Breakfast In Bogotá

By Helen Young

Set in 1940s Colombia, Breakfast In Bogotá is about a broken architect trying to build something new

102% funded
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Publication date: August 2019

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‘Rocío was naked and Luke was not. For him, it felt the other way around. Why now, he thought, trying to stop his hands from shaking ...’

Breakfast in Bogotá is about a man on a journey to rebuild himself and then a city – or so he thinks. The story begins in post-war Colombia – 1947 to be exact. It wasn’t that much different to Europe then. Everyday people were still reeling from hyper-inflated food and fuel prices, whilst the rich thrived. The novel opens with our architect, Luke Vosey, witnessing something horrific over breakfast in a central city cantina.

Luke has fled his life in Europe and a woman known only as Catherine. He thinks he’s safe in Colombia and out of it, but that’s far from true. He meets a young journalist, Camilo and a draughtswoman called Felisa. Through them, he sees that more people are broken in Colombia than in Europe.

Events come to a head with the assassination of the leader of the liberal party on the streets of the capital. Following this, the people tear the city to shreds. That’s a real turning point for Bogotá, and for Luke. Things go full circle for him then. It’s a novel of redemption and learning to look back to move forwards – if he can.


So, have you actually had breakfast in Bogotá?

Many times. I’ve family in the city which has allowed for ample visits and free rein through the streets. It was on an early morning walkabout that I stumbled upon these mock-Tudor mansions – whole streets of them – that had no business being in the Andes. Who built these, I wondered? Those houses were a glimpse into a lost world. From there my obsession with the 1940s city began.

I’m listening, so why Unbound?

What, those word liberators?! Unbound are a forward-thinking publisher who know what they want. They’ re not afraid to hand over control to readers. It’s those crowdfunding who decide what gets published by pledging (more on that below). It’s a much more active way of publishing and I respect that.

What’s a pledge then?

It’s akin to a pre-order. You, the reader, decide how much to pledge (see options on the right) and for that you get your name in the supporters’ list inside the book, a copy of the book on publication day and an ebook edition. It makes me feel a bit smooshy inside, this idea that all these people have collectively said yes, they'll back me; they believe in my project. It’s very empowering, for readers and authors.

You had me at hello

To say yes yourself, click on one of the PLEDGE options on the right of this page. We’re looking at a spring/summer 2019 publication date for the novel. Your support covers the cost of editing, design, production, distribution and promotion – all the nuts and bolts of bringing a book to life. It'll be you who makes that happen. You could actually say you work in publishing… 


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53 pledges


A copy of the eBook
Buy now
$30  + shipping
90 pledges

Super Patron Paperback

First edition paperback plus eBook and your name as a super patron in the front of the book.
  • Helen Young avatar

    Helen Young

    Helen is an author and digital editor. Her debut, The May Queen, was published in 2016. Good Housekeeping termed it an 'unsettling, coming-of-age tale.' Stylist called her 'One to watch.' She is obsessed with questions of identity and geography – namely, the versions of ourselves we carry with us. Breakfast In Bogota is her second novel.

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  • Rocío was naked and Luke was not. For him, it felt the other way around. Why now, he thought, trying to stop his hands from shaking. He’d never had a problem undressing in front of a woman before.

    ‘I need a beginning, that’s all. A good place to start.’

    ‘Papi, please, let me,’ she said, rising from the crumpled bed and coming over.

    She hadn’t bothered to make it, he thought, looking beyond her to where it lay abandoned. Perhaps he had woken her? Stumbling up the wooden steps, he’d felt an intruder on the morning. But she had opened the door before he’d even reached it.

    Rocío came towards him and he avoided her stare, instead noticing the bead necklace that she’d worn on each of his visits, an amber glow about her throat. He was drawn to it, and from there, down to the roundness of her breasts. Full and heavy above a fleshy waist. She wasn’t young, but neither was he. At thirty nine he knew what to expect from such arrangements and this wasn’t his first visit to the modest looking house in the district of Las Cruces, or to Rocío. He flinched as she reached out to unbutton his shirt and peel back the material. How close she came. He registered the static bounce between his newly revealed body and hers.

    ‘Relax,’ she whispered.

  • 23rd October 2019 Going out on a song - Colombia Tierra Querida

    Darling, dearest crowdfunders,

    A final thanks from me for crowdfunding BREAKFAST IN BOGOTA all those months back. If you've dived between its pages, I do hope you've found yourself well and truly immersed in 1940s Bogota and have enjoyed the story along the way. If you're yet to visit, bienvenidos!

    And remember, do please hop on over to Amazon to leave a review once you have.

    It's been an…

    5th September 2019 You're invited to a very special Unbound reading night

    Hello dear pledgers!

    This invite goes out to each and every one of you. On Thursday 19th September at 7.30pm, myself and a group of five other Unbound authors (Lucy-Anne Holmes, Tot Taylor, Dan Dalton, Tom Ward and Jude Cook) will be reading from our latest works as part of a one off Vanguard Reading event at The Peckham Pelican in London. 

