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Thursday, December 17, 2009

THE END OF ANOTHER YEAR...

Well, as anyone who has been following my blog has already realized, 2009 has perhaps been the most eventful year thus far for me. Aside from the New York trip in July, the French and Belgian tour, and then the mad rush around the East Coast in the latter half of October, it has been the year for translations (books now in twenty-three languages), the penning of the screenplay for ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ for Olivier Dahan, the release of ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ in paperback, ‘The Anniversary Man’ in hardback, my appearance on twitter, the posting of numerous videos on the youtube RJ Ellory Channel (Yes, I have my own youtube channel!), and an endless number of UK events, signings and library appearances. 2009 has seen me in Colchester, Lincoln, Exeter, Cumbria, Filey, Whitby, Scarborough, Cambridge, London, Harrogate, Reading, Warwick, Kingston-upon-Thames, Pontypridd, Tylerstown, Leicester, Netherton, and a dozen or more other places around the West Midlands.
For me the writing was all about the writing itself, the intent to engage and entertain, to evoke an emotion with the characters and the narratives. The work has now gone beyond that into the realm of people themselves. The highlights of my year are always the events, the fact that I’m meeting new people all the time, that there are so many readers out there who get involved. I receive endless e-mails, often as many as sixty or eighty a day from all over the world, and I answer every single one of them. The common theme (apart from the one lady who sent me an e-mail to let me know that everyone in her book club hated my work with a passion, and in fact that had now spilled over into an intense hatred of me as a person, and she had been horrified to learn that I had secured another publishing contract and that I was going to insult the world by writing and releasing more novels!) is that people have enjoyed the books they have read, and have plans to read more of them. This, for me, has to be the greatest compliment of all. That someone, having read one book, now plans to read further.
So it is with a sense of optimistic anticipation that I look forward to 2010. The launch of ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ in the USA in September was successful, and following on from the immense success of the same book in France it has opened up new markets and a new influx of e-mails! ‘Vendetta’ has just been released in France, and has been received very well indeed, and in June of 2010 the American publishers are going to release ‘The Anniversary Man’ as the second American book. Why they do them in a different sequence overseas is unknown to me, but it doesn’t matter. They are all stand-alone novels, and there is no series to follow.
So, notwithstanding the fact that I have completely unattainable standards are far as my own sense of accomplishment is concerned, I can say that I am relatively pleased with what has been achieved in the last twelve months. I hope for bigger and greater things in 2010, and already we have tours planned for Ireland, Norway, Dubai, France, and then back to the USA to do the Mid-West/West Coast, finishing a tour through such places as Texas, LA and San Diego in San Francisco for the Bouchercon Festival 2010. Bouchercon 2009 (Indianapolis) was absolutely wonderful. It was great to see many old friends again, and to make some new ones.
I hope to return to New York in July 2010 for Thrillerfest, and if so I will post news of that on the website.
Also, as far as website changes are concerned, I did post the list of foreign-language titles and the publisher as I have received a lot of e-mails asking for this info.
So there we have it. A brief update. Despite the fact that 2009 has ended with a completely unexpected and horrendous tax bill (just to make me happy for Christmas!) it has been a good year. I have started playing music again, and my intent – as mentioned in the new updated biog on the website - is to start gigging again in the early spring. You have been warned. The Manta Rays had the reputation for being the loudest band north of London and south of Manchester, and at one University gig (said University remaining nameless) we were the only band in their history to be escorted from the premises by security guards with dogs. The fact that the bass player then proceeded to scale the front of the halls of residence building and try to convince the inhabitant of one room to let him in was also a matter for later investigation by the University Social Secretary. But that was many years ago, and I have certainly mellowed a little since those days. The ethos of Jim Morrison (quoting Blake) that ‘the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom’ was very much my attitude at the time, and I have moved away from that opinion in recent years! I have not slowed down, God forbid, but rather decided to invest my time and energy is slightly more constructive (or rather less self-destructive) activities.
Guided by my brother’s viewpoint that ‘were you only that little bit more intelligent you could have gotten a proper job’, I intend to spend the next year without a proper job. We are releasing ‘Saints of New York’ in the UK in the autumn (more than likely October sometime), and then ‘Bad Signs’ will be out in the autumn on 2011. Beyond that there are more books to come, and I will keep on working, and keep on trying to do better with each one, and with the ever-widening readership we are securing in many countries I hope to be able to actually survive in this ridiculous business at some point in the not-too-distant future. As Hemingway said, ‘Compared to writing novels, horse-racing and poker are good, solid business ventures’. It is not the easiest thing to undertake, and it is certainly not advised if you wish to maintain some semblance of a financially prosperous lifestyle. But, to quote Lennon, if you ‘find something you love then you’ll never work another day in your life’. I am happy not working, and I hope to continue not working in this same vein for many years to come.
I wish all of you a wonderful Christmas. I hope you find time for yourselves, your families, your friends. I also trust that 2010 will be successful on all fronts, and that you all end up getting what you want, not what you deserve!
And with that sentiment, I leave you to the mad last few days’ rush of preparation for the holiday.
Take care, and my very best wishes as always,
Roger.

9 comments:

thyde667 said...

J'ai commencé votre livre "Seul le Silence" cette nuit. Style très innovant et prometteur, j'espère que je ne serai pas décue. Pour l'instant j'adore tout simplement. Bonnes fêtes de fin d'année à vous aussi. Petit grain de poussière en suspension, piégé par un rai de lumière venu tout droit des strass de la gloire.

R J Ellory said...

Thyde667,
Je suis desolee. Je parle Francais seulement un peu. Merci beacoup pour votre mots, mais je ne comprends pas que vous direz! En Anglais peut-etre, s'il vous plait?
Roger.

thyde667 said...

I began your book(pound) "Seul le Silence" this night. Very innovative and promising style, I hope that I shall not be disapointed. At the moment I enjoy it very much. Good Christmas and new Year holidays to you too. Small speck of dust in suspension, trapped by a come ray of light any right(law) of the pastes of the glory.

R J Ellory said...

Thyde667,
I hope you enjoy the book, and I trust it will not be a disappointment. However, I do not really understand the speck of dust reference...
Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Roger.

thyde667 said...

Sorry, I don't skeap very well english. It was a poetique phrase in french but too much difficult to traduct (Reverso.net)! Don't warry ! I said that for me you are like a little speck of dust (but in french it's not pejorarive, it mean fragile, vulnerable) in the air, trapped by a come ray of light of the pastes of the glory.
So take care of you, you now that the world and celebrity are very crual and you seem so kind.

Bye ! Happy new year too !

PS : "Seul le silence" I am in the half there ! For the moment it's the better book of my year !

R J Ellory said...

Je comprends mon ami! Merci beaucoup pour votre mots gentile! Joyeux Noel, et merci pour votre remerciements (good wishes?)
Roger.

Debbie said...

Sorry Roger I'm sure you gave me your address but can't find it so unable to send a card. Seasons greetings to you and your wife Roger and hope next year goes just as well for you.

R J Ellory said...

Debbie. And the same back at ya! Hope all's well and you are not working too hard! We'll speak after Xmas I'm sure, but in the meanwhile have a fabulous time whatever you might be doing, and all happiness for 2010!
R. x

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