Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Festival, jobs and books and stuff

It’s been a while since I blogged and – having nothing better to do than count the amount of snow outside and wait for the central heating to be fixed – I thought I should redress that with a four-month round-up. Or at least as best as I can remember.
In mid-August I did an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival along with Gillian Galbraith, author of the Alice Rice series. It was my debut in terms of standing up in front of people and making a fool of myself, well in a professional capacity at any rate. Public speaking isn’t really my kind of thing – frankly I’d rather have my nuts eaten by a squirrel – but I think I just about got away with it. I was mildly terrified and under-prepared, apart from a couple of pints of Guinness with my agent Stan, but I settled for just talking nonsense. Gillian and I weren’t exactly helped by our panel’s chairman opening up the discussion to questions from the audience with 35 minutes of the hour still to go! I had to revert to the (then) day job and start interviewing Gillian in order to keep the gig jogging along. Thankfully she was more than able for the task and we managed to pull it off.
Also in August, the big news was that I signed a new two-book deal with the fantastic folks at Simon & Schuster. Book three is contracted to be delivered to S&S by the end of June 2011 and published a year later. The book four dates are a year further on. Actually, saying that book three is due at the end of June reminds me that I haven’t actually started writing it yet…
The timing of the new book deal was near perfect as just a few days after signing the contract, the chance came to take redundancy from the day job. I’d been in journalism for 21 years and the chance to write novels full-time was just too good to turn down. I took the money and ran before they could change their mind. Am I missing journalism? Nope.
The second draft of book two was duly delivered in November – with the addition of an extra 27,000 words amidst the rewrite – and final notes for a tidy-up are to be sent by my wonderful editor Maxine this week. This revision business is all new to me and I’m enjoying the process – or at least I am until I see Max’s latest set of notes…
This week should also see a title settled on for book two. We are down to a shortlist of five as far as I’m aware. I’m still backing my own choice so it’s time for some bargaining.
Next up is the paperback release of RANDOM in February, the same month that the German version hits the buccheregale.
That’s all folks. Nick Clegg is on the telly and I have to go and shout at it and him. Bye for now.

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