Guest Post – ‘Brown paper packages, tied up with string’ by Olivia Levez

51MQN+7IcoL__SX324_BO1,204,203,200_The Island, by the brilliant and lovely Olivia Levez, is due to be released on the 3rd March 2016.  After hearing about this book at a blogger brunch at the publishers One World last year and having met Olivia on a couple of occasions prior to this event I know I have such a treat in store when I start reading this book!

Olivia’s launch is being held at the wonderful Waterstones Birmingham on the 11th March 2016 and I simply cannot wait to attend!

The Island Launch invitation2

And as the book is called The Island I am fully intrigued as to what the drinks and snacks may entail 🙂

 In the run up to her debut being released and the launch party I have a lovely guest post from Olivia….

‘Brown paper packages, tied up with string’

Olivia Levez marks the countdown to the launch of The Island…in parcels


Frances is alone on a small island in the middle of the Indian ocean.   She has to find water and food.  She has to survive.  And when she is there she also thinks about the past.  The things that she did before.  The things that made her a monster.  Nothing is easy.  Survival is hard and so is  being honest about the past.  Frances is a survivor however and with the help of the only other crash survivor she sees that the future is worth fighting for.

 A gripping and thoughtful story about a girl who didn’t ask to be the person she is but is also determined to make herself the person she wants to be.

‘Brown paper packages, tied up with string’

Olivia Levez marks the countdown to the launch of The Island…in parcels


It’s easy to get bogged down with all the extra tasks that being a nearly published author entails. Life takes on a whole lot more layers. Because, as well as writing Book 2, and juggling your day job and family, you have to find time to blog, tweet, instagram, post in fb, respond to emails, organise school visits, arrange the launch party, and in my teaching job, the loathsome Ofsted looms. It’s not easy to find the headspace to focus on writing as you always used to. Now there’s more pressure, and a whole lot of other promo things to do, which you never had to worry about before.

You wake in the night, thoughts scurrying around like ants. You have lists. Lots of them. Sometimes you have to list the lists.

Then you tear back the layers and remember how incredibly fortunate you are, to be counting down the days until your book launch. Five years ago I would have laughed if anyone would have told me that I would be holding my own book in my hands. An impossible dream.

It seems to me that many significant moments on the journey to being published have come in packages. So here is my gratitude diary via the medium of parcels.

Exciting package number 1

My contract! At last, a Real Live Author Contract with my publisher, Oneworld, sent by Clare Wallace, my lovely agent from Darley Anderson,for me to add my signature.


Oneworld are wonderful at sending surprise parcels, which leads me to…

Exciting package number 2

This contained my author sell-sheet, with key points on sales and marketing. I immediately photocopied it in colour, and stuck it on mine and my friends’ classroom walls and in the school library (the front has my book cover and blurb.) It’s been really useful to show to independent bookshops – my stepdad has a clutchful of them, and has been round most of Wiltshire!


Exciting package numbers 3 and 4

A Jiffy bag stuffed full of bookmarks, and a tube filled with beautiful posters. So now I could take down my sell sheet from my classroom YALC display (full of gorgeous posters and postcards from all the YA authors at the convention last summer) and plaster my English department with my own posters.


Exciting package number 5

More recently, a parcel containing an advance copy of my book. This was a total surprise as I already had some proofs, but didn’t realise my ‘real’ book came out until the ‘due date’, which is on 3rd March. Here it is, and it is embossed. All those curls and squiggles of crested waves are actually raised.


So beautiful that I just had to do a little photo shoot…


Olivia’s YA adventure, The Island, is out on 3rd March 2016. She eagerly awaits her next parcel…


You can buy The Island here or why not visit your local independent bookshop

Or find out what we got up to at Olvia’s launch for The Island here

About Olivia Levez

a96d5235d86527998b8d06817e07101eOlivia divides her time between teaching English and binge-writing in her caravan by the sea. She likes hula-hooping, yoga and real ale, but not at the same time.

Olivia lives in Worcestershire with her husband, two sons and her real life Dog, Basil.

World English rights in The Island were acquired by Sarah Odedina, in a two-book deal, in one of her first acquisitions as children’s publisher at Oneworld imprint Rock the Boat.

Odedina said: “It is a pulse-quickening read with real heart by a hugely exciting new voice who I very much look forward to publishing and bringing to readers.” The Island will be published in March 2016.

You can find out more about Olivia Levez by visiting here website here

Or why not follow her on twitter using @livilev

You can buy The Island here

A huge big thank you to Olivia for such a wonderful guest post.

Do contact Waterstones Birmingham if you would like to come to Olivia’s launch on the 11th March

The Island Launch invitation2

Are you looking forward to read The Island?  Would you survive living on your own on a island?  What food would you eat?  What drinks would you drink?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @Chelleytoy !

Happy Reading




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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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1 Response

  1. Darius Jung says:

    Thanks for sharing, Chelley and Olivia. It’s always nice to hear about how authors go about their work, and what a fun idea to mark the time by the packages received!