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  • Writer's pictureangiespoto

What I’ve Been Writing: Death Writes & The Grief Nurse

I've spent the last few months learning how to be a published author. The whole journey to publication, from finding an agent to being on submission with editors to edits and copy edits and publicity has been full of surprises and a lot of (unexpected) waiting. I've learned to draw on my own personal well of confidence and inspiration, reminding myself why I write in the first place (because I love it, or, actually, because if I don't do it I get very grumpy).

In less than three short months, The Grief Nurse, my first published novel, will be out in the world. Already you can pre-order it in the UK and in the US and tickets are now available for my 9 February launch at the Portobello Bookshop.

Here's a wee bit about The Grief Nurse!

Imagine a world where the wealthy do not have to feel grief...

... where grief nurses, people who can see and take others' grief, are indentured to aristocratic families. When the Aster family hold a wake for their eldest son on their isolated island, their secrets and fears begin to unravel, while the bodies start to pile up.

The Grief Nurse follows Lynx, a grief nurse indentured to the Asters, as she carves a space for herself in a world that stigmatises grief and grieving. This is a story about coming into your power, feeling your grief, and learning to welcome it in.

Filled with atmospheric gothic imagery, a large cast of queer characters, and an honest exploration of the importance of grief, The Grief Nurse is very much inspired by the Scottish landscape.

I'm also very pleased to have joined the Death Writes Network at the University of Glasgow. The network is a group of writers interested in writing about death and grief and is a place for us to make connections and share ideas. As anyone reading this might be aware, writing about grief is a bit of an obsession of mine. Looking forward to seeing where the network leads me as I work on two new novels that explore themes of death and grief.

Thanks for reading!

Angie Spoto is an American fiction writer and poet living in Edinburgh. In 2020, she completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow. Her doctoral thesis was a fantasy novel, called The Grief Nurse, and a collection of essays on grief, madness and language. The Grief Nurse has been shortlisted for the First Novel Prize 2021 and The Bridge Awards Emerging Writer Award in 2020 and will be published by Sandstone Press in 2023.

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