WHERE HAS SEPTEMBER GONE?
Having received an e-mail through the website from a good friend, I was reminded of my New Year’s Resolution to never let a month go by without posting a blog entry. To realize that we are now in the very last day of the month says everything about the speed at which my working life has been flying by. With the release of ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ on Thursday, the book for 2009 having been submitted to my publisher and accepted for publication in June of next year, the work on the book for 2010 almost complete, and the fact that I decided to move house last Sunday…well, a month has disappeared without my being aware of where it’s gone.
As we approach October, I look ahead to the numerous public events I am scheduled to attend. Aside from the many local and national readings, signings and literary festivals, I am also spending a week in Baltimore for the Bouchercon Crime Festival (where I have been shortlisted for the Barry Award for Best British Crime Fiction Novel 2008). My travelling companion, bodyguard, guide and general drinking compadre is the inimitable Mr. Ali Karim, he of spectacular reputation (Shots Magazine, Crime Spree, Deadly Pleasures and many more). Ali has been there for me since Candlemoth, endlessly supportive, marvellously generous in his reviews, his words of encouragement and his unfailing support. I owe him a great debt of personal gratitude, and I couldn’t think of anyone better to help me navigate the maze of authors, agents, publishers and readers that is Bouchercon.
As for the 2009 manuscript, I am very pleased that both my agent and editor have enjoyed it so much, and we are all looking forward to the response it will receive. After the success of A Quiet Belief In Angels, so relentlessly promoted by all at the Richard and Judy Book Club, it will be interesting to see the reaction generated by A Simple Act of Violence. In light of so much attention on the US administration, the election of a new president, the financial woes now occasioned by the ‘credit crunch’ in America and the rest of the world, A Simple Act of Violence will perhaps remind people of the lengths the US government has previously gone to in order to secure their own interests. If ever a book was going to get me in trouble, it would be this one. 2009’s book is nowhere near so contentious. A rather more straightforward crime thriller (as if I would ever write a ‘straightforward’ book, but you know what I mean!), it deals with the work of a serial killer in present day New York, busily replicating famous serial killings on the anniversary of their original perpetration. From John Wayne Gacy to the Genosee River Killings, from the Sunset Slayers to the Zodiac, the gallery of miscreants and human horrors I have included therein is substantial. No punches are pulled, and though it is not a gratuitously violent or disturbing book, it nevertheless deals with powerful subject matter and the uncompromising truth of what such people are capable of. It was a very interesting research path to follow, and I enjoyed writing the book immensely. As I mentioned before, it is due for publication in June 2009, and though we have not yet decided on a title I believe we will have one by the end of this week.
So that’s what I have been up to, along with answering every one of your many hundreds and hundreds of e-mails (and please keep them coming – it is a great pleasure to be in touch with you all).
I will try and keep you posted throughout October as I wend my way from one end of the country to the other, and when I return from Bouchercon I will try and get some pictures posted on the site.
Until then, keep reading, keep writing, keep talking to one another, and no doubt we will speak again in the not-too-distant future.
Best, as always,