Blog

Myths, mistakes & other inner debates about naming The Goose Road

Journalist me: why did you choose The Goose Road as the title for your book?

Author me: I wrote the story under the working title of The Butterfly’s Wing, which is a metaphor I borrowed from the founder of modern chaos theory, Edward Lorenz, who once asked, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” in order to explore the mathematics of how microscopic disturbances in complex systems like the weather have immense knock-on effects.

In my original story, the actions of my protagonist, Angelique Lacroix, caused terrible, unintended consequences, but my editor at Walker felt that was too cruel to her as a character, and too shocking to the readers, so I let this element of the plot sink beneath the surface in later edits. That meant The Butterfly’s Wing didn’t work as a title anymore.

So your editor told you to change both the book and the title?

She asked me to change them, yes. But that’s one of the great things about working with an editor: they see things in your story that you don’t. They also understand the readership with their readers far better than a debut author. Also, I absolutely agreed with her that there’s no point whatsoever in having a title you have to explain to the reader. That defeats the whole point of a metaphor.

Where did The Goose Road come from, then?

I’d read a lot of First World War fiction and poetry while researching the background to the story. The Western Front in 1916 was a terrible place to be. The full weight of industrial-scale artillery shell production was crashing down on soldiers of both sides. So for the new title I went back to the soldier-poets for inspiration.

In 2014, the Imperial War Museums had published a wonderful collection called First World War Poems from the Front, edited by Paul O’Prey. I drew up a long list of possible titles from imagery in these poems.

Read the rest of the original guest blog via this link: Myths, mistakes & other inner debates about naming The Goose Road

The Goose Road launch tour – Week 2

The Goose Road sets out on its second and final week touring bookish websites in a far, far better place than I could ever have imagined a week ago.

At the time of writing, it’s holding Amazon’s No1 Bestseller slot for European historical YA fiction, having jumped there on Saturday – just two full days into publication – and pretty much held there, with one or two wobbles, ever since. Fan. Tas. Tic.

The Goose Road is also the proud possessor of that rarest of beasts for a debut: a review in a national daily newspaper.

The Telegraph called it “a gem” amid the many First World War titles being released in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the 1914-18 Great War.

Reviewer Emily Bearn left me speechless – for an hour at least.

Seriously, though. I’m immensely proud to have produced a work of fiction, on a subject I think is terribly important, which is being well received by adult, teen and young reviewers alike.

For the views of young readers, do have a look at this from Love Reading 4 Kids’ featured books of the month. Hurrah!

To crown this wonderful first week, Michelle Toy announced The Goose Road would also be her Debut of the Month for the British Book Challenge she runs on her respected book site, Tales from Yesterday, which is a particular accolade in the hotly-contested month of April.

So…

Week 2

This is what’s in store:

  • More giveaways. We’ve got five going at the moment. See the Week 1 post for a full list of links
  • An article about The Goose Road and why I chose it as a title
  • Two author interviews
  • More guest blogs.

I’ll update this post with links as and when they go live.

Meanwhile, enjoy London Book Fair week, and Happy Reading!

 

PS Here – finally – is that picture I’ve been blathering about for days. That me and Jane, owner of our local independent Habour Bookshop, celebrating the arrival of The Goose Road on her shelves.

Jane & I first met at our children’s school’s Christmas fair, staffing the second-hand book stall. So for all I’m shouting about Amazon, please, please support your local bookshop!

Harbour Bookshop.jpg

The Goose Road launch tour – Week 1!

Wow! What a week. Publication day came and went amid a blizzard of Tweets and Likes and Shares, and fish & chips with friends, flowers from my fab agent, and a great sense of something big reaching completion. But then…

The weekend arrived and things really took off. The Goose Road hit AMAZON’S NO.1 BESTSELLER slot in its main marketplace (it’s still holding on in there at the time of writing. Ye-ha!) Then I learnt The Telegraph newspaper was running a wonderful review in their Saturday edition. A rare and special thing.

And the reviews kept coming, and at last I started to feel the love that I’d poured into Angelique and her life returning from readers. That’s an amazing feeling.

I also saw my book in real life at our wonderful local indie bookshop, The Harbour Bookshop, in Kingsbridge, Devon. I’ll manage to upload the picture of owner Jane and me grinning like idiots one day. Meanwhile it’s on my Instagram feed.

As there’s been so much going on in the first week of the launch tour – with lots more to come in the second – I’m updating this post regularly to keep track of what’s where online, including the FIVE giveaways of free copies of The Goose Road which are currently running.

This is where we are on Monday, April 9th.

Day One

Jemima Osborne published the opening extract, her generous review and the first giveaway competition on her blog drinkingbooks.wordpress.com. That giveaway runs until April 10th. Find it here.

Day Two

Sarah Barnard also reviewed The Goose Road and ran my first tour article, asking why girls’ voices are still so hard to hear from World War One. This is her website sarahlikesbooks.wordpress.com and the launch blog is here

Day Three

Madeline Fenner hosted the tour on the eve of publication, with an article about why I love historical fiction both as a reader and a writer.

Here it is.

Day Four: Publication Day!

