Caroline Smailes

Twitter Tumblr


September 2014

Thrilled that 'The Drowning of Arthur Braxton' has been chosen to be part of Carrie Hope Fletcher's Booktober next month.

For this semester, I'm a tutor at Liverpool John Moores University. The module is 'Introduction to Writing'.

July 2014

I hosted a writer’s surgery as part of Writing on the Wall’s Virtual Book Fair at Liverpool Central Library.


June 2014

‘Disraeli Avenue’ is republished.

The film option for 'The Drowning of Arthur Braxton' was held by DreamWolf Films but ran out this month. They are not renewing the fllm option, so it is now available. 

May 2014

I was a judge in the Pulp Idol 2014 final, with literary agents Tom Witcombe and Alex Christofi.

Page proofs and the cover for the new edition of ‘Disraeli Avenue’ are finished.


April 2014

The short film ‘Speak’ by Born to Capture is finished and I was given an early viewing.

March 2014

Filming starts on ‘Speak’ by Born to Capture, an innovational production company. They’ve taken the character Jude from ‘In Search of Adam’ and placed her in their very own short film. The screening is expected to be in the autumn.

December 2013

Thrilled that ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ makes it onto a few ‘Best Books of 2013′ lists – on a list by Dan Powell and tbyBookCunt and over on Judging Covers and on Random Things Through My Letterbox’s list.

Also, ‘Outstanding read of the year’ from Word by Word and one of Writer’s Little Helper’s favourite reads of 2013 and in The Sentinel too.

November 2013

Loved the mention over on Carrie Fletcher’s Book Haul.

Visited MMUC, to discuss my writing and to read from my work at one of their CreativeWriting Plus events.

I finished novel 6, just as my Arts Council England funding finished.

October 2013

Thrilled to be part of Wirral Bookfest.

September 2013

Thrilled to be in such good company in Claire King’s favourite books for grown-ups with a child’s voice at their heart.

Visited a wonderful book club in Heswall. ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ was the 60th book that they’d read together.

August 2013

I’m on the cover of #143 of Writers’ Forum. I was interviewed by the fabulous Helen M Hunt and that covers a double page inside. It’s called ‘Let your novel find its voice ‘ and addresses the troubles I had creating an authentic voice for a male teenager in The Drowning of Arthur Braxton.

I visited a wonderful reading group at Forget-Me-Not Toys & Books to talk about The Drowning of Arthur Braxton.

An interview on NET TV in Malta, talking about my relationship with Malta and my writing.

A mini-book tour in Malta, with signings in Agenda bookshop on Republic Street, Valletta and in Agenda bookshop, Tigné Point, Sliema.

July 2013

Thrilled to be a guest at Emma B’s Table Talks event at Latitude Festival.

June 2013

I joined in a book club meeting in Runcorn, as they discussed ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’.

May 2013

I was one of the three judges at the Pulp Idol Final, held in Liverpool Central Library.

Featured on feasting on Romantic Comedy – Scones from The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes.

‘True love is a sense of returning home’ – I’m talking about how music influenced my writing process on The Undercover Soundtrack.

As part of Liverpool’s In Other Words literary festival, Waterstones Liverpool 1, Leaf and the Reader Organisation put together an evening to share the love of books, literature and reading in general. I read from ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ and was interviewed on stage.

Liverpool’s first ever Moby Dick marathon reading took place at the Merseyside Maritime Museum over the three days of May 4th-6th 2013. I read Chapter 89, “Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish” on the Kathleen & May.

April 2013

The Wirral heat of Pulp Idol took place. I was on the panel of judges with Luca Veste and David Jackson.

An exclusive interview with me on

I have been successful in my application to Arts Council England and the National Lottery for ‘Time to Write’ funding. The grant is for six months (starting on May 1 2013), allowing me time to focus entirely on my new novel LIME STREET (working title).

‘… I’d recommend you request The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes, one of the most unusual and talented writers around (for more info, visit her website). This is a reimagining of three Greek myths and a compelling and harrowing modern fairy tale.’ Stuart Evers on NetGalley.

A look at my writing room occured, as did my 5 Writing Tips.

In Le Rideau – Littérature : Quand Gaspard Royant inspire Caroline Smailes.

An author Q&A over on The Friendly Shelf. ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ is launched, with events in both Liverpool and London.

 ‘This beautifully told and sometimes disturbing tale will intrigue as it reaches its dramatic conclusion’. Bella magazine (April 9)

March 2013

Thrilled that ‘Freaks!’ is one of Cara Fielder’s three favourite short story collections on the Waterstones blog.

‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ is printed.

An interview with Abby on 7Waves Radio’s teen show.

According to The Observer, ‘‘Caroline Smailes and Will Self are arch-experimentalists’.

Another quote arrives, this time from Sarah Salway (Canterbury Laureate, author of Something Beginning With): ‘A quirky magical tale of wit, water and destiny. Caroline Smailes always writes with flair and empathy – this time she explores the power of our need to belong.’

A second cover quote arrives, this time from Tanya Byrne (‘Heart-Shape Bruise’): ‘This thoroughly modern retelling is everything a fairy tale should be: strange, beautiful and wholly unexpected.’

February 2013

First cover quote arrives for ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ from Matt Haig (‘The Radleys’, ‘The Humans’): ‘Magical, weird, wonderful, dark unique Northern brilliance.’

Being part of a short story event at Nottingham’s Festival of Words.

Interviewed for the magazine Condé Nast, that is issued every Saturday together with the Spanish newspaper El País, (the most important newspaper both in Spain and in South America).

January 2013

The front cover for ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ is revealed.

October 2012

A flash into a moment in my life, exploring why I admire T.S. Eliot and why I’d like to take Prufrock out for cake over on normblog.

September 2012

A ‘Meet Caroline Smailes’ event at Ashton Library, as part of Ashton Festival. The first glimpses of the cover for ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton’ are seen.

July 2012

I am featured in Wirral Lifestyle Magazine, talking about my love of this area and my inspirations.

June 2012

To celebrate International Short Story Day, I took part in an event in Nottingham (reading two stories from ‘Freaks!’), which was organised by the talented Megan Taylor and featured readings from Niki Valentine, Giselle Leeb, Alison Moore and others.

I had fun being part of a panel at HowTheLightGetsIn philosophy Festival in Hay. The event was called ‘Six Billion Authors in Seach of an Audience’ and the panel members included myself, Ewan Morrison, Scott Pack, Helen Lederer and was chaired by Gabriel Gbadamosi: ‘In an age of self publishing and writers’ workshops, the idea that we all have a novel inside of us has become commonplace. But how essential is writing to individuality? Has the Internet facilitated one of our most deep-rooted desires, or has it opened up the false hope of a readership, a performance without meaning? Critical theorist, writer and commentator Ewan Morrison, blogger and experimental novelist Caroline Smailes, and HarperCollins publicist and Me and My Big Mouthblogger Scott Pack consider the impact of the internet on a new generation of writers’.

May 2012

I was thrilled to be one of the three judges at the Wirral heat of Pulp Idol, Writing on the Wall’s unique writing competition for novelists.

I LOVED being been invited along to the second show of Short Stories Aloud, a brand new literary event in Oxford. Watching actors perform 4 short stories from ‘Freaks!’ was truly amazing.

An interview on BBC Radio Oxford talking about ‘Freaks!’.

April 2012

Friday 27 April, ’99 Reasons Why’ is eBook of the week in The Sun – ‘Depressing, dark but compelling’.

HarperCollins India orders many copies of ‘Freaks!’ An interview with me in Newcastle Journal’s ‘Now and Then’ column.

‘Freaks!’ is published.

March 2012

’99 Reasons Why’ is in the Kindle Spring sale on Amazon (costing 99p for 2 weeks) and featured on iBooks’ front page in their ‘New & Notable’ book suggestions.

Freaks has its first review: “Freaks! is a stunning collection of themed prose pieces ranging from compulsively brief vignettes to devastatingly effective epigrams…” T

alking about ’99 Reasons Why’ on the Amazon blog.

I was a guest at the Firestation Book Swap in Windsor. I wrote a guest post for the Authonomy Blog, explaining how and why I wrote a novel with 11 endings.

The lovely folk at gave a sneaky peek at one of the endings.

Reuters filmed me and my publisher talking about ’99 Reasons Why’.

’99 Reasons Why’ discussed in Malta.

Copies of ‘Freaks!’ arrive.

Liverpool Daily Post talks about ’99 Reasons Why’.

February 2012

A negative ‘report’ in The Telegraph (no interview or approach made by the person who wrote the article), claiming that authors should have a sense of an ending: ‘If you provide your readers with a choice of endings, or curtain lines, you are not taking your work seriously – and don’t deserve to be taken seriously yourself.’ Ouch! That’ll be months of plotting and writing and stressing for nothing then…

99 Reasons Why: is featured In Germany, in Ukraine, in Brazil , in Dutch, in Portuguese, in Hungary, int Italy and on MSNBC.

