A quick head's up to let my readers know about two new editions on the bookshop shelves. I've mentioned both these books before from two of my writing friends, but thought it pertinent to remind you that both books are now out in paperback.
On Thursday 17th March - coincidentally St Patrick's Day - I was in London to attend my publisher's annual sales conference bash, which was at the remarkable setting of Cafe de Paris in Leicester Square. It was a great night, with everyone dressed in amazing fantasy costumes for a masque ball, complete with a devil and angel on hand to usher the speakers on and off stage. I was in great company - not only from my friends and supporters from Hodder but with some great authors, including John Connolly, Gervase Phinn, Laini Taylor, Robyn Young, Ciara Geraghty, plus guest celebrity, Kirstie Allsopp.
Coming out of the venue, Leicester Square was in full party spirits, with droves of revellers dressed for the occasion in green hats and shamrocks, and all that business. Trying to flag a taxi was impossible, so I set off shanks pony style and hoofed it back to my hotel a couple miles away.
An early rise the following morning found me on a three and a half hour train journey back to Carlisle, Cumbria, followed by half and hour in the car to my house to pick up my wife, for a real quick turn around for a trip I'd booked up to my favourite getaway on the remote banks of Loch Tay in Scotland. So back in the car I went to take my dog to the kennels, then on the road for another four or five hours as I wended my way up north (with a few sight-seeing stops en route) to the log cabin I'd rented for a few days.
Talk about opposites.
Glitzy London one day, a remote hillside the next.
Here's the strange thing, though. I expected to meet authors while in London, but not on the banks of Loch Tay. As it was, on the Monday morning when preparing to head home, I bumped into writing buddy David Barber (Flash Fiction Offensive and David Barber's Fiction World) who just happened to be passing on his way to his day job. We had a good chinwag - which never is long enough to catch up on everything - before a bacon sandwich and a coffee (not to mention an insistent waitress who called me into the cafe) beckoned. It was great to see David, and in such an unlikely setting. What were the chances, eh?
Val McDermid, THE famous crime writer, told me that she was once 14,000 feet up in the Rockies only to be hailed by a passing climber...who she knew quite well. Odd, isn't it?
I've been a little quiet on the blog front lately, but rest assured it isn't that I haven't got anything to say, only that the words are going down fast and furious at another location. No, I haven't absconded to another site or anything, I'm talking about my latest Joe Hunter thriller. I'm currently working hard to bring you all the 8th book in the series, and when I get the writing bit between my teeth I'm at full gallop. Not that this one is an easy book to write - it's anything but.
With this one I'm trying a little experiment and going for a mystery as well as the hard actioner that Joe's readers have come to expect. Feedback from BLOOD AND ASHES has been very good indeed, but some have had mixed feelings that I concentrated on Joe's character this time round. Some felt that it made the book deeper and much better, while others found that the characterisation slowed the pace a tad. I'm infinitely aware that introspection can place stumbling blocks in the way of hard action, and the process of solving a mystery can also have the same detrimental result. I'm trying therefore to produce a book that has a mystery to solve but without losing any of the balls to the wall pace that the previous Joe Hunter books have all had. I'm thinking hard, writing hard, and probably doing about twice as much back tracking through the text as I normally do. But I'm enjoying the process (though it's taking more time and energy this time, hence the lack of posts here). I hope that you all enjoy the end result when I finally get it done.