Fifteen HQ authors discussed the inspirations behind their novels, spanning thrillers set in south-east London, Instagram-style romances and the tribulations of a long-lost daughter being reunited with her family.
The New Voices Fiction Showcase took place on Wednesday evening (29th January) in the The News Building in London Bridge featuring 60-second introductions from each author on their books which will all be published this year.
Publicity director Sophie Calder told the assembled crowd of journalists, bloggers, authors and HarperCollins staff: "We are publishing books which are bold, brave, inclusive and always with a compelling story to tell and we hope that you find these values in abundance in our novels. Two thousand and nineteen was a brilliant year for HQ commercially and creatively, we celebrated our highest-ever number of bestsellers and we won prestigious awards for our authors and our publishing teams."
Psychologist Philippa East discussed her thriller Little White Lies which follows a family after a long-lost daughter is found after many years, while Bradford-based Sairish Hussain discussed the inspiration behind her novel The Family Tree and Louise Hare spoke about This Lovely City.
Former midwife and homeless resettlement worker Jessica Ryn discussed how her work in hostels for the homeless inspired her novel The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside. Former journalist Helen Monks Takhar discussed how controversies over the gap between Millennials and Generation Z led to her writing Precious You, set in the cut-throat world of a trade magazine. Fellow début thriller writer Nadine Matheson discussed how The Jigsaw Man was partly revealed by work as a solicitor and living in south-east London, through a video link.
Brighton-based author Josie Lloyd revealed how her own cancer diagnosis, and journey to fitness, inspired The Cancer Ladies Running Club while Polly Crosby spoke about The Illustrated Child, a story of a secret treasure hunt buried in a children’s book.
Romance also featured at the event with Amelia Henley presenting The Life We Almost Had–the first romantic book she has written after writing thrillers under her real name Louise Jensen. We Just Clicked features an Instagram romance which threatens a real-life love story, Anna Bell revealed. Designer Tabitha Webb also spoke about her bonkbuster No Regrets which follows three friends and their love lives. Tom Ellen discussed his first début novel having co-authored YA books–he said All About Us has been billed as “Love Actually” meets A Christmas Carol. Andi Osho also discussed Asking For A Friend about three friends ditching dating apps to try a more unusual real-life approach.
Friendship also featured with We Are Not Like Them by American authors Christine Pride and Jo Piazza who explained, via video link, how their own friendship and discussions of race had inspired the novel.