Last weekend, after a day and a half at the Chichester Writers’ Festival (organised by Kate and Greg Mosse), held at the extraordinarily beautiful estate of West Dean (bequeathed by Edward James for the furtherance and prosperity of the arts – check out their website and see what they do there), I flew to Lyon for the Quais Du Polar Crime Fiction Festival. Apart from meeting a great number of French readers, booksellers, and also my French publishers, I did a panel with Laurence Block and Jason Starr, both of whom I knew from Boucheron in Baltimore last October. I stayed in Lyon until late on Sunday, arrived back in Birmingham in the early hours of Monday morning, spent Monday writing the articles to accompany the new photographs from Washington on the homepage of the website and catching up on the other thousand-and-one matters that needed resolution, and then on Tuesday morning I took the Eurostar from St. Pancras to Paris for the evening presentation of the Inaugural Prix Du Roman Noir Du Nouvel Observateur. Le Nouvel Observateur is a very widely-read current affairs magazine in France. It has a circulation of considerably more than half a million a week. They tend to concentrate on politics and the arts, and this is the first year they have awarded a literary prize.
I knew I was in the shortlist a couple of weeks ago, and alongside me were Dennis Lehane for ‘The Given Day’, James Lee Burke for ‘Last Car To Elysian Fields’, Don Winslow for ‘The Winter of Frankie Machine’ and Carl Hiaasen for ‘Nature Girl’.
Well, on the evening of Tuesday, March 31st 2009, in front of over one hundred and eighty people from the Parisian literary, journalistic and artistic community, I had to get up and acknowledge acceptance of the award, and give a speech in French.
If you know French and want to know what I said, or if you don’t speak French but you just want to see me being sufficiently humble to make a clown of myself, then you can access the video through my agency website with the following link:
Well, I must say that I was astounded to receive the award, and very pleased indeed. As I said to my editor, there is something extra-sexy about getting a French literary prize.
At this juncture I must say a heartfelt thank you to Leonore, Arnaud, Marie and Francois at Sonatine (my publisher) and Fabienne (my press agent) at Sofab for all the remarkably hard work they put into promoting and publicising the book in France, and also to Fabrice Pointeau, my French translator, who did such an amazing job of turning ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ into ‘Seul Le Silence’.
Lyon was wonderful, Paris was amazing, and I am currently awaiting news on whether I will be contracted to write the screenplay of ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’, the purpose and reason for my earlier trip to Paris a month or so ago.
Anyway, what else transpires? The day after getting back from Paris we released the paperback of ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ at Borders in Birmingham, and on Friday (yesterday) I went to London to film an interview about the book which will be shown exclusively on play.com before it is then available more widely elsewhere.
I am 80,000-ish words through ‘The Saints of New York’. I have just agreed to a week of events in Cumbria - twelve libraries in four days. Bouchercon is in Indianapolis in October, and I will be there to promote the US release of ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ which is being published by Overlook in September.
‘A Quiet Vendetta’ (entitled ‘Vendetta’) will be released in France in September also, as will the paperback version of ‘Seul Le Silence’, and we are releasing the French version of ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ (which will be called ‘The Anonymous’) next year.
Otherwise ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ is being released in the following languages over the next six to twelve months:
Lithuanian/Jotema Publishing House
Norwegian/Vega Forlag (already available in hardback)
Taiwanese/Business Weekly Publications
Polish/Wydawnictwo Dolnoslaskie Sp Z.oo
Italian/Neri Pozza (Giano Imprint)
French (paperback)/Livre De Poche
There are also half a dozen or so languages already contracted to publish ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ and I’ll let you know what they are in a later post.
So that’s where we are at the moment. I’ll keep you posted on any news about the film. If you go to the homepage of the website you’ll see that we have changed it around a bit. There’s some more menu items going on there soon, and we have put up a few of the pictures from the Washington trip with a few words about them that might be of interest.
Trust everything is okay with you all, that you are now enjoying the first bright days of spring! Keep your e-mails coming, keep reading, and we’ll speak again soon.
Best wishes, as always,