Leela's new blog

Paperback version

If you want to buy the paperback version of “Only a Signal Shown” go straight to the publisher

www.feedaread.com/search/books.aspx?keywords=Leela%20Dutt  where you can get it for £7.50.  I saw Amazon selling it for nearly £30 last week!

Meanwhile, have another look at Reuben’s film about my books:Only a Signal Shown

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OebH01R2_Nc&sns=em

I’ve just uploaded “Only a Signal Shown” onto Smashwords, an American ebook site which will sell it cheaply. You can find it at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/402927  Let me know if you buy it there!Only_a_signal_shown_revised

Rubik’s Cube

Remember those infamous Cruise missiles at Greenham Common in the depths of the Cold War? In this novel they’ve been moved to an American base just north of Cardiff. The story focuses on some ordinary Quakers in this university city, who not only care that the world may be destroyed in an instant, as we all feared back then, but also about personal issues: the old man next door who won’t eat and is dying of malnutrition, a budding love affair with a man threatened with blindness, neighbours who persecute children playing ball in the street, how to cope with difficult teenagers. A Peace Camp is set up near the missiles, and some of the Quakers get to know the American commander as well as listening to the Soviet ambassador.

Originally short-listed by the Welsh Arts Council, this novel has been loved and read as many as seven times by some particular individuals. It was inspired by the sense that there are always several different strands to life that have to be dealt with at the same time, like the squares on a Rubik’s cube. Much of it is based on real events – the neighbours in particular, and the children; but some research was also involved, especially into retinitis pigmentosa, which causes blindness. The story will appeal to anyone interested in ordinary people and their everyday problems and joys – but don’t feel you have to read it seven times!  You can order it from my website attfieldduttbooks.co.uk   There are still a handful of copies left.

coverRubikscube

Copenhagen Post

Just had this review which is going into the Copenhagen Post:

The book Only a Signal Shown was written by Cardiff based Danish-Indian author Leela Dutt and tells the story of travel writer and artist Eleanor as she traverses the world, while occasionally having a desperate on-again, off-again love affair with TV archaeologist Alec. The two have occasional meetings over the course of several decades with plenty of heartbreak and confusion.

Spatially the story moves all over the world, with scenes taking place in countries as different as Iceland and India, and a scene in eighties Copenhagen illustrated a very much forgotten time of a Raadhuspladsen that is not a construction site. This globetrotting does provide the book with a neat hook as a story emerged in the field of globalisation literature, even though at times the lack of any sort of stable ‘home’ place gives the reader his own diaspora to contend with.

The book´s strong suit dealt with the coming of age elements of the protagonist Eleanor. The bildungsroman traits are what kept me most interested in the story, which makes the earlier part of it the most interesting and riveting to read…

The book…  shouldn’t be written off by those that enjoy a simple love story, it is fine as such and can well fend for itself on shelves next to Nora Roberts and others who specialise in the field of love affairs and middle aged women.  So if you want your literature easy, lovely and you enjoy books about travel then this is the book for you.

latest review

Review by Matthew Logan of Only a Signal Shown
Wow fantastic – where do I start? This is the first ever book by author Leela Dutt that I’ve read and I can assure you it will not be the last. I was from the first page captivated. Leela’s attention to not only the opening line but also the story and the characters within is outstanding! From chapter to chapter I was drawn deeper into the grip of the book. I felt a mixture of emotions – happy, sad, excited.

The lives of the characters, their jobs and relationships were entwined. This book is a one size fits all – so if you are after romance, adventure, laughter, war, then this book is for you. It is in a league of its own.  I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I was Eleanor’s traveling companion; by each turn of the page I wondered where we’d be off to next – London, Wales, Finland, India or the USA, to name but a few. This book is both a brilliant and an enjoyable read, a book for everyone, and I feel it was written by a best-in-class author. If not already done so, this book should be made into a film and should also be put forward for Book of the Year Award and TV mini-series.  I look forward to reading more of Leela Dutt’s books.

I leave you with this opening line from one chapter: “Hit the floor, lady.”  Want to know what happens next? Order a copy of Only a Signal Shown from Amazon or see further details on www.leeladutt.co.uk and you will not be disappointed.

NEWSFLASH

Reuben has just made a video about my books, and the more people view it the higher up the YouTube list it goes, whatever that means…  so if you have a moment, could you look at it? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OebH01R2_Nc&sns=em

Two kind comments about ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN on one day! Just seen this on Facebook: Cathy Pearcy writes: “I have just finished it. It had me in tears of both joy and sadness. But can honestly recommend it as a wonderful read . Another superb book, from a wonderful author.”

