Thursday, 31 December 2009


Being Scottish by birth-right and half-Scottish by blood, I can't help but feel the stirring in my breast as the skirling of bag pipes herald in a new year.

So, in true Hogmanay style, I offer you a Scottish joke to herald in 2010, and to leave 2009 behind with a fond smile.

Here ye are:

Prince Charles is visiting an Edinburgh hospital. He enters a ward full of patients with no obvious sign of injury or illness and greets one.

The patient replies:

"Fair fa your honest sonsie face,

Great chieftain o the puddin race,

Aboon them a ye take yer place,

Painch, tripe or thairm,

As langs my airm."

Charles is confused, so he just grins and moves on to the next patient. The patient responds:

"Some hae meat an canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it,

But we hae meat an we can eat,

So let the Lord be thankit."

Even more confused, and his grin now rictus-like, the Prince moves on to the next patient, who immediately begins to chant:

"Wee sleekit, cowerin, timrous beasty,

O the panic in thy breasty,

Thou needna start awa sae hastie,

Wi bickering brattle."

Now seriously troubled, Charles turns to the accompanying doctor and asks "Is this a psychiatric ward?"

"No," replies the doctor, "this is the serious Burns unit."


I think I might have mentioned this before, but didn't have a link at the time. So here's what the Jeremy Jehu from the Telegraph newspaper recommends as thrillers of the year. It's good (I think).

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sons of Spade - Favourites of 2009...and the winner is....

I'm thrilled to find that Judgement and Wrath has been voted the best of 2009 in the 'Best Action Scenes' category over at JV Steen's SONS OF SPADE blog site.

Take a look via this link, and please feel free to thank JV while you're there (if you wish).

Grit Lit welcomes Joe Hunter - Take Two

As the link to the Contra Costa Times website is short-lived, Myles Knapp has given permission for me to post the review he did of Dead Men's Dust direct to my blog here. My thanks to Myles for his kindness.

Grit Lit: Prolific Matt Hilton leaves other gritty writers eating his 'Dust'

By Myles Knapp

Contra Costa Times correspondent

Industry scuttlebutt — more reliable than one of those unaffiliated blogger dudes but not as reliable as this fine family publication — rages on and on about a new author prolific beyond the imagination of normal scribes.

The back story: First-time author pens a great book. By the time he's found an agent, he's finished his second book; by the time the agent is ready to send out book No. 1, writer had finished book No. 3; by the time a publisher bought No. 1, writer had finished book No. 4; and by the time book No. 1 came out in the United States and the United Kingdom, the writer had finished book No. 5.

And the good news for Grit Lit readers — publishers plan to release two Matt Hilton hardcovers a year for the next two years "... at least.

• "Dead Men's Dust" by Matt Hilton (William Morrow, $24.99, 336 pages, Joe Hunter is the perfect Grit Lit tough guy. If you haven't been able to satisfy your jones for Lee Child's Jack Reacher, Robert Crais's Joe Pike or are still rereading Travis McGee hoping John D. will rise from his grave and write another unmatched novel, dig out your credit or library card and order "Dead Men's Dust."

Hunter is a former Special Forces agent with exceptional killing skills. Skills that lead some to call him a vigilante. But if you're a single mom whose children have been threatened, Hunter's the guy you need.

Hunter is one of the most exciting new tough guys to come along in years. And he's up against a devious, smarmy, rotten, scary tough guy, Tubal Cain. Just the name makes you want to cock and lock your Glock, doesn't it?

Hunter spent years in the Special Forces hunting bad guys. His objective — kill murderous thugs, save innocent strangers. Now, with trusty SIG Sauer strapped to his side, he sets out on another mission. Only this time, it's personal.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Judgement and Wrath in large print

Those wonderful folk over at Clipper books are about due to release the large print edition of Joe Hunter 2 JUDGEMENT and WRATH.

Here's a link, if you know anyone who may like a copy:

Grit Lit welcomes Joe Hunter

I just spotted this review of both me and Dead Men's Dust in Myles Knapp's column Grit Lit at the Contra Costa Times. Although my prolific output is a tad misquoted, I'm not complaining. A damn fine review in my estimation.

Since originally posting this story I have had the pleasure of communicating with Myles Knapp, who informed me that the story runs in a number of newspapers. "Generally it runs the entire family of papers which includes the San Jose Mercury, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, San Ramon Valley Times, Marin IJ, the San Mateo Times plus a bunch of other papers. Plus they offer it for free to a bunch of non-competitive major city dailies." So it looks like the word is well and truly spreading on the West Coast of the USA. My genuine gratitude goes out to Mr Knapp.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Where to meet me...

I've just added a bunch of dates to the sidebar 'Where To Meet Matt' for where I'll be appearing in the new year. If anyone is nearby any of the venues, it would be great to see/meet you.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Musings and Paradoxies

It's that time of year when - even if you're a writer with a book to deliver - you get sidetracked by everything else going on around you. Of course, it's coming up Christmas, so I've been doing what everyone else has been doing, ordering the turkey, stockpiling the sage and onion stuffing, writing cards, selecting and wrapping presents. All the stuff synonymous with the time of year. In amongst it all, I've also been guest blogging, posting some great stories (by other authors) over at my sister site at Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers, and chewing the fat with other writers about their latest WIPs etc. I haven't got much done myself. Saying that, I've just finished a final edit on Joe Hunter  book 5 which I'll be sending to my publisher in the new year. Fingers crossed that all will be well and that it will be eagerly snatched up. I've also been thinking about Joe Hunter book 6 with a view to a new contract. I got a 5 book deal - but I want more!! Bru-hah-HA- HAAA!!! (Sorry, turned into an ego-maniacal world dictator there for a second or two). Seriously, it's just hit me, that as soon as I hand over book 5 then that will be my contract fullfilled and I will once again be in that uncertain situation where I'm not working to a specific deadline or with a brief of what I should be delivering or when. Exciting, but scary, at the same time.
Worry not, all ye Joe Hunterphiles, Joe won't be hanging up his trusty Sig Sauer P226. Book 5 is done but Joe isn't. I'm pretty damn certain that he'll be with me for a long time yet.
God, I'm speaking like you've already read all the books. Some of you over in the US have only had the pleasure of Dead Men's Dust up until now. Over here in the UK, Judgement and Wrath is already doing the rounds in hardback, with book 3, Slash and Burn, gearing up for an April 1st 2010 launch. Book 2 will be out in the US next spring, with book 3 in the spring of 2011. So really, I'm not out in the void, as I'm still delivering the books to my US publisher for the first three.'s a bit weird.
The publishing game is paradoxical in that way, I guess.
What I'm writing now with book 6 - supposing it does get picked up PLEASE - will be out in the UK around August/September 2011, and if the schedule doesn't change will be out in the US in 2014 (that's if those darn Mayan's haven't got it all wrong and the world doesn't end in 2012!). WEIRD (in capitals no less).
Happy holidays wherever you are

Sunday, 13 December 2009

The books that I've loved this year

I've been keeping a roll call of books that I've been reading this year, and when I look at it it surprises me that I've managed to get through so many while also writing flat-out.

I've missed some of the year's top-sellers, but haven't suffered from good reading at all.

Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol was the major book of the latter end of the year. Well, if you've read it and enjoyed it and are panting for more (without going back to Mr Brown's back-list) then I have to point you at two very, very good books that tread the same world of esoteria mixed with a blend of modern intrigue and action.

First and foremost: Steven Savile's SILVER is a real barn-storming action thriller, with a plot that includes a two thousand year old 'lie', a team of tough guys (and gal) who'd be welcome to join Joe Hunter's group of friends in a heartbeat, and enough action and visceral fight scenes to keep any action thriller fan happy. I was lucky to read an advance copy of this book, but it will be on the shelves from January 2010.

The second and equally as breathtaking is Glenn Cooper's Secret of the Seventh Son AKA Library of the Dead, another book filled with ancient secrets, modern intrigue and murder and ...Area 51. If you're expecting little green men, then think again.

For thrillers, you can't by-pass Jeffrey Deaver's The Bodies left Behind. I loved this book, which was quite rightly named thriller of the year at the International Thriller Writers awards ceremony held in July 2009.

