Out of the Shadows released in the UK today, plus an online book launch, features in Lit Hub, inclusion in their Best Reviewed Books of the Week, and more

Out of the Shadows is released in the UK today, and is available from Waterstones, Blackwell’s, Amazon and elsewhere. I’m so happy that readers in my home country will now be able to read my book.

Seven-and-a-half months pregnant in this image of me all set up to talk with my editor Jennifer Alton.

Over the past week-and-half, since publication in North America, I’ve had the chance to talk about the lives of the Fox sisters, Emma Hardinge Britten, Victoria Woodhull and Georgina Weldon in an online book launch hosted by Brookline Booksmith and chaired by my editor at Counterpoint Press, Jennifer Alton. A recording of the event should be made available soon.

I also had a piece published in Literary Hub on some of the difficulties facing the biographer who works with the accounts of unreliable witnesses, and was delighted to be included in their Book Marks list of the Best Reviewed Books of the Week. Today, Literary Hub also published an extract from Out of the Shadows, which deals with the remarkable rise on Wall Street of Victoria Woodhull.

And in the UK today, the University of East Anglia’s New Writing site published a different extract, which focuses on the first mysterious knockings that launched the extraordinary careers of the Fox sisters, Kate, Maggie and Leah.

Another thing that has made me happy has been the opportunity to give interviews or write features for some of my favourite book blogs.

Books By Women published a piece by me about the experience of working on a book in tandem with two pregnancies: ‘On Writing and Early Motherhood’.

Pregnant (with my previous baby) in this image too – researching the lives of the Fox sisters at the site of their former home in Hydesville, Wayne County (NY).

I Stayed In with Linda Hill as part of her popular series on Linda’s Book Bag. This gave me the chance to share an image of myself ankle-deep in snow at the site of the Fox sisters’ former home, and to talk about my Great Aunt Jessie’s opera glasses.

I talked more about my research for Out of the Shadows in a Q&A on Deborah Kalb’s blog.

Jill’s Book Cafe included my ‘Five on Friday’ selections, featuring music that’s part of the soundtrack of my life, advice for my younger self, and things that few people know about me.

In addition to these pieces, I’m grateful to the many social media users who have been sharing images and thoughts on my book. Seeing these kinds of readers’ reactions to Out of the Shadows always makes my day.

Out of the Shadows – Out today! Plus an online launch and pieces in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Boston Globe

I’m delighted to be able to say that my book, Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice is published by Counterpoint Press today in North America.

It was recently reviewed in the Wall Street Journal by Brandy Schillace, who praised its ‘tapestry of complex characters with conflicted motivations, woven together with the color of ghostly apparitions (and angry mobs)’. Last week, an interview of me talking to Books Editor Kate Tuttle about my research into unlikely Victorian superstars, the Fox sisters, Emma Hardinge Britten, Victoria Woodhull and Georgina Weldon, also featured in the Boston Globe. And today the book was reviewed by Christine Leigh Heyrman in the New York Times

If you’re based in the USA and would like to buy a copy, Out of the Shadows is available from, among others, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or your favourite indie bookstore. Or you could request a copy at your local library.

If you live in Canada, it’s available at bookshops including Amazon, Indigo, or your favourite indie. Or, again, you could request a copy at your library.

The (slightly delayed) UK release date is 20 May, but it’s available for preorder from shops including Waterstones, Blackwell’s, Foyles and Amazon at present, with preorders soon to be available more widely in the UK too.

Out of the Shadows is also available as an e-book or audio-book, via your favourite reading or listening app.

Finally: although the current Covid-19 restrictions have stopped me from having an in-person launch here in London, I’m so happy to be able to celebrate the release of my book in an online event to which anyone interested – anywhere in the world – is invited. I’ll be in conversation with my wonderful editor, Jennifer Alton, in an event hosted by the independent bookshop Brookline Booksmith. It’s on Sunday 16 May, and the local time of the event, in the US, is 4pm EDT. For anyone like me who will be joining from the UK, that’s 9pm BST. Tickets are free, but you need to register, which you can do here. Wherever you are, I hope you can make it!

An exciting delivery: my copies of Out of the Shadows arrive, plus reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, Library Journal and BookPage

A big box of author copies of my book Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice arrived this week – a great thrill for me, of course.

Other things that have been making me happy since I last posted here are a series of early reviews in the following publications: Kirkus, which called Out of the Shadows ‘A well-researched, fresh contribution to women’s history’; Booklist, which said, ‘This well-researched book offers insight into a unique niche of women’s history, and would be a worthy addition to most libraries’; Library Journal, which called the book ‘Brisk and entertaining’, and, most recently BookPage – a starred review by Anna Spydell that made my day with the following conclusion. ‘By the book’s end, it no longer matters whether you believe these six remarkable spirit mediums were hoaxes or not; you’ll certainly believe in them.’

There is now less than a month to go until my book is released, on both sides of the Atlantic. Out of the Shadows will be published on 11 May, 2021. It’s available for preorder in the USA and Canada, and currently partially available for preorder in the UK. It will be fully available in the UK soon.

Review in Publishers Weekly and Interview for The Battersea Poltergeist

It’s now three months until my new book comes out in North America. Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice will be published by Counterpoint Press on 11 May, 2021, and it’s exciting for me that news about it is making its way into the world.

The last couple of weeks have brought two particular happy moments: an interview for the BBC and a first print review.

The review in Publishers Weekly (US) appears in the current edition, and was published earlier in an online version. PW found Out of the Shadows ‘persuasive’, ‘entertaining and informative’, and I was particularly delighted with their closing verdict: ‘Women’s history buffs will be enthralled.’

It was also a pleasure to be asked to talk a little about my research on the Fox sisters – who feature heavily in Out of the Shadows – in episode 5 of the hugely popular BBC Radio 4 / Bafflegab podcast The Battersea Poltergeist, available on the Radio 4 website, BBC Sounds and all major podcast streaming services. I’m looking forward to sharing much, much more about the lives of Kate, Maggie and Leah Fox – especially the dramatic prelude and aftermath to the episode I addressed in my interview – in my forthcoming book.

Out of the Shadows – coming in May 2021

It’s been a very long time since I last wrote anything on here. Since my last post, a lot has happened, out in the world and closer to home. I’ve had a baby and written another book. Lola is a little over one year old now, and the book is in its final editing stages.

Out of the Shadows: Six Visionary Victorian Women in Search of a Public Voice will be published by Counterpoint Press in North America in May 2021. This, my second group biography – and my first written without a co-author – tells the stories of six enterprising nineteenth-century women whose apparent ability to contact the dead brought them astonishing levels of fame, fortune and political influence.

After the months and years I’ve spent researching and writing Out of the Shadows, it was a thrill to recently receive an Advance Reading Copy and to be able to hold my words between the cover in my hands.

I’m looking forward to sharing much more about my book in the months to come.