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Friday, June 05, 2009

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM...
Well, if ever I wanted an easy life, I know now that I'm not going to get it!
I have worked like a dog these past few weeks to get 'The Saints of New York' completed. That was done and dusted a week or so ago. Prior to that I completed the first draft of the screenplay for 'A Quiet Belief In Angels', and proof-read the pages for 'The Anniversary Man', due out here in September. I also had to proof-read the American version of 'Quiet Belief' in readiness for its release, also in September. There have been the usual endless procession of interviews, meetings, events and publishers' obligations, and I did all this with the underlying awareness that once we reached June things would start to get crazy. Well, they have.
Next week I am doing three libraries a day for four days in Cumbria; tack on a day travelling at each end and it's a week's tour. I come home for three days, and then I am off to Paris for four days - interviews with Nouvel Observateur, Paris Match, radio stations, events at bookstores etc., some of it further promotion for the French 'Quiet Belief', some of it preparatory promotion for the September release of 'Vendetta'. I am then home for four days or so, and then it's Filey on the 2nd of July, Whitby on the 3rd, home on the the 4th for four days and then out to New York on the 9th. I'm away for six days and will be doing Thrillerfest and numerous interviews and meetings with US bookbuyers and booksellers. A week after that it's 'Bodies In The Bookshop' in Cambridge, then Harrogate on the 25th and 26th...
August looks like I'm home, but you never know.
September we have the UK release of 'The Anniversary Man' on the 3rd, the US release of 'A Quiet Belief In Angels' on the 8th, the French release of 'A Quiet Vendetta' (called simply 'Vendetta'), and Lord knows what else. The release months are always mad-busy, and it looks like we might be doing the UK launch party at Cactus TV in London. Now that would be something special!
The really exciting trip is October. An eight city US tour which will take me back to New York, also to Washington DC, Chicago, Indianapolis (for Bouchercon 2009), Phoenix, Atlanta, Nashville and Boston. That's going to run from the 9th the the 19th.
Oh, and the first print run for the US release is 100,000 (yes, one hundred thousand!) hardbacks. The publisher (Overlook Press) has sent out many, many galley proofs and has secured VERY positive and complimentary comments from the likes of Clive Cussler, Ken Bruen, Alan Furst, David Stone, Otto Penzler, Val McDermid and James Patterson. Overlook have worked extraordinarily hard, and I am indebted to them for their amazing enthusiasm and dedication to this project.
So, as you can see, things have been busy, but it seems they are going to get one hell of a lot busier.
I am looking forward to responses to the screenplay, also the reception for 'The Anniversary Man', and - perhaps most interestingly - the US response to 'A Quiet Belief In Angels'. It has been a hectic six months, but hard work is like heroin to me, and I am in my element when there are deadlines, pressures, impossible demands and more to do than is really possible. As they say, heat and pressure makes diamonds.
One thing I am doing is more reading. I have been reading Cormac McCarthy, Daniel Woodrell, Salinger, McCullers, and have now embarked upon 'The Executioner's Song' by Normal Mailer. And I have started making notes and undertaking research for the next book (which, if they publish the ones I have already written, will be released in 2012). It's working title is 'Bad Signs', and though it more than likely will not keep that title I find it is always better to have something than nothing. Though it will tie into events on the West Coast, also Nevada, it will be placed predominantly in the Deep South. I am not in a desperate hurry to get started on it as I have 'The Anniversary Man' yet to be released, and another two books complete beyond that, but - as is always the case with me - if I am not working on something, even indirectly, then I tend to get restless. If not sat in front of a typewriter I tend to slouch around in a bathrobe, never shaving, always drinking, yelling at kids in the street and taking pot shots at the neighbour's dogs with a BB gun. Oh well, someone's gotta do it, right?
So I trust all is well with you. I believe we are in for a long, hot summer, and for those of you who like that sort of thing...well, go ahead and enjoy it. And for those of you that don't, just find somewhere cool and shadowed, take a pile of books with you, and don't come out until September.
Take care my friends. Best wishes, as always,
Roger.

14 comments:

Brian said...

Hi Roger,
If there was ever a blog entry written that had the author chuckling away to himself as he was typing, this is it. Proof to himself that hard work coupled with talent can indeed enrich your life beyond your dreams.I for one cannot wait for the new book in September. Well done! By the way 2 questions, How did you find screenwriting and secondly is there any changes in the U.S. version of AQBIA.

Brian

R J Ellory said...

Hi Brian...well first of all, there are no really significant changes in the US version of AQBIA. It is a number of very small things - primarily uses of American synonyms here and there, and the odd instance of shortened sentences. Some of them I understood the reason for, some of them not. A bunch of them I changed back to the original. And the screenplay? A very interesting exercise, all things considered. It isn't necessarily something I would say that I 'enjoyed' as such, but I think I did a good job. I am now awaiting a response from the director. He hasn't read it yet as he is staging a musical about the life of Mozart which is to debut in Paris in September. I am curious to know of his reaction.

vincent said...