If you like Spy thrillers, then I'd the pleasure of reading Jeremy Duns' Free Agent. I don't usually read this genre much these days - although I loved Robert Ludlum's Bourne trilogy and David Morrell's Brotherhood trilogy a few years ago - so I didn't know what I was going to get with Jeremy's book. Set in the 1940's through the 1960's I found it a fabulous tale that I read in very few sittings. Double-crosses, triple-crosses, action, and a damaged anti-hero, what more could you ask from a spy thriller.

In the tough guy genre (you know the one that Joe Hunter and a certain big guy called Reacher stride across), a welcome addition came in the form of Ryan Locke. In Sean Black's Lockdown I found another worthy ally for Joe Hunter. Lockdown is a fast-moving thriller full to the neck with gunfights, hand-to-hand combat and a nasty bunch of killers you want to see Locke put away.

I'm a big Robert Crais fan, so it will be no surprise to anyone who knows me when I say The Last Detective, L.A. Requiem and Chasing Darkness have all been highlights of my reading year. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike - I need say no more.

Also, my current favourite author of all, John Connolly, had his latest Charley Parker book out this year. The Lovers was an awesome piece of writing that I devoured. It was a great addition to Parker's on-going saga and I eagerly await the next one.

British author Adrian Magson doesn't get anywhere near the recognition he should. He tells awesome tales to rival any of the American biggies and I'd the pleasure of reading (again) No Peace for The Wicked, and the more recent No Kiss For The Devil. His Gavin and Palmer books are destined for a much wider readership.

I was directed to Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men when it was pointed out that my Dead Men's Dust was reminiscent of it. I saw the movie first (which was one of my movie viewing highlights of the year), then read the book. Reading the book is almost cinematic in itself and also practically word-for-word, scene-for-scene with the movie. I found it an outstanding piece of writing.

Another author I was turned on to by virtue of having had comparisions made was the master of dialogue, Ken Bruen. Ken's American Skin was a real treat, and the villain, Dade, someone that Tubal Cain would surely compare death-lists with while enjoying a good ol' sarcastic dig at each other. I loved it.

People often decry crime fiction as being pot-boiling commercial fluff, well, they haven't read R.J. Ellorry. Roger's A Quiet Belief In Angels is that rare thing of beauty concealing a rotten core. It was a fabulous read, that brought to my mind such diverse influences asTom Sawyer, Se7en, The Waltons, Legends Of The Fall, Thomas Harris, Of Mice and Men, Stephen King's Stand By me, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Ed Gein amongst others. You want literary fiction? You want crime fiction? You want a story that will stay in your head for a while? Then, In my opinion, this is it. My favourite book of the year in this respect.

If you're looking for something to read, then let me point you at any of the above.
Also, if you're looking for fast and thrilling, may I also mention for your  consideration:
Simon Kernick
Jeff Abbott
Jack (J.A) Kerley
Sheila Quigley
and...Matt Hilton

Saturday, 12 December 2009

What The Australian says about Judgement and Wrath

Here's a review for Judgement and Wrath in The Australian - I like it even though it's in an almost-but-not-quite-as-good-as-Lee-Child-way. You can read the review here.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Phil the Shelf with Joe Hunter books

As previously mentioned, I pre-recorded an interview with Phil Rickman for BBC Radio Wales. Well, here it is. Just click here to listen in. It's a great little mix of thriller writers including MR Hall, Stella Rimington, oh, and me. If you only wish to listen to my bit, it starts at 16 minutes and 50 seconds (although I'd advise listening to the full show to get a full flavour of the show).

Monday, 7 December 2009

Guest Blog Time

Hi all,
sometimes there are things you won't write on your own blog because it feels a little like self-indulgence, but I had the pleasure of being asked to guest blog at Paul D. Brazill's blog. If you want to read what I came up with just follow ye olde link in the title above or here.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Matt's Pre-Christmas Message

For all you aspiring novelists who read this blog who haven't yet got that publishing deal...chin up. Take faith, the publishing industry may be in a bit of a mess (or a massive mess even) at present, but talent and determination will out.
Keep on keeping on, one and all.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

After The Flood...

I'm not long back from a trip out to Cockermouth - a town that has dominated the news here in the UK for the last ten days or so. Basically, Cockermouth was hit by a flood after more rain fell on Cumbria in 32 hours than ever recorded before. Ordinarily it's about a twenty minute drive for me, but on this occasion, due to road closures and unstable bridges and such it took me an hour and a half to get to the town, and perhaps another fifty minutes to get to the other side of town where I was attending the secondary school to do a talk with local aspiring writers and authors.
On the drive into town, it was a little surreal, looking at a once familiar landscape and thinking 'When did that mountain of rocks, flotsam and detritus replace all the fields?' There is one particular field that used to be a green pasture that now looks like a shale embankment or pebble beach. Unbelievable force must have scoured its way through the river valley and it was only on looking at this devastation that the true and awesome fury of nature really struck me. I'd watched bewildered at the news as it showed shops, homes and businesses (that I've regularly been in) neck deep in roaring water, but it is the aftermath that has struck me most. I parked in the east side of the town and took a walk down towards the town centre (not to gloat but find a public convenience - see, I tell all secrets here!) but found that access to the town was closed down by huge metal barriers. Even just outside the major strike zone, most of the shops and homes showed signs that they'd been flooded, and I came across two workmen bailing muddy water from a pub basement ON THE SIDE OF A HILL. It brought to light just how deep the water must have risen. Terrible.
But then, I was there to offer a little ray of light, and I hope I succeeded. The writing group (SLATE) I was there to talk to were a little lighter on attendees than usual, all down to the fact that transport to and from the venue is still a major issue. But the small group that were there were very kind and attentive and I had a good hours chat with them about the pros and cons of writing, the processes I take to produce a book, my inspiration and how I formulate ideas, my take on writer's block and getting past it etc.
All in all a good session, and I'm thoroughly pleased that I took the time to attend and pass on the benefit of my wisdom (OK, now that last bit was supposed to be a joke...just to lighten the gloomy sounding report). I hope if any of the attendees read this, then they got something out of the session. Happy and prosperous writing to you all.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Author of the month...No not me, but someone else very deserving.

When news of my five book deal broke, one of the first people to get in touch with me to offer congratulations and advice was top northern author, Sheila Quigley. As a result of this, I had the great pleasure of meeting Sheila while at last year's Crimefest in Bristol. I have kept in touch and now count Sheila as a good friend, as well as a writing colleague. But I make no apologies for adding this link (just click the title at the top) to an interview with Sheila over at CRIMESQUAD.COM where Sheila's latest book, THE ROAD TO HELL, has been picked as novel of the month. It is very well deserved.
Me and Sheila Quigley at Crimefest 2009

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Phil The Shelf 17:32 hrs today (GMT)...or maybe not!!
This is a little reminder that I'm on Phil Rickman's show on BBC Radio Wales at 17:32 hours, but it now looks like it will be during next week's show (or maybe the next, as the listings name Stella Rimington as the guest author). The link above will allow you to listen in live - or you can use it to access the show later in the week. This will be episode 3 of a six part series.

Apologies to those who tuned in today, but, who knows, you might have enjoyed this weeks selection of authors any way?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Daily Telegraph names Joe Hunter in it's books for Christmas list

Sorry, but at time of writing the website link is down. But anyway, Joe Hunter's two outings get a mention (Dead Men's Dust and Judgement and Wrath) in Jeremy Jehu's round-up of the thriller books available for Christmas. I'm not sure of the context where both mine and Sean Black's Lockdown are used in a pop at Lee Child, but I'm still very grateful for the mention. It is lovely to see me, Sean Black and Jeremy Duns - both guys I respect thoroughly and whose books I've mentioned previously - all get a mention. We all debuted this year, and I for one feel part of a little brotherhood with both these guys, notwithstanding the fact we're all ITW Debut Authors classmates.

Friday, 27 November 2009

What's ga'an on in Cumbria?

I just wanted to express my thanks to all those who got in touch to make sure I was Okay during the recent horrendous weather in my neck of the woods.

Other than a little wind damage to my garden, I got off very lightly when compared to many other people in my county. The floods were devestating: homes flooded, businesses destroyed, tourists staying away, and bridges collapsing were only a few of the headlines flashing around the world. Perhaps the most poignant story was that of PC Bill Barker who died in the act of saving a bus load of people on a collapsing bridge. I take my hat off to Bill, and say, 'Well done'. Bill is a true hero.

