Sunday, 1 January 2012

Ring out the old, ring in the new

2011 was an exciting and busy year for me. By far the biggest event was the publication of
Pariah, my debut novel. It appeared in March in the UK, and in August in Germany (under the
title Ausgestossen). So far, the novel has received glowing reviews, and I've had wonderful
feedback from readers.

The year also saw developments in my relationship with my publisher, Pan Macmillan. I
negotiated another contract with them, for a further two books, and I had a change of
editor, which can be a disconcerting event for any author. However, my new editor, Wayne
Brookes, has a fantastic reputation, and when I met up with him for lunch I found him to be
hugely enthusiastic, committed and full of energy. If he can't do great things for me then
I'm not sure who can.

Other things that happened in 2011 included doing radio interviews, blog interviews,
magazine profiles, and other forms of publicity. In July I attended the Harrogate Crime
Writing Festival, where I met many wonderful people, some of whom have become firm friends.
And, of course, throughout the year I have been working furiously on books two and three.

Which brings me to 2012...

Pariah has so far appeared only as a trade paperback. This is a large format edition,
similar in size to hardback, but with a soft cover. As paperbacks go, it is relatively
expensive, which can limit sales (although I am given to understand that sales of Pariah
have been respectable).

On February 16, 2012, Pariah will be published as a mass market paperback. This is of a more
conventional paperback size, and at a price more acceptable to consumers, especially when it
involves an unknown author such as myself. Whereas the trade paperback was used to generate interest and garner media quotes, etc, the hope now is that it is the mass market paperback for which the volume sales will be seen. In a sense, I think this will be the real test of whether people want to read my work, and so I am sure you can appreciate that I am growing increasingly nervous as D-day approaches.

The sequel to Pariah is called The Helper. Publication date for this is March 1, 2012.
Again, this will appear initially in trade paperback form, but it will have some advantages
that I didn't have this time last year. For one thing, my name as an author will be known a
little better, mainly because of Pariah, but also because I have put a lot of effort into
networking. Moreover, the publication date is a mere two weeks after that of Pariah, and so
the two books should appear side by side on retailers' shelves. This increased exposure
should help to assure readers that they are buying into an author who has a future (I
hope!). I am very proud of The Helper, and I hope that readers will enjoy it.

Book three (title still under wraps) is currently being written. At the moment, I can reveal
only that it continues the series with Callum Doyle, and that it picks up some of the
threads that were created in Pariah. It's a slightly different, more character-focused
novel, but still with lots of action and plot twists. My deadline for delivery of the
manuscript is March 1 - the same day that The Helper is published, and the day my daughter
finds out whether she has got her choice of secondary school! I have an anxious couple of
months ahead!

There are lots of other things lined up for 2012. A book-signing event with two other
authors (both more well-known than little old me) is planned for the end of February
(details to follow); I am taking an active part in Crimefest in Bristol in May, which should
be loads of fun; and then there is Harrogate again in July. Other things will no doubt

And did I mention that I also have a life outside of writing? I need to squeeze that in
somewhere, too.

I hope that your own year ahead is just as full and exciting. A very Happy New Year to you!

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