January 4th, 2013 by Webmaster.
First and foremost, Happy New Year! With all the Armageddon predictions for the end of 2012, I’m considering myself lucky to be here in January 2013.
I have, as always, a few shiny new resolutions which I shall try my best to keep. One of them is to update this blog more regularly, so I regard this as a good start. And I’m going to include more ‘big’ books in my reading – I’ve already lined up Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Richard Ford’s Canada and Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall (I’m late to the party on this one, I know).
And I have a number of things I’d like to tick off my ‘To do’ list this year. One of the biggest challenges I’m hoping to tackle is climbing Mount Olympus, which is a strenuous but do-able hike up to a certain level (beyond that, it’s frankly terrifying – have a look at this http://tinyurl.com/a9l323j ). I’ll have to do some work on my fitness level, but it seems an appropriate act – a homage to Hermes – to mark the completion of the final book in the Seven Deadly Sins series, The Feast of Artemis, which I finished just in time for Christmas.
Which brings me quite neatly to the Next Big Thing, a rapidly expanding authorial blog-hop where writers answer ten questions about their next book. At the end of the post you invite another set of writers to join in, they answer the same ten questions on their blogs, and so it goes on.
I was invited to join by my good friend Chris Ewan ( www.chrisewan.com ), author of the highly humourous Good Thief’s Guides, and more recently of the thriller Safe House.
So without further ado, onto the questions:
What’s the title of your next book?
It’s The Feast of Artemis, to be published on 20th June this year.
Have a look here: http://tinyurl.com/agz7c5f
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the final book in my Seven Deadly Sins series, and it’s based on the remaining sin, Gluttony. Obviously the crime had to be food-based, which was wonderful – I’ve pulled out all the foodie stops for this one.
What genre does your book fall under?
The short answer is that you’ll find me shelved under crime, but I like to think I’m in a genre all by myself – crime with a mythological, slightly magical twist. There’s a bit of travelogue in there too. And did I mention the food?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
A tricky one, this. I often get asked who should play my investigator, Hermes Diaktoros. Because of his rather unusual origins, I’d like to see the part go to someone unknown, who’d disappear back into obscurity when filming was over, in the manner of Hermes himself. But the best suggestion I’ve had for him so far is not an actor, but a chef – Matt Preston of Australian Masterchef. He’s definitely got both the look and the requisite gourmet instincts.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A family feud as bitter as an uncured olive, a deadly poison and the death of a patriarch – Hermes investigates amongst Greece’s beautiful olive-groves.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The Feast of Artemis will be published in the UK by Bloomsbury.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
First draft? I don’t really remember. The draft that’s been approved for copy-editing was number five, and it’s taken me almost exactly a year thus far.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’m pleased to say I’ve often been compared to Agatha Christie, though she, of course, never dipped into mythology. Donna Leon? Andrea Camilleri? Alexander McCall Smith, maybe, though my books are considerably darker than his.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been living and working with Hermes for the best part of a decade now. He came from my interest in the Greek myths, and the book settings came from the time I lived in Greece. You can find the full story on this website.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s always my aim to tell a good story, and I hope my stories are a little out of the ordinary, a little unexpected. Within the books, my personal favourite item is Hermes’s bag. He has everything he needs in there, and a fair few surprises too…
That’s it for me. I’m passing the Next Big Thing baton to the following writers:
Firstly, the charming and erudite Jeffrey Siger, NYC lawyer turned mystery author whose excellent novels are, like mine, based in the Greek islands. Take a look at his work at http://www.jeffreysiger.com/
Secondly, debut crime author Christina James, who is like me a native of Lincolnshire. Christina is the creator of fen-land detective DI Yates. Find out more here http://christinajamesblog.com/
By the way, if anyone’s ever made it up Mount Olympus, I’d love to hear how it was – do contact me via the guestbook on this site, Facebook or Twitter.
Looks pretty straightforward…
May 28th, 2012 by Webmaster.
Crimefest in Bristol over the weekend was as hectic and enjoyable as always, with a line-up of crime-writing talent rarely seen within one venue – Lee Child, PD James, Sue Grafton, Frederick Forsyth and Jeffrey Deaver alongside a host of other international names. I love Crimefest because it’s relaxed and informal – you’ll bump into writers in the bar or over breakfast, and most will be only too happy to chat to you for the price of a coffee or something a little stronger.