Following the wettest day on record, I got back to doing what authors do. I was writing again, watching stuff swooping past my windows carried on the high winds - but always had one ear on the TV playing behind me, listening to the unfolding of the tragedy around me. On Wednesday this week, I sought to escape the horrendous weather, and headed over the Pennines to the relative safety of York, to do a library event at Acomb library with top psychological crime author Sophie Hannah. Enroute the weather was absolutely atrocious, but I made it there. Then the weather caught up with me. Not as bad, but bad enough, and the rain lashed York like it had been in Cumbria for the past five days or so. On the return journey on Thursday things were almost as bad, but i made it home to some nice blue sky for a change. Yeah, right. it was still lashing down from the heavens. But I'm not complaining. I could return to my writing, but have to admit to thinking more than once about those in blue, green, brown and high-vis uniforms who are still out there still trying to do good for the people of Cumbria.

Someone asked me recently: 'Do you miss being in the police?'
I replied: 'Apart from the camaraderie, no. Not ONE bit.'
But I have to admit, when all was falling to pieces around me, I did get that urge to go and put my waterproofs on and go do my bit. The only thing that stopped me? I knew that I'd only be getting in someone else's way. So, I've realised, my place is now at this laptop. The good I can do for the people of Cumbria is to continue writing and try to give them something else to be proud of. Compared to Bill Barker's sacrifice, mine is only a very small thing indeed.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Have your name immortalised in print in a future Joe Hunter book

Have you ever wanted to have your name, or that of a loved one, immortalised in print? Well, here's an opportunity for you. I was approached to offer a prize to the ROOM TO READ charity auction currently being held on Ebay, and agreed to include a character named by the winning bidder in a future Joe Hunter book.

If you'd like to take a look, click the link above. If you'd like to take part, all you have to do is offer a higher bid than is currently offered. Good luck, highest bidder wins. the auction ends on November 30th 2009.

Full terms are on the page.

Apart from myself, many authors and companies have rallied to support this very worthy cause which helps to spread the joy of reading and literacy to underprivileged girls, and if you want to take a look at the other prizes on offer, take a click here:

Saturday, 21 November 2009

DC Vertigo Crime

Growing up, I was a sucker for comic books, my firm favourites being 2000AD, Action, Starblazer (anyone remember that one?), and to be honest I've never given up reading comic books - although these days I say "They're not comics, they're graphic novels!!" For years I collected anything and everything related to Robert E. Howard's Conan the Cimmerian and all the related characters and to this day have a loft full of carboard boxes filled with...ahem...graphic novels. Lately I haven't had the opportunity to read many, uh, GN's, with the exception of A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE which as you probably know was turned into a tough gangster flick starring Vigo Mortenson.

Any way, the point of this is that I only today received in the post a review copy of DC Vertigo Comics 'The BRONX KILL' written by Peter Milligan and drawn by James Romberger.

Now, the title's cool enough to catch my eye, but the interior is even better. It's 182 pages of top class crime writing and superior art work, and if I say it's as good as any crime book I've read lately I wouldn't be exaggerating. Some people are still a little sniffy about 'graphic novels' thinking them immature and for kids. Well, they couldn't be further from the truth here. The Bronx Kill reads like a classic Hitchcock tale of paranoia, deceit and lies, all the while interspersed with the kind of noir action that is the staple of many contemporary crime novels. So, I guess that you realise that I loved the book? So much so that I let the editor know, in fact.

For a few hours solid reading, that will leave you thinking for days after, why not take a look at the link above.

The Bronx Kill is only one of a number of DC Vertigo's new Vertigo Crime line of books for adult readers. I feel like I've just discovered a new treasure trove to plunder.

I loved it.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

JAW gets a new paperback cover

Again, having just spotted this on Amazon, I'm safe to say that I can now show you the new look paperback cover for Judgement and Wrath for when it's released next spring. Hope you all like it as much as I do.

It was a dark and stormy night...

Today I braved the storm of the century that is wreaking havoc in my home county of Cumbria. As I write this the wind is shrieking and unbattened-down items of furniture are rattling around my garden, splashing through the 'new' swimming pool that has appeared where my patio was yesterday. Touch wood: I am far more fortunate than a lot of my fellow Cumbrians tonight. Many people have had their homes and businesses flooded, and this latest round of storms are threatening to be worse than the deluge that submerged Carlisle back in 2005.

Any way, the reason I faced the storms was to drive into Carlisle to the local BBC Radio office to do a pre-recorded show to air at 17.30 on Sunday 29th November on BBC Radio Wales. I had the pleasure of being interviwed by author Phil Rickman, whose show 'Phil The Shelf' is very popular at present. On the show I talk about Joe Hunter, my influences, my take on bullies and the paradox that Joe Hunter faces when dealing with Dantalion - a product of bullying in his formative years. I also speak about the attraction of crime novels, particularly hard-edged action figures like Joe Hunter, Jack Reacher and Joe Pike and why women love them so much. Hope I don't upset any feminists out there. I also give a hint of what might be in line for Joe Hunter in coming books.

I'm looking forward to hearing the finished result, and hope you enjoy it too. I'll post a link as soon as it becomes available.

I was glad that it was radio and not TV: wet through and looking wind-swept maybe wouldn't have went down that well on TV.

But I've made it home, hale and hearty, and hoping that the power lines don't go down before I finish typ

Unsolicited Comments Welcome...

Some of the kindest and inspirational comments I receive about my books come from my friends and family, and I guess that to some extent you would expect that to be the case. I am grateful, obviously, but every now and again I come across a totally unsolicited comment from people who do not know me, who may not have even read any of my books, and these really are touching indeed.

Take for instance a letter sent to Cumbria Life magazine in response to an article published about me in May this year:

"Carlisle and Morton School, should be proud of crime writer Matt Hilton (Cumbria Life, May), who did not have the advantage of a grammar school and university education like many other writers, but left school at 15. He must surely be Cumbria's writer of the year."

Well, I'm honoured that someone should even feel like that having read about my story, and to have taken the time to voice an opinion. This was without an agenda or any other reason than perhaps the author of the letter felt inspired by my tale. My huge thanks go to Tom Moore (who I'm pretty sure I've never met before) from Southport for his very kind words. Inspiration is reciprocal, my friend.

...and also thanks to Val, (who is a friend), for buying the magazine, just so she could cut the snippet out of the pages to pass on to me. That's inspirational too.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

SLASH AND BURN - Joe Hunter three

When your book covers become available on Amazon (thanks to Sean Black for the head's up) you know that you're safe to share them with the world. So here it its; the first look at the cover of SLASH AND BURN, the third in the Joe Hunter series. On sale first week in April 2010.
If anyone would like to pre-order a copy, then here's the link:

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Of Dandelions and Daffodils...and explosions (just in case you thought I was growing soft)

Flowers have featured heavily in the last couple of days of my life.

Not very 'thrilling' you might think for a thriller author to be talking about flowers, but there is a reason for it.

Explosions, too.

First off, DANDELION.

I had to chuckle when my well-meaning mam said she'd been reading Judgement and Wrath and had got to the point where Dandelion first shows up. 'It's not Dandelion, it's Dantalion,' I explained. 'Oh, well, you know who I mean,' she responded.

Well, actually, that got me thinking. Must make sure that I don't pick a villain's name that is difficult to pronounce in future. Even in Dead Men's Dust, there were different people calling the killer TWO-BALL Cain (which I'm sure as a red-blooded man he appreciated), while me and a few others pronounced his name Chew-bel Cain.

Another thing that has been mispronounced is Arrowsake (the secret base where Hunter trained while fighting terrorists). Some people ( even on the audio reading of DMD) pronounced it ARRO-SACK-AY as though it was a Japanese name. It isn't it's pronounced ARROW (as in bow and arrow) and SAKE (as in oh, for f..k's sake!). My fault entirely, as I used the original base for the wartime Special Operations Executive as the idea behind Arrowsake. This was based in Scotland at Arisaig, which I turned into a phonetic (ish) sounding Arrowsake to avoid the ire of the locals.

