Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Lithuanian Axe

I have to say, I love the cover my Lithuanian publisher has produced for their edition of A Gentle Axe - evidently Svelnusis Kirvis in Lithuanian.

It's just been published, I'm told.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Back from Italy

Just got back from our holiday in Italy - a week in Umbria followed by three days in Rome.

While we were in Umbria, we met up with Mike Jacob and Daniela de Gregorio, the husband and wife team who together write as Michael Gregorio. I'm now reading their latest release, A VISIBLE DARKNESS, a copy of which they very kindly gave to me. It's the third outing for their Prussian detective of the Napoleonic era, Hanno Stiffeniis. So far, it's a brilliant read. The authority with which they summon up the period is breathtaking (especially the descriptions of the excrement-flooded streets), added to which it's a riveting murder story with some gloriously gruesome details. Mike and Daniela put the finishing touches to the fourth book in the series while we were out there. I had the privilege of seeing, and touching, the raw manuscript on their desk.

We got to know Mike and Daniela last year when they invited me to the Trevi Noir Festival which they organised. They are lovely, warm people - with incredibly dark and twisted imaginations.

Mike and Daniela very kindly organised an event for me in Perugia. Amazingly a fair few people turned up! Given the heat, this really was a miracle.

My daughter Claire took the pictures:

The poster advertising the event.

Mike Jacob, RNM and Daniela de Gregorio.

We're joined at the table by the Perugian bookseller Alberto Mori, who sponsored the event.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Plantagenet Queen twitters

I just noticed this article in the Guardian about Philippa Gregory's venture onto twitter. The Guardian describes it as "the latest in a series of recent literary experiments on the micro-blogging service which have run the gamut from the comic to the literary".

I was pleased to see I get listed as one of those recent literary experiments, though they don't make clear which end of the gamut I'm at.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Proof preshure.

I've been reading the proofs for my next novel, 'A Razor Wrapped in Solk'. Sorry, that should be 'Silk'. But believe it or not, that was actually how the title was set on the title page. I hasten to say that that particular typo had already been picked up by someone at Faber, but it just goes to show how things can go awry.

The thought of proof-reading terrifies me in advance, though I'm always grateful to have had the chance to read through the pages one last time before they go to print. At least I've spotted a few clangers. Inevitably, I'll have missed many more.

The temptation is to start rewriting the whole thing. That's not allowed, thankfully - otherwise I think I would go mad. There were a couple of sentences that I did rework slightly, and a couple of word choices that I modified. Mainly that was due to correcting egregious grammatical or sense atrocities, so I hope I will be indulged by Faber.

Anyhow, I think I'm pretty much done. Which means it will be going to print before too long.