I chaired a panel this year on Moral Dilemmas, which got my fellow panellists Laura Wilson, Yrsa Sigurdardottir (excuse me whilst I check the spelling…), Meg Gardiner and Cath Staincliffe into discussions on copy-cat crime, capital punishment and censorship. And I guested on a panel chaired by Michael Sears on Idiosyncratic Protagonists – a perfect fit for Hermes – along with Mike (Alex) Walters, Martin Walker and the always-funny Declan Burke, who won this year’s Last Laugh award for his comic novel Absolute Zero Cool.
If you’ve never been to Crimefest, do think about it for next year. Bristol’s a cool city, and the company is great.
May 28th, 2012 by Webmaster.
This past week, I had a lovely surprise: I won an award. Specifically, I won the East Midlands Book Award.
I’ve been nominated for awards before but haven’t won, and I didn’t expect to win this one either – there was a strong short-list, and it’s impossible to predict the judges’ taste (because books are, after all, all about personal taste). But I was very pleased to have been shortlisted, firstly because this award promotes regional writing in a region which, frankly, gets very little promotion, and secondly because it’s always a good feeling to know there are people out there who like my work that much.
The presentation event was at beautiful Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, which is about two miles from my house (if I lean over my back wall, I can see Haddon Hall down in the valley), so I didn’t have far to travel; and it was a rarity of a perfect early summer evening, so it was a great pleasure to wander round Haddon’s glorious gardens with a glass of wine, and look over their back wall (which is rather more substantial than mine) and see my house up the hill. We had a little drama with the fire alarms, and an unscheduled visit by a cheerful crew from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue; and when the firemen were sure there was no fire, only condensation in the alarm systems as the old house ‘sweated’ in unaccustomed heat, we took our seats in a panelled room hung with Medieval tapestries, and heard the judges’ decision.
When eminent composer Gavin Bryars announced my name, I remained ladylike and decorous and didn’t whoop or cheer. I did beam from ear to ear, and actually was somewhat tearful. The Whispers of Nemesis was the hardest book I’ve written – I wrote it at a difficult time in my life, and with its intricate plot, it wasn’t easy to get right. Apparently, it came right in the end.
So thanks to everyone at Writing East Midlands, and to the judges, and the trustees.
Now, back to work…
March 16th, 2012 by Webmaster.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’re probably aware that my son has recently begun his national service in the Greek army. When I first moved to the Greek islands – over twenty years ago, now – there was no thought in my mind of the effect that my decision to marry a Greek would have on any offspring of our union. But as Robert Louis Stevenson said, Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences, and my son is sitting down to that feast now.
Happily, he seems to be having the time of his life. At basic training, he coped admirably with the discipline (up at 5am and shaving daily) and deprivation (cold barracks and cold showers), raised his hand in a rash moment to volunteer for Special Forces and is now deployed in a location he’s not allowed to name, the fittest he’s ever been and looking forward to winning a green beret within the next few weeks.
Since it had been a while since I’d seen him, before he was shipped to his new location, I decided to pay him a visit. He was based in Nafplio, a port in the Peloponnese with a reputation for being one of Greece’s prettiest towns. My intention was to fly to Athens, then take the bus to Nafplio, but even the most casual glance at news reports suggested strikes would make public transport difficult. So I booked a rental car.
Immediately my son voiced his concerns. Having himself been driven by a distant relative from Piraeus to Nafplio, he gave dire warnings regarding motorway traffic and the unpredictability of Greek drivers. The journey by road is downright dangerous, he said. For heaven’s sake, Mother, come on the bus.
Of course his concern unsettled me. Whilst I’m a confident driver – in my time, I’ve driven thousands of miles on foreign roads – his appeal sent me straight to Google, searching for tips on coping with the madness of Greek mainland driving. What I found there seemed, in large part, to confirm what he said. But with another general strike looming on the day I was to fly into Athens, I had little choice. A rental car looked like the only possible means of transport.
At Athens’s fabulous new airport, a pleasant young man with a clipboard welcomed me to Greece, and carried my bag (yes, he carried my bag: UK car-rental companies, take note) to the company’s office. The formalities dealt with, I took my seat behind the wheel of my little Opel and plugged in my satnav. Above me on a flyover, traffic hurtled by on the E94 motorway. Yet heading up the slip-road, I was surprised: the traffic seemed so light. Even so, I kept my speed low, and for a while cowered in the inside lane. As I drew closer to Athens, traffic grew heavy. Lane changes were a free-for-all; tail-gating was commonplace. But there was nothing I wasn’t used to: the E94 seemed a carbon-copy of the M25.
