Thursday, 4 September 2008

Borderlands Arrives in the US of A

Actually, the release date for the US edition of Brian McGilloway's Borderlands was the day before yesterday, September 2nd, but some of us (and by "some of us," I mean "me") are a little slow. But there it is, on the shelves of the Huntington Beach Barnes and Noble, sitting proudly in the New Mystery section. Somewhat surprisingly, St. Martin's Press (Thomas Dunne) decided to stick with the original cover, which shows an unusual attack of good sense and good taste; usually covers are changed just on the principle of the thing.

I have discovered that unless you are JK Rowling, John Grisham, or someone else who has a large audience quivering with anticipation at the imminent arrival of your new novel, "publication date" is a pretty elastic concept. The stores may get the books out on the shelves even before they are "published," or they may find their way out of the back room a few days later when the stock clerk stops using that particular box of books as a lunch table. So far, of the five Barnes and Noble superstores within 10 miles of my house, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Orange all have Borderlands on display; Costa Mesa and Irvine's copies are still apparently in use by the stockboy. Borderlands is also on display at Borders in its Long Beach, Brea, and Yorba Linda stores, and I suspect it will soon be cropping up at others. So, St. Martin's seems to be doing a good job of pushing the books out the door and onto the shelves, and I'm glad.

This is more than a selfless interest in seeing Brian's book reach a wider audience; this is also an historic, but little-noted occasion. This is the first time a Macmillan New Writing book has jumped the Atlantic and been printed in an American edition. Many--probably all--of us would like to see our books do the same, but I suspect those of us residing in the US harbor special hopes in this area. (Though something tells me if my book hasn't made the jump by now...)

Irrespective of my vested interest in seeing Brian's book do well, I'd urge American readers to toddle on down to their local bookstore (or, okay, go online if you must) and pick up a copy of Borderlands. McGilloway's prose is flawless, his characters pop off the page, the plot is engrossing, and the setting unique. The book received deservedly great reviews in Ireland and the UK, and sold enough copies to turn most writers Elphaba-colored with envy.

In case you didn't get the message, My Fellow Americans, I'm suggesting you buy it. (And congrats, Brian!)


Eliza Graham said...

I thoroughly recommend this book, too.

Great to see this US edition, Brian!

Ann Weisgarber said...

I have pictures too of Brian's book at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Houston. I'll try to figure out how to post them.

An independent crime/mystery/suspense bookstore here, Murder by the Book, doesn't yet have Borderlands, but when I called on Tuesday, without hesitation the owner knew the book and Brian's name. "It's going to be a best seller," she told me. "It's the best book I've read in years."

Yippee! Congratulations, Brian!

Doug Worgul said...

If I thought it would help the chances of my book getting published/distributed in the U.S., I'd swim the Atlantic, and back again pulling a raft of books by teeth.


Ann Weisgarber said...

Doug, I'm with you on that. I can recommend going to London when your book is released. It's well worth it.

Brian McGilloway said...

Hi folks

Thanks for these - when I told my family that people I had never met (beyond e-mail) were wandering around bookshops in the Us taking pictures of my book and sending them back to me, they commented on how lucky I was - and we all are - to be part of such a unique and rare community of writers. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for making something completely unreal feel that little more real. And I now totally understand how the non-UK/Ireland MNWers feel when their books come out over here.

Hope BL is just the first of many MNw titles to reach over there.

Thank again