With Dantalion, you can pronounce it DAN-TALLION or DAN-TAY-LION but please don't call him Dandelion - I'm not sure that the warped contract killer would care too much for that. Being callled his mother's little angel was enough to send him off on one, let alone being callled her little weed.

Oh, and by the way, the title of DMD is plural - but it still occasionally gets the singular Dead Man's Dust.

Let this be a lesson to all you aspiring authors when considering titles and character names.


Well, what can I say?

As followers of this blog know, I appeared on BBC Radio Five Live on the Simon Mayo show where J&W was reviewed by three critics. Although I kind of expected to be attacked as being a 'commercial' thriller writer as opposed to being a 'literary author, the last thing I expected was for a discussion to spring up as to what two 'yellow things' were on the cover of the book. Someone suggested rubbish, and someone else suggested 'Daffodils', while I was thinking WHAT THE F..K? Did two tiny yellow blobs of colour mean anything to listeners who couldn't even see the book cover?

OK, so I got that the presenter and the critics were only having a little banter, so I didn't feel precious about it, but you could probably hear from my desultory explanation that 'They're lights in the distance.' that i wasn't that chuffed at the direction the conversation had turned.

But, hey, overall, I came out feeling good. Two of the critics liked the book and said so, while the third, although constantly referring to Lee Child as being better also summed up by saying he liked it.

Now for the EXPLOSIONS!!

The feedback I've had has been massive, and very incendiary from some people (get the explosion reference?).

I've had some well-wishers emailing, and some telephoning, and even some demanding that one of the critics be boiled in oil then strung out for the ravens to peck at....and I have to say a HUGE thank you to you all.

Another one for the aspiring authors here: not everyone will like your work. FACT. Some will try to pull it down at the expense of making others sound better. FACT. Critics criticise. FACT. Just take any bad press on the chin and move on.

...although that big pot of oil is approaching bubbling point!!

Seriously, though, here's some quotes gleaned from said radio interview:

“suffused with testosterone. . .. very exciting . . . I liked Joe Hunter.” Zara Husain

“Fun, furious. . . a good read. . . . cracking pace. . . crisp pacey thriller.” Joel Morris

“I enjoyed it. . . classic opening scene. . . last 1/3 really exciting. I was totally caught-up in it.” Boyd Hilton.

So what's there to complain about, huh?

My thanks to Simon Mayo, and to Zara, Joel and Boyd, for featuring me on the show.

Joe Hunter comes up as a decent Son of Spade

Here's a link to a review of Judgement and Wrath over at JD Steen's Sons of Spade web-site.

Many thanks to JD for a well-balanced review.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hear me on BBC Radio 5 Live

Tomorrow, Thursday 12th November 2009 at 3pm I will be appearing live on Simon Mayo's show on BBC Radio Five Live to speak about Judgement and Wrath - Joe Hunter's latest thrilling adventure.

You can listen in via the website at:

or on SKY TV on channel 0105

or listen on radio at 909/693 AM

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Road To Hell and back Again

With fireworks exploding all around us, me and my wife, Denise, made our way around Newcastle College in search of the Masonic Hall on Maple Terrace, Newcastle. We were on a scouting foray to find the location for the launch of Sheila Quigley's new book - The Road To hell - the fifth in her Lorraine Hunt series, released that day (5th November - hence the fireworks)by Tonto Books.

We were about four hours too early, but we didn't trust Google maps to send us in the right direction. Our mistrust was well-founded. We discovered the hall, having walked about 2 miles all around the back streets and alleyways of Elswick. But that was OK. We found that if we'd only walked out of our hotel, across some grass and up a steep hill we'd have made it much sooner. Still, while we were there and taking in the gothic splendour of the building, brilliant crime author Adrian Magson and his wife, Anne, turned up on a similar scouting mission. We were joined shortly after that by aspiring crime author, Col Bury, who'd had an even wider detour through the mean streets of a nearby housing estate. It was like a mini-writing convention, meeting and greeting old pals and new (in Adrian, Anne and Col's case that is who were meeting each other for the first time). Together we set off in search of sustenance and ended up in the Starbuck's opposite the main railway station, where we had a great time chewing the fat and downing Starbucks' finest. We killed time then headed off for our respective hotels to shower and prepare for the launch.

We all ended up back outside the Masonic Hall, where we found we were still too early, but that was OK, too, cause it gave us more time to chat. I really must kick myself into better shape, because I met a couple of aspiring authors who write together, who I'd met last March at Borders in Team Valley. I neglected to catch their names again - shame on me. But if you're reading this, believe me when i say it was a pleasure catching up again, and I hope it's not long until we see your books on the shelves.

Stuart Wheatman, head honcho of Tonto books was on hand, and I made his aquaintance. Great guy who was working very hard to make Sheila's launch night special.

Pretty soon, Sheila's friends and family began to show up by the car and minibus load. It was lovely meeting her family - folk right up my alley. Ken McCoy - author of the Mad Carew crime books - and his wife Val showed up and it was nice catching up again with Ken.

Sheila showed up with her usual merriment, her laughter announcing her arrival and we all entered the hall for the launch. it was a lovely cosy affair with tables, decorations and live music from a band who played the theme songs that make up the titles of Sheila's books.

Sheila's new book was launched and we took the opportunity for a signed edition.

After the do, me, Den, Adrian, Anne and Col went off in search of food and found a lovely Italian of Grainger street (Tiscani's I think it was called) and had a lovely meal. Once again the talk was about writing and the publishing industry, and I learned a heck of a lot. My friends also learned what a Jam Eater is. Opinions are still divided.

The following morning we resolved to meet again, and did so, our little bunch meeting with Sheila under Gray's monument, then heading off for another round of creative writing chat at a local coffee shop. Before we knew it three or four hours had passed and we all headed off for our respective trains home.

Great couple of days. Thank you Sheila for the invite, it was a pleasure, and the 'almost' headbutt genuinely was an accident!!!

The photos are once again kindly supplied by Adrian Magson - cause I remain useless when it comes to remembering such essentials as cameras.

For more on Sheila Quigley, click here:

For More on Adrian magson, click here:
For more on Col Bury, click here:

For more on Ken McCoy, click here:
Photo's top to bottom:
Ken McCoy, Sheila Quigley, Matt Hilton
Sheila Quigley signing copies of her new book
Col Bury and Matt Hilton
Sheila Quigley and the orb (look closely)
Adrian Magson, Col 'red eye' Bury, Matt 'squint eye' Hilton

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Empty vessels make most noise

I'm often the person in the group who sits quietly, doesn't say much and simply listens, absorbing what is said and only offering my opinion when I've something important to convey.

That doesn't work well when you're blogging. I can only apologise for my lack of verbosity these past couple weeks. But here we go, I've got a couple things to tell you about.

For those of you who follow this blog because you are aspiring authors and have been following my trials, tribulations and adventures through the world of publishing then this is for you:

As I previously mentioned, I completed the rough draft of book 5 in the Joe Hunter series, told you all about how I'd written it in third person, how I'd had to re-write the final third of the book when discovering a friend had come up with a similar scenario, and all the other things I whittered on about. Well, what I've been doing in the meantime is rewriting it all again, putting it back into first person for the Joe Hunter chapters and re-organising one plot thread and doing away with another entirely. You may wonder why: It was a fusion of good advice from my agent and also from a fellow author, who pointed out that Joe's voice was my brand. Although I liked the book the way I'd written it, it just didn't read to me like a Joe Hunter book. Third person offered more depth, but it didn't hold the same urgency and frantic pace that I was searching for. So back to first PPOV it went for Joe. Writing from third to first isn't as easy as changing 'Hunter said' to 'I said'. There's a lot more to it than that. I've just done finished re-writing the book again. But steady on, before the champagne flutes come out, I'll be going back to it again. And again. And, yes, you've got it, again. But that's just the way it is. Whoever said that the writing game was an easy lark?

Dead Men's Dust was released in paperback in the UK a month ago. I'd like to report that it has done very well, and at one point reached number 18 in the 'official' bookscan charts. It has also featured heavily in the indidual charts at various booksellers and supermarket chains. Thank you to everyone who bought a copy and helped me achieve such heights.

A fortnight ago, Judgement and Wrath came out in the UK (and is due next week in Oz, NZ, South Africa and Canada etc) and it has been great receiving emails and best wishes from old friends and new readers alike. Fabulous stuff for a quiet, reserved lad like me.