So without too much difficulty – without incident, at least – I coped, until I left behind the density of Athens traffic, and approached my first toll. I wasn’t sure I’d have to pay: newspapers had been reporting a Won’t Pay campaign, a popular Greek movement aimed at keeping money out of the German toll-operators’ cash-registers. But there was no sign of protesters or placards, just a very polite lady in the booth, who wished me good morning, and smiled as she gave me my change.
From then on, it was the open road. Ocassionally, I was bemused by other drivers: the first time a motorbike roared by on my inside, on the hard-shoulder, I was startled. But compared to British motorways and to overcrowded British roads, driving was a breeze. I stopped at a service station, where self-service was unheard of and my tank was filled for me. Back on the road, I enjoyed scenery of blue sea and mountains, and crossed the Corinth canal before leaving the motorway and making my way by lesser roads.
I passed names which inspired – signposts to Mycenae and Epidavros – and understood why the ancients had made this land their home; it was rich, agricultural country where life would have been relatively easy. On a hilltop was a Byzantine fortress, a spectacular legacy of occupation; there was mile after mile of olive groves, laid out in orderly rows which suggested Venetian planters.
I was trusting my satnav rather than the road-signs and the flow of other traffic, and found myself before long off the beaten track, on narrow lanes leading through acres of orange-groves. The sun was warm, and with the window down, the smell of oranges was everywhere. Windfall fruit lay at the roadsides; every couple of miles, I passed stalls selling local produce – oranges, of course, alongside home-bottled olive oil and wine, pumpkins and squashes, and honey.
For a while I thought I was lost, and maybe I was. I passed through unnamed villages where from cafe tables, old men stared at me as if I were the first stranger to pass through for weeks. I searched in vain for road-sign confirmation I was heading in the right direction. But being off the beaten track had its advantages. I stopped to take photos when I wanted, and when I slowed down to admire the scenery, I was getting in no-one’s way.
Three hours after leaving Athens, I pulled up in a car-park on Nafplio’s sea-front; thirty minutes after that, I was eating lunch al fresco with my handsome soldier son, with a view of snow-capped mountains and Nafplio’s charming Bourtzi castle. The drive had been almost stress-free, on quiet roads which led through beautiful scenery.
Later that evening, I saw an Athens bus. I might have used public transport, after all. But I enjoyed the freedom my car gave me, and I enjoyed my journey. So if you’re thinking of driving in Greece this summer, I would say don’t hesitate. And as the Greeks would say, Kalo taxidi – have a pleasant trip.
January 10th, 2012 by Webmaster.
‘What do you read?’
It’s a perennial question asked of authors, and a tricky one to answer. A quick scan of my bookshelves shows a biography of Byron rubbing covers with a book on Britain’s myths, and Joseph Campbell within a few spines of Lee Child, Jung, George Pelecanos and MR James. So the easiest answer to give is that I read a lot of crime fiction. And when the next question follows – Which crime authors do you like? – the first name out of my mouth is Michael Connelly.
Many of Connelly’s readers are avid Harry Bosch fans, but I’m a Mickey Haller girl myself. My admiration for Haller wasn’t harmed in any way when Matthew McConaughey landed the role in big-screen version of The Lincoln Lawyer, but I was a huge fan of the book long before that. I read it on a beach in Greece, and I read it fast. It was slick, it was well-written. It was a page-turner, and an excellent read.
Over Christmas, I read Fifth Witness, another Mickey Haller courtroom drama. The pace was sharp, the plot intriguing and the twist at the end was masterful. I loved it. But I loved it in spite of the fact that I thought – could it be possible? – that I spotted a couple of plot-holes.
Now, I know something about plot-holes. I’ve created any number myself. They can be nothing more than an easily-ironed-out wrinkle – a feeling, like I had with Fifth Witness, that one or two small questions remained unanswered. Or they can be the black holes of fatal flaws, sending the author back to the novel’s beginning to re-think the book’s whole premise. Sometimes, I spot my own plot-holes. More often, they’re picked up by my first readers – my agent, or my editor – who then put the carefully phrased question: How could X be possible, given Y and Z?
With a book you love – or a film, or a TV programme – the flaws don’t matter. You’ve been entertained, and for that, you’ll forgive the writer a great deal. But when you’re not entertained – when the book you’re reading is dull, when you’re wondering why you’re giving your precious time to a small-screen drama which lacks – well, drama – the plot-holes become an irritant which will most likely lead to the book being tossed aside, or the channel being flipped.
