Well, while awaiting the release of The Chess Men, the final book in The Lewis Trilogy – in September in France and next January in the UK, I was keeping my head down and getting to work on a new idea. However, if I thought I was going to have some quiet time to research and think, I was wrong. The last couple of weeks have been – well, see for yourself…
Le Télégramme Newspaper Readers’ Prize
The first thing to interrupt my thinking time was the news that The French edition of The Lewis Man (L’Homme de Lewis) had won the Prix des Lecteurs du Télégramme!
I had been shortlisted for this prize earlier in the year, so I knew that I was one of six authors whose books would be read and voted on by the readers of France’s Le Télégramme newspaper. Along with the shortlisting came a requirement to make bookstores appearances and give talks, as well as do video interviews for French television and the internet sites of the newspaper and bookstores. The shortlisted books were available in bookstores and libraries and over a period of months, readers of the Télégramme newspaper were required to register in order to participate and vote for their favourite. Readers’ prizes like this are special because there are no politics involved; it’s a simple case of readers (the most important people in writers’ lives) reading the books and saying which one had pleased them the most.
Winning the prize meant returning to Brest with a 1500 kilometre round trip for another round of nerve-wracking TV and newspaper interviews all in French, along with the award ceremony, dinner, and the prize itself – a cheque for 10,000 Euros.
You can read about it here:
Movie of The Killing Room
While I was in Brest, the Cannes Film Festival was taking place and I wasn’t able to be there for the official announcement that a deal had finally been confirmed to make The Killing Room – the third of my China Thrillers – into a movie. Alexis Dantec and Fred Bellaiche’s production company, French Connection, optioned the rights to The Killing Room two years ago, but getting past the Chinese censors was posing a problem for them. The answer proved to be an unusual one: the company has decided to transpose the novel’s original setting of Shanghai and Beijing to Seoul, Li Yan will become a Korean cop and Margaret Campbell will become a French pathologist!
For more about the crazy world of movie-making, here is the article announcing the project:
Shortlisted for Dagger in the Library Award
The day after I won the Télégramme prize, I received the fantastic news that I have been shortlisted for the British Crime Writers’ Association’s “Dagger in the Library” Award. This prize is decided by a judging panel of librarians, and it is awarded not for one particular book, but instead for a writer’s body of work, and for writers who have built up a following with library readers but who have not yet made a big breakthrough.
Here’s how the judges described me: “An accomplished author, at the height of his powers with this latest trilogy. He manages to vary his settings while always creating completely believable characters.” Read more about “The Dagger in the Library” and the shortlist here:
What will follow the Lewis Trilogy?
With all of these distractions it has been hard to focus. But an idea has been running around in my mind for a few months and I finally harnessed it and pulled together my first thoughts to present to my editor at Quercus. After an anxious wait while he considered it, he came back to me with good news. He loves it! And I hope you will too, but you’ll have to wait for a while to find out more about it. I have to develop the story and the characters, research it, write it, then it has to go through the whole publishing process, and finally it will reach you in 2014!
But first you have to find out how the Lewis Trilogy ends. The final book, The Chess Men, will be out in the UK in January 2013, and if you haven’t already downloaded the excerpt to whet your appetite, then you can find it here:
I will be visiting…
Inverness on 25th July, for the Inverness Festival
Edinburgh, 16th – 18th August for the Edinburgh Book Festival, for an event at Peppers Theatre 6.45pm 16th August
Stirling on 13th September for “Off The Page” festival hosted by Stirling’s libraries.
and staying in Stirling for the “Bloody Scotland” crime writing festival 14th – 16th September, appearing at this event: http://www.bloodyscotland.com/island-crime/