Friday, July 20, 2007

Polish ad for my book

You saw it here first. Probably. Unless you've already seen it somewhere else.

And there's another one here.

Thanks to Wydawnictwo Literackie, my Polish publishers, for making the effort.

Oh, it's raining with biblical force. There will be more floodings. We live in a valley. Shit.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My name is Roger and I'm addicted to...

... googling myself. To be fair, it's not so much myself as my book titles that I go a-googling.

Why do I do it? Because I'm a vain, self-obsessed ego-monster desperate not to miss out on his fifteen minutes of cyber-fame, of course. I can justify it to myself - just about - on the grounds that I'm doing it for professional reasons. You know, checking up on the internet buzz. It's a gauge of something, surely, if A GENTLE AXE has been acquired by the Penang Club Library. Not sure quite what, though.

Also, I'm interested to know which reviews present themselves in what order at any given time to anyone who goes looking for me. I like it when the good ones come first. Perhaps I can even manipulate this by clicking on the good ones obsessively, and totally ignoring the - uh, how can I put it? - less enthusiastic ones, hoping thereby to consign them to the very outer circles of cyber-hell.

I get forwarded review links and quotes from my publicity people (sounds a bit grand that, doesn't it?) and I'm more than happy to share them with all you good folk. But I have to accept that Maggie (Penguin) and Anna (Faber) are simply not as obsessed with me (or my book) as I am. And frankly, they never will be. If I don't google me, no one will.

So I go hunting just to see if someone somewhere has mentioned my book. Of course, sometimes, I find stuff that I wish I hadn't. Like the South African journalist who accused me of all manner of crimes.

But sometimes, you stumble across something that is so unexpected, and pleasing, that it makes the long hours of joyless trawling seem worthwhile. One such discovery was this mention in the Journal of the Police Association of South Australia. Somehow the idea of all these Ozzie coppers rushing out to buy a copy of my book just tickles me pink. Bonza, as they say.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How many writers does it take to fill a bookshop?

I'll be taking part in a 'Bodies in the Bookshop' event in Heffers, Cambridge, next Tuesday, 17th of July, if anyone is in those parts and interested.

Won't just be me. In fact, here are the writers scheduled to appear:

Stephen Booth, Gianrico Carofiglio, C. J. Carver, Mary Andrea Clarke, Barbara Cleverly, Vena Cork, Paul Doherty, Ruth Downie, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Jane Finnis, Elena Forbes, Christopher Fowler, Ariana Franklin, Seth Garner, Paul D. Gilbert, Jason Goodwin, Dolores Gordon-Smith, June Hampson, Suzette Hill, Lis Howell, Claude Izner, Alison Joseph, Lee Jackson, Jim Kelly, Patrick Lennon, Adrian Magson, Nigel McCrery, Jenni Mills, R. N. Morris, Martin O’Brien, Andrew Pepper, Christine Poulson, Ann Purser, Caro Ramsey, Linda Regan, Mike Ripley, David Roberts, Alex Scarrow, Simon Scarrow, Zoe Sharp, Veronica Stallwood, Rebecca Stott, Frank Tallis, Lesley Thompson, Rebecca Tope, Jill Paton Walsh and Laura Wilson … so far.

Be nice to see a few crime readers among all those crime writers.

Susan Hill on sequels and follow-ups

Susan Hill has written a piece about presumptuous, jumped-up writers like me who take on the characters of a great author and produce their own tribute books. Actually, and refreshingly, she's all in favour of the practice. But having written a sequel to REBECCA called MRS. DE WINTER, it's perhaps not surprising.

Read the whole thing here. There's also an article on the Penguin blog about the forthcoming Sebastian Faulks' James Bond novel, DEVIL MAY CARE.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

WSJ? Whassa' then?

My US editor emailed me with news of, in his words, a "fantastic review in the WSJ". Naturally, I was pleased. Any good review is gratifying. Though I did have to admit I had no idea what the WSJ is. I was rather embarrassed to learn that it's The Wall Street Journal. Somehow, I feel I ought to have been able to work that out.

I haven't seen the whole review and I can't find it online (think you have to be a subscriber). But here's the quote that Scott sent me:

"English writer R. N. Morris has produced perhaps the most audacious police-inspector novel of the season with "The Gentle Axe."....The tale hums along with controlled excitement, as if written by a Russian minimalist and rendered by a fine translator. The psychological and spiritual themes seem worthy of Dostoyevsky; there are traces of Gogol and Gorky, too. Such an accomplished book transcends pastiche."

In other news

Last week (I think it was last week - no maybe it was two weeks ago!) I went to see a screening of Strike, the 1924 silent movie by Eisenstein, at the Barbican. It was being shown with a new sound track by my friend Ed Hughes. It was a wonderful experience and Ed's music was fantastic. The dvd is going to be released by Tartan Video on July 16th. It will also contain Battleship Potemkin, also with a new soundtrack by Ed, and a propaganda film called October, which does not have Ed's music on it.

I've also made a short (very short!) film which uses Ed's music. It's the following trailer for my novel Taking Comfort.

taking comfort

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Ed contacted me this week to let me know that a project we worked on many years ago, a short one-act opera called The Devil's Drum, is going to get a new performance. It has been picked up by a young director called Poppy Burton-Morgan and she is putting on a production at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney, on Monday August 20th. I'm very excited about that, as there is nothing quite like the thrill of live performance.

Oh, yes, almost forgot... an old story of mine, called 'The Tender-hearted Man', has been published in Libbon, the short story magazine. My thanks to the editor David Soulsby, for picking it out.