This week we spent our Tuesday evening at a packed West End Lane Books for the launch of Anthony McGowan’s Lark. For us it was a somewhat bittersweet evening as we celebrated with so many friends, the stunning quartet of Brock, Pike, Rook and Lark, and also said goodbye to our beloved brothers Nicky and Kenny. Mother Nature even celebrated by bringing some snow to the occasion!
Anthony’s novellas are incredibly special to everyone here at Barrington Stoke. Brock took us to our first Carnegie Medal longlisting and Rook followed suit adding a shortlisting to the list of achievements. This sort of recognition will always be phenomenal for any small publisher but for us it also meant shining a bright spotlight on the power and importance of short fiction.
Tony’s writing has proved to be perfect for our readers and his books were everything we wanted to achieve with our publishing when we started. They are challenging, unpatronising, intelligent, totally real and full of heart. They showed everyone that our short novels could be taken seriously – could both engage the disengaged and struggling readers, our core market, but also win legions of fans among the avid reader community too.
Phil Earle, who was in attendance and introduced the evening, has previously said of the sequence: “Never have sparsely written novellas packed such an emotional punch … the absolute definition of the word ‘classic’” – and we couldn’t agree more.
So here’s to Tony, to Lark, and to all our supporters along the way!