Fêted author Alison Moore, who was among this year’s Man Booker Prize finalists, spent today in north Norfolk visiting the home town of her publishers and her husband’s childhood holiday haunts.

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Ms Moore, whose début novel The Lighthouse was among six short-listed books for the prestigious award, visited Cromer for a literary brunch at The Grove guesthouse, close to the Norwich Road base of her independent publishers, Salt.

The Lighthouse, an unsettling, melancholy and complex story about a middle-aged man on a walking holiday in Germany after the break-up of his marriage, was pipped to first place last month by Hilary Mantel’s sequel to Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies.

But The Lighthouse’s high profile and international critical acclaim have changed both Ms Moore’s life and that of Salt, according to directors, Jen and Chris Hamilton-Emery.

“We have printed 50,000 copies - usually with our books we’re wondering how many hundreds we should publish,” said Mrs Hamilton-Emery.

“We just can’t believe it’s only three months since we published it. It’s like having a new baby - you can’t imagine life beforehand.”

Kindle sales had been in the 10s of thousands, and Salt was constantly being contacted by foreign publishers, agents and reviewers, according to her husband, Chris.

“Usually it’s very difficult to get a book reviewed but all the papers have been coming to us and asking for review copies,” he added.

They had sold publishing rights to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and the book had been translated into Turkish and Italian.

Ms Moore, who was at The Millennium Library in The Forum, Norwich, yesterday, as part of a celebration of Salt Publishing, said the shortlisting had transformed her life and she now thought of herself as a professional writer.

Although she had written short stories for many years, before the birth of her son Arthur, in 2009, she had worked full-time as a PA and only began The Lighthouse when he was six months old.

In the past few months a deluge of literary engagements have included interviews with a Singapore newspaper, French radio and Russian TV.

Ms Moore, who lives near Nottingham, has also been invited to speak at festivals in the summer and said she had now started on a second novel.

A book of her short stories, The Pre-War House and Other Stories, is due to be published by Salt next May.

After the Cromer brunch, Ms Moore and Arthur were due to tour the north Norfolk coast to be shown the sights by her husband Dan Norcott who came to Sheringham on family holidays for several years as a child.




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