TOWARDS THE END OF 2008…
Well, this has been nothing if not an eventful year. With A Quiet Belief In Angels now being translated into nineteen languages – some of them already done and released – I am receiving more and more international e-mails, and last week I received an invitation to speak at the Quais de Polar Crime Fiction Festival in Lyon next March. It clashed perfectly with a three-day festival I had already agreed to attend in Chichester, but the wonderful Kate Mosse, organiser of the Chichester Festival, has given me leave to attend on Friday the 27th and the early part of Saturday the 28th, and then I will fly out to Lyon and appear there during the latter part of Saturday and all day Sunday. I am also arranging many, many events nationwide, including Darlington, Eastbourne, Lincoln, the Harrogate Festival, Northampton, and then there’s the week in Washington at the end of January to film ‘Inside Out’ with the BBC.
And thus we approach Christmas. I am an unashamed fan of Christmas – hugely enthusiastic about giving gifts, cooking, music, movies, family, friends and all that goes with it.
The traditional Christmas Eve dinner, watching ‘When Harry Met Sally’ and ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ (what a complete sap I am!), and then bribing my son and my nephew to go to bed so we can wrap all their gifts and put them under the tree. This year my brother will be staying with me, and this will be the first Christmas we have spent together in over twenty-five years.
And 2009 looms, and with the launch of ‘The Anniversary Man’ now changed to October, we have the release of the paperback of ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ in April, and then six months of promotion and events.
‘The Darkest River’ is done and ready for editorial comment, and I am currently working on ‘The Saints of New York’, the contemporary police thriller set in New York that I hope will be published in 2011. There may be a chance we release this in 2010 instead of ‘The Darkest River’ but that has yet to be decided. As soon as I have any news on upcoming titles and release dates I’ll let you know.
I estimated the other day that in the past twelve months I have received in excess of three thousand e-mails from readers. I have answered every single one, save two or three where I have replied with the e-mail address I have been given and the e-mail has bounced right back. This always bothers me greatly – the fact that there might be someone out there who sent me an e-mail, and then never got a reply. I ALWAYS reply, without fail and without exception, and so if you have not received a reply it isn’t because I didn’t, but because something happened with your e-mail address and it never got to you. I apologise for this, and I hope you will e-mail me again.
I have done a huge number of library, bookstore, school, festival and private events during 2008, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all the organisers, librarians, teachers, readers, writers, hotel staff, travel agents and flight attendants that have assisted and supported this in every way.
I want to thank everyone at Orion, of course – Editorial, Publicity, Foreign Rights, Translations, Audio, Sales, Marketing, Managerial and the rest! There are too many to mention (my Orion Christmas card list runs to over eighty names and I send them each a card every year!), but they know who they are, and I want them to know that 2008 has been a remarkable year in so many ways and none of it would have happened without them.
Endless thanks to Euan Thorneycroft, my agent, and congratulations to him and his wife regarding their second child, due in early 2009.
Also Robyn Karney, my copy-editor – a truly remarkable woman, uncompromisingly professional in everything she does. Working with her has been a joy.
I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation (once again!) to Amanda Ross at Cactus TV, additionally Duncan, Gareth, Jon and everyone else behind both the Richard & Judy Book Club and the trip we made to Georgia in January. Also Kate Mosse, a great friend, for her support and encouragement; to Ali Karim, Steve Warne, Barry Forshaw, Lorne Jackson, Duncan Tift, Ben Hunt, Matt Lewin (whose books I am reading as we speak!), George Easter, Marie Helvin, Jonathan Davidson, Paul Voyce, Sarah Broadhurst, Sharone Neuhoff and Richard Reynolds; authors I have met and become friends with this year – Simon Kernick, Mark Billingham, Sophie Hannah, Stuart McBride, Robert Crais, Katherine McMahon and many more!
Thank you – all of you – for a wonderful year, a year which has concluded in memorable style.
And thank you for your e-mails, letters, comments, reviews, disagreements and criticisms! Next year I promise to work harder, okay?!
So my very, very best wishes to all of you for a truly wonderful Christmas, and may 2009 bring you everything you want, though not necessarily everything you deserve!
Perhaps we will speak again before 2009 appears, but if not then take care of yourselves and one another.