Saraband Publishing – Sara Hunt, 20th November 2013

HuntAn excellent and fascinating evening listening to Sara Hunt of Saraband talk about publishing today.

Sara Hunt’s clever, dry humour helped to deliver a difficult message, i.e. that getting published in this publishing “Worst of Times” seems to be an uphill struggle, often dependent on networking or luck.
The success story about Sara’s friend who was given a financially lucrative book deal fortunately gave us a glimmer of hope and the motivation to keep on writing.

Sara’s talk gave me a feeling of optimism, that you CAN send things to publishers without necessarily being put to the
bottom of the pile, or thown out altogether. She showed us the human side of publication.


Saraband is publishing three Ayr Writers’ Club members’ books in 2014.

Mongol by Uuganaa Ramsay (January 16)

Mongol [mong-gohl], noun, 1. a member of a pastoral people now living chiefly in Mongolia. 2. (offensive) a person affected with Down’s Syndrome. Uuganaa is a Mongol living in Britain, far from the world she grew up in: as a nomadic herder she lived in a yurt, eating marmot meat, distilling vodka from goat’s yoghurt and learning about Comrade Lenin. When her new-born son Billy is diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome, she finds herself facing bigotry and taboo as well as heartbreak. In this powerful memoir, Uuganaa skilfully interweaves the extraordinary story of her own childhood in Mongolia with the sadly short life of Billy, who becomes a symbol of union and disunion, cultures and complexity, stigma and superstition – and inspires Uuganaa to challenge prejudice. Mongol is the touching story of one woman’s transformation from outsider to fearless champion of love, respect and tolerance. It’s a moving tribute by a remarkable woman to her beloved baby son, testifying to his lasting impact on a sometimes imperfect world.

The Guillotine Choice by Michael J.Malone (March 13)

In 1920s French-controlled Algeria, Kaci is in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. Kaci is faced with a stark choice: name his cousin as the killer and win his freedom, or keep quiet and face 25 years’ hard labour in the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony. Either way, one of them is destined for the world’s worst prison…a hell on earth that few men survive. The Guillotine Choice is a novel based on the true story of an Algerian man’s years in one of history’s most notorious prisons. A real-life Shawshank Redemption, it is an inspirational story of endurance and the triumph of dignity over despair in almost unimaginably horrific conditions.
The Physic Garden by Catherine Czerkawka (March 27)

Glasgow in the early 19th century was a tough place to live, with poverty, pollution and even ‘resurrection men’ prowling the streets to procure corpses for anatomists to experiment on. Life is improving, however, for young William Lang, who forms an unlikely friendship with botanist Dr Thomas Brown whilst working in the University’s physic garden. But as time goes by, their complex relationship begins to darken with the shadow of betrayal – By turns poignant and thought-provoking, ‘The Physic Garden’ features exquisitely drawn characters, a moving love story, poetic prose and vivid descriptions of nature. It is historical fiction at its most luxurious.

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