THE FIRST MONTH OF THE NEW DECADE…
Trusting that you all had a great New Year, I first wanted to wish all of you success and happiness for the remainder of 2010. For me, it has been an odd month. A strange in-limbo kind of month. I have been working on the copy-edit of ‘Saints of New York’, due out in the UK in September this year, and the first draft of ‘Bad Signs’ has already gone to my editor for review. ‘Bad Signs’ is not due to be published until the early summer of 2011, and then the book beyond that (which will be number ten) would not then be published, realistically, until the summer of 2012. Considering the fact that the first draft of a book needs to be delivered to the publisher twelve months prior to the release date I don’t actually have to deliver that script until the summer of 2011. So what have I done? Essentially, I have bought myself a year. There are a couple of other significant projects I will be working on, book-wise, but what they are and how and why they will appear is being kept under wraps for a little while. There are public events and tours – Cumbria in early February, the Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference in the first week of March, the Emirates Literary Festival in Dubai directly after that, and then Lichfield and York and Lincoln and Dunstable, and who knows where else as we progress through the spring, but still – all things considered – I have more time on my hands than I have had for many years. I am trying to organise another trip out to New York for Thrillerfest in July. I think this would be a smart move considering that ‘The Anniversary Man’ is being released by Overlook NY in June, but it all comes down to finding the money to do such things, as is always the case!
I am working hard on the music front. I had the first meeting with my bass player, and we are beginning the project for real on February 7th, creating a set-list and starting to work on the actual business of putting a band on the road. Who knows how this will turn out, though having not done this for the better part of twenty-five years I am looking forward to it immensely.
France continues to be a hugely exciting country for me. I went there five times in 2009, and hope to go back again this year. ‘A Quiet Belief In Angels’ (entitled ‘Seul Le Silence’) has done extraordinarily well, and continues to sell in numbers far beyond expectations. ‘A Quiet Vendetta’ (entitled ‘Vendetta’) has also just been released in the equivalent format to the UK hardback, and is doing great. Sonatine-Editions, my French publisher, has decided to go with ‘A Simple Act of Violence’ next, and it will be called ‘Les Anonymes’. This is due for release in February of 2011.
All in all, things are progressing well. However, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I have utterly unattainable standards. This is a two-edged sword, of course. The upside is that you never rest on your laurels, and you are always working hard on what can be done next, what translation can be secured, where can other tours and promotions be undertaken to get more books out there and being read. The downside is that no matter what accomplishment you might achieve, you never just take a break to enjoy it. It always could have been bigger. It always could have been better.
I am keeping up with the daily flood of e-mails, and am posting on twitter on a daily basis, even if it is only rafts of funny quotes about life and living and people. I receive messages back from people to say they are momentary, humorous distractions to the stresses and travails of life, so I will continue to post them (called ‘twippets’ by a good friend of mine, a cross between ‘tweets’ and ‘snippets’).
I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of the new More4 and Channel 4 Book Club, sponsored by Specsavers, again created by the remarkable Amanda Ross of Cactus TV and Richard & Judy Bookclub fame. Amanda is a powerhouse of enthusiasm for all things book-related, and she continues to drive forward on this front with immeasurable energy. As I say now, and have said so many times before, I don’t think there is anyone in the country doing as much for popular reading as Amanda, and all authors – regardless of genre – owe her a debt for just getting more people reading more books.
So there we have it. A brief snapshot of where I am at and what I am doing. Preparations for the October tour of the West Coast of the US are in play, and I am very much looking forward to that. I have made provisional notes for book number ten, though what it is about – save the fact that it will be contemporary, it will more than likely be set in NY, and it will be darker than pretty much anything I have ever written before – I will refrain from commenting on at this time.
We shall have to wait and see what direction it takes when I begin it for real…
So, as always, thank you for your kindnesses, your e-mails, your words of encouragement and support, your friendship, your relentless trips to the libraries and bookstores…
Everything you give back means the world to me, and I appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Until we speak again, my very best wishes, as always,