By the way, did I tell you about Leeds? Oh, I did. Just remember that both Leeds Borders and Leeds Waterstone's have signed copies of DMD and JAW available. Get 'em while they're hot!

Coming up I've a couple events for you:

Next Thursday 12th November at 3 pm (that's 15:00 hours for all you veterans) I will be appearing on Simon Mayo's Radio FIVE Live show to talk about Judgement and Wrath and about Joe Hunter. Also appearing on the same show will be Attica Locke talking about her new literary thriller Black Water Rising. It's sure to be a great show.

Then, on Thursday 25th November I'll be at Acomb Library in York, alongside psychological crime author Sophie Hannah for another night of chat. It's a pleasure appearing alongside Sophie; she's an amazing orator, an amazing poet and an amazing writer. Thinking Yin and Yang are you? Well, there's something in it.

Something else I'm looking forward to:
This Thursday sees the publication of Northern Queen of Gritty Crime Writing, Sheila Quigley's, fifth book - The Road To Hell - and I'm attending her launch in Newcastle. Should be a great event.

My next event is a private one. It is something I'm looking forward to with a mix of pleasure and trepidation. Basically, I'm attending a secondary school to impart my knowledge and experience of writing to a group of talented creative writers. The word EEK comes to mind. But, hey, I'm up for it. Looking forward to it in fact. I wish that when I was a lad, an author had come to my school and told me a thing or two about getting published.

Lastly, I'd like to mention a few things (sorry if this sounds like yet another commercial break).
(DMD) L'Inseguitore (translated by Stefano Mogni) is now out in Italy. I'm not sure how it's doing, but judging by its number of appearances on Google it's doing pretty well.
(DMD) Der Nochensammler comes out in Germany next February, and did I tell you that Heyne had bought rights to publish JAW as well?
I haven't got a publication date for the Bulgarian or Romanian versions of DMD yet, but as soon as I know, I'll let you know.
DMD is now available as an unabridged audio book, available from ISIS Publishing, read by David John.
A large print edition of DMD is now available for purchase from Clipper Books, and there's also a US large print edition available from HarperLuxe.
No news about a movie deal yet... (Joking - people who were at Leeds library will get that one).

that's all from me for the moment.
Keep on keeping on y'all

NZ gets JAW this coming Monday

I had a head's up from a buddy in New Zealand who has confirmed that Judgement and Wrath will be out there this coming Monday.
Cheers Bryan.

Monday, 2 November 2009

A shout out to my Australian, New Zealand and Canadian cousins

Hello all across the oceans. It is my understanding that Dead Men's Dust (mass market paperback edition) and Judgement and Wrath (hardback edition) are published in Australia, New Zealand and Canada this month. Sorry about the fuzzy information, but from my understanding the books should now be available.

Friday, 30 October 2009

A Night in the Gallery

Last night I attended a library event at Leeds Art Gallery and Lecture Theatre, alongside top psychological crime writer Sophie Hannah.

The event was well attended and the audience attentive and interested, even though they thought my dulcet tones were Geordie in origin!!

The event began with a short introduction by librarian and event organiser Britta Heyworth followed by a short talk by Sophie and a reading from her newest novel 'The Other Half Lives'. Then it was my turn to do a short talk, and I read the prologue from my newest book 'Judgement and Wrath'. Loved it when people responded with AAwks and AArghs when I closed the book.

This was then followed by a Q&A session, and then through into the gallery for book signing. Borders Leeds were kindly on hand to supply copies of the books and I was very gratified when their paperback supply of Dead Men's Dust ran out quickly. For the record, I signed the copies of J&W that were left, so if you're in Leeds and want a sgined's your opportunity.

It was great meeting and speaking to some very keen readers and also aspiring authors and writers who both Sophie and I chatted with.

Great night, and I look forward to going back there in the future.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Judgement and Wrath - The launch

Last night saw me officially launch Judgement and Wrath in hardback in the UK.

The event took place at Waterstone's bookshop, Scotch Street, Carlisle where i was again joined by a large group of well-wishers and new fans alike.

On my first launch more than 200 people turned up, but on that occasion many of them were extended family members, friends, old work colleagues etc, and it differed slightly this time in that those attending were 'readers' of my Joe Hunter thrillers.

It was a superb night and it ran very smoothly. I did a short talk, expalining the background of Joe Hunter and briefly introduced the new book. That was then followed by a reading from the prologue of Judgement and Wrath, choosing to cut off at a dramatic moment to keep the crowd waiting for more. It worked; my closing of the book was greeted by many aawks! and aarghs! and open mouths. Cool.

There then followed a Q&A, which soon got the crowd involved and asking questions about my books and the writing process I took from childhood to published author. Sometimes these questions can force you to recall facts from the old days that you'd forgotten about and I learned a thing or two about myself, and I'm sure that the crowd did too.

The night was then offered over to the crowd to have their copies of JAW personalised and signed. Again I had a steady stream of fans waiting patiently for their turn. It was a really nice event where I had more time to spend with each person, and can remember most of the people I spoke to this time. This was despite still suffering heavily from jet-lag and the lingering effects of flu.

Attending the event as a friend and special guest was fellow author Sheila Quigley. Sheila travelled over from the North-East to support me, and it's only apt that I reciprocate. Sheila is holding a launch party for her next book - ROAD TO HELL - 7 pm on November 5th at the Masonic hall, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I'll be there.

It was another succesful event, and the enthusiasm of Joe Hunter's new fans was a real buzz to experience.

Thanks to everyone that came, thanks also to those who wanted to come but couldn't, thanks also to those who couldn't come but bought the book, thanks to those who are going to buy the book...I think you get the idea, huh?

Images from Bouchercon 2009

Because I'm useless at remembering to take my camera with me, I'm indebted to Adrian Magson for the photographs he's kindly supplied of me at Bouchercon. I've also included a couple photos of some of the Indy architecture for your delectation, plus an ego-massaging pic of my book listsed in the Indy library.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Dead Men's Dust Audio Book

Dead Men's Dust is now available as an Audio book, read by David John and published by ISIS Publishing LTD

David John's theatre credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company (Season and Tour), The Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue (Loot), The Tricycle Theatre (The Hostage) and the UK tour of To Kill A Mockingbird. Film credits include Chariots of Fire, Shock Treatment and Remembrance. TV credits include The Professionals, Dr Who, The Bill, The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes and Big Jim and The Figaro Club. David has read over 30 audio books. (Bio taken from the audio book of Dead men's Dust).

David does an awesome job of the complete and unabridged reading of the book - over ten hours - and brings Joe, Rink and Tubal Cain to life in a way i could have barely imagined. Excellent stuff, and thank you David.

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention 40 - Report

My wife and I set off on our 8,000 plus miles round trip after a few false starts.

First off, I live out in the country side, with my house being point 'A' and Carlisle being point 'C'. First on the agenda was dropping my collie dog, Ripley (named after the Alien killer from the movie of the same name) at point 'B' which is about mid-way. Except - on automatic pilot - I turned up at point 'C' wondering what the hell I was doing and why was Ripley sticking his cold nose in my ear.

Realising my error, I decided to fuel up at the petrol station on the city's fringe, and did just that. Turning round I headed back to point 'B'. On arrival, and after a maudlin goodbye to Ripley which he didn't reciprocate because he was too excited about joining the other dogs running around the fields, I went back to my car. Only to find petrol gushing out of the tank all over the floor!

OK, panic mode set in. Set off to my friendly mechanics and discovered that the seal on my fuel tank had ruptured. D'OH!

Had to leave the car, go get my wife's car and then fill up with fuel a second time. Then it struck me: my airport parking was registered for my car and the Automatic Number Plate recognition system wouldn't recognise our new vehicle. Quick phone call put that right, but by now, i was thinking, is this a good idea to set off on a world ranging mission after all these false starts?

Back at the house again and I'd missed delivery of an important package I was waiting on. Telephoned the 'auto' line for the carrier only to find that they could only hold a package for four days due to security reasons (like bombs only go off after five days or something?).

Double D'OH!

OK, so sorted that out. Rearranged for the package to be delivered and left in a 'safe' place. Right. Still feeling like this was a comedy of errors and was i really sure that I wanted to get on an airplane.