1 cover of book

Only_a_signal_shown_revisedJust had a great review from Leah Aster Attfield (who was 12 when she wrote this six years ago) in the magazine Sister Summers, next to rather a good photo of ONLY A SIGNAL SHOWN lying across the page so it looks as if someone is about to pick it up and read it… wish I’d thought of that! Leah writes: Only a Signal Shown is a great book that is about a young couple. Their names are Eleanor and Alec. They met in university. After a while they break up. Eleanor becomes an author and she goes around the world, doing book launches. She keeps accidentally meeting her ex-boyfriend Alec all over the world. This is a great, funny book and this book is so well described you can watch the whole book in your mind!

Just occasionally I get the sense that I am trapped inside one of my own stories – usually “Rubik’s Cube” or my short story “A Question of Belonging”. Yesterday I was dashing out of the front door carrying a rattling bowl full of assorted saucepans and frying pans – as you do – when the phone rang. Elderly friend with bad cough; Robin picked up the phone and agreed to buy cough mixture on his way back from Meeting in the city centre. I went on my way to our other Meeting, car piled high with bags full of a vast array of medicines old and newly purchased, winter clothes, soap and anything anyone could think off, all destined for a convoy to Syria that we’d heard of, led by the Islamic Chaplain at the university. I’d been given much of this by Kate and her neighbours. At Meeting there were others with duvets and much else. We all set off to meet up with the Chaplain, a dignified and charming Syrian man who has dedicated his whole front room to collecting stuff that is needed in this appalling conflict. Over cups of Syrian coffee he told us that he will be going on the next convoy in April, with two lorries and four ambulances. Sadly we had to abandon the chocolate bars I’d secreted among the urgent medicines – I thought chocolate might cheer people but no, they would melt in transit and anyway the ones I’d bought would be far too few to share among all those kids.  This willingness amongst so many people we know to contribute practical help reminded me of the time over three decades ago that the Peace People of Northern Ireland sent a man over here to escape the violence, and our local Quaker Meeting collected practical stuff to fill his new home – I wrote about that in “A Question of Belonging” which appears in “Kingfisher Blue” which you can buy from my new website attfieldduttbooks.co.uk   You can also buy the novel pictured below, RUBIK’S CUBE from there.

But that wasn’t the end of the day; the elderly friend with the bad cough fell out of bed yesterday evening and we had to go round to see if we could lift him, reminding me suddenly of the elderly neighbours in “Rubik’s Cube” all those years ago.  Things have changed – these days we have mobile phones, and our friend was able to use my phone to speak directly to the man at NHS Direct, when he couldn’t reach his own landline because he was stuck. Eventually the paramedics arrived and decided that he did need to go into hospital briefly – so now I must stop blogging and find out how he is this morning. Meanwhile another link with the past: “Rubik’s Cube” is a novel about the different threads of family life are entwined, and one last text I got last night was from Jo wanting me to bring my old straw hat so that she can turn it into an Easter bonnet for Rosie in school tomorrow…coverRubikscube

Hacked off!

Hacked off!

Someone in Nigeria hacked into my Hotmail account last week and told all my contacts that I was stuck over there with a desperately sick cousin (“DOCTOR SAYS DELAY IS DANGEROUS”) and needed them to send me £1,500 to an account in Lagos at once…    Well over sixty people phoned or emailed me about this in the following days, but I couldn’t warn anyone not to send money because the hacker had deleted all my contacts, as well as moving a whole page of my messages to the deleted folder, for some reason. Most recipients had seen this sort of thing many times before and just deleted the hoax message, but a few were touchingly prepared to believe it and so they contacted me to say they were having problems with sending money through Western Union. Some thought that since my latest novel Only a Signal Shown has a chapter about Nigeria near the start, it was possibly believable.

But hey, it’s not all bad; several people finished our conversation about the scam by saying, “Oh by the way I am really enjoying your novel!”  which they hadn’t said before; it matters a lot when people say that. And I feel a short story coming along here – some people who had not spoken to me for many years got in touch just because of this hoax.  What if your account got hacked into and as a result you suddenly heard from an old school-friend, or plumber, or headmistress looking for an emergency supply teacher, or lover?  What happens next?

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