My appearance on BBC News – (including part 2 of the clip from the TV broadcast):

99 Reasons Why: In the Daily Times in Pakistan

99 Reasons Why: In the Huffington Post

99 Reasons Why: In Russian

99 Reasosn Why: In Lithuanian

99 Reasons Why: In China: I

n India, ‘Smailes came up with the idea – reminiscent of the multiple endings in the 1992 comedy Wayne’s World…’

99 Reasons Why: In Latvian?

99 Reasons Why: In Gizbot

BBC Radio 4′s ‘Today’ talked about ’99 Reasons Why’.

Article in The Independent, which starts with “A new digital novel will overturn centuries of literary tradition by allowing readers to choose how they would like a story to end…”

Article in The Telegraph, that starts with, “In a radical departure from literary tradition, author Caroline Smailes’s latest work 99 Reasons Why has a choice of 11 possible endings.”

Article in The Mail Online, that starts “A new digital novel will change its ending based on the the reader’s tastes and mood.”

Radio interviews about ’99 Reasons Why’ on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Hereford and BBC Radio 5Live.

I offer some advice in the Tesco Magazine on ‘How to write a book (and get it published)’.

‘My favourite book’ article in The Liverpool Post. T

he final proofs of ‘Freaks!’ are completed.

Celebrated National Libraries Day, by giving a talk at Blackburn Library.

Interviewed on BBC Radio Lancashire, talking about National Libraries Day.

Celebrated National Libraries Day, by giving a talk at Birkdale Library.

January 2012

Celebrated National Libraries Day, by giving a talk at Helsby Library.

Agreed the promise of a film option for novel 4, ‘The Drowning of Arthur Braxton.’

The Guardian describes ’99 Reasons Why’ as “witty and touching”.

December 2011

Four stories from ‘Freaks!’ appear in Issue 7 (Winter 2011) of The Moth Magazine.

November 2011

As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Sandiway library.

October 2011

’99 Reasons Why’ has a front cover. As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Altrincham library. As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Ellesmere Port library.

September 2011

News of ’99 Reasons Why’ is released. As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Denton library.

August 2011

The front cover for ‘FREAKS!’ is released. As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Spotland library.

July 2011

As part of the Time to Read Reading Places travel promotion, I gave a talk on ‘Like Bees to Honey’ at Walkden library.

Attended the HarperCollins Summer Party at Kensington Palace.

Signed contracts for my novella ‘Disraeli Avenue’ to be published by The Friday Project (HarperCollins) in a Library of Lost Books edition.

May 2011

A year since publication, but a fabulous review of ‘Like Bees to Honey’ in Belletrista (Issue 11).

March 2011

Signed contracts for a short story collection written with Nik Perring and illustrated by Darren Craske. ‘FREAKS!’ will be published by The Friday Project early 2012. More details can be found here.

January 2011

A full page review of ‘Like Bees to Honey’ in Air Malta’s January edition of Sky Life (which is given to all passengers on the Air Malta flights) – ‘Smailes, is herself quite masterful with language, and has an incredible knack for melding Maltese and English together beautifully.’

December 2010

A signing at Waterstone’s in Liverpool.

November 2010

Took part in Word Girl: Women Writers Festival in the Pavillion Theatre @ Brighton Dome. A New Voices panel event with Anjali Joseph and Amy Sackville.

October 2010

Talking: Books did an event at Wirral Bookfest (a panel event with me, Jon Mayhew and Nik Perring at Heswall library). In profile on the University of Liverpool’s Alumni site.

September 2010

“‘Like Bees to Honey’ is a didactic story that deals with an array of important issues including family, trust, grief, love, religion and faith – a thought-provoking, intense book that treats the topics of life and death with a serious pen, yet includes a tongue-in-cheek-tone that keeps it from falling into depressing depths.” – The Sunday Times of Malta (review printed Sunday 19 September)

Named as one of the artistic directors for the first ever GobbleDEEbook (Chester’s brand new children’s lit festival).

Signing at Waterstone’s Southport. “Honey and Smiles” – MaltaToday (Sept 3).

August 2010

“Book attracts readers like bees to honey” - The Times of Malta (printed 29 August and with a video interview online).

“Speaking to the spirits in Malta” – the Malta Independent (printed 29 August).

“Cisk features on Front Cover of British Novel’ – The Malta Business News (printed 19-25 August 2010).

Book event at the brand new Bloomin’ Good Books Festival at Southport Flower Show.

Radio interview at BBC Radio Lancashire.

In Search of Adam is number 6 (at highest) in the Kindle bestseller chart (paid).

