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


Col Bury said...

So there's not much happening then, Matt!
You are fast-becoming, as comic Billy C says, 'Windswept n interesting!'

David Barber said...

I'm sure the school kids will love it. We never had anything like that at school(Col will remember) so it will be great for them. Good luck with everything, Matt, you've done the hard work!
Regards, David.

Col Bury said...

Nice pic, Dave! Is that smile your winning one?

David Barber said...

Hope so! It's the best one I've got!!

Alan Griffiths said...

Great post Matt and man have you got a lot going on – long may that continue.

I really enjoy and get a lot from your blog posts on your continuing writing journey. Very interesting stuff regarding the total re-write and revert to first person – food for thought to every aspiring writer. I’m sure you have made the right choice.

I must try and get a podcast download of your interview on R5L as I’ll be working. My girlfriend says I have the perfect face for radio!

Good luck with the secondary school visit, which I’m sure will go well and is a very worthwhile thing to do. Although if it’s anything like my old South London Comp then leave your valuables at home!


Matt Hilton said...

Thanks chaps,
it is a busy time, that hasn't been helped by the travelling. I sometimes forget what day of the week it is!
But everything's good and I wouldn't change it for the world.
It's fast become obvious that it doesn't matter how much publicity your publisher puts out, you absolutely MUST do a lot of plodding around to spread the word and get your name known.
I'm up against 800 book releases in the same month with JAW, so it is an up-hill climb even to get space on book shelves.

In regards the school, it's something I am genuinely looking forward to. I think young adults are going to be very challenging and creative - maybe I'll have to think hard on what I'm going to tell them before I get there. I'm usually a 'let's wing it and see what comes up' type, so I guess I should have some sort of plan in mind before I arrive.
Thanks for all your support lads.

Matt Hilton said...

By the way, Alan, I'm with you. I too have a good face for radio!