The past month or so has been somewhat busy. This is my feeble excuse for not having posted recently, but things have been moving forward. After a somewhat nail-biting wait my agent secured another two book contract for me. That means you will get to read the CIA opus that began its life with the working title 'Sacred Monster'. It is currently running a little over 200,000 words but I may edit some of those out on the second draft. First draft I anticipate completing within a month or so, and then back to the beginning to neaten it all up.
I have completed my recent library circuit. I did eight or nine libraries, and then had the pleasure of being invited to Winson Green Prison for The Bookies Reading Club meeting. They recently won a competition held by over 100 reading clubs nationwide to select the best five short stories ever written. A great crew of guys, all of them had read or were in the process of reading A Quiet Vendetta. I took along a copy of Candlemoth for all of them, and I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed meeting them. My best wishes to Tom, Pet, Stretch, Carl, Craig, Peter, Pablo and the rest of the gang. Out of all the readings and signings I have done recently this really was the most fun, the most lively, and the most well-read group I have had the pleasure of seeing. Thank you for inviting me, and I said to your librarian, Sue Wilkinson, that any time you want me to come she should let me know and I'll be there.
As to brain tumours...well, there's an epic saga that has been going on for the better part of six months, safe to say that the area of 'some serious concern' that showed up on my brain scan in December 2006 has turned out to be nothing of any worry or significance. I explained to the specialist with whom I was dealing that we writers all have a dark half, a narrow shadow that appears only on brain scans, and it is from this that we derive all heinous and fiendish plots. He said I was talking bollocks. Anyway, bottom line is I'm not dying any time soon, so that new two book contract will indeed be fulfilled.
Due to receive the paperback advance copies of City of Lies, also the advance hardbacks of A Quiet Belief In Angels imminently, and to finally see six months work in a tangible form is always a thrill.
Have been in touch with the most remarkable composer and musician in Montreal called Greg Reid. You can find him on myspace.com under gregreidmontreal. Tremendous music, truly inspired, a real gentleman, and this morning I received his CD 'In The Dark', one title of which is called 'Mr. Ellory's Revenge', a track that he wrote for me after reading one of my books! He sent me an e-mail through the website saying he had read Vendetta, but could not get copies of Candlemoth, Ghostheart and City of Lies. I sent those in the mail, and he received them after about seven weeks, and then he sent me back his composition. My son has adopted 'Mr. Ellory's revenge' as his theme tune for life, and he is telling all his friends that he is the 'Mr. Ellory' after which the track is named. Anyway, I cannot say enough good things about Greg's music. Please go to myspace.com, look up his name, find his site, listen to his music...enjoy, enjoy, enjoy...
And if there are any music label people out there go check this out before the world beats a path to Greg's door, okay?
Oh yes, the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller 2007 shortlist was released, and City of Lies was nominated. I shall head off to a hotel on Park Lane in my Sunday best on July 5th to find out the result. This is really quite an acknowledgement...the list went down to seven books from God only knows how many they had to choose from, and I am absolutely delighted! I have been a Full Member of the CWA for five years now, ever since Candlemoth was published, and this is the second time I have been shortlisted. Fingers crossed, of course, but the mere fact of making it into the shortlist is really quite special by itself, and I would like to thank the CWA Judging Panel very sincerely for this validation.
So that's what I've been up to - getting another contract, exorcising the sacred monster, not dying of a brain tumour, making a brief visit back to prison, talking in libraries, being shortlisted, all of it accompanied by a soundtrack courtesy of Greg Reid.
Good to talk to you, take care, speak soon.