“Grit Lit” ~ Ah-ha!

On an Arte Umbria writing course in Italy I heard the term “Grit Lit” for the first time and had an ah-ha moment.

Deciding what genre a book belongs in can be quite hard and reminds me of the 60’s song Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds. There was a lot of squeezing involved to get them to “all look just the same”. Once Removed never seemed an easy fit with any of the usual categories but grit lit sounds glove-like. It makes me think of ‘gritty northern’ dramas, stories of real people surviving tough situations in no-nonsense OR cover 3ways and coming out the other side stronger.

Once Removed’s new cover is a much better fit, too. Of course self-harm is a dark subject but this book is so much more than that. There’s colour and caring, risk and romance, daring and disaster.

Free Gift for Book Groups

I’ve belonged to several readers’ groups, both virtually and in ‘real’ life. Once Removed is a story that begs to be discussed so I’ve created a special Readers’ Group Pack to make it more fun. The pack contains a treat, insider information, photos and discussion questions. Even if you’re only a readers’ group of one, feel free to upload the pack.

If you’re not in a book group but are curious/interested in joining or forming one, here are a few book group posts.

How important is the cover?

 These are two very different covers for the same book. Which would you choose?

The first is from a photo my son took for me. I persuaded my publishers to use it because I thought the round hole in the oblong, the hard stone amongst the soft greens showed the sense of not fitting in that both my main characters felt. But I now believe my thinking was too airy-fairy and didn’t give the reader any idea of genre or content. Clearly, a book that is essentially about relationships should at least show people on the cover.

Once Removed is due to be released as a paperback on the 21st September and happily my publisher, Crooked Cat, agreed that this offered the perfect opportunity to make a change. Having failed myself, I was delighted and relieved when Steph came up with this wonderful alternative.

But was the problem just the cover art or was the blurb also a factor in slow sales of the ebook? My son tried to warn me that the original blurb gave too much away so I took this opportunity to tweak that, too. And because Once Removed has been out as an ebook since May, we were also able to add a few phrases from some of the many great reviews.

On a few of the excellent reviews, people had commented that they’d been wary of choosing this book (see examples below) but all went on to give 5 stars.

 I thought that I’d maybe find the subject of self-harming in this novel a bit depressing, but on the contrary, KB Walker managed to deal with it very sensitively and also keep me gripped right to the end.

I must admit that I was kind of skeptical going into this 133 page book that it would be as good as the reviews that it was receiving on Goodreads. Reviewers were dead on. In this short book, the author was able to write a gut-wrenching story, which got into my heart!

 Read it on a recommendation from a friend and although the book is a little different to what I normally read I couldn’t put it down.

I have never read a book tackling the sensitive issues surrounding Self Harm particularly within a novel. KB Walker’s debut novel was well written and though one could be forgiven for expecting it to be either depressing or distressing for a reader I found quite the opposite.

For a relatively unknown author, tackling a difficult subject, I’m hoping a new cover and blurb will tempt a few more readers to give Once Removed a try.

What do you think? What affect does the cover, blurb or reviews have on your choice of reading material?

Breaking news

My novel, Once Removed, has been given a brand new cover in preparation for its release on 21st September in paperback!

The blurb has also been tweaked:

Suspecting self-harm, newly qualified teacher, Abriella Garside, risks everything for a troubled pupil. An incident with a craft knife and unexplained injuries are not enough to secure help for the girl. Unsure whether Beth is being bullied or has problems at home, Abby tries to win her trust and the two begin a friendship. But has the teacher gone too far?
In the midst of Abby’s own complicated life, Beth disappears. Rumour and suspicion ignite, fanned into an inferno with Abby at its heart.
Two lives hang in the balance.


“A gut wrenching story which got into my heart!”

5*, A Book and A Review

“A very moving, emotional book… carefully handled”

4.5*, The Little Reader Library

“A well-written, fast-paced novel that sensitively and accurately handled some strong, emotional themes”

4*, CookieDemon (Goodreads)

The Bingergread Cottage

Where anything can happen and does

Jane Bwye

Author, traveller, business mentor

Rebecca Bradley

Murder Down To A Tea

Sangeeta Kathuria

My Journey - my thoughts

Muse with Coffee - An author's blog

Musing and writing over a cup of coffee, books, snippets of life - anything which gives an insight, letting the expressions flow..

Heather E. Wright

Resources for Writers of All Ages and Teachers, Too.

Nuts and Crisps

For all things reading and writing