Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Red letter day: The TV Book Club


At last it can be told! Red letter day was yesterday when this year’s summer reading selection for The TV Book Club on Channel 4 was announced – and The Lantern has made the cut!

If I say I am thrilled beyond words, I know you’ll understand the magnitude of this for me. It’s what every writer dreams of, but never expects will happen to them. The call came through back in April that The Lantern was on the long-list, and I really thought that was as good as it was going to get, and was delighted at that encouraging endorsement before it was published.

I was in Provence at the time, sitting on a pile of rubble. The building site at the house was reaching a zenith of mess and confusion. ‘So,’ said Susan Lamb down the line from Orion, ‘if you get it they’ll want to come and film you at the house, take some long lingering shots of the gorgeous setting. That’s OK, isn’t it?’

‘Mmm, yes… Of course!’ I replied. It didn’t seem worth worrying anyone unnecessarily at this stage.


For the rest of the month the builders cracked on. The chaos of stones and equipment grew. No further word about the TV Book Club, and as the days went by I just assumed my book had been passed over. Then, a couple of days before I was due to go to New York, the news came through – The Lantern was in!

I went wobbly for a few hours when I realised that not only would we have to turn on a sixpence on our return to England to get down to Provence in time for the filming schedule, but there was the small matter of the scenic quality of our property in question…

Frantic communications between New York and a tiny hamlet in France ensued, followed by intense activity. But the sight that greeted us when we finally arrived there brought a tear to the eye. Everyone, our masons and especially our very good friend William and his family, had pulled together to clear and clean the place up so it was ready for its close-up.


Unbelievably, the only element that let us down in this complex scenario was the normally sunny Provençal weather! On the day of filming, it poured with rain. Then it poured some more. Then we had thunderstorms. Zoe and James from Cactus TV could not have been lovelier or more professional, and we all made the best of it. At one point I stood out in the courtyard under a broken umbrella explaining that perhaps these darker interludes were appropriate to the novel - after all, there are gothic elements in it, as the idyllic summer in the South of France fades into winter.

And tragically, the clothes I had chosen so carefully to take pounds off my silhouette as I sauntered blissfully through the property and garden were destined to remain in the wardrobe, just as the blue hills of the Luberon remained stubbornly cloud-bound… Imagination is called for, that’s all I can say. And I’d like you to know, I’d have looked half the size if only I’d been wearing that exceptionally flattering slip of a maxi dress….


The TV Book Club starts on Sunday, June 26 on More 4, repeated on Channel 4 on Saturday, July 2. The first episode is a general look at the books up for discussion, and here’s the full list:

Week One: The Lantern, Deborah Lawrenson (Orion)
Week Two: Moonlight Mile, Dennis Lehane (Abacus)
Week Three: A Visit From The Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan (Corsair)
Week Four: Night Road, Kristin Hannah (Pan)
Week Five: The Book Of Human Skin, Michelle Lovric (Bloomsbury)
Week Six: The Hidden Child, Camilla Läckberg (HarperCollins)
Week Seven: The Radleys, Matt Haig (Canongate)
Week Eight: Grace Williams Says It Loud, Emma Henderson (Sceptre)

As you can see, I’m in some impressive company. I think all the books are very appealing – including a couple already on my TBR list. I’m up on June 26/ July 2, and the episode will be widely available to view online as well. The details are on the Channel 4 website here.

45 comments:

Helen Smith said...

Yay! Congratulations - what fantastic news.

Julia Munroe Martin said...

Incredibly EXCITING!! HUGE Congratulations!

Kelly Hashway said...

How exciting! Congratulations!

Jyoti Mishra said...

congratulations Deborah !!
I am really happy for u

JeanK said...

Good for you, Deborah. This is certainly your year. Talent recognized and "a very special 'room' of your own" to inspire you to much more.
I intend to buy your book. Congratulations!

Diana Hallare said...

Congratulations! As always, nice photos, too.

Beverly Diehl said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Congratulations!

Maureen said...

Congratulations!

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Je crois que je comprends et toutes mes pensées t'accompagnent...
Peux-tu me dire ce que je dois faire pour te lire ??

renilde said...

GREAT! congratulations!

Ann Evans said...

Congratulations! We will be visiting the Luberon in July and I am so looking forward to it -- savoring it in advance with your posts.