I watched a new TV crime drama recently – no names, no pack-drill – which I really, really wanted to like. I wanted to like it so much, I stuck with the first episode to the bitter end, by which time I wasn’t watching the action. I was counting plot-holes – chasms which yawned so wide they were insults to the viewers’ intelligence. Lazy plotting, and lazy writing. I suspect there’ll be no second series.
But even some of our best-loved literature contains loose ends and gaffes. In his wonderfully entertaining books Is Heathcliff a Murderer? and Who Betrays Elizabeth Bennett? John Sutherland highlights outstanding questions and outright errors in the classics: the impossibility of elapsed time in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit; Sir Walter Scott’s reversed sunset in The Antiquary; Moll Flanders’s older younger brother. And he raises a question which has long bothered me: How did the Cratchits cook Scrooge’s Christmas turkey?
Of course the vast majority of authors recognise their duty of care – care in research, care in plotting, care in the detail – and to my mind, there are no excuses for a character’s eyes to change colour between chapters, or for the sun to sink slowly in the east. But none of us is immune – certainly not me – though I am lucky to have excellent editors and copyeditors who iron out most of my wrinkles before they reach the printed page.
I do have an outstanding wrinkle, though, and shall confess it now. In one of my books, a character looks out on a view that could never been seen. But I wonder how many of you have ever noticed?
December 17th, 2011 by Webmaster.
I’m both pleased (from a creative stand-point) and horrified (from a practical point of view) that I’ve been so wrapped up in edits on The Bull of Mithros manuscript that I seem to have lost an entire week from December. In other words, the proverbial penny only dropped yesterday that Christmas is next weekend, rather than the weekend after that. Happily the edits are now all done, and the manuscript can go to my editor and my agent for reading over the holidays, whilst I enter fully into the pre-Christmas madness and attempt to make up the missing week.
I’m spending Christmas with my sister’s family in Kent. One of the highspots, as usual, will be a pantomime, and this year’s production promises to be rather special – Snow White & the Seven Dwarves at Dartford, starring Ann Widdecombe (yes, in panto) and Craig Revel Horwood, in drag.
I’m looking forward to a few days away from the keyboard, and intend to start on my winter reading list, which is stacked up in my study. I’m already well into Michael Connelly’s Fifth Witness, which I’m planning to follow with Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War. Then I’ve books by – in no particular order – Rex Stout, James Ellroy and Ngaio Marsh. I’ve got Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and California Fire & Life by Don Winslow. And when I’m done with those, I’ve half a dozen more, so when we’re snowed in out here in the Derbyshire Peaks – which seems inevitable, given that it’s snowed (albeit half-heartedly) almost every day in December so far – at least I’ll have plenty to prevent cabin fever.
I’ve already had a couple of early Christmas presents in the form of lovely reviews. I posted the Eurocrime review of The Whispers of Nemesis a few days ago; now I have one from the States, for The Messenger of Athens by the charming Peter Rozovsky, who wrote as follows:
‘…it’s back abroad and to the alphabet theme for perhaps the year’s most delightful crime fiction surprise, Anne Zouroudi. I might not have read Zouroudi’s Messenger of Athens had she not been on one of my panels at Bouchercon 2011, but boy, am I glad I did. Zouroudi is a master of slow, languid pace, of lives stoically lived, and of wrongs righted without sentimentality. What a sense of phsyical and human place.’
You can read Peter’s excellent crime fiction blog at http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com - I recommend his ‘Best Crime Fiction of 2011′ blog for some really interesting recommendations (including my own book, of course!).
For me, it’s off to the kitchen to catch up on the festive baking. May I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous 2012.
November 28th, 2011 by Webmaster.
During September, I was lucky enough to pay a visit to the renowned Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona – one of America’s biggest and best-known mystery bookstores, run by the highly knowledgeable and charming Barbara Peters, and a necessary stop for any crime writer visiting the States. After meeting crime fans and signing copies of The Taint of Midas – which was published over the summer in the US – we adjourned to a fabulous Tex-Mex restaurant for superb margaritas and the biggest plate of nachos I’ve ever seen.
During dinner, I very much enjoyed chatting to Steve Schwartz, who’s led a more interesting life than many and is married to Angela, a lady of Greek stock who has since sent me some of her old family recipes, most of which were new to me. Here’s Steve’s very kind review of The Taint of Midas. You’ll find this and numerous other crime fiction reviews on the Poisoned Pen’s website at www.poisonedpen.com .
