Monday, June 29, 2009

Bookhuggers unite!

There's a new website called bookhuggers, which I think is well worth a look. Okay, I'll declare an interest. I'm on it. I've taken part in a 'virtual panel' about crime writing - exploring both the factual and fictional varieties. The other panellists are Armand Cabasson, a psychiatrist and novelist working in the North of France, and Jay Dobyns, an ATF undercover agent (!!!) who infiltrated the Hells Angels after faking a murder (even more exclamation marks!!!!!!!).

Check it out here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The guilty one

This was the line-up in the Waterstones Islington shop window. That's me on the right. The guilty one. I was caught red-handed inside the shop taking the photo below - a picture of my book, A Vengeful Longing, on display, complete with a bookseller's recommendation. "Excuse me, we don't allow photographs of the displays!" came the cry from the sales assistant. "But it's my book!" I pleaded. She softened. Smiled. "Oh that's different," she said.

I pointed to myself in the line-up poster as proof. "See, that's me."

"We'll do our best for you," she promised.

Here's the offending shot, which I was not made to delete:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Waterstone's Fresh Blood

Waterstone's are doing a major promotion for crime fiction this summer, and I was lucky enough to be included in it. You can see me as large as life in Waterstone's windows at the moment, in a window poster. It's reproduced on the Waterstone's website here, and above. That's me at the end on the right.

Leaving aside my own deep misgivings about posing as the Kevin Spacey character from The Usual Suspects (not my idea, honest!), still this is great news!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A tale of two covers

Interesting. The French edition of A Gentle Axe, which goes by the title L'Ame Detournee, seems to be available in two different covers:

Presumably one's aimed at male and the other at female readers.

I wonder if even more alternative cover designs will start to appear as the publication date (1.9.09) approaches?

Watch the book

Watch The Book is a blog that features book trailers. They've very kindly posted my trailer for A Vengeful Longing. Go see!

Stupid Whoosit

If you've ever played the Chad Valley game Whoosit, you'll know it's very good training for developing the skills of young detectives. Each player conceals the identity of a mystery person from the other player, who has to use deductive reasoning to eliminate characters from their playing board. You must have played it. the players take it in turns to ask questions, usually based on the physical attributes of the characters, such as hair colour, sex, or whether or not the person wears glasses or earrings.

We were playing it in the garden on Sunday, but it fairly quickly deteriorated into a variant of the game invented by my wife, called Stupid Whoosit. In this version, the questions you ask are almost impossible to answer with any certainty, and when you have the answer you are generally none the wiser as to who you should eliminate. A couple of examples that were asked in our games: "Does this person own a boxed set of the second series of Star Trek?" (asked by my son Luke); "Is this person an aspiring playboy model?" (asked by daughter Claire); "Has this person ever had an affair but been forgiven by their partner or spouse?" (asked by wife Rachel). Surprisingly, a couple of times the correct character was actually identified, as after a while you do feel like you get to know the people on the boards and you are able to make some calls about what their tastes and personal histories are.

It's a good game. I recommend it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Overheard in Somerfield

He was wearing camouflage shorts and a pastel vest. What was strange was how calm, how natural, how easy within himself he was. He was not at all abashed, or agitated. He spoke clearly so that there could be no misunderstanding. He didn't seem to mind that everyone in Somerfield could hear his half of the mobile phone call: “Just push her out then lock the door. Right? If she comes back don’t let her back in. Try not to let the police in if they turn up. Just turn out the lights and don’t let on there’s anyone in. But don’t resist arrest... if they do get in, don’t resist arrest. No, listen. I know you. That’ll only make it worse. If they arrest you, don’t cause any trouble. I know you. I’m serious. It’ll be worse if it gets to court. You could end up in jail. No seriously, don’t resist arrest. That’s big trouble that, mate. Don’t cause trouble. All right?”

He bought a Ginsters meat pasty. No petrol. Just that. "Do you want a bag?" asked the woman serving. "No, I'm going to eat it now," he replied.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The New Covey Trailer Awards

I've entered the trailer into an on-going awards scheme called the New Covey Trailer Awards. It's in the 'author-produced' category, which will be judged by a panel of experts.

However, it's also in open competition for the 'most intriguing trailer', which anyone can vote in. There's a poll here. The voting panel is on the left. My trailer, A Vengeful Longing, is listed at the bottom, #20, so you have to scroll down a little to find it. Should you wish to vote for it, that is. Oh go on, you know you want to!

The trailer is also appearing on

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Spot the difference...

This is a new version of the trailer for A Vengeful Longing. I wonder if you can tell how it differs from the last version I posted?!

A free copy of the book to the first person who gets it right.