Wednesday, 26 August 2009

UK Book Launch Event - Judgement and Wrath - 22nd October 2009

While Joe Hunter's second adventure launches in hardback in the UK on Thursday 15th October 2009, I will be in America at Bouchercon. Due to this I am going to hold a launch of JUDGEMENT and WRATH the following Thursday, 22nd October in my home town of Carlisle, and I extend the hand of invitation to all my friends and readers to come and join me in celebrating. The event will begin at 6:30 pm at Waterstone's Book Shop, Scotch Street, Carlisle - the same venue where DMD was launched.

Those attending can purchase copies of J&W which I will gladly sign and dedicate. Also keep in mind that Dead Men's Dust will also be available in paperback.

I look forward to a fun event like last time and look forward to seeing you all there.

Monday, 24 August 2009

An Interview with....ME!

Sara Tribble is a writer and aspiring novelist from El Paso, Texas whose blog I AM WRITE is a fabulous resource for other aspiring writers. Sara is aslo the editor of FLASH ME magazine, and I had the great pleasure to be inteviewed by her. The interview is very candid, and brings out many things I may not have mentioned here before that you may find interesting and helpful in your own writing endeavours.

Take a look here and let me know what you think.

I'd like to thank..and...and..and...

I'm grateful to have been nominated for a Literary Blogger Award by the lovely Sara Tribble whose blog I Am Write can be found on the links list on the right of this page.

This award is given for energising and inspiring reading, and through my efforts here and through my sister blog at Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers i can rest assured that I've done that. The award doesn't come free, of course and there are some rules I must follow.

Here's the rules.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might not know.

5. Nominate 7 Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

So here goes:

1. Thank you, Sara. I sincerely mean that.

2. Done it (see the above).

3. Done it (see links on the right).

4. Aargh, I knew there was something that would get me thinking:

4.1. I'm a coffee junkie. Upwards of 20 cups at a minimum a day.

4.2. I also enjoy painting in acrylics and oils (but don't get much chance these days).

4.3. I love old style rock'n'roll, rockabilly and swing and have been known to get up and give a song alongside Johnny Scott and the Shakers.

4.4. I once applied to go on the TV show Gladiators

4.5. I always cry at the end of It's a Wonderful Life even though I've watched it a dozen times.

4.6. I was a pioneer of Mixed Martial Arts in the UK and fought in bare-knuckle, knockdown competitions until I realised I was a) not good enough b) too pretty to have my face bashed in c) a better coach than a fighter d) a poet not a warrior.

4.7. John Candy isn't my twin.

5. You know who you are.

6. Will do.

7. Keep you eyes peeled and read your comments. It could be you!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

The best form of flattery.

Hi all, a short time ago the question was raised here at this blog as to who would win in a fight between Joe Hunter and John Rambo and we had a little fun with it (why not take a look back in the archives). This inspired fellow author, Amit Dhand, to let loose his imagination and come up with just that very scenario. If you'd like to read the entire story, click the link above.

Just a note, both Amit and I are huge Rambo and David Morrell fans, and this is intended in the spirit that imitation is the best form of flattery.

Enjoy. I certainly did.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Royalties and hospitaliers

Today I had the pleasure of opening a charity bookshop on behalf of Eden Valley Hospice, but I have to admit to having had second thoughts while driving to the location. I thought: 'Hang on a minute! If people are buying books from second hand bookshops then the author gets no royalties.' Instead of the one original sale, an infinite number of people could be reading the book whereby the author only ever gets one credit. The thought was always fleeting, but I have to be honest and say that it was there. I wasn't thinking in greedy terms, but in actual numbers.

Bestsellers are determined by how many books are purchased from stores that are on the 'Bookscan' system and it only then struck me that the figures mean not a damn thing in the real world. If I, say, sell 1,000 hardback copies of my book in a week, then it doesn't look like that big a hit, but then how many people will actually read the book once it is past between friends, family, work colleagues, and then onto second hand outlets where it may be purchased again, and then past round? I know there's no way of finding an exacting figure, but that 1,000 sales can easily become 10,000 readings of the book. If all of them were translated to 'sales' then the book would be considered a massive bestseller.

