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.