Okay – some quick updates as to what’s going on with me.
1. I Know Who Did It
My ninth book came out last September, and I’m generally very pleased with the reception it’s had. I’ve collated most of the reviews I’ve found on the page for the book here, and they’re pretty much universally positive. For what these things are worth, at the time of writing, it has average scores of 4.5 on Amazon and 4.32 on Goodreads. It was also really nice to see it hit a few ‘best of’ lists at the end of the year, including The Times here(£), Vicky Newham’s here and For Winter Nights here.
I’ve no idea how well it’s sold as yet, but I suspect it’s more or less in line with my previous books, which, as always, doesn’t amount to world-beating figures. But there seems to be a lot of good will for the book out there, and hopefully more people will discover and enjoy it when the paperback comes out (which I think is currently scheduled for June).
In the meantime, a massive thank you to all the people out there who have bought it, enjoyed it, reviewed it and commented on it either online or in person to me. It means a great deal to me, I promise.
2. The Next Book
The next book – Book 10! – is what is currently occupying most of my waking hours. The working title is The Red River, but that will likely change, as it sounds a little too much like a Western. And the book isn’t a Western, of course. It’s the usual mix of psychological thriller, police procedural and … well, I don’t know how to put this. Slight weirdness? Maybe. Regardless, while it’s too early to say what it’s about right now, imagining a cross between The 50/50 Killer and Black Flowers will give you some idea of what to expect. A serial killer story, basically, but one that’s also about stories themselves.
It’s due to be delivered by the end of February, so I’m flat out on that at the moment. The current word count stands at about 60k, which sounds a little slack, but: a) there were a couple of false starts; and b) I was always the type to desperately cram most of my revision in the night before the exam, and that’s generally how I write too. So I’m pretty happy with that progress, and I’m enjoying seeing all the fragmented ideas and chapters beginning to come together pretty well right now.
3. Yeah, about the Leather thing…
So. Yes. I’m not going to bang on about this too much – or at least, not for the moment – but it would seem remiss and even odd not to mention what’s happened in an update. Following my last post, the author Jeremy Duns wrote a blog of his own about Stephen Leather, which received a great deal of attention, including coverage in the Independent, Guardian and Times. I was pleased to read the initial response from Hachette (our mutual publisher), and while Leather hasn’t publicly responded to any of the allegations yet, I’m also pleased to report that the fuckstevemosby.com site has at least been taken offline for the moment. So that’s a good start.
4. Some interesting links
And finally, since I’m going to try and blog a bit more this year, I thought I’d flag up any articles or posts that I’ve found particularly interesting recently. If nothing else, it means I won’t lose them.
I found this two part piece on The Tragic Tale of Mt Everest’s Most Famous Dead Body fascinating and moving. At first, there was something almost bizarrely intriguing about an environment so extreme that a dead body might be used as a waypoint – an actual landmark – but then both parts of the article do a good job of humanising the individuals involved and exploring the mindsets of the people driven to risk, and often lose, their lives attempting the climb.
And secondly, A Brief History Of Books That Do Not Exist, a great article that appeals to me for a load of probably very obvious reasons.