The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen | @wordsofhelen @MichaelJBooks @sriya__v | #blogtour #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen. My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join! Author Helen Cullen visits my blog today to talk about the importance of music in her novel but first, here is what The Lost Letters of William Woolf is all about.

Author : Helen Cullen
Title : The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Pages : 416
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : May 2, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Inside East London’s Dead Letters Depot, William Woolf unites lost mail with its intended recipient. White mice, a miniature grandfather clock and a full suit of armour are among the more unusual items lost then found thanks to William’s detective work.

But when he discovers a series of letters addressed only to ‘My Great Love’, everything changes. Written by Winter to a soulmate she hasn’t yet met, her heartfelt words stir William in ways he has long forgotten. Could they be destined for him? But what about his troubled marriage?

William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve the mystery of his own heart.

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| GUEST POST |

The importance of music in The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

One of the great joys of writing my debut novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf, was undoubtedly creating the soundtrack to accompany the story. This curation of songs allowed me to indulge in the perfect intersection of my two great loves; music and literature. 

It was a moment of great revelation for me as I was developing each character when I realised who each of their favourite artists were; knowing what music they chose to listen to at pivotal moments in the narrative. Understanding, for example, that William Woolf was listening to The Smiths as he strolled through Dublin city made the whole scene crackle with life for me; I could place myself in the very heart of him. Understanding that Clare’s musical heroine was Kate Bush gave me insight into the longings she nursed in private; the artistic instincts that she was working hard to oppress. Discovering that Winter’s favourite band was The Cure reinforced in me her melancholic disposition, and how art could articulate sadness for her in a way that was restorative, uplifting and ultimately joyful. Situating the novel in the late 80s allowed me to revel in the music that I loved from that time.

Every day, before I began to write, I would choose a song to listen to that encapsulated for me the energy or the feeling of the scene I wanted to work on. Sinking into the music, the physical world around me would slip away, and I was able to cross the bridge from the reality of life to the imaginary world of the novel. It’s a practice I have continued now while writing my second novel.

The William Woolf playlist is an eclectic one; I would love to think that as readers follow the story, they might pause and look up the songs that are mentioned and play them as they read, to experience the music as the characters do, to activate their aural senses as their imaginations conjure the world before them. If they do, I hope they enjoy the musical rollercoaster and that it deepens their connection with the narrative. The playlist follows and you can listen to it on Spotify here. I hope you enjoy it! 

The Lost Letters of William Woolf Playlist

1. Chet Baker – Old Devil Moon 

2. David Bowie – Wild is The Wind 

3. Nina Simone – My baby just cares for me 

4. The Cure – Pictures of You 

5. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love 

6. Beethoven – Moonlight Piano Sonata

7. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon 

8. Sonny & Cher – I got you babe 

9. Madonna – Like A Prayer 

10. The Platters – The Great Pretender

11. Leonard Cohen – Suzanne 

12. George Michael – Careless Whisper

13. Michael Dees – What are you doing for the rest of your life?

14. The Undertones – Teenage Kicks

15. The Bangles – Eternal Flame

16. The Smiths – There is a Light and It Never Goes Out 

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen @wordsofhelen @MichaelJBooks #blogtour

It is such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen. My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the wonderful review copy!

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Author : Helen Cullen
Title : The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Pages : 325
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : July 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . .

Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names – they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

When William discovers letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’ his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives stir William in ways he didn’t know were possible. Soon he begins to wonder: Could William be her great love?

William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve his most important mystery yet: the human heart.

mythoughts

William Woolf works at the Dead Letters Depot in East London. A place where lost letters and packages are given a second chance to find their rightful owners. One day, William finds a letter simply addressed to “My Great Love”, written by a woman to a soulmate she’s not yet met. Living a life that didn’t quite pan out the way he thought it would and with a marriage that’s seemingly crumbling, William wonders if he might be the soulmate of the letter writer.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf oozes nostalgia. For the days when people took the time to write long and thoughtful letters and sent them all around the world, but also for those carefree times in our lives when it felt like you were on top of the world and everything would magically sort itself out until life and its everyday toils and troubles got in the way.