Hello, Mr.Ellory,
I'm French so I had to wait for AQBIA to be translated in French to hear about you. I started to read the book in French but I found it so fascinating that I decided to read it in English. 24 hours later, I remembered that I had a friend in London I hadn't seen in months. So I bought Eurostar tickets to get to London as soon as possible. I visited my dear friend and asked him to take me to the best bookshop in London. And I bought all your novels. Now I'm reading them passionately. I love your compassionate writing. I think Annie O'Neill is the most moving character you 've depicted. From now, I'll be desperately waiting for your yearly book, like I used to wait for McBain's 87th District next story.
Thank you.
Vincent.

R J Ellory said...

Dear Vincent. Well, what can I say? I am absolutely thrilled that you are enjoying the books so much. If you had just e-mailed me I would have sent you all the books and saved you a trip to London! I am coming to Paris at the end of the month for three days, and I will be doing some events in some bookshops there. I don't know which ones yet, but as soon as I know I can tell you.
One question - are you e-mailing me in English yourself, or are you having someone translate for you? If you are e-mailing me yourself, then your English is most excellent, and you should contact me through the website (the same homepage, but just click on 'Contact Me' and the message you send will come directly to me as opposed to through the blog), and then we can have a conversation about the books, and I can answer any questions you might have.
Anyway, thank you for your very kind words, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Best wishes,
Roger.

autographiliste said...

un très grand bonsoir a mr Ellory de la part de son fan en France.
Tres impatient de vous revoir a la librairie l'arbre a lettre a paris le 23 juin
on ma dit que le 20 juin ces votre anniversaire...j'aurais un petit cadeau pour vous....
j'espère pouvoir me faire dédicacer le livre vendetta mardi 23,j'ai demander a sonatine si c'était possible d'avoir un exemplaire avant la sortit prévus au mois d'aout.....je ne ses pas si il accepteront,a bientôt
recevez mon amitié la plus sincère et chaleureuse

mr contin(fan du prix nouvelle obs....)

R J Ellory said...

Monsieur Contin!
Wonderful to hear from you! I can understand a little of your message (as I don't speak French well, remember?) and I get the idea that you will be in Paris when I come next week. Is that right?
Thank you for your very kind wishes for my birthday, and as far as a little gift is concerned - you really shouldn't have, but I will accept it with great pleasure!
I hope to see you soon, and I also hope that you are very well.
Best wishes mon ami, as always,
Roger.

autographiliste said...

hi Roger
Thanks a lot for the message,l am impatient to see you on June 23 rd
A ll my friendship
And excuse me for my English desastreux

richard

R J Ellory said...

Your English is a LOT better than my French! See you on the 23rd.
Roger.

lynne said...

Busy times ahead indeed-I got round to setting up a Blogger account so I could leave a comment at last! The last time I checked to see how things were going I had a look at some of the gallery photos and saw you have met some of my other favourite authors-Thomas H. Cook, Dennis Lehane and Robert Crais. I'm jealous!
I notice you mention reading Cormac McCarthy- I've read a few of his so I'm curious as to what you have read and what you thought of it?
Anyway I better get some sleep (it's after 3am-how did that happen?!) and roll on September, I can't wait! I hope all is well, Lynne

R J Ellory said...

Well, I read 'No Country For Old Men', 'The Road', 'Outer Dark' and 'Child of God', and though with the last two there are some areas where he goes off the rails completely (if you're looking for easily understandable prose and words that you can find in a normal dictionary!) I still find it very inspirational and remarkably well-written. I really like him as an author, and his work does inspire me to work harder and write better.
Yes, as you say, I have recently met a good bunch of very well-known authors, and one for one I have found them to be the most excellent people!
Good to hear from you!
Roger.

loopy.lala said...

Hi Roger,
You sound like you're a busy bunny at the moment. How do you find time to breathe? lol.
I'm an aspiring writer, however I do the 10% inspiration and forget about the 90% perspiration. I have the utmost respects for anyone, like you, who can balance the demands of both. I guess I’m what the movie business would describe as the ideas guy. An author, Clive Custler I think but I can’t be sure, made the point recently that if movies can be a collaborative effort why can’t books? Maybe I just need to find someone who’ll be my 90% perspiration!
Anyway all I really wanted to say is good luck with the punishing schedule and I hope you have some time to unwind at some ppoint.
All the best,
Lara.

R J Ellory said...

Lara...
Well, you know, I don't think there's any great problem with taking four or seven or eight years to write a book! Thomas Harris did it. Dennis Lehane takes a good while as well. Annie Proulx researched a book for three years before she wrote a word! So if you wrote five hundred words a week, that would be 25,000 words a year, do that for five years and you have a good-sized novel!
I think that would work, don'tcha reckon?

loopy.lala said...

That's a very good idea. I never really thought about writing being a process that can take time. I suppose if you write for fun, I doubt I'll ever be published, that's when you have all the time in the world. Do you ever think of revisiting the stuff you wrote before you were published or is that all done and dusted? I'd be interested to see some of the old stuff.

R J Ellory said...

Well, funny you should mention that. I did an interview a couple of years ago when I was asked the same question, and I commented on the fact that I had a 1200 page manuscript (handwritten), and that I thought it had the makings of a good book. The problem is that I can't touch type. Anyway, someone I knew contacted me and said they would type it up for me, and they are doing that right now. It's actually a supernatural thriller, a huge epic thing, and I am going to do a little work on it and then let my editor see it, and he can go ahead and publish it if he wishes.