• E. Rachael Hardcastle

The Monthly Meow: Jan 2022 (1/4)

I honestly cannot believe it's been nearly 3 months since the Curious Cat Books launch with Waterstones, Bradford back in October 2021. Time has absolutely flown by, and since then, so much has happened and so much more is planned for 2022, I'm not really sure where to start.

Submissions Opening Soon!

If you're looking for a publisher for your book in 2022, CCB opens its submissions on January 31st for 1 month, closing on the 28th February.

You don't need an agent to submit your manuscript, and the process is quick and easy. A downloadable PDF including the guidelines can be found on the website's menu, or by following: https://www.curiouscatbooks.co.uk/services

Waterstones, Bradford... A Success!

(left-right: Peter Kay, John Brookes, Rachael Hardcastle, Tom Slack, Kier McGuinness)
(left-right: Peter Kay, John Brookes, Rachael Hardcastle, Tom Slack, Kier McGuinness)

My authors will all tell you how anxious I was for the 16th October 2021 to run smoothly, and I was so pleased and proud of them ALL for attending and speaking about their work, either to the guests on the evening or to Radio Royal (Bradford - Emma and Martin Truelove) about their books. I'm sure at the beginning I was a flustered, bumbling mess, and you all managed to keep me sane. For that, you deserve medals!

Guests attending the Waterstones CCB Launch 16/10/2021
Guests attending the Waterstones CCB Launch 16/10/2021

It was a full house, with approximately 100 guests visiting us throughout the night, which ran from 6-9pm. We had the amazing support of local media, representatives from Steph's Packed Lunch, local authors and writing groups, bloggers and the Lord Mayor of Bradford alongside the Deputy Lord Mayor of Keighley. We talked with Emma and Malcolm Truelove of Royal Radio Bradford (interview links can be found further down this page), and the evening saw a brave line-up of authors either reading from their published books or discussing their titles, inspiring those in the crowd to purchase signed copies and even leave with ideas for their own projects in 2022.

Following a brief introduction and welcome, John Brookes did a dramatic reading of his middle-grade children's story, Henry, and Peter Kay read a snippet of his travel memoir Show Me the Way to Santiago, followed by a Q&A. We also heard from my father David Hardcastle about our co-written book, Bluetooth & the World Wide Web and K. J. McGuinness closed the evening with a discussion about writing his zombie horror book, Generation Dead. Smiles were wide and sales were high—we loved every minute.

We were all really lucky to have the support of family and friends on the evening, as well as avid readers and those in the publishing industry. I'd like to extend a HUGE thank you again to Waterstones Bradford and their staff for hosting and setting up the evening, and for their continued support since. CCB titles now sit proudly on the shelves of this historic and absolutely beautiful store in the heart of the city centre, and signed editions can be found in the relevant sections/genres of almost all the titles featured there that night. You can watch me sign a bunch of mine in the YouTube video below:

The event not only officially launched CCB (a few years too late due to Covid!), but it also celebrated local Bradford talent, brought together local businesses and entrepreneurs, creatives, media and likeminded individuals. So much more than a book signing—we celebrated the written word with cake and champagne, and shopped for books during a 3-hour private spree. We laughed and inspired and built new relationships.

Personally, I got to show off the amazing talent I manage and clap for all their success, and I was excited to give my friends, relatives and colleagues a taste of who I am and what I do here at CCB, and what I can offer our community in 2022. At the back end of a year where we all struggled to find the joy in being stuck indoors, not seeing the people we loved and generally feeling a bit fed up, I was proud to be able to safely bring together so many deserving individuals to celebrate our collective hard work and success.

THANK YOU to everyone who came; to those of you who were unsure if you'd enjoy the event but got dressed up anyway; to those of you who haven't read a book in years but still made the effort to hear all about ours; those of you who stayed out after a long day at work to support us; to those of you who contributed and worked hard to help me all evening (Sue Evans with your tasty cupcakes and CCB cake, Malcolm Clarke for your photographs, Michaela, Ben and Sam for helping out with drinks all night... to name just a few); to family and friends who probably had no idea what you were getting yourselves into—your presence kept me going; and to the Waterstones staff who worked over to set up and run the till and the café. An extra thank you to the manager for inviting us to work alongside you—we are very lucky (your store is a favourite spot for so many bookworms!).

There are so many others I should be thanking here, but I fear we would NEVER get through everybody. Know that I was thrilled to meet every single one of you and I wish you ALL the utmost for 2022. Keep writing. X

To listen to the Radio Royal podcast interviews with my authors on the evening, please follow this link: https://www.mixcloud.com/radioroyalbradford/ and be sure to follow and support them too. Please excuse the background noise you may hear during the interview, as the event continued as these interviews took place.

ETSY Store Now Live

Curious Cat Books is now selling signed books and bookmarks on Etsy, with free UK delivery and discounted titles throughout January 2022. The store went live just before Christmas 2021—you can currently purchase any of my own titles (E. Rachael Hardcastle) and every order will be signed/personalised, and include a FREE bookmark.

Shop on ETSY: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CuriousCatBooks

Generation Dead is a Bestseller

Though it's a few months late, I also wanted to congratulate CCB author K. J. McGuinness on the bestseller status of his new book, Generation Dead during pre-orders.

The title (September 2021) hit no.3 in the Zombies, Werewolves and Vampires category on Amazon.co.uk. The book also reached 122 in the post-apocalyptic category and 9,430 overall.

As at 12/01/2022, the book still sits at no.64 in the Zombie category, and is gathering some amazing 5* reviews from fans.

You can purchase your copy of the book HERE. It is currently available in paperback and e-book formats, and also available from your favourite stores including Waterstones and Barnes and Noble.

You can visit K. J. McGuinness's website HERE to find a list of these retailers and to learn more about the author and the book.

Harriet's Hibernation Released

Once again I'm late to the party, but I also wanted to extend a huge congrats to author Alanna Betambeau who released another gorgeous children's picture book with CCB at the end of September 2021.

Harriet's Hibernation is Alanna's fourth book with CCB, and was featured at the Waterstones event in October 2021.

You can order copies of this book HERE on Amazon - please allow a little longer for delivery as the retailers replenish their stock following the busy Xmas period. This title is also available from your favourite stores.


This update is a few weeks late, and the next Monthly Meow isn't planned until March 2022. Thank you for reading the January 2022 Monthly Meow update, and for continuing to support us in the new year. I look forward to reading the new submissions this year and inviting more of you to join the ever-growing team at CCB.

33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All