Friday, 17 February 2012

Rubbing shoulders with Harlan Coben

When the trade paperback of Pariah was published in March 2011, I was prepared. I had done my research. I'd read all the stories of debut authors who expected on publication day to find copies of their books in every window and on every display table of all the bookshops in the land, only to be crushingly disappointed. Most newly published authors, especially when their book is printed in hardback or trade paperback, will be lucky to find one or two copies in a shop, tucked away on a back shelf somewhere. And so the fact that my book's bright yellow cover wasn't blinding me with its omnipresence in the shops I visited wasn't the anti-climax it could have been.

Yesterday was the day of publication for the mass market paperback edition of Pariah. And, to be honest, I had once again mentally prepared myself for a similar rush of indifference. I pictured myself waiting nervously for opportunities to ask the sales staff if they happened to have any copies in their stock room somewhere, a bit like that J R Hartley bloke in the advertisement.

Well, I was wrong! Deliriously wrong. It was everywhere. Almost every shop I visited was stacked to the rafters with it. (Well, not quite, but in comparison with the featureless landscape of last year, this vista was positively mountainous). Here are a couple of shots just to show you the kind of sights that kept greeting me yesterday:

There's one other photo I need to share with you. You may know that the new paperback cover carries a superb quote from the Guardian:
"Recalls Harlan Coben... though for my money Jackson is the better writer."

Well, I couldn't resist taking the following shot (Mr Coben, if you're reading, do forgive me):

So, all in all, yesterday was a brilliant day. The kind of day all aspiring authors long for. Curiously, though, it's a phenomenon that you don't want to last forever. You want those books to disappear from the shelves as fast as they went on. But only to make room for your next one!


  1. I'de like to thank Dr Jackson for signing both Pariah and The Helper for me and taking the time to have a chat.

    I've started The Helper and the openning chapter is a shocker!!


  2. Thanks, James. Glad to be of service.