Deciding it was now or never, we set off. Got down to Forton/Lancaster services where I felt the need of a caffeine injection, and this was where I got my first pleasant surprise of the day.

In WHSmith my paperback Dead Men's Dust was prominently displayed on the top shelf right next to the number one position. YAHOO! D'OH! Wasn't number one. That was Jeffrey Archer. But my book was being given the 'Book of the Week' treatment, so I was still giddy.

Making it to Handforth Dean I had another pleasant surprise. Met by the receptionists at our hotel, I was informed that they'd spotted my name and had Googled it and found I was a 'famous' author. Chuffed, but modest, I waved off the adulation. Don't know if they were expecting something else, but my rock'n'roll lifestyle extended to an early night in bed.

Then a very early rise. Off to the airport.

Things were going well, and I'd forgotten the woes of yesterday, so I boarded the plane and headed for Newark, New Jersey, arriving after an uneventful flight eight or so hours later.
Collected the bags, re-checked them. Then had four hours of hanging around for a connecting flight to Indianapolis.

Next plane, a jet this time, and we touched down in Indianapolis a few hours later. Off to bagge reclaim.

D'OH! No bags.

A little detective work later and we found our cases sitting outside the Continental Airlines office. They managed to get on an earlier flight than we did and didn't have to hang around for four hours in Newark. Everything was OK now, and off we went, wondering what to expect of Indy.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful regentrified city, with some wonderful old architecture, deserted streets and an unexpected cold snap! It was freezing cold. Pleased that I'd brought my jeans and leather jacket, first on the agenda was a quick shower and then wrapped in as many layers as possible. Then we left the Omni Severin - a beautiful old hotel in Indy - to go scope out the convention building in the nearby Hyatt Regency.

That's when the fun started.

We met up with old friends Adrian Magson and his wife, Anne, amongst others. As well as the gang from Mystery Mikes bookshop and fellow Brit Steve Warne. A few pints of lager later and it was off to bed, ready for the convention the next day.

That's where the ol' time difference kicked in.

Woke up at 4 am, still on UK time. Hung around like a ghoul outside the hotel, smoking and longing for the Starbucks to open. At 5.30 I was the first through the door and drowned myself in the biggest cup of coffee I could buy (we are talking bucket-sized portions here). That was me ready for the day. About 9 am I was back at the Hyatt, registered for the conference and joined the crowds. Awesome atmosphere. Then I did the ol' 'famous' author bit, signing copies of DMD and JAW at Mystery Mike's bookstore in the booksellers' room, UK editions flown in for the event. The rest of that third day of our epic journey is a bit of a blur. Went for the biggest lunch I'd ever seen in my life at Italian restaurant, Buca's. Busy meeting and greeting old friends and new. Caught up with some more old friends in the shape of Yrsa Siggurdadottir and husband, Olafur, two of some of the loveliest people you're ever likely to meet, and ended the day drinking with them back at the Omni bar.

Woke up at 4.15 when a well-meaning friend from the UK telephoned me. D'OH! So I did the ghoul bit again, smoking and waiting for Starbucks to open. Then realisation set in that I'd been unable to find any of the team from my US publishers, William Morrow and Company, and i was supposed to do a book giveaway at the bazaar on Sunday. Wasn't sure that the books were going to be there. frantic emailing ensued, and everything came right. Another day of meeting, greeting and mingling followed. Met up with internet buddies, Libby Cudmore and Matthew Quinn Martin and chewed the fat for a while. Then caught up with the lovely Jennifer McMahon, amongst others. Went to a couple panels, including ones where Yrsa and Adrian Magson were appearing. Great fun. And very informative. That evening I went to the William Morrow reception at MO's Steakhouse and rubbed shoulders with some great authors. I won't name them for fear of forgetting some names - trust me, they were a great bunch. Back to my hotel and picked up my wife who was feeling terrible after the lingering effects of a flu that had been bugging us both. Off to the Steak and Shake for some grub. My wife had no appetite, but I couldn't let her burger go to waste could I?


Awoken at 4.45 am by another well-wisher from the UK. D'OH!! The return of the ghoul.
Strabucks. A pattern was beginning to build. But I was good, because today I was appearing on a panel about serial Killers. It went great. Loads of folk loved the panel and went off in search of my books and Mystery Mike couldn't keep up with demand. A very nice feeling, believe me.
More meeting and mingling, in the 1800 plus crowds. Caught up with more old friends, maggie griffin, Lee Child, Andrew Grant - sounds like I'm name dropping now. Got a few new fans, ladies who loved my English/Scottish/Irish accent, dependent on who I spoke to, who promised me they weren't stalkers, they were just following me because they loved to listen to my voice. it helped that I was giving them the Ol' Roger Moore eyebrow and combining it with a croaky Sean Connery. Then me and my wife headed off to a equestrian supplies store outside of town, taken there by a lovely lady we met called April. Had to treat my wife to a new saddle, and get it shipped back to the UK. She deserved it, after all the work she does to support me. Then it was back to the hotel and the idea of a nap sounded great. No chance. I did a little editing on my latest book instead. Then visited Starbucks where I was told that I should have had a frequent visitor card.

That eveing we went to Lee Child's annual reacher Creature bash at an awesome venue named the Slippery Noodle. caught up with some old ITW buddies including Gino Brogden, Andrew Patterson and Maureen Manning amongst others, then were joined by good friends Adrian and Anne Magson. The atmosphere was terrific, the company good, but the time was catching up and we had to retire before I fell face-first into my beer.

Woke up the next morning (Suday) at 7 am, so at least i got some sleep. Then it was the usual. Ghoul. Strabucks. Off to the Hyatt, for the book bazaar at 8.30.

The bazaar was an awesome experience, where I was swamped by people after copies of Dead Men's Dust. William Morrow and Co had kindly donated 50 free hardback copies of the book, and they were eagerly snatched up. I was out of stock in minutes, and left with a feeling of euphoria thinking 'I've arrived' (maybe it was because the books were free, my little devil kept whispering in my ear), and this was further compounded by all the well-wishgers who I met afterwards (I told the little devil to shut the hell up).

The convention was over, but not the good times. We met up with Adrian and Anne again, then with Ali Karim, and joined his ntable for drinks in the Hyatt bar. Again, I'm afraid I'm going to miss some names, but the company included Heather Graham, Alexander Sokoloff, Kelli Stanley, Donus Roberts and many other notables of the crime fictoion genre. two major notables were Jon and Ruth Jordan, who run Crimespree magazine, and they were absolutely fabulous folk. It helped when Ruth was telling people that my DMD should be THE book of the year throughout the convention. We all trooped off to Buca's for more of the largest protions of food I'm ever likely to see. Then it was back to the Hyatt for a night cap. Yrsa and Olafur were there, and we again caught up with them. Then it was off to bed.

Final day (and a half).

We headed off for the airport and found that our plane was delayed. but that was OK, because we met up with Ali Karim in the departures lounge and the time flew by. Ali is a real gent, a scholar, and an all round nice guy. What, and who he doesn't know in the crime/thriller/horror genres isn't worth bothering about. He gave me some great advice. Thanks Ali. Off Ali went for his plane, and we waited for ours. Finally boarded the plane, to be told that we would have a hour and a half's flight. Woo Hoo! Then we were told that we'd have to taxi for an hour while air traffic control at newark cleared the skies. D'OH!

Still it shortened our connecting time at Newark.

We boarded the plane and were told our flight back to the UK would be only 5 hours 55 minutes. Woo Hoo! But then we'd have to taxi for an hour while we awaited a take off slot. D'OH!

We finally arrived back in the UK at about 7.40 am, did the ol' security, customs, collected the bags gig and went out to collect our car that I'd had the foresight to have delivered to the airport. By now we'd been on the go since early the previous morning and I don't recall much about the 150 or so miles home. But we did it, and arrived home safe and sound and ready for action.

Next on the agenda was prepping for my up-coming book launch (tonight). So much for well-laid plans. I went out like a light. Yesterday's just a whoozy blur. Today's the first time I've felt like anything approaching human.

Loved it all and can't wait for Bouchercon 41 in San Francisco next year.

Book Launch of Judgement and Wrath in the UK

So, here I am, getting myself geared up for the 'official' launch of Judgement and Wrath, Joe Hunter's second outing, feeling the usual on-set of stage fright and uncertainty.

