I did say last time that I’d blog more often.
I did, didn’t I?
Well, I had good intentions. Too bad. I’m here now. Let’s forget about it. Honestly. It’s okay, have a mince pie. No, not that one, the dog’s been at it. Yes, a bit of bleach and that should come right out.
Since my last post a LOT has happened. There was the amazing launch of Belfast Noir…
And my first public reading at that launch….
A quick word or two on reading in public – it’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. ‘Can you do a short reading?’ you’re asked. Of course I can. I’ve been reading since I was a wee boy – no problem – if I wrote it, surely I can READ it. It’s not like I’ve been asked to juggle chainsaws, fling knives at balloons or speak in moderately coherent sentences, no, this reading lark will be a doddle.
It’s bloody hard.
Yes, of course it’s possible to read something out. But looking up at the audience, making it sound good, giving the language its rhythm, not stumbling over words, all of that takes practice. Done well, it’s entertaining, it’s a performance. Done badly it’s the sound of the cold, dead soul of the very nice lady who tells you what you should do if the lovely plane that you’re in should decide to crash into mountain at four hundred miles an hour. You know the one – nobody listens to a bloody word. Airlines should employ crime writers to read out aircraft safety announcements.
‘…in the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, for those of you who have upgraded to the Ryanair ‘survival package,’ breathing devices shall be deployed from the panel above you. Those passengers who have not yet upgraded should look under their seats where they will find a set of Rosary beads and a bag with a hole in it. For those of you travelling with small childr…wait…what was that? Did you hear someth…GAAHHHH’
‘In approximately one hour we shall be serving our meal; a rather surprising delicacy – served with fava beans and a nice chianti. We hope that you will join us for dinner…’
Anyway, I managed to get through my reading okay. Next time, it’ll be better.
And in case you’re wondering – Belfast Noir is every bit as good as it sounds. Thirteen great stories, and mine. (warning, my story has sweary bits. Practically no sweary bits in The Defence, well, only very, very mild ones. You’ve been warned.)
And in case you missed it….
Here is the UK cover for The Defence
And the German cover with a cool new title – Not Enough Time to Die, which sounds a bit James Bondy, doesn’t it? I love it.
It’s not long now until The Defence is out in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Japan, and the other territories I don’t yet know about.
I also have to thank Alison and A, who helped me with this…
My first author video, which I’m rather proud of because Alison and A took the bad look off me and did an incredibly impressive and professional job.
In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, you can read some lovely things that lovely people have said about the book…
Liz Wilkins, had these cool things to say over on her blog, Lizlovesbooks.
Crime writer and reviewer Rebecca Bradley also loved The Defence and you can check out her thoughts by clicking here.
And some vine reviews are filtering though on Amazon…
And early reviews are here on Goodreads….
Speaking of Goodreads – the great people at Orion Books are giving away 10 copies of The Defence right here –
I know what you’re thinking – he hasn’t mentioned the award yet. The word AWARD is clearly in this blog title. Maybe he’s imagined it?
Well, for about a week I thought I had imagined it. But it’s true, despite my incredulity.
Last week I got word that I’d been chosen by the Northern Ireland Arts Council as one of their ACES Award winners for Literature 2015.
And before you say it – no, I don’t think they’ve realised that I’m a crime writer. Don’t mention it. I mentioned it a couple of times but I think it got away with it. As a crime (cough)…sorry litterarture writer, I shall be heavily involved with the Arts Council and the Seamus Heaney Centre in Queens University Belfast, creating new work, doing a bit of creative writing tutoring (I’ll have to get a tutor to teach me that) and promoting my work and that of my fellow ACES around Northern Ireland. Seriously though, joking aside, I’m really honoured to receive the award. And yes, Northern Ireland Arts Council did know that I was a thriller writer before they gave me the award – I was just having a little joke (I get a bit embarrassed by praise and I seem to have a need to make it humorous). I’m amazed, yet extremely grateful to receive their support and I can’t wait for the work to get started.
Having said that, if you hear tell of the eminent poet, heavyweight killer critic, and Northern Irish literary legend – Tom Paulin, boaking in a taxi, there’s every chance he’s just read my book (see, there I go again).
So next year sees publication – I’ll be launching the book in No Alibis, and a few other choice bookshops elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, and I’ll be appearing at a few literary festivals including Crimefest and more besides. I could tell you more about some of the cool surprises that are planned for next year, but Angela at Orion would snap my neck like a twig.
So, hope you’ve had a great year and my thanks as ever go to my fellow writers, particularly Stuart Neville, Gerard Brennan, Adrian McKinty, Mari Hannah, Nick Quantrill, Mark Edwards, Declan Burke, Susi Holliday, Stav Sherez and Mason Cross, my twitter pals, everyone at AM Heath, everyone at Orion Books, my Facebook supporters, my friends, the Northern Ireland Arts Council, Matt Craig, Clare Costa, Harry Illingworth, Alison and A, all the booksellers who’ve given The Defence an amazing reception, David Torrens at No Alibis and everyone, especially the wonderful Mrs C, who has given me their support this year.
I’ll need that support next year.
Have a happy and peaceful Christmas.
PS – this is likely to be the last blog post on this site. In January – a brand new website will be launched with cool insider info on Eddie Flynn, the book, and more besides. The blog will move to the new website, where all three regular readers can find me.