The letters and packages aren’t the only things that are lost. William is lost as well. It took me a while to warm to William. I felt he was a tad wishy-washy, indecisive and lacking a bit of backbone. Yet, his quest to find Winter is intriguing in that way that we all somehow think the grass is greener on the other side. What would life be like if we’d made other choices or decisions? It’s not just the letters at the Depot that are given a second chance. There is one for William as well but will it be with his wife or with Winter?

This is a very slow-paced novel and I struggle a little with reviewing it. It didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to. I assumed the story would be about all those lost letters at the Depot with William playing the part of a very different kind of detective than the ones I usually read about. It’s not that I didn’t care about what happened to William but I sometimes felt the focus lay a bit too much on his marriage, whereas I would have quite gladly spent way more time at the Depot reading letters and handing them over to the person they were intended for. Doesn’t this sound like the most wonderful job? There are one or two moments where this happened and they were so delightful that they left me wanting more.

That aside though, this is a wonderfully moving and beautifully written debut novel by Helen Cullen about all sorts of lost communication, love, hope and second chances.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ will be published in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Greece and Israel.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.

Author links : Twitter

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This Week in Books (July 11)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

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Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names – they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

When William discovers letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’ his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives stir William in ways he didn’t know were possible. Soon he begins to wonder: Could William be her great love?

William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve his most important mystery yet: the human heart.


The book I’m currently reading

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You only let her go for a second… Now she’s gone.

Erika Rice is in an elevator with her four-year-old daughter Alice when all the lights go out. It jerks to a stop on a deserted floor of apartments and the little girl runs out into the corridor.

But before Erika can follow her the doors slam shut again. Now her daughter is nowhere to be seen.

Erika was about to take Alice away for a fresh start, far from her troubled past, when the child vanished. How could a four-year-old disappear into thin air?

And with no one to help her, will Erika ever find her daughter?


What I’m (most 
definitely) reading next

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When Lizzy Beresford discovers a threatening letter addressed to her, the words on the old, tattered paper chill her to the bone. But who sent it? Living in pretty cottage in a quiet country village, Lizzy’s never made any enemies in her life…

Except her sister.

Lizzy hasn’t spoken to Emma in years. Not since the argument which tore their relationship apart. Would her sister really want to cause her harm after all this time?

As Lizzy receives more disturbing messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her – her boyfriend, her best friend, her neighbours.

Because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And after a series of malicious incidents, it’s clear they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed her life.

Lizzy knows she must confront her sister. But can she trust her? And will she realise the shocking truth, before it’s too late?

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

20 Books of Summer

 

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I don’t often join challenges but this one caught my eye last year on Cleopatra Loves Books and I really like the thought of being able to catch up on my overflowing TBR in this way.

20 Books of Summer is a yearly challenge by Cathy at Cathy746 with an aim to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2018 and running until 3 September 2018 and I’ve decided to join in.

Now, because I’m crazy and only decided this rather last minute, these 20 books will actually be read on top of the ones I’ve already committed myself to for blog tours. That’s the plan anyway. I hear you laughing. That’s okay. I’m laughing too. 😂

So, here are the 20 books on my list for now. I’ve spotted a few that seem rather long so I may need to switch those for something shorter. We’ll see.

In no particular order, here we go. With links to Goodreads for your convenience.

1. Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance – [review]
2. Sarah Pinborough – Cross Her Heart – [review]
3. Cara Hunter – Close to Home – [review]
4. Riley Sager – Last Time I Lied – [review]

5. J.D. Barker – The Fifth to Die – [review]
6. Fredrick Backman – Us Against You – [review]
7. Sibel Hodge – Into the Darkness – [review]
8. Claire Douglas – Do Not Disturb – [review]

9. Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest – [review]
10. Louise Candlish – Our House – [review]
11. Steve Cavanagh – The Defence – [review]
12. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep – [review]

13. Amanda Jennings – The Cliff House – [review]
14. Michael Wood – The Hangman’s Hold – [review]
15. Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere – [review]
16. Andrew Wilson – A Different Kind of Evil – [review]

17. Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her – [review]
18. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway – [review]
19. Elly Griffiths – The Zig Zag Girl – [review]
20. Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs – [review]

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That’s it. What do you think? Would you consider giving this challenge a go? What do you think of my choices? Will I make it or fail miserably? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do you think I am now? 😂

Wish me luck! xx