The launch of Dead Men's Dust was such a roaring success with hundreds of friends, relatives and well-wishers turning up, that I can't help but feel that there's no way I could top it. It's a little odd, holding a launch a full week after the book was released (and has been on general sale for almost three weeks) so that 'I now declare this book open' moment feels slightly out of place. Still, I'm up for it, and hoping that people will turn out to join me in celebrating the launch all the same.

I'm only a couple days back from Bouchercon and still suffering the after effects of jet-lag combined with a lingering flu (don't worry, I'm no longer infectious) so please forgive me if this reads a tad desultory. I don't mean it to: I'm obviously thrilled - just moving in slow motion. rest assured, once I've had my obligatory gallon of Nescafe coffee and nicotine, I'll be ready to take on the world (as long as it doesn't come at me swinging from all angles!!).

I hope to have a couple of surprises for the event goers tonight (it's OK, I won't be doing any impromptu singing) and intend to make it a great night. There might even be a special guest or two for avid crime readers to mingle with. More on that in the after-event-report.

For anyone who wishes to come along, the event starts at 6.30 pm and is at Waterstone's, Scotch Street, Carlisle. Wine, nibbles and Me. What could deter anyone?

For those of you who spotted the self-deprecatory joke in my last comment, well done. It's what I'm famous for.

Told you I was feeling crummy.


Links to reviews of JAW

All links kindly supplied by Pat Reid.

Another review of JAW

This is a review of Judgement and Wrath over at Bestseller World

My page at Booksnbytes

Here is my page at Booksnbytes if you'd like to take a look.
Some great reviews of both Dead Men's Dust and Judgement and Wrath from Pat Reid and Gina metz. Thanks to you both.


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Back from Bouchercon

Greetings one and all,
just back from Bouchercon - well, actually that isn't true. I got home yesterday but have been trying to catch up on some sleep after a day and a half's travel, that was only slightly marred by a couple delays.

The 40th World Mystery Convention was great, and based this year in Indianapolis. I didn't know what to expect from a city famous for car racing, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't full of drag-racing wannabes. The city centre is practically pedestrian free due to an inter-linking walkway that connects a major mall to all the hotels, so it was a pleasure to walk down nigh-on deserted pavements and to admire some beautiful buildings. Don't know if many Bouchercon-goers would have appreciated the architecture if they never left the more populated sky walk. There was a theatre opposite the Hyatt with an amazing frontage, and the Old Union Station (now a hotel and convention centre) was like something out of Batman's Gotham city. The Omni Severin, the hotel where I stayed, was beautiful. I'm a lover of old music, and everywhere you went, Sinatra or Dean Martin or some other crooner was filling the air with music. Loved it. And speaking of great music, I had the pleasure of attending Lee Child's annual Reacher Creature party at the legendary Slippery Noodle, an historic club with four rooms each with its own personal band playing. Didn't catch the band's name I was listening to, but it was 'original' R & B and right up my alley. Something the Slippery Noodle is famous for is bullet holes in the walls where John Dillinger let loose a few rounds when he went there to plan a bank robbery!

I'll be back shortly with a report on the convention itself.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Want to win one of five Acer Aspire laptops?

To celebrate the launch of Dead Men's Dust in paperback, Hodder and Stoughton and Tesco are giving away an Acer Aspire laptop to five lucky winners. For your chance of winning, follow the link.
Good luck


Did I fail to mention that the hardback UK edition of JUdgement and Wrath is now 'officially' on sale?

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Dead Men's Dust audio book read by David John

Ok, it's true to say that I know little about this, but an audio book of Dead Men's Dust is due to be released via Isis Publishing, read by David John.

Follow the link to see the details and the cool cover of the tape/CD/MP3 reading - oh, and you can also buy it there if you want (hint, hint)

DMD number 18 in paperback charts

This is a thank you to you all for helping get Dead Men's Dust to number 18 in the UK paperback charts in its first week of sales. Hopefully it will climb much higher.

It was great to see DMD picked as WHSmiths' book of the week. An amazing feeling seeing the shelves stacked so high in various WHS outlets I passed through on my way to the USA.

Howdy from Indy

Howdy folks,
just thought I'd pop in from Indianapolis with a quick up-date. This years 40th World Mystery Convention is now well under way in the amazing Hyatt Regency in the heart of Indianapolis which is just about fit to burst with some huge names and talents in the crime/mystery/thriller writing scene, as well as hundreds of fans and readers. It is a superb venue, with some of those opeb glass elevators that go up the side of the building. You cant help your inner child; you just have to ride them (while pretending to have overshot your floor!)

We got in yesterday evening after 15 hours travel, and being on British time still crashed out about 10 pm - which was 3 am back home. I won't mention any names but some well-wisher from the UK phoned this morning to speak to me, so I've been up and about since 4.45 am. Oh, the vagueries of world travel.

It's been great meeting up with some old friends again, including Adrian Magson and Anne, as well as Yrsa Siggurdadottir and husband Olafur - all of whom I've become firm friends with over this past year or so. Adrian and Yrsa are both top crime writers, so if you're looking for a new read, look no further.

Any way, enough for now. A late afternoon nap beckons. Hey, I'm not as young as I once was.
Where's my cocoa?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Judgement and Wrath - out in 2 days

This Thursday 15th October JUDGEMENT AND WRATH goes on general sale in the UK.

Sorry if I keep repeating myself, but people also keep asking. Also, the paperback of Dead Men's Dust is already on sale.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is almost upon us

This is just a shout out to remind everyone that the 40th World Mystery Convention - The Bouchercon - is almost upon us. This year it is based in Indianapolis and has a magnificent line-up that not only includes Michael Connelly, but also some up-start from the UK who goes by the name of Matt Hilton

Good Reads five star review

Here's a five star review of Judgement and Wrath from Pat Reid at Good Reads. My thanks go to Pat for the excellent review.

Mystery One Bookstore review of DMD

This is a review of DMD at Mystery One Bookstore by Richard katz

Sunday, 11 October 2009

USA mass market edition paperback of Dead Men's Dust

OK, so it's a bit strange having a publishing schedule that's different on both sides of the Atlantic. While we're already talking about book 2 - Judgement and Wrath - over here in the UK, I'm also gearing up for the mass market paperback release in the US for next April.

This is the cover you should all watch out for: subtly different than the one on the hardback, but striking all the same.

Wait until you see the cover for Judgment and Wrath (and yes the ommission of the 'e' in Judgement is deliberate), for the US hardback. I think it's very cool indeed and will share it with you soon.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Wild One

It is with great pride that I announce that one of my short crime stories is to appear in the forthcoming anthology EVEN MORE TONTO SHORT STORIES.

My never before seen story THE SKIN WE'RE IN, a gritty crime/action story was picked from hundreds of entries by top novelist Caroline Smailes and Tonto head honcho Stuart Wheatman for the collection of stories to be published later this year.

I am rightly proud.

For two reasons.

As well as a novelist, I can obviously also write a good short - sometimes this is far more difficult than writing a full novel, as you have far fewer words to deliver a convincing and engaging tale.

Then there is the fact that my good friend Col Bury, a supporter of mine since the announcement of my Joe Hunter publishing deal was announced, also won a coveted spot with his excellent short story MOPPING UP.

I am ecstatic for Col. In fact, and without down playing my happiness at being chosen, I'm happier that Col's talent has been recognised and he is now about to become one of the 'published' that all (or pretty much most) authors aspire to.

This is another example of where sheer grit and determination wins out.

Congratulations to Col and all the other winners (the list can be found via the link above), and also congratulations to myself.

Hope you all enjoy what looks to be a great collection.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

For Fans...

For new fans of Joe Hunter who may have missed earlier announcements, there is a fan forum thingee over at The Arrowsake Alumni.

Join up. Let other fans know what you think about Joe and his adventures.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


This is a cool little review of Judgement and Wrath AKA Joe Hunter 2 at where Dantalion is described as "one of the creepiest bad guys you’ll read about this year" by the reviewer M.M.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Large print Dead Men's Dust UK edition

For those of you who have trouble reading smaller print, or if you wish to purchase a copy for someone who has problems reading, Dead Men's Dust is now available in Large Print from Clipper Books.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Library event with Chris Simms

Yesterday I had the honour of attending Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Greaves Street, Oldham, accompanied by Manchester based crime author Chris Simms. Sadly Mandasue Heller was unable to attend as advertised due to a personal reason, but Chris saved the day by stepping in at the last minute so that the gathered crowd of over 40 attendees didn't have to listen to my dulcet tones the entire time.

