THE UNPIERCED HEART
(AKA The Whores' Asylum) & more!
Welcome to my website! If you're looking for Katy Darby the London author, not the model from Manchester, nor the Australian doctor, you've come to the right place.
My first novel, a Victorian drama called The Whores' Asylum, was published by Fig Tree (Penguin) in February 2012 and is now out in Penguin paperback under the less racy title The Unpierced Heart. Don't let the title change confuse you - they're the same book. LATEST STUFF: I was recently commissioned by Mslexia to write three fiction workshops. The topics are Beginnings, Character and Place and all three can be found here.
Tuesday 23rd April:
Thursday 25th April, 7.30, Toynbee Studios: me, Tom Chivers, Clare Fisher and IAIN SINCLAIR (yes, that one) are doing the Annexe Magazine event WORDS ON CITIES. Click title to book.
Monday 6th May (MAY DAY) from 7.30pm (I'm on around 9pm)
ESSENTIAL INFO, LINKS
Like me! Or don't. I am quite nice, though.
- My Twitter: I'm @katydarbywriter - I tweet about writing, bad telly, amusing quotes, stories, books I'm reading, Radio 4 and any other stuff that occurs to me.
And if you're not short of time, read on to find out more:
ABOUT THE BOOK
The best way to describe my novel is probably Metro's four-star review of it, reproduced below in full:
"A satisfying homage to Victorian sensation novels, melodramas and penny dreadfuls, Katy Darby's Oxford-set debut is a darkly enjoyable mix of romance and thriller.
It's narrated episodically as Edward Fraser recalls the momentous - and shocking - time when he shared rooms in college with a gifted medical student, Stephen Chapman.
When Edward meets Diana Pelham, with whom Stephen has fallen in love, he is horrified: events from his past lead him to believe that Diana is not who she appears to be.
Darby draws her readers into an exciting Gothic romp
populated with villainous cads, wronged women, ruined livesand two
stalwart male friends whose relationship reaches crisis point because
one of them has fallen in love.
Richly atmospheric and rattling away in fine style, it conjures 19th century high society and its sordid underbelly with verve and flair. Darby knows how to write a cracking novel that captures the reader's imagination."
If that's whetted your interest, here's a video of me reading a saucy extract, followed by a violent scene (be still my beating heart!), at this year's King's Lynn Fiction Festival, and here's an interview with me about the novel (and Victorian fiction generally) on the Foyles website.
Jonathan Ruppin of Foyles also selected the book as one of his fiction picks for early 2012, calling it "a terrific slice of Victorian Gothic, full of roguery and romance, as
students vow to help the fallen women of Oxford's seediest locales."
RECENT RELATED STUFF
After my talk on the subject at Clapham Books, I wrote an article for the blog WhatSarahReads, all about fallen women in literature. Here's an extract from The Whores' Asylum on the excellent Untitled Books, if that piques your interest, and a video of me reading the same section. Or if for any reason you want to know which film femme fatale I'd like to be, look no further.
- There's an extremely nice write-up ("a thing of beauty .. a rare achievement") in The Independent on Sunday here.
- The Sunday Times said: "Great panache ... a compelling tale of death, despair and obsession ... wildly and knowingly melodramatic but done with such energy and ingenuity that it's also tremendous fun."
- The Guardian reckons it's great! (mostly) ... although also oddly categorises it as a thriller. I feel simultaneously flattered and perplexed.
- The Express says: "Thrilling gothic romance ... recreates convincingly the colourful
world of Victorian “sensation” novels and the stories of Sherlock
Holmes ... shocking, exciting and gruesome ... read it now."
- Tina Jackson's 4-star review in METRO is printed above
- Emerald Street (the online sister publication of Stylist) has given it a lovely review here.
- The Herald (Scottish newspaper) calls it "a consistently engaging and suspenseful Gothic melodrama."
- Top blog For Books' Sake gives it 4 stars: review here. - Bookmunch declares it "a stylish Gothic story" and calls my style "impeccable" (the cheque's in the post ...) - Booksellers at Blackwell's in Oxford have "Read It, Loved It" (scroll down and click on my cover) - And the novel has also got not one but two shout-outs on the self-explanatorially-named We Love This Book.
More as they come in!
I HAVE NEVER ...
Check in every week or so for new stuff about my trip across America, Jack the Ripper tours, flash fiction workshops, literary festivals and whatever else I fancy doing that week.
WHAT ELSE IS ON THIS SITE?
About me has a short bio and contact information, plus more about the novel, including jacket blurb for the first edition and the paperback cover. Writing has links to the book as well as to some of my short stories, poems, plays and readings which are online.
Other stuff comprises my teaching and editing, reviews by me (mostly theatre) and various random bits and pieces.
Events leads to readings, festivals, interviews, literary events and masterclasses I'm doing in 2012. It also links to Liars' League, the short story night I run.
Let me know what you think of the website, my writing, whatever - my email is on the About me page, and I've just hatched myself on Twitter as @katydarbywriter ...
(Or you can "like" me on Facebook, if you, um, like).