Bunched Undies said...

Exciting news Deborah, Congrates! And we'll be watching

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

That is wonderful news! Congratulations, Deborah. Cheers.

Richard said...

Bravo à toi, Deborah! Te voilà qui gravit les marches de la gloire. Toutes mes félicitations!

Charley Appenzellar said...

Wow, congratulations!! Great energy! Bonne continuation! Look forward to reading. :-)

BookGeek said...

Awesome news! I love the book club selections. There are a few that's I'd love to get my hands on. I may not be able to fully participate, but I will certainly be reading yours.

Josep said...

It sounds fantastic, congratulations and cheers to your book. I so like the idea that there are gothic elements in it.

Brenda said...

This is wonderful! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Much happiness and continued success. Brenda

bookspersonally said...

Congratulations, Deborah! Wonderful news.

Relish said...

THE TV Book Club?! With Jo Brand and that chap off Phoenix Nights!? That's brilliant! :-D

Cornflower said...

Wonderful news! I'm looking forward to watching the programme.

Tiny Library said...

I am so excited and happy for you! I'll look forward to watching the programme :)

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

how exciting, congratulations!!! i suppose i'll just have to wait and view it online after it airs! :D i'm so excited for you!!!

ruth phillips said...

YES!!!!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

*The Old Geezer said...

Greetings from Southern California

I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit TOGB and become a follower, if you want too.

Take care and have a nice day :-)

Girl Parker said...

Wonderful news, Deborah!! Your name is on the same list as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. That's worth a glass of wine right there!! Congratulations.

Judith van Praag said...

Congratulations Deborah! I love your report of receiving the prize. Enjoy and take five ;-)

Niranjana said...

How wonderful!Look forward to viewing it online!

Katherine Jenkins said...

Wonderful Deborah!!!!

Elizabeth Young said...

I am so incredibly proud of you and honoured to know you online Deborah! All your hard work has finally payed off and success now yours to celebrate!

Kenya D. Williamson said...

Congratulations, Deborah! And I'm sure you looked fabulous in whatever you wore. ;)

joanny said...

Pass the Champagne and let us celebrate and say bravo a job well done. Your book from the excerpts you post is a luxurious read, filled with elegance,order, beauty and joy to an every day celebration of life.

Now - how can I get a "signed" autograph copy?

Joanny

litlove said...

Oh Deborah! I am SO thrilled for you - this is wonderful news and I simply can't wait to see you on television! And your gorgeous home, too. This is such richly deserved success!

Pétales de fées said...

Congratulations to you for this unforgettable moment that you passed and I imagine that despite the bad weather, the house and the landscape will make you dream a lot of people on the planet! I will try to see the pictures!
I wish you a great summer! See you soon!

Spangle said...

I saw the announcement that you had been chosen for reviewing on 'The TV Book Club', on the programme's Twitter. What fantastic news! I like watching this series and it will be great to see you on there!

Congratulations!

Dawn Brazil said...

Congratulations!!!

Toyin O. said...

Very exicting, congrats.

MuMuGB said...

This is great Deborah! I am so pleased for you! Congratulations...So, what's next after such an achievement?

Deb said...

Wow. Just wow.

KW said...

Wow indeed .. that's fabulous news - well done to you and your publishers, but also to those who helped get the house ready, it looks stunning .. KW

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Thank you all so, so much for your lovely comments and support. Yes, THE TV Book Club with Jo Brand and others!!! Amazing...

I will try to visit some more of your blogs in the next few days, though some I still can't leave comments on - can't use Google Connect even here - but I just wanted to let you all know how very grateful I am for all your good wishes.

Adiante said...

Je me réjouis pour vous et vous souhaite une bonne continuation !

Jennifer O. said...

Incredible! Impressive company. I can't even express how psyched I am for you.

You've worked exceptionally hard on both the book, the promotion of it, and this blog.

Sit back and enjoy it. You deserve it.

Lisa Erin said...

Congratulations! How marvelous for you!

bibliofreak said...

Fantastic news - I really look forward to reading it! Week 1 too, that's got to be good!

Just wish I had the time to get through all the titles!

http://www.bibliofreak.net/2011/07/tv-book-club-what-to-read-for-summer.html

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