Punam Ramchurn, the events organiser, was a gracious and interesting host. Thanks Punam for a great evening - and for the lift back to my hotel in your nippy little car.

I'd also like to thank the chap from Happy Cow Books for attending and making books available for purchase on the night. I'd also like to thank the attendees for an interesting time, you actually looked enthralled as I read from Judgement and Wrath.

For a take on the evening from a third party perspective, have a read here

JAW at The Big Thrill webzine

Click on this link to read Steven Savile's interview with me and review of Judgement and Wrath over at The Big Thrill.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Dead Men's Dust paperback out today in the UK

Just in case you missed yesterday's announcement.


Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Dead Men's Dust paperback edition out tomorrow

Hi everyone, shameless Publicity time again, but, hey! I want people to read (and buy) my books.

Dead Men's Dust is released in mass market paperback tomorrow (1st October) in the UK.

The perfect gift for your husbands, dads, brothers, uncles, gramps, boyfriends - and for your wifes, mothers, sisters, aunties, girlfiends etc. And your friends, or even distant aquaintances. maybe even someone you don't know, but would like to. I think you're starting to get the message, huh?

Change of line-up. But I'll still be there.

There has been a slight change to the event I'm attending tomorrow in Oldham. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Mandasue Heller sadly won't be appearing. So I will instead be with Chris Simms at the Oldham Literature Festival, at the Oldham Library and Lifelong Learning Centre, Greaves Street, Oldham, UK - 6 p.m.

Judgement and Wrath

It has been brought to my attention that Play and Amazon are both shipping Judgement and Wrath now. Those of you who can't wait for the book's official launch date of the 15th october may be in for a pleasant surprise if you pre-ordered from the above online book stores.

Plagiarism - No Thank You

Over at my sister blog at TKnC me and Col Bury take each submission on great faith and it saddened me to read this latest post bringing to my attention that the blogosphere has a plagiarist in its ranks.

I'll leave you to take a read, but say wholeheartedly that both Col and I were duped along with everyone else. The 'offender' will be deleted from TKnC's pages once our readers are given their opportunity to respond. Probably better that you do it over at the link supplied to show support for the person outing this scam than you do so here. I'm not sure that the offender reads the comments at TKnC, or if he/she does then he/she doesn't respond. My apologies to everyone who was sucked in the way we were. I stand by my original vision for TKnC, in that it is a place for genre authors to share their work. I should now amend that to say 'original work'.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

As promised...

As promised here is the link to the interview I did with Thriller Cafe

It's in Italian.

So if you don't speak Italian, here's another link for the English PDF version.

Hope you like it, learn something new and pick up the book/s.

Thanks again to Viviana Giorgi and the Thriller cafe team for featuring me and my books.

Monday, 21 September 2009

L'Inseguitore - DMD from Longanesi Italy is out in just over a week's time

For any of my readers who understands the Italian language, L'INSEGUITORE (The Follower) will be published next week on Tuesday 29th September by Longanesi. Here is the first review at Thriller Cafe a pre-eminent crime writing site in Italy. watch here also for an up and coming exclusive interview I did for Viviana Giorgi.
This is just the presentation of the book at present, a link will be available for the interview on 24th September which I'll post, and also a link to an English PDF for all you English readers.
Thanks to Guiseppe Pastore over at for keeping me up to date.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

If you loved Tubal Cain you'll equally Love Dade

I've just finished reading an exceptionally good book by fellow 'Arrowsake Alumni' Ken Bruen called 'AMERICAN SKIN'. I won't give away anything about the book, other than it has got one hell of a cool killer in the shape of Tammy Wynette fanatacist DADE. I was turned onto this book by a reviewer who pointed out that my own Tubal Cain from Dead Men's Dust was similar to Ken's psychotic creation. The reviewer was right. I loved Dade for all the same reasons that I loved Tubal Cain. If you're looking for a great read, with some of the best dialogue I've ever come across, then you could do no better than pick up American Skin.

Read and enjoy


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Query to 'that call'.

I've often been asked about the queries we make to agents/publishers and I've tried to be as honest and constructive as possible. However, I've only done the bizz a couple of times where I've had some success, so basically I'm no expert on it.
On Sara Tribble's blog I AM WRITE she reviews a book on the very subject of making your query to receiving 'that call' everyone dreams of , so if you are at the querying stage and have no idea what to do, take a look. Just click the link in the title above.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Business of Writing

I'm baaaaack!
maybe most of you didn't even notice I was gone, but I hope I've been conspicuous by my abscence since my last post. Judging by the hits on my blog it's been a busy old time while I've been off conducting the business of writing. I'm mildly chuffed: the last time I checked a couple months ago my sister blog over at Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers was getting four times the hits as I was here, but then, all of a sudden, boom! I'd like to think that this rise in popularity is due to people becoming aware of my books and seeking out information etc, but I've a feeling that some of these visits have been spurred on by the success of TKnC and the great stories featured over there. Plus, there have been some great mentions in the blogosphere and a couple of neat interviews, so they've undoubtedly helped push people in this direction.

Anyway, I'm back, to let you know that I can really shake 'em down....(cue the music)

Couple of things to mention since I've been down to meet my publisher and agent et al in London this past week.

First off, the paperback edition of Dead Men's Dust is released in the UK on 1st October 2009, which as you all know is only nineteen days away. Keep an eye out for the new cover. I liked the black one that was on the hardback, but the new look cover is even better in my opinion. Keep your eyes peeled throughout London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool for an ad campaign on the back of buses, and also in select magazines etc. Also, if you visit Tesco's website there is a chance to win one of four laptop computers (details of all the above as they come in). There will be other great campaigns in other supermarkets and bookshops. At this moment in time I can't really say too much, but will reveal all as and when I'm able.

Those of you who had a go at Joe Hunter's shooting game (you can still have a go by clicking the title above and going to The Joe Hunter Vigilante website) will be pleased to know that a second chapter is on its way. The next game is a fighting game for your pleasure. So get you gloves on, limber up and get stuck in.

By the way, the same day as DMD comes out in paperback, I'll be at the Oldham Literary Festival appearing alongside bestselling author Mandasue Heller, so anyone in the north-west who wants to come along and meet me, have books signed etc, this is a great opportunity.

Then, only a fortnight later, the hardback edition of Judgement and Wrath launches in the UK. Keep your eyes peeled for some cool stuff in connection with Joe Hunter's second outing too. The book launches on 15th October 2009 and will be in all good bookshops. I will be holding an official launch at 6.30 pm, Thursday 22nd October 2009 at Waterstone's in Carlisle and will be signing readers' copies for them. Anyone who buys copies of the paperback of DMD can get them signed as well.

For American readers, I'm afraid you'll have to wait for the US version of JAW next spring, but there will be stores in the US ordering in copies of the UK edition if you can't wait.
I'm obviously hoping that everyone loves JAW as much as I do and find Dantalion as worthy a foe for Joe Hunter as Tubal Cain was in the first book.
Other news: For Italian readers, don't forget that L'inseguitore is released on 29th September 2009 by Longanesi (only a fortnight away).

Der Nochen Sammler will be released by Heyne in February 2010 for the german market.

Bulgarian and Romanian editions will follow shortly (no other details at time of writing).

Plus, JAW will be coming to Germany some time next year or early 2011.

I'll be attending Bouchercon in Indianapolis this year and will be on a panel talking about the readers' and authors' fascination with Serial Killers. I think I'm going to have to get back in Tubal Cain's head for a short while, I just hope they don't leave any silver wear lying around or there could be an international incident!!

Watch out for me in Leeds and York libraries where I'll be appearing alongside bestselling author Sophie Hannah (details in the sidebar Where To meet Matt).

Anyone want a few more hints about JAW or Dantalion, or indeed book three, Slash and Burn, just let me know via the comments and I'll pull something together for you.
back to the editing of book 5.
Keep on Keeping on folks