Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Have we discussed this already?

How many of you have mentally cast the imaginary (hoped for) movie version of your book? 

In the major motion picture version of Thin Blue Smoke, Denzel Washington and Bill  Nighy (with an American accent) play the leads, with Steve Zahn in the main supporting role.


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Double Dutch

I've just discovered that the Dutch for 'the Birds and Bees' is 'de Bloemetjes de Bijtjes'. Isn't that great? They've also given it a cover which looks like flowery wallpaper. With hats. For some odd reason, I find this immensely cheering (probably because it takes my mind off my Failure). I'm now waiting to see what the French will do with it. What do other people's books sound/look like in other languages/countries?

Saturday, 21 February 2009

True Fame

In this month's Bulletin of the Crime Writers' Association, I came across the following crossword clue: "1 across & 5 down - second Inspector Devlin mystery from Brian McGilloway (7, 4)". Forget the knighthood. Forget the Booker Prize. You know you're famous when you become a crossword clue. (And 1 across at that.)

Well done, Suroopa

Suroopa modestly concealed her recent achievements in a comment on another post. Just to say that I think it's very impressive to have suceeded as a novelist, short story writer and academic author. Poetry next? Congratulations on the new short story collection and good luck with the next novel.

Friday, 20 February 2009

A quick link to today's rant

And today, the subject is 'literary' vs. 'genre' fiction, and how frustrating I find the terms...

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Congratulations, Eliza!

This was posted on today:

Pan Macmillan has acquired the rights to a further two novels by Eliza Graham. Will Atkins, founding editor of Macmillan New Writing, bought world rights from Graham herself for "a good five figure advance".

Her new novel is provisionally called Jubilee, and will be published in Pan paperback in May 2010. The title is about the disappearance of a child and takes place in England, with the period spanning from the Queen's Coronation to her Golden Jubilee.

The second book is as yet untitled, but has been scheduled for publication in October 011.

Graham's first novel, Playing with the Moon, was also published by MNW, a year after the imprint launched in 2006 with the aim of discovering top new novelists writing across all genres.

Her second novel, Restitution, is released in Pan paperback in May this year.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


I have hesitated about posting this. The MNW Blog has been the means of spreading all manner of good news - publications, rights, and accolades - and I have enjoyed being a part of it and sharing in everyone's successes. But now I have a failure to report. Macmillan have rejected my third novel. For some time, I suspected that as this mad, self-indulgent romp got increasingly out of control, it might cost me dear - that it wasn't good enough - and lo! Macmillan agree. It isn't good enough. Will was so kind; the pill was sugared with lovely comments, and he'd be happy to consider a (substantial) re-write. But there won't be a re-write; neither will I submit it anywhere else. One day maybe I'll use bits of it, and resurrect one or two of the characters I've become so fond of, but not yet. Of course I'm disappointed, and for a few days I felt an utter failure, but I also feel oddly liberated. I no longer have the albatross of a not-very-good book hanging round my neck, and can get on with something else. Having said that, commiserations (and dare I say, any similar experiences) would be gratefully received, for only a fellow-writer understands how it feels to have a book rejected.
There. Confession over. I feel much better now!

Shock horror: Something of interest on the BBC

If you haven’t seen this already, and you live in the UK, you should really download Thursday’s Money Programme from BBC i-player, on the state of publishing in the UK. Most of what’s there isn’t new (it shouldn’t be to most of us) but it’s framed in a frank manner and it’s quite interesting to see the view from all sides of the bridge. (Plus you get to see back-stage at places like Amazon, the Frankfurt Bookfair, a literary agent, Richard and Judy’s infamous book club etc.)

Worth a gander…

Thursday, 12 February 2009


I'm new here. I commented on one of Faye's posts on her blog this morning and next thing I knew David Isaak was inviting me to post here. My first book, a crime novel called Acts of Violence which is set in 1964 New York, is scheduled to be published by Macmillan New Writing in November. Something might change with the date, I suppose, but that's the plan for now, I think.

It's pretty exciting.

I'm supposed to be editing the manuscript right this second, in fact, which is why I'm posting this. If I didn't have a bunch to do, I probably would have found ways to put this post off for another couple days. By playing online Scrabble, say. But since I've got a bunch of stuff to be doing, I had no problem finding time for a blog post.

About myself:

I live in Los Angeles and have for the last eight years. I like it, but it's expensive.

I kept a book journal for the first time last year and was pretty disappointed in the number of books I read (24), so I'm really going to try to beat that number this year. I'm up to five so far.

I have a wife and two cats. The cats came with the wife, but somewhere along the line the litter box became my responsibility. It's worth it.

I've been writing since I was twelve. My first story was a blatant ripoff of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

I do not like sweets.

I do like anything with garlic in it, except for garlic-flavored ice cream, probably because it's sweet.

In the future I will try to have a subject other than me. Just thought I'd pop in to introduce myself. Howdy!

Monday, 9 February 2009

A Harsh Critic

I'm sorry to report that Doug's 'Thin Blue Smoke' has been roughly treated at the hands of one of the harshest critics I know. Look:

I'm so sorry about my Munchie's cutting way with a pen, Doug. If it makes you feel better, I'm enjoying the book very much and I think it was an act of jealousy on her part because I was spending more time reading it than playing with her.

And it was very satisfying to be able to put at least one critic on the naughty step.

The impressionable young author speaks!

I just posted an article dealing in part with my experiences with MNW to my blog, so I thought it may be of interest to the rest of you.

Friday, 6 February 2009

What was that sound!?

No. Never mind. I thought for a moment I heard the echo of a rose petal.