Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Where Are They Now?

Some of the bookfoxes in our original line-up have since left for pastures new, and I’m surely not the only one who’s curious what they’ve been up to. I asked them to share some news with us, and also linked to some of our favourites among their old posts. There’s plenty more worth revisiting in the archives!


Well, there are now two YA books and one novel out, published between them in six countries. STONES FOR MY FATHER has won the Africana Children’s Book Award and been shortlisted for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Prize (winner to be announced in November). I’m just finishing up the PhD, and a new novel, THE PALE DAYS, should be released next year. Other than that, it’s been all about baby!

Some of Trilby’s best: review of Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog, review of Karen Russell’s St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, review of M.T. Anderson’s The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing




Erm… where am I now? I’m still in Melbourne (4 years down the track) and I’m the Children’s Book Buyer for a branch of Readings, which is an independent small chain. Other book-y news is that I’ve got a new contract for a YA book with Random House Australia, and a UK deal with Buster Books for an illustrated Junior Fiction title about a funny girl inventor. Here’s me at Readings. It’s my first time as a bookseller and it’s brilliant – the missing piece of my publishing career for sure.

Some of Emily’s best: review of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career, review of Jaclyn Moriarty’s Becoming Bindy Mackenzie, review of R.N. Morris’ A Vengeful Longing




Since my second novel A Secret Alchemy reached the bestsellers lists in 2010 I’ve a story broadcast on Radio 4, and have done lots of festival appearances and run workshops at writers conferences such as York and the Historical Novel Society. I’m also still blogging at This Itch of Writing, and I’m working on a book based on that, as well as a new novel. I’ve finished my PhD in Creative Writing, which I blogged about here.

I’m teaching Creative Writing for the Open University, and I’ve just been awarded a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at Goldsmiths College; that means spending two days a week helping anyone who wants help with their academic writing, and is great fun.

Some of Emma’s best: review of Georgette Heyer’s The Grand Sophy and Venetiapost on Antonia Forest, review of John Stubbs’ John Donne: The Reformed Soul




Since leaving VL I’ve been busy developing and teaching a module in creative writing for children and young people on Warwick University’s MA in Writing. I find this very rewarding and hope to develop more modules. I’ve also been writing a lot of publisher led fiction – I’m on the fourth book in the middle grade Witch of Turlingham series for Working Partners/Atom and a YA novel set in the same period as Downton is out in the US and UK in January.

I’ve just sent a novel of my own to my agent, Julia Churchill, and am waiting nervously for her feedback. Oh, and I had a baby!

Some of Leila’s best: review of Maureen Freely’s Enlightenment, review of Ted Hughes’ Under the North Star (ill. by Leonard Baskin), review of Terry Pratchett’s The Night Watch




When I started with VL I was the mother of a two year old tentatively making my way into the writing world with my first book, A Kind of Intimacy soon to be published. Now that two year old has just turned eight, I have a two year old son and my third book, The Friday Gospels will be published early next year. I’m still writing and reviewing, (although a little less shyly than I used to) and I’m also a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lancaster University and about to finish a PhD in LDS fiction, of all things. No wonder I need a rest…

Some of Jenn’s best: review of John Fante’s Ask the Dust, review of Miranda July’s No One Belongs Here More Than You (with Trilby), review of Laura Hird’s Nail and Other Stories


And last but not least…


I was one of the early bookfoxes whose contribution in recent years faded away, not from any conscious decision, but rather through the erosion of everyday life. With four children, a divorce and going back to a full-time job, life filled up and squeezed out some of the fun things, such as inflicting my opinion of books read on innocent bystanders on the internet. Luckily, things never got so hectic that I actually stopped reading and I’m wondering if I could knock on the back door of Vulpes Libris over the coming months. I even started back writing in recent times, a teen novel, a story set in the near future of sharing, war, values, love and resources. This is in fact a low plan to use my captive teenagers to provide me with a guaranteed minimum readership of three.

Some of Mary’s best: review of Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father, review of Donna Morrissey’s Sylvanus Now, review of Mark Lynas’s Six Degrees and George Monbiot’s Heat


I’m very excited to hear that Mary is considering coming back to us, and hope we’ll hear again from the others as well! Best of luck to you all 🙂

3 comments on “Where Are They Now?

  1. Kate
    October 20, 2012

    So many novelists! Is VL a covert training ground for our best and brightest? It’s very impressive, and inspiring, to read how much of their own writing they’ve all achieved despite having babies and jobs and things.

  2. rosyb
    October 20, 2012

    Lovely to hear from the old crowd and what they’ve been up to. Some great pieces and good luck to all.

  3. Jackie
    October 20, 2012

    It was great seeing what former Foxes are up to now. They all seem to be doing well, both professionally & personally. We definitely have the welcome mat by the back door for Mary or any of the others who would like to contribute again.

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2012 by in Uncategorized.



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