Rhoda Keller kindly published the second extract alongside her lovely review and the next giveaway, UK only, running until April 12th on http://www.strupag.com/

My big Book Birthday interview with fab fellow author Kerry Drewery (of Cell7 fame) came out the same day on Author Allsorts here

Day Five

YouTuber and reviewer Alex Pattinson had wonderfully kind things to say about Angelique’s journey on April 6th on both her YouTube and Tumblr review sites, and added my article about the inspirations behind the book. Locatable via: http://alexsfictionaddiction.tumblr.com

Her review is: here

Her BookTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/AlexsFictionAddiction

This is a link to my article about the inspirations behind The Goose Road, but I’m not sure if WordPress and Tumblr are talking to each other via this blog. [Alternatively, the whole thing is here! I must get the hang of WordPress one day!]

Day Six

The next generation of talented & professional writers for young people to graduate from the MA at Bath Spa included a signed copy of The Goose Road in a promotional giveaway, show-casing the work of alumni. They’re show-casing their own work as Torchlight. Here is the link to their webpage

The giveaway is on Twitter: retweet to enter the giveaway and follow:

@TorchlightMAWYP

Day Seven

Faye Rogers launched the FIFTH giveaway on Twitter first thing Sunday morning, and added a brand new, never seen before extract. It follows on from Chapter 1, my featured blog above this one. Read on here.

To enter Faye’s giveaway (still UK only, I’m afraid) RT her giveaway tweet and follow her handle (and mine if you fancy!) Hers is @daydreamin_star .

Sunday also saw uber-book blogger Michelle Toy, of Tales of Yesterday fame, announcing that The Goose Road was her selection for Debut of the Month – always a fantastic accolade but a particular honour in April with such a strong field of contenders. Super proud to have been chosen, Chelley. Thank you very much.

Watch out for Book Challenge reviews on her site.

Week 2

Arriving soon on joshandabook.co.uk  will be my article “Myths, Mistakes and other inner debates about naming The Goose Road”, a rather rambling version of the story behind the decisions I made when choosing a title and the meanings behind it.

Plus more interviews and articles, and giveaways! What a week to coincide with London Book Fair.

Heart-felt thanks to everyone who made this tour happen: Walker Books and Jo Hardacre, and all the wonderful bloggers, reviewers, fellow writers, bookshops, teachers and readers who are taking the time to share their thoughts.

It means the world. Truly.

Happy reading!

 

Book birthday! THE GOOSE ROAD – by Rowena House Interview by Kerry Drewery

AUTHOR ALLSORTS

 Set in France in 1916, THE GOOSE ROAD is Rowena House’s debut novel, a poignant and powerful First World War coming-of-age quest.

R1.jpgThe Goose Road is based on a short story you wrote – The Marshalling of Angelique’s Geese – can you tell us a little about where the original idea for the short story came from?

The trigger for the plot was the memory of a First World War photo I’d seen years before – a picture of hundreds of farmyard geese in a railway yard, waiting to be transported across France. I’d also recently seen the National Theatre’s incredible production of War Horse, which has a goose character as well as those amazing horses, so images of geese were already mixed up in my mind’s eye with other impressions of the war, its mud and blood and appalling suffering. Then Andersen Press offered students on the…

View original post 1,108 more words

Blog tour: Goose Road – Rowena House

ramblingmads

In 1916, in France, Angelique is making Hay on her family’s farm when the postman delivers news – her father is dead. Angelique is not sorry – he was a cruel, drunkard of a man – but she is deeply relieved her brother, Pascal, is still alive. She makes a promise – then and there – that the farm will remain exactly the same until he beloved brother returns home. She hopes, desperately, that if nothing changes at home, he won’t either.

Of course, nothing goes to plan. The harvest is ruined by a storm, her mother falls ill and the bailiffs arrive, ready to repossess the farm after her father has gambled it away. Angelique sets off with her treasured flock of Toulouse geese to sell them to make enough money to save her family home and await her brother’s return…….

About the author;

Rowena studied journalism at LSE…

View original post 980 more words

GUEST POST: Rowena House on the unheard voices of World War One

Sarah Likes Books &

Hello again folks, and happy spring! It’s been snowing here, and I’m feeling a little like winter is overstaying its welcome. However, those seeds of intentions are starting to wiggle about in the earth (what can I say, I know my botanical terminology) and yesterday I was brainstorming the latest incarnation of this blog. WATCH THIS SPACE, but like, not too closely, as you might be watching for a while.

Goose road jacket

In any case, I am super excited to have a guest post for your reading pleasure from the author of upcoming The Goose Road, Rowena House. Like Rowena, I’ve had an interest in this period of history since reading the war poets at school (and then reading Pat Barker’s Regeneration) and I still feel some connection with Wilfred Owen, living in Edinburgh and being somewhat familiar with Craiglockhart, where he was treated for shellshock in 1917. I’m really…

View original post 765 more words

The Goose Road Blog Tour

Thank you for such a wonderful review. xo

drinkingbooks

thumbnail_Goose road jacketGrab a mug of tea, get comfy…today is the start of a blog tour for the brilliant book, The Goose Road!
Yes that’s right hello!! It’s me, back with (yet another) blog tour, but today I’m spoiling you! Not only do you get my review, you also get a chance read a little extract of The Goose Road by Rowena House!

Not enough? Okay, how about A GIVEAWAY!!!!thumbnail_Rowena House headshot (Walker)

Yep, you got it! I am giving you the chance to win one of 2 copies of The Goose Road! The Giveaway is UK only (sorry guys!) but more on that later.

Big thanks to Jo who send me my copy of The Goose Road and is letting me have 2 winners!


First up I’ll give you the extract (cause I’m nice like that), and I hope it’ll entice you to want to read more and enter the giveaway!!

I’m turning hay…

View original post 919 more words