose, and — being one of those people who checks — saw that the con­tents were blue-black. Ah, yes: A trip to London last night. The reas­on? Caroline Smailes, a British author pub­lished by The Friday Project, had launched her latest book, Black Boxes, at the Borders in Oxford Street, and I’d toddled along to get a signed copy and meet the author.

Last year, I wrote a review of Caroline’s first book, In Search of Adam over at I only write reviews of books I like, and while there were bits that i found dif­fi­cult, I did like it over­all, and have recom­men­ded it to friends. I’m told that Black Boxes, Caroline’s new book, is some­what sim­il­ar in style but not quite as dark. You can get your copy in all good book shops.

At the launch, Caroline did delivered an admir­able per­form­ance of the begin­ning of her book, and provided insight­ful answers to the ques­tions fired back by the audi­ence.

For my jaun­diced eye, which yel­lows the more with each passing year that my books remain on the hard drive of my com­puter, it was nice to see Clare Christian, head of The Friday Project (recently acquired by HarperCollins), passing a gift to Caroline as thanks for stick­ing with the imprint des­pite the dif­fi­culties and some­what neg­at­ive press sur­round­ing the acquis­i­tion. It’s a cliché often repeated (mostly by writers, I think) that pub­lish­ers are not devoted enough to the writ­ten word, but Clare cer­tainly is, and it’s her focus on this that will prob­ably see TFP tak­ing off once more.

So it was a nice even­ing. Clare and Caroline were both lovely, and I wish them well with the book and the books to come. Caroline has her feel­ers out for an agent and I expect her to get snapped up by one of the big firms moment­ar­ily. I won’t be doing a form­al review of Caroline’s book in a sep­ar­ate pub­lic­a­tion, but what thoughts I do have about it, I’ll post here.

Incidentally, no sign of the elu­sive Scott Pack at the read­ing. I think he was delayed by some­thing cheese-related.

Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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