ANNE ZOUROUDI ‘THE TAINT OF MIDAS’
A SHADOW REVURB
Anne Zouroudi’s new book, the second of a series, has the same charm, insight, and skillful story-telling she exhibited in her first novel, “The Messenger of Athens”. Her novels take place in Greece where she has spent considerable time. Her understanding of the Greek character and her ability to put the physical presence of the country on the page is profound.
Having been married to a Greek for many years, during which time we have had to navigate our way through familial, legal, and property issues, I can say that when you read Anne’s novels you can literally taste, smell, and feel the true Greece.
Her central character, Hermes Diaktoros, is a man, a cypher, and just maybe, as his name implies, a messenger of the Gods. He comes to the island of Arcadia where he finds an old friend the victim of an apparent hit and run. Initially a suspect, as he was the first to come upon Gabrilis Kaloyeros body, he goes on, in his own way, to aid the police and solve the mysterious death of his friend. As the eternal verities of the past intrude upon the greed of the present Hermes roots out the truth and points the way to redemption. Of course being mere mortals, some listen and heed his advice and some do not.
The pacing of the novel mirrors the pace of life on the islands. The inbred nature of countless generations of people tend to breed old hatred’s and jealousies that remain white-hot year after year. As tourists one see’s little of this Byzantine intrigue. Hermes see’s it all too clearly and knows how to deal with it in a very Aristotelean manner. He resolves the conflicts as only one sent down from Mt. Olympus would.
Both of Anne Zouroudi’s novels(more in the series remain to be published here) are well-crafted and beautifully realized. The feel for Greece, it’s people, it’s fables and superstitions, are the finest I have read since Lawrence Durrell. For something different and special in the mystery field try these delightful books. Anne will be at the Poisened Pen on September 20th. Come and say “kali spera sas” or “good evening”.
STEVE SHADOW SCHWARTZ
November 6th, 2011 by Webmaster.
When I was asked by Sheffield Libraries to talk to their VIP (Visually Impaired) Reading Group as part of the annual Off the Shelf Literary Festival, I confess to being slightly apprehensive. The librarian asked if my books have any connection with visual impairment, and I was able to tell her yes, they do – there is a blind man, Denes, in my last published book, The Whispers of Nemesis. Great, said the librarian. The group would either read large-print editions of the book, or listen to it on CD, and they looked forward to seeing me in November.
Why should I be apprehensive talking to this group? Simply because loss of sight and blindness is an emotive issue for me. In her final illness and rapidly losing the battle against cancer, my mother developed a tumour which pressed on her optical nerve and badly affected her sight. In the hospital, during the consultant’s twice-weekly rounds, when he would ask her how she was, she was less concerned about dying than she was about the encroaching blindness. It’s my eyes that are bothering me, Doctor, she said – and he, to his credit, sent her ocular specialists and had new glasses made, but they made no difference. My mother died unable to see, and I wrote Denes into ‘Whispers’.
Poignantly, my mother was following in her own mother’s footsteps. My grandmother – of a generation that didn’t like to trouble the doctor – went blind from glaucoma, simply because she told no-one she was struggling to see.
A day or two before I met the VIP group, I was walking the dog, thinking how I would structure my talk, when I was struck by the thought that, actually, I don’t have one blind character in my books, but two. How could I have forgotten that, in The Doctor of Thessaly, a doctor is blinded by having chemicals thrown in his face? Five books, and two blind characters? Here’s proof of the fact that, in my case at least, a writer’s issues are never far from the surface in what they write.
I had the idea for the blind doctor from an episode of Crimewatch – a monthly BBC programme which presents real-life crimes to the viewing public and asks them to phone in to ID the perpetrators. The programme’s aims are noble and they do have some success, but they pull no punches, and some of the images shown of victim’s injuries are very sobering. A victim whose image I still remember vividly was a Sikh gentleman, from Leeds I think, who – for no reason anyone had identified – had battery acid thrown in his face. His eyes were opaque white.
So far, so downbeat. But at the VIP Reading Group last week, the mood was cheerful. I said my piece on visual impairment, and confessed to not liking the idea of it very much, and the group nodded sympathetically, and we moved on. Our discussion covered a range of topics – the books, of course, and Greece’s political situation – and then we talked about books on CD. All the group said how important the right voice is when you’re being read to, and how the wrong voice can turn you off what might be a great book. (I’m pleased and honoured to have Sean Barrett – who did the voice-overs for the ground-breaking series The World at War – as my reader, and the group universally approved of his caramel-smooth tones.)