“Cisk fuq il-faċċata ta’ ktieb Ingliż” – l’orizzont (printed Aug 18 2010)

“Acclaimed British Novelist digs up Maltese roots” – Malta Today (printed Aug 15 2010).

“Cisk features on front cover of British novel Like Bees to Honey” – The Malta Independent (printed Aug 14 2010).

“Cisk features on front cover of British novel” – I

nterviewed by BBC Radio Merseyside’s Andy Ball.

‘Like Bees to Honey’ is number 3 best seller (at its highest) in Malta.

Launched ‘Like Bees to Honey’ in Malta (July 27 – August 3). Net TV interview in Malta.

July 2010

Book Signings – Agenda Embassy in Malta, Agenda Pavi in Malta, Agenda Plaza in Malta and Agenda Tigné in Malta. Ellesmere Port Pioneer: Little Sutton author Caroline Smailes tops Waterstone’s charts A signing in Waterstone’s Chester.

June 2010

Times+ run a competition to win a holiday to Malta to celebrate the release of Like Bees to Honey: “The prize is for a four night stay for two adults at the Radisson Blu Hotel St ‘ on a bed and breakfast basis. The prize also includes two return flights from Manchester or London Gatwick and transfers between the hotel and the airport. The prize is courtesy of the Malta Tourist Office.” An article – My Malta. In The Times+: “Win a copy of Caroline Smailes’ new book, Like Bees to Honey. Each month Times+ and Harper Collins will present a new book to introduce you to an up-and-coming author.” A literary lunch and chat at forget-me-not toy and bookshop to celebrate Independent Bookseller Week. Gave a talk on how to get published at Booka Bookshop is Oswestry. An evening with Jon Mayhew and Nik Perring at Chester library exploring the world of writing and publishing.

May 2010

A Signing, talk and buffet lunch, organised byPritchard’s Bookshop. Review in the Avrupa Gazete. London Launch at the Big Green Bookshop. The Bookseller: The Friday Project to serialise a novel in its entirety across 32 book blogs. Liverpool launch of Like Bees to Honey at Waterstone’s, Liverpool One. Reported in the Wirral Globe. Gave an After Supper talk at Formby Ladies Golf Club.

April 2010

Wirral Globe headline: Wirral Author Competes for Award My blog is shortlisted for the Author Blog Awards, an award set up to “recognise and highlight the writers who use their blogs to connect with readers in the most imaginative, engaging and inspiring ways”. (Voting ends April 15 2010) Like Bees to Honey goes to print.

March 2010

Cover quote for Like Bees to Honey: “Haunting, heartfelt and beautiful.” Chris Cleave, author of The Other Hand/Little Bee. Read from Like Bees to Honey as part of Liverpool Daily Post’s online Literary Festival, LiveRead. Portuguese language rights for Like Bees to Honey sold to a Portuguese publisher.

February 2010

Week ending 26/2/10: In Search of Adam eBook is number 10 in Waterstone’s Top Ten eBooks. Week ending 12/2/10: In Search of Adam eBook is number 6 in Waterstone’s Top Ten eBooks. Artist Becky Adams finishes Like Bees to Honey’ s cover and the final proofs are completed.

January 2010

About Like Bees to Honey: ‘A story of loss, redemption and ghosts that takes our heroine, Nina,and her spirit son back to her Maltese roots and strange happenings. It seems Malta is a transit lounge for the dead.’ (Bookseller, May pb preview, 29 Jan issue) Artist Becky Adams hand stitches and designs the cover artwork for Like Bees to Honey. Black Boxes (ebook) is at the fabulous price of £1.05 at Waterstone’s online. In Search of Adam (eBook) costs a mere £1.05 at Waterstone’s online.

November 2009

Gave 3 writing workshops (on conjuring characters) at Birkenhead High School’s Literary Festival Interviewed by Sue Cook for ‘The Write Lines’, BBC Radio Oxford.

October 2009

Talked, read and answered questions at Chester Literature Festival. Images from the event can be found here.

September 2009

Contracts have been agreed and signed with The Friday Project (HarperCollins) for my next 2 novels and a digital project. My next novel, ‘Like Bees to Honey’ will be published May 2010.

June 2009

“In Search of Adam by Caroline Smailes – an absolutely wonderful and original book by a talented author who is north west-based” – The Northerner,’s weekly roundup. Announced as judge of the ‘Even More Tonto Short Stories’ competition. Gave a workshop on Writing from Memory, with Rosalind Wyllie at Middlesbrough Literary Festival.

May 2009

Interview over at the Book Depository.

March 2009

Italian language rights for Black Boxes sold to the Italian publisher Newton Compton Editori. Signing at Waterstone’s Chester.

