Saturday, March 10, 2007

BBC Radio Five Live Book of the Month March 2007

Great news in the inbox this morning. Go Catherine!

Tindal Street Press is delighted to announce that What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn is the Five Live Book of the Month on Simon Mayo’s Book Panel for March 2007. The show will be broadcast on BBC Radio Five Live on Thursday 22nd March at 3pm – and will feature Catherine in conversation with the panel as they review and discuss her novel.

The Five Live Book of the Month focuses on a new writer, whose fiction is exciting, interesting and innovative. What Was Lost has been selected for its wide appeal as an accessible literary novel with a distinctive, unusual charm.

Alan Mahar, Publishing Director of Tindal Street Press says: ‘Such prominence on national radio is a well-deserved accolade for a novelist who has attracted unanimous praise since she first came to our attention. It is a landmark piece of publicity for What Was Lost, a refreshingly original debut destined for considerable success – both for its literary accomplishment and as a popular word-of-mouth hit.’

Catherine O’Flynn has captivated reviewers and interviewers with her insightful take on contemporary life, the wit and warmth of her storytelling and the quirky energy of her offbeat characters. Jonathan Coe was an early admirer. Having read the manuscript, he said: ‘What Was Lost is a fantastic book. It kept me up till 1.30 the other night, and it’s a long time since any new novel had that effect on me.’ Others have been bowled over too. A local woman reader emailed the publishers: ‘I rarely read a book in one sitting but I couldn’t put What Was Lost down. The effect was like a web being woven round me: utterly mesmerising.’

Widespread, positive local and national coverage has continued since What Was Lost was launched with two lively parties in Birmingham and London. Certainly Matthew Crockatt – of Crockatt & Powell, who hosted the London event – captured the upbeat mood around Catherine’s debut when he chose it as his Book of the Month. He says in his 13th February blog: ‘So far today I have hand sold ten copies of this brilliant debut. Why am I so excited about it? I think it’s going to be the word of mouth buzz book that comes out of nowhere to win prizes and adulation ... Let’s make Catherine’s book a bestseller.’

Such commitment from independent booksellers and major chains – What Was Lost is part of Waterstone’s 3 for 2 springtime promotion – has made for strong national sales, with the first two print-runs of 5000 copies close to selling out. Just like Clare Morrall’s Astonishing Splashes of Colour, signed first editions of What Was Lost looks set to become collectors’ items.

I am starting to breathe a sigh of relief. Shifting so many copies of a book in a "trust me - I'm a bookseller" kind of way is always a risky business. But I'm still convinced Catherine's great book is going to be a winner.

Not read it yet?

We have a few copies left...


  1. Splendid news. So far, we've had nothing but positive comments so far from What Was Lost.

    Take a look at LibraryThing - 'Gaskella' is one of our customers, a ferocious reader an a prolific reviewer...

  2. I still think is a book for the 14-18s .. a rare thing, a real novel for them. I blogged to this effect. It`s good.. but it works best as a cross over novel (horrible term.)

  3. And now on the Orange "longlist"...