Thursday, 28 April 2011


Ruth Dugdall, whose 2005 Debut Dagger-winning The Women Before Me is now in the running for this year’s The People’s Book Prize, will be leading an all-day workshop on 7 May with Creative Writing Groups, based in Brantham.
Ruth’s workshop, on novel-writing, will consist of a series of short talks on various aspects of the writing longer fiction, interspersed with breaks in which workshop partipants can practice the outlined skills.
The cost for the workshop, which starts at 9.30am and finishes at 4pm, is £54 per person and includes lunch and refreshments. Places are limited, and can be booked by calling Creative Writing Groups on 01473 858429 or online at
Ruth’s third novel, The Sacrificial Man, will be published in June.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Book Launch - Everyone welcome!


Book Launch
Ruth Dugdall
The Sacrificial Man

Saturday, 25 June 2011, 6:30PM
Tickets £3, available in store and redeemable against purchase of the book on the night
Local author and winner of the CWA Debut Dagger Award, Ruth Dugdall, will be in store to launch her new novel ‘The Sacrificial Man’ - a gripping tale that explores the very fine line between murder and euthanasia

Further details: 01473 289044

Monday, 4 April 2011

Reflecting on 8 months in print...

I wish that on the 18th August last year I’d written something down, just taken a moment from the launch of my novel to write a few lines about my expectations and hopes for the novel. I stopped keeping a diary years ago (least said about that the better…) but if I had penned by thoughts I think that, at best, I’d have hoped to sell maybe a thousand books. A few local book signings would have been nice, perhaps a feature in the local press. My expectations would have been modest but also realistic – most debut authors don’t sell many books. And everyone has witnessed the sight of an author sitting forlorn behind a desk in a bookshop shadowed by an unsold pile of their life’s work…

But I’ve been lucky. And pushy. And something has happened that seems to be largely a result of word of mouth resulting in more sales and more people who want me to talk to their book club or woman’s institute meeting or rotary club…

When Legend Press published me I said them ‘send me anywhere; I’ll go. I’ll talk to anyone’. I may have regretted my words when the tenacious Lucy managed to get me onto the Jeremy Vine show to talk about a subject totally unrelated to my novel, but I did it. I arrived at a book signing in Windsor after my sat nav sent me on a three-hour detour through central London, but I turned up and sold books for six hours. I went through heavy snow to talk to a book club of six, only two of whom had actually read the novel… oh the joys! But I am grateful, profoundly grateful, that Legend took a punt on me when mainstream publishing houses said The Woman Before Me was ‘too dark’ ‘didn’t fit neatly into any one genre’ ‘had no commercial appeal’. Despite winning the Debut Dagger in 2005 the manuscript was roundly rejected and took five years to find a home with Legend Press via the Luke Bitmead Bursary. And what has happened since has left me wondering just how in touch those big publishing houses are with the public taste. Consider the evidence:

The Woman Before me was published in August 2010.
By Christmas we were into a second run. The publishing rights have been sold to Germany and India. Large print rights have also sold. I have been interviewed on radio in counties as diverse as Yorkshire and Sussex, West Midlands and Cambridgshire. I have done book signings as far flung as Coventry and Woking, Lowestoft and Slough. My novel is the summer read for the Westcliffe WI and the Bungay Festival. It was long listed for the New Angle Prize for literature.

I wake every day a little shell-shocked at how my writing career, so long a Sisyphean uphill struggle, is gathering pace like a snowball rolling down the other side.

In June Legend Press are publishing my next novel, The Sacrificial Man. This novel also had it’s share of mainstream rejections for being ‘too dark’ and editors wondered if readers would be interested in a suicide pact where a man asked his lover to kill and eat him…
We’ll see.
I’m sacred, I admit. I can see that The Sacrificial Man is an uncompromising read as it explores an odd world of love and obsession. I hope that I can take the readers I have gained with me, on a journey that the mainstream commercial publishers would never have been brave enough to sanction. Want to travel with me?