Both the group and the librarian asked if my books are available through the RNIB’s Talking Books, and they’re not – but I shall be taking steps now to get involved in that brilliant initiative, and to encourage all the writers that I know to do the same.
As I was signing books, the group’s feistiest member, Betsy, approached me with a leaflet. I expect I’ve walked past your house, she said. We regularly walk in the Peak District. The leaflet gave details of a voluntary organisation who organise rambles for the partially sighted – another brilliant idea. If I could no longer walk my much-loved moors, it would break my heart – but it might somewhat mitigate the loss of the views if I could still get out there with someone to guide me, and smell the bracken and heather, and feel the sting of rain…
Time for me to get involved, maybe… Anyone else?
August 13th, 2011 by Webmaster.
It’s been a different summer for me, this year. For the first time in twenty years I’ve spent August in the UK instead of in the beautiful Greek islands. The upshot? No tan, obviously – this morning there’s a grey drizzle falling, which doesn’t look like moving on any time soon. And I’m discovering that hundreds, thousands of people head for my part of the world at this time of year – the Peak District is choked with traffic, and the lonely moors and meadows aren’t lonely any more…
I’ve visited Greece twice already this year – I had a ‘spring break’ in lovely Corfu, and a few days in Athens and Thessaloniki promoting The Taint of Midas. But it’s unlikely I’ll go again this year, because I have another trip planned. I’m heading for the USA!
It’s been too long since I was there. You may have seen in my biography that I lived in the States for some time, in New York and Denver, but that was more years ago than I care to remember. So I’m really excited to be going back. My motivation is to discover what Bouchercon, the ‘big one’ amongst crime festivals, is all about.
Every time I meet up with fellow crime writers, they talk about Bouchercon. This year it’s in St Louis, a city I once visited very briefly. I’m looking forward to spending more time there in September. I’ll be flying into Chicago, and will have a day there to look around – I’m sure I’ll love it – before driving to St Louis. Three days there, then off with my good friend Chris Ewan to do signings at Murder by the Book in Houston TX and the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale AZ. The plan then is to visit the Grand Canyon before heading home.
So I’m missing Greece this year, of course I am. I miss the people, and the sea, and I especially miss the sun. But the trade-off – an American road-trip – will undoubtedly make the sacrifice worthwhile…
A note by the way on the website: it’s under redevelopment. Watch this space…
June 15th, 2011 by Webmaster.
It’s shaping up to be a busy summer for me. Publication of The Whispers of Nemesis draws near (4th July – an auspicious date, surely?) so we’re just going into the time of early reviews – a tense period as the verdict is awaited, but exciting too if the reviews are good: the blood, sweat and tears involved in writing the novel all get forgotten.
With the shiny new jackets now in print, I have promotions going on in Waterstone’s and some WH Smith stores- if you’re travelling through Gatwick or Stansted airports, look out for my animated posters featuring the new book (if anyone could send me a photo of one in situ, that would be great!)
Meantime, I’ve just returned from a trip to Athens and Thessaloniki to publicise The Taint of Midas‘s publication in Greece – the trip was both challenging and hugely enjoyable, and deserves a blog all of its own at a later date. Suffice to say for now what a huge compliment it is to be translated and published by Kedros, one of Greece’s top publishers; I share the shelves there with some of Greek literature’s most famous names, which is pretty darned amazing to me.
Next week (20th June) is the presentation of the first-ever East Midlands Book Award, for which The Lady of Sorrows is shortlisted. The award will be presented at the Lowdham Book Festival in Nottinghamshire – Lowdham’s a wonderful celebration of books and writing organised by bookseller extraordinaire Jane Streeter, this year’s president of the Booksellers’ Association – do have a look at the programme as Jane has, as usual, pulled in some great names from all walks of the literary world.
I shall be doing library events at Market Harborough, Barnsley and Stockton-on-Tees amongst others, and in July, I’m delighted to have been invited to join a panel at Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. I’m also hosting a table there at the Criminal Consequences dinner (last year’s dinner was a blast, apparently…), so do come and join us.
And last, but certainly not least, in September I’m heading Stateside, for the Bouchercon crime festival in St Louis – the grand-daddy of them all… More on that another time.