Just as every day is someone's birthday, so, I suppose, every day is the day when someone's novel is published. Except, possibly, Sundays. And Christmas Day. Although Muslims probably publish their novels on Christmas Day, just for the hell of it. Anyway, you get the idea.
February 7 was publication day for John Barlow's novel Intoxicated. William Morrow/HarperCollins in the US, no less. Not one of your back-street POD jobs this. Intoxicated is described as A Novel of Money, Madness, and the Invention of the World's Favorite Soft Drink. And no, I don't think it's that ghastly brown, bubbly muck that you're thinking of. Though it's similar. The setting is Yorkshire, in the nineteenth century.
John Barlow has an interesting past for you to contemplate. John is one of those rare writers who emerge from the Paris Review. And in his case he went the traditional route -- over the transom and into the slushpile -- unagented, and unannounced by MFA tutors. On his blog he begins to wonder guiltily as to whether this was the result of undiluted talent, shining with a pure and brilliant light which led the slush-pile readers unfailingly to pick it out -- or whether, perhaps, sheer chance/luck/randomness had something to do with it
Ah, well, gee, shucks, since you ask John, and put a gun to my head so to speak, I have to admit that I think chance may have had something to do with it. But I have never, in all my born days, said that chance/luck/happenstance was enough on its own. You do need talent. I have merely pointed out, more than once, in times past, that talent alone does not suffice. Or, to put it another way, one of the many talents that you need to break into print is a talent for being in the right place at the right time with the right book. And so forth.
Intoxicated got a longish review in the Washington Post last Sunday. You have to register to read it in the WP, but you can find it on the Amazon.com entry. Minus the paragraphs.