Now, I know of no way that we can possibly collate these figures, and I'm not suggesting that second hand shops go on book scan (the same could be said for any form of entertainment, DVD, CDs etc), but I wondered how many times my book would actually be read throughout the country (and world). Maybe some books that were never deemed bestsellers actually became best reads, without the knowledged of either the author or their publisher.

Anyway, back to my original thought. I said I wasn't thinking in terms of royalties, I wasn't and this is why:

When I was younger, and also up until the very recent times, I couldn't afford to fund my voracious reading appetite via the book shops. I used second hand shops to keep me going. But what I found was that if I discovered a book/author I enjoyed, I would then set out to scour all outlets for further books by that author. Invariably I would buy copies from the outlets with bookscan, therefore the author got royalties for those books. Without the introduction via the secondhand shop I may never have discovered the author in the first place.

Lastly, because as usual I realise I'm blathering:

I set out to write books to 1) entertain myself 2) get published 3) entertain the reader 4) make a living (yes there was obviously the attraction of money) 5) give my family a better life. Now I can add another thing to my short list 6) help people who are far less fortunate than I.

I never realised that by me sitting at a computer, writing thriller stories, that I could help to ease people's suffering by supporting a secondhand bookshop whose takings go to give aid to people suffering terminal illnesses.

The thought I began with disappeared in a flash, and now I write this with a humble pride that in some small way I will help someone through their pain.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Two Queens, A Prince Bishop, and a robber baron

Yesterday, my wife and I travelled over to Durham - a beautiful cathedral city in the north east of England, and the seat of power of the original Prince Bishops who once lorded over County Durham.

We weren't just sight-seeing, we were on a business cum social trip, although the day did include saving tiny peperdril bats from under the feet of clumsy tourists in the inner courtyard of Durham cathedral (for all you Harry Potter fans, a scene from one of the movies was filmed in this tranquil place). I was there to meet up with two awesomely talented and best-selling authors for a day of chewing the fat about the publishing industry, our books and our hopes and aspirations for the future.

The authors in question are both queens:

Sheila Quigley, Queen of northern crime fiction
Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Queen of Icelandic crime fiction

Both Sheila and Yrsa are hugely popular writers with differing styles but with a shared character of openness and honesty and a willingness to allow this new upstart, a robber baron called Hilton, to hold court with them. It was a fascinating day, and we shared many tales and stories, exchanged anecdotes and even at one point probed the hidden or lost meaning behind many of today' superstitions, how they impact on lives and how they've even become part of popular culture. Sheila has an infectious laugh and is full of fun, Yrsa has a dry wit that is also as infectious and we probably disturbed Durham with our laughter rolling out everywhere we went. Down on the riverside was probably the only time we weren't laughing, but that's because we witnessed the drama of a canoeist crashing into a bridge, becoming submerged and entangled in his boat and almost drowning. Thankfully the guy made it to the surface with only his ego bruised, which was a good ending all in all, and we were soon laughing again.

It was a fabulous day, and I feel privileged to have been in such great company - Yrsa's husband and daughter included - and returned home around midnight feeling thoroughly weary but with a big smile on my face. The publishing of a book, I found, isn't the most satisfactory elelment of being a writer, it is the meeting of such amazing people along the way.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

New Joe Hunter Forum


Friday, 14 August 2009

A few dates for your diary

I'm appearing at a number of events over the next couple months or so, and if anyone wants to turn out, here's a short list (you can also see them in the column on the right under 'Where to meet Matt'.

