July 07, 2014

Digital Book Day

Just a note to say that July 14th will not only be Bastille Day, marking the beginning of France's freedom from oppression, but also Digital Book Day, marking the freedom of a number of ebooks from the oppression of having a price attached to them ...

You can go along to this site and on that day, download books from a number of wonderful writers for FREE! What could be better? OK, maybe a hot tub, but apart from that? Not much, I warrant. Here's the link, so put it in your diary:

Digital Book Day

June 20, 2014

Marlowe rises from the grave ... then sinks into it again.

It's been called literary ventriloquism - the ability to write in the 'voice' of another writer. That idea, once a jeu d'esprit, has now become big business. I guess it began with Kingsley Amis writing a James Bond novel - Colonel Sun - after Fleming's death, following his own critical examination of the Bond phenomenon, The James Bond Dossier. Subsequently, Wikipedia provides a frighteningly long list of Bond books written by other writers, culminating most recently with William Boyd's poor effort, Solo.

Recently, the Booker-Prize winning author John Banville, writing in his guise as Benjamin Black, has produced a Raymond Chandler 'continuation', The Black-Eyed Blonde, apparently a title that Chandler had earmarked in his notes for future use. This follows a couple of attempts at Chandler follow-ons from the prolific and often excellent Robert B. Parker - Poodle Springs and Perchance to Dream, neither of which met with much approval from hard-boiled fans. But then, expectations are high when it comes to Raymond Chandler.

May 23, 2014

And the hits keep coming ...

Now I've published the fourth in the Sam Dyke series, it seemed appropriate to offer the first three as a so-called 'Box Set'. It's available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple and probably lots of other places, too. What's more, buying this set is cheaper than buying all three separately!

Here's the cover and some links ...

Sam Dyke Box Set cover image

From Amazon US: Amazon.com

From Amazon UK: Amazon.co.uk

From Barnes and Noble: (coming soon)

Kobo: Kobobooks.com

May 07, 2014

A new Sam Dyke - The Bleak

I've just published my new Sam Dyke novel, The Bleak. Here's the blurb (that's technical speak):

For P.I. Sam Dyke, taking this particular case is not promising. A secretary is worried that her boss is cracking up, and she doesn’t know why. 
It doesn’t take Dyke long to discover that it’s not just the pressures of work that are getting to this man, a scientist. It’s his colleagues, too. Their leader, Stratford Greif, is a hyper-intelligent biochemist who has a personal philosophy that is taking him in one direction—to produce a calamitous event that may destroy the lives of hundreds of people. Or more.
Dyke sets himself on a course to prevent Greif from achieving his ends. A course that endangers him, his new partner and, it seems, anyone else who disagrees with what Greif wants to do ...

And here's the cover: 

I know many of you are keen to add this to your collection so here are the links:

April 07, 2014

Public Service Announcement

Tammy Moore from New Writing North, the writing development agency for the North East of England, has asked me to circulate the following info to anyone who's interested in crime writing - especially if you're based in the north. 

Crime Story

A weekend festival for crime writers and readers

Spend a weekend getting under the skin of a fictional crime with top crime writers, criminologists, lawyers, police and forensics experts. New Writing North and Northumbria University invite crime writers (aspiring or established) and readers to Crime Story – a weekend of discussion and workshops focusing on a fictional crime and how it would be investigated in real life.

Ann Cleeves, prize-winning author of the Vera Stanhope series (now a major ITV series) and Shetland Island Quartet series, has created a crime especially for this weekend. Throughout the Crime Story weekend criminologists and forensic scientists will give insights into how labs work, experts in policing will talk you through scene of the crime procedure and journalists will discuss the moral responsibility of reporting on heinous crimes. There will also be prize-winning crime writers at the festival – Louise Welsh, Margaret Murphy (AD Garrett) and Ann Cleeves – who will talk about how to incorporate the forensic facts into fiction. Participants will be guided ably throughout the weekend by author and former crime fiction critic for The Observer Peter Guttridge.

This is an unmissable opportunity for any lover of crime fiction, whether you’re an aspiring writer or want to dig deeper into your favourite, fictional world. To find out more about Crime Story, and to book your place, go to www.crimestory.co.uk.

I'm sorry I won't be able to make it because it looks like a great event. 

April 03, 2014

The Booktrap - a nice place to be caught.

I haven't posted for a while because I've been busy writing the next installment of Sam Dyke's investigations.

However, I have had time to get involved in the creation of a new site produced by writers but aimed at readers. It's called The Booktrap and it's been set up by writers from the Authonomy.com site. This site is run by publishers HarperCollins and is a place where writers can upload work for critique from other writers and eventually, if their work is popular enough, be read by the professionals at HarperCollins.

The Booktrap is an entirely separate undertaking, however, and includes a website promoting the authors' books and a Facebook page for general Facebooking stuff. Here are the links. Please go along and do the Liking thing.

The Booktrap webpage.

The Booktrap on Facebook.

February 06, 2014

James W Hall - the brightness of Going Dark

James Hall is a poet and professor of literature, and this literary background informs all of his books. Hit List was an entertaining examination of what exactly best-sellers did to become best-sellers, and Hall's knowledge of structure, character and dialogue are, as usual, well to the foreground in his tenth Thorn book, Going Dark.