    It's totally FREE to attend and there's a pretty decent…

    29th July 2019 Breakfast in Bogotá long-listed for the Guardian's Not-the-Booker prize 2019!

    Congratulations, you've done it again! Not only are you responsible for bringing Breakfast in Bogotá to the masses, but now, your efforts have gone and seen it nominated for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize 2019.


    Considering there are some big names and bigger publishers on that list, this is quite an acchievement. But, let's not stop there. Let's go for glory. Let's get it shortlisted…

    25th July 2019 Copies of Breakfast in Bogotá are landing fast!

    Dear friends,

    A few of you have been in touch to share your lovely book post news - ta dah!

    If your book hasn't come yet, do make sure you've confirmed your address via Unbound.

    What I really want to say though is THANK YOU. This book would not exist without you - in heatwave terms, it would be a mirage.

    Helen x

    P.S. Why not share your book post news? Loop in @unbounders @Unbound_Digital…

    29th May 2019 Jacket reveal and when you can expect to receive your copy - Breakfast in Bogotá

    Hello beautiful people,

    Two pieces of important subscriber news, my friends.

    First off, this sublime BOOK JACKET from the design folk at Unbound, showing Plaza de Bolívar in downtown Bogotá looking towards the city's main cathedral. 

    Secondly we have a PUBLICATION DATE! Mark 8TH AUGUST in your diaries, or, in fact don't, as Unbound inform me that SUBSCRIBERS get their copies 2/3 weeks…

    15th May 2019 Hola from Bogotá and beyond!

    Dear supporters,

    This little update comes to you direct from Santa Fé de Bogotá.

    HERE, I've done my best to tramp around the city settings from my book - squeezing in a first-time visit to Jorge Eliécer Gaitán's house (the liberal leader who became a bit of a hero of mine when researching). Gaitán's wife and daughter had to flee Colombia after his assassination in 1948 and so many of his personal…

    8th February 2019 Manuscript sent!

    Dear Readers,

    A lot has happened since reaching my crowdfunding target. Other than getting clued-up on the editing process, I have finally let go of my manuscript, handing it over to my editor at Unbound. It felt good. it felt strange. It felt ever-so-slightly Marie Kondo. 

    Because there is only so much tidying I can do until the first round of edits come back to me, I have turned to an old…

    23rd January 2019 We did it! Breakfast in Bogotá is 100% funded

    THANK YOU superstar pledgers!

    Thanks to your efforts my novel has reached 100% of its funding target. I'll post more updates when I have them but for now, I wanted to let you know that you actually went and made it happen.


    Helen x

    21st January 2019 Giving thanks for all you have achieved and more - 87% funded

    Dearest friends,

    They call today Blue Monday. I'm not a fan of collective, pre-prescribed misery and so I invite you instead to give thanks for everything good you have achieved this year instead. Why not throw in everything you are yet to do as well?

    With three days to go before my crowdfunding campaign closes, I want to say thank you. As I type, the campaign is 87% funded and I know we'll…

    19th December 2018 5 books by Colombian authors who aren't Gabriel García Márquez

    Think of Colombian literature and think of García Márquez, right? Well, he is pretty fantastic but what about the rest? This vast (five times the size of the UK), culturally diverse land has writers running the breadth of it – from the south and Bogotá to Cartegena and the north – here are five standout authors available in translation now.

    1. Fish Soup by Margarita García Robayo, translated by…

    6th December 2018 FREE postcards if you top up a pledge OR pledge for the first time in December

    Hello gorgeous pledge people!

    I couldn't not share these stylish little postcards with my favourite people - designed exclusively for the crowdfunding campaign and using imagery taken from the book trailer, they're the perfect antidote to Christmas card-age/carnage.

    Anyone pledging for the first time in December (tell a friend!) OR topping up an existing pledge will receive a set of the four…

    8th November 2018 How to make a book trailer – 5 Qs for the creative lead behind mine

    As a busy-bee graphic designer for a major UK book publisher, my pal, Anna did a fantastic job on the book trailer for Breakfast In Bogotá. I appreciate that not everyone has a designer to call on (cry down the phone to) so, I asked if she’d reveal a few tips for getting the most out of your own video project. Thank gilbert she agreed ...

    HELEN You design book assets, this much is true, but what…

    6th November 2018 Day 11 campaign update - Breakfast In Bogotá

    Hello dear crowdfunders,

    I couldn't let another day pass without saying thank you. Thanks a million for getting involved. I respect that you threw your hat into the ring. It's pretty awesome that you did that.

    Your pledge is going to cover the cost of some very important edits, a killer jacket design, type setting the manuscript (aka getting those words in order on the page), all other production…

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  • Charlotte Doherty
    Charlotte Doherty asked:

    Likely publication date?

    Helen Young
    Helen Young replied:

    Hey Charlotte! Spring/summer 2019 is the goal - once we've pushed through this crowdfunding lark! Thanks so much for pledging, hope all is well with you. xx