Book shop opening:
Eden Valley Hospice, The Lanes, Carlisle - 10:00 am Friday 21st August

Library Event:
With bestselling author Mandasue Heller
Oldham Library, Union Street, Oldham - 6 pm Thursday 1st October

Bouchercon World Mystery Convention
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 15th - 18th October 2009

Library Event:
With bestselling author, Mark Billingham
Nottingham, UK - Thursday 8th October 2009
Time and venue to be confirmed

Library Event:
With bestselling author, Sophie Hannah
Leeds Art Gallery Lecture Theatre, The Headrow, Leeds, UK - evening Thursday 29th october

Thursday, 13 August 2009

J&W heading for Germany

I'm thrilled to announce that Heyne, who are publishing Dead Men's Dust in Germany in February 2010 under the title of 'Der Nochen Sammler', have also picked up book 2 - Judgement and Wrath - for translation.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Arrowsake Alumni

I have just set up a new ning page for fans of Joe Hunter named The ARROWSAKE ALUMNI. If you'd like to join, please follow this link and you can start discussing the adventures of your favourite vigilante.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Authors tips

For an interview with crime writer Col Bury, who has been a great help and inspiration to me along the way, and who also helps me keep my sister blog - Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers - up and running, click here for some real insights that other aspiring crime/thriller/horror authors may be interested in.
Col is interviewed by Sara Tribble at I AM WRITE, another great resource for aspiring writers.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Charity begins at home (town that is)

A little while back I mentioned that I was asked to officially open a new book shop in Carlisle, and some of you may be wondering what happened to that. Well, it turns out they really wanted PARIS HILTON and got the names mixed up.


No, as ever, red tape became a factor and the opening had to be put back for a while until all the legalities were ironed out.

The date I have now is 10:00 am on Friday 21st August 2009.

The Eden Valley Hospice is an institute in Carlisle that cares for the sick and terminally ill, and it gives me a great sense of humble pride that I can help in some way. The shop will be in the Lanes shopping centre on the Lowther Street side, and will sell second hand books.

Anything that gets people reading is good by me, and when the cash raised goes to help a cause like this I will jump at the chance to be involved. I hope people turn out to support the opening and continue to visit in the future.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Book Report does me and Joe Justice.

maybe you're sick of reading reviews for Dead men's Dust, but I had just had to share this one by BookReporter's Joe Hartlaub. If I hadn't already read the book, I'd be rushing out for it right now. Thanks for the review, Joe: I'm genuinely humbled.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

ITW Debut Authors Class of 2009

I just thought I'd share this photo, taken at Thrillerfest in New York in July this year. This is the debut Class of 2009, and quite likely some of the bestselling authors of tomorrow. I'm third from the right on the front row, wedged nicely between Andrew Grant (L) and Sean Black (R)
This photo is taken from the official Thrillerfest site, and the entire album can be found here...

Not So Subtle Reminder Time

Monday, 3 August 2009

L'Inseguitore - DMD from Longanesi Italy

Hi all,
this is my first look at the cover for the Italian edition of Dead Men's Dust, under the new title of L'Inseguitore (The Tracker). It is due for release on 24th September 2009.
I like it!!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Thrillers for book or screen.

There is a huge difference between writing a thriller book as opposed to that of a screenplay for a thriller movie. However, the elements of the story are pretty much the same. Screen plays talk about acts 1, 2 and 3, while a book should be about a beginning, middle and end.

I recently came across this article produced by the Tennessee Screenwriters Association, where they lay down a 'loose formula' for writing thriller screenplays. I think it's a great resource for thriller writers in any medium. Why not take a look?

The only point I don't quite agree to is this:

'The Thriller hero most often lacks the physical skills of an Action/Adventure hero - while the hero may ultimately perform a physical act to reach safety, the principal energy of the story is devoted to ingenuity, the hero solving a puzzle to expose the corruption of the villain and extract him/herself from danger."

My reason for saying so, being, the hero can have the physical skills (ala Joe Hunter) but have an outside weakness i.e. his brother has been taken by a serial killer, he has to protect a woman from a contract killer hell-bent on killing her, he has to protect some innocent children from a group of extremists etc. I think a thriller can have a tough guy hero, but it is the extreme danger of the situation he is in (as in all the other points) that define the thriller. But I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Writing Tips

Fellow ITW debut author, JJ Cooper's book The Interrogator finally hits the shelves this month, and it's one I've been looking forward to, but that isn't my main reason for mentioning it. JJ used to 'work' as an interrogator for the Australian army and on his website (see link above) he offers some writing tips for aspiring authors that tie nicely to the subject of his profession. I think you'll find the tips very helpful in your own writing.