February 2009

Black Boxes paperback published (3for2 Waterstone’s, Borders and WHSmiths Travel). Gave a reading and q&a at the Secret Leeds event. Talked with/to the WEA writing group Chester.

December 2008

Author Q&A in Big Issue North.

November 2008

‘Black Boxes widget goes viral‘ reported on Book Brunch. Article in Liverpool Daily Post. Headline: Author is boxing clever. Full page article in The Standard on 6/11/08. Headline: No ‘nearly’ about it for Caroline. 25 minute interview with Trisha Goddard on her City Talk radio programme Talk to Trisha.

October 2008

Ellesmere Port Pioneer newspaper article headlined: Whirlwind year as second book hits the shelves. Interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside, the Tony Snell Breakfast Show. Gave a workshop on blogging at Chester Literature Festival.

September 2008

Black Boxes widget launched. Black Boxes widget discussed on 5th Estate blog. In Search of Adam released in Italy. Black Boxes launched at Borders Oxford Street. Gave a reading from Black Boxes at HarperCollins. Signing of Black Boxes at Borders Cheshire Oaks.

August 2008

Disraeli Avenue, the novella is available for pre-order. Black Boxes goes to print. Author review copies of Disraeli Avenue are received.

July 2008

Limited Edition Disraeli Avenue announced.

June 2008

Judging results announced by Tonto books. Reading a passage from In Search of Adam for The Harmless DVD.

May 2008

Accepted invitation to be a judge and mentor for Tonto Books’ North East New Novelists contest. HarperCollins announce the purchase of The Friday Project. Signed new contracts for In Search of Adam and Black Boxes with The Friday Project, who have become an imprint of HarperCollins. Gave a workshop at the Brindley Readers’ Day.

March 2008

In Search of Adam reviewed in Financial Times. Mentoring with Rosalind Wyllie mentioned on the Guardain blog. Writers’ News April 2008 issue. ‘E-book for charity’ article about Disraeli Avenue.

February 2008

Talked with/to the WEA writing group in Chester. Disraeli Avenue write up at Disraeli Avenue available as a free download. Signing at Waterstone’s in Chester. Paperback of In Search of Adam launched.

January 2008

Reading at launch of Your Messages, London. The free download eBook Disraeli Avenue is announced, with voluntary donations supporting the charity One in Four. Announced as a Mentor for Tonto Books, working with Rosalind Wyllie.

December 2007

One of my flash fiction (300 words) chosen for Your Messages book. To be published January 2008.

October 2007

Signed publishing contract for Black Boxes, with The Friday Project. Reading and Q&A at The Manchester Blog Awards – Moho Live, Oldham Street, Manchester. Interview in Eve Magazine.

September 2007

Reading at Manchester Library with Megan Taylor and Shanta Everington. Interview on BBC online (manchester). Article in The Journal (Newcastle) 8 Sept 2007. Interview in Chat magazine – Issue 35, page 2 ‘The day that changed my life.’

July 2007

The Friday Project announces a second print run of In Search of Adam.

June 2007

BBC Liverpool online interview Chris High review Interview on Up All Night (Pods and Blogs) BBC Five Live. Interview on Heather Stott Show, BBC Radio Manchester. Interview in Scarlet magazine. Interview at Book signing at Borders, Cheshire Oaks. In Search of Adam launched in Waterstone’s Manchester. Review in The American Chronicle. Q & A interview in Big Issue North.

May 2007

The Friday Project makes available 100 limited edition copies of In Search of Adam. These are all signed and numbered.

April 2007

Launched In Search of Adam map and blogwidget – click here to find out more. Interview at In Search of Adam signed off for first print run. Article in Prospects Graduate issue 39.

February 2007

Mentioned in ArtsHub. Review of In Search of Adam in The Bookseller.

January 2007

Final proofs of In Search of Adam signed off. In Search of Adam is mentioned in The Bookseller. In Search of Adam is announced in Publishing News, as the first title for the Friday Project’s new imprint, Friday Fiction.

December 2006

Interview in Writers’ News

November 2006

BBC Manchester online interview.

October 2006

MMU news article about me and In Search of Adam Signed contract with The Friday Project Elected to a full membership of the Society of Authors First public reading of In Search of Adam at Manchester Central Library.

September 2006

Applied to join Society of Authors. Offered publishing contract. Contacted by publisher after they read my blog.

August 2006

Website and blog are launched.


Donald Winchester

Watson, Little Ltd

Suite 315


22 Highbury Grove, London

N5 2ER

Art's Council