My beautiful book jackets by Rosie Walsh

I am thrilled to to share with you my UK and US book jackets. Two completely different designs for two completely different markets and I love them both. The book is called THE MAN WHO DIDN'T CALL in the UK, and GHOSTED in the US. 

Getting a book jacket right is crucial, and it can often take months. Endless emails are exchanged, long phone calls are made; there are meetings, briefings, brainstorms. Because it really doesn't matter how good your book is - with the wrong jacket, it won't sell.

A good jacket has to work hard. It has to send messages to the right people. It has to let you, the customer, know which books it is similar to, without being derivative. It's got to stand out on a busy supermarket shelf or bookseller's table, but it's also got to perform well on a web page or mobile app. It's got to appeal to a whole host of very different retailers, many of whom have very limited space. Competition for a supermarket slot, for example, is fierce. The jacket must also appeal to hundreds of independent booksellers, each with their own unique approach to selling. And these days it's even got to stand out on social media! In short, it's a huge task, and I am very glad that there are a whole load of clever people who take care of this for me.

Huge thanks to the designers, editors, sales and marketing people, and a million other clever folk in between, who helped us arrive at these designs. You are amazing, and I am in awe. 


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Deals around the world - a life-changing week by Rosie Walsh


I guess I'll just dive straight in: 

THE MAN WHO DIDN'T CALL has been sold in the US, in a deal of dreams, to the legendary Pamela Dorman, who'll be publishing it as GHOSTED. At the time of writing it has sold to twenty-one other countries around the world. 

It's a month since this all began to unfold, and I'm still mad as a box of frogs. 

It began on a dismal Thursday in January. I came out of Pilates to find a string of increasingly excitable emails from my US agent. 'Everyone's fallen in love with your book overnight,' she said. 'When can you start taking calls?'

Of course my phone ran out of battery at that moment. I ran blindly across Bristol to my home and my phone charger. Then I spent two days on the phone to editors in New York. I didn't stop shaking. I didn't manage to eat a thing. God knows what I said to any of them. I was in a lamentable state.  

But oh, how happy I was that Pam ended up being the one who acquired the book!  I loved what she said about my novel. I loved what she said about publishing, and fiction, and writing, and basically everything. I can't believe I'm joining a list like hers. To a woman who spends day after day sitting in a silent room, juggling words and worries and pennies, it's nothing short of a miracle.

My partner, George, was in a tiny village on a tributary of the Congo when this was going on. He was making a documentary about an itinerant people and their relationship with the vast Congolese jungle. He was hot, bitten and happy. His life was simple. He slept in a hammock and was madly in love with a wild jungle dog called Bongo. It took many days before I was able to speak to him, on a terrible satellite connection, and tell him that our lives had changed. (The photo on this post is of us, ten days later, after he flew back into Heathrow. We sat there on the motorway for two hours, swearing and giggling in disbelief.) 

A writer's life is both privileged and strange. Many hours are spent alone and in silence; we receive feedback only once every few months and often haven't the faintest grasp of either the merits or the downfalls of our manuscript. Can I do this? we ask ourselves, frequently. Is there really any point? Will anyone care?

Well, yes. What if you're sitting on a manuscript - an idea, even - that could capture the imagination of editors around the world? What if you've told yourself that the rejection you had last year - that one rejection, from just one agent - means that the book is doomed?

Under no circumstances should you give up. Because one day it could be you sitting on the floor in your Pilates pants, on the phone to a legendary editor who's fallen in love with your book. It could be you with your heart hammering in your ears and your legs shaking and your voice talking for you because you've forgotten how to speak.  

Just try to remember to eat, and to pee. 

So, a brief and, I hope, not too self-indulgent list of thank yous:

Thank you to Allison Hunter of Janklow & Nesbitt, my wonderful US agent, who has been with me from the very beginning. Without her brilliant timing and clever ideas, I'm not sure it would have worked out quite as it did. 

And as for that Lizzy Kremer. Never before have I felt such a keen sense of gratitude for her wisdom and support. Without her superb masterminding of my career (and, indeed life) I would be lost, and this book would not have happened.

Alice Howe, Emma Jamison, Emily RandleCamilla Dubini and Margaux Vialleron at DHA have been remarkable, getting my book published in so many languages. I love their emails and phonecalls - not just because they keep bringing such incredible news, but because they all seem to be working on this submission with such excitement and pleasure. 

I'm also very grateful to everyone who bid for my novel, successfully or otherwise. I have printed out each and every bid letter and will treasure them all forever. Several made me cry. 

Finally, thanks to Sam Humphreys at Mantle in the UK, who bought this book before I'd even finished it. Thank you, Sam, for your painstaking work, your brilliant ideas and your kindness and patience. My book says thank you, too. It accepts that you made it a much better thing.

My Big Book News! by Rosie Walsh

Rosie Walsh's new novel, The Man Who Didn't Call


I'm beyond delighted to announce that my next book has been acquired by the brilliant Sam Humphreys at Mantle, an imprint of Pan MacMillan. The book is called The Man Who Didn't Call and it'll be out May 2018. Another book will follow, probably in 2019. 

From the moment I first sat down with Sam, I knew I wanted her to publish this novel. She understood and connected with its emotional core in exactly the same way that I do, and her plans for its arrival into the world - not to mention the energy and enthusiasm of her team - were very exciting. I can see why she's become rather legendary in the industry. And now she's my editor! Lucky me.

For more info on the story, click here

If you're arriving at this page because you've read some of my Lucy Robinson books and are wondering what on earth is going on, then, well, surprise! This is my real name! Sorry I never let on. At first, it was because I was blogging for Marie Claire about life and love, and I couldn't have let my own name get out. Not only would it have been unfair on the men I was dating, but it wouldn't have sat very well with my ongoing work in television, where I  often dealt with very sensitive subjects. Then years passed and I just got used to being Lucy. There didn't seem any point in outing myself as Rosie.

So: why now for the name change? It's quite simple, really. I started writing The Man Who Didn't Call with the intention of publishing it as Lucy Robinson, but the thing took on a life of its own. When I got to about forty thousand words it became clear that this was so different to my Lucy Robinson books that it made sense to publish it under another name. My own!

So, there it is. At the time of writing I'm just about to begin another edit, and then - after all the copy edits and proof reads - I'll take a month or two off to dream up the next one. I'm pretty sure I know what it's going to be, but there are a few other ideas floating around in there too: I want to be certain I'm picking the right one.

Exciting times! Thanks for coming on this new journey with me. I'll have a jacket and some dates to share with you soon.




2016: My year of Microadventure by Rosie Walsh

Rosie Walsh on a microadventure, Alistair Humphreys-style

I know a brilliant woman called Clare Hudman. She helped me recover from a horrible illness a few years ago and is one of the most inspiring people I know. Last time I spoke to her she told me she was going to take the 2016 microadventure challenge set out by explorer Alistair Humphreys.

The challenge, she explained, involved sleeping in the great outdoors with no tent - just a bivvy bag - one night a month, every month, for a whole year. 'That sounds awful,' I said.

Then, after a nervous pause: 'I want to do it.'

Of course, it's not awful. It's exhilarating and challenging and fun, and it's forced my partner and I to get out into the open more. We walked the entire coast of Cornwall in 2015, over a gruelling yet magical five weeks - we're hardly couch potatoes - but this challenge takes away the negotiation: we just get out there and do it. 

At the time of writing we've already done three microadventures, and they've been very memorable. There is nothing quite like the experience of waking up under a deep indigo dome of stars with a pheasant grumbling in the thicket behind you. If you're interested in getting involved, check out this page, and keep an eye on my Facebook page for monthly updates.