Thursday, 10 December 2009

We have a contract

This morning I signed a contract with The Friday Project for two more Harry Pigg books. Woohoo - joyness abounds.

Mark your calendars. The Ho Ho Ho Mystery is scheduled for publication in November 2010 and the second (provisionally entitled The Curds and Whey Mystery) will be published in the middle of the following year.

Now all I have to do is finish them!!!!

Friday, 4 December 2009

And still hanging on...

Last Week's Top Ten eBooks at
1. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Transworld Digital)
2. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
4. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
5. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
6. FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer (Gollancz)
7. Hard Girls by Martina Cole
8. The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke (HarperCollins e-books)
9. Not Dead Enough by Peter James
10. The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell (Hachette Digital)


Sunday, 29 November 2009

Still Bestselling

I'd missed this, but Declan (no relation) Burke of the wonderful Crime Always Pays Blog brought it to my attention....

Last Week's Top Ten eBooks at Waterstone's
1. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (Transworld Digital)
2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (HarperCollins e-books)
3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
4. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
5. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
6. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Hachette Digital)
7. Not Dead Enough by Peter James
8. The Third Pig Detective Agency by Bob Burke (HarperCollins e-books)
9. FlashForward by Robert J. Sawyer (Gollancz)
10. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (Sceptre)

Hmm, in pretty good company there.

The ebook of the Third Pig has been selling well over the past few months, mainly because of the progressive apporach to pricing adopted by my publisher. Kudos to them, as ebook pricing is something I feel very strongly about and will be addressing in a future post.

And no, I've not forgotten the developments I mentioned a few posts back, they're still happening but just haven't been finalised enough to make official. Maybe this week.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Things I've learned while editing.

I like using the word 'predicament'. A quick search of novel currently undergoing edits revealed an embarassingly large amount of predicaments. I love the search and replace function.

Ditto for 'clearly'. Clearly, I like using clearly.

Action scenes need to be fast-paced. The reader doesn't need or want to know what the hero is thinking, just what he's doing (and doing it in short snappy sentences).

Names are important - especially in translation. Apparently Cal means something quite impolite in Russian (so there).

Monday, 2 November 2009

Coming Soon To A...

Apologies for the recent lack of updates. It's not all due to laziness on my part though. Much has happened in the past few weeks, not least the fact that I've landed myself an agent, and, as a result, learned more about the publishing industry than I ever thought possible.

There have been other more exciting developments however that, for the time being, must remain under wraps (and have nothing to do with Shaun cassidy).

But fret not, all will be revealed (in a manner of speaking) in the coming weeks (hopefully).

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Review: Hell's Heroes

Darren Shan is a writer that I admire hugely. He writes fantastic horror stories and, when I've had the opportunity to see him live, does great readings and really cares about his fans. His current series, The Demonata, concludes with Hells Heroes, the 10th volume in the series.

Shan likes to leave his readers dangling and the end of Vol 9, Dark Calling, was no exception. Bec had allied with Lord Loss, Grubbs and Kernel seemed to no longer trust each other and Demons were breaking through all over the planet. Things were, as they say, looking bad for planet Earth.

Hell's Heroes picks up where Dark Calling ended. Grubbs is trying to come to terms what he's done to Kernel and with Bec's betrayal. Kernel doesn't trust him any more and threatens to leave first chance he gets. From this inauspicious start, Shan weaves a compelling tale of action, loyalty and the inevitable lots of gore that wraps up all that has gone before and answers the questions raised in previous volumes.

Although he displays a solid grasp of tone and plotting, Shan's greatest strength as a writer is, in my opinion, the quality of his endings. His massive 12-volume Vampire series finished with an ending that was unexpected, appropriate and, in hindsight, set-up right from the beginning. Above all, it gave me a sense of conclusion that avoided cliche and felt right. Hell's Heroes ending is just as satisfying and, without giving anything away, takes the story in a totally unexpected direction that, again, had been foreshadowed throughout the series for those who paid careful attention.

One aspect of the final volume that I found interesting was the nature of the narrator. Grubbs has become bitter and despondent and the easy-going, wise-cracking character of earlier novels isn't as much in evidence. Although this makes Grubbs lass sympathetic to the reader, it's a natural progression based on earlier events and makes the character more honest and believable. It's a difficult thing to pull off, particularly with a younger readership, but Shan does it without ever losing the characters basic humanity. It's a bold step but in the contxt of the overall story, a necessary one.

The Demonata itself was a more complex series than the Vampire one. Not only did it have have different narrators in various volumes (Kernel, Grubbs and Bec) but, as it progressed, it spun out of being just a horror story to address bigger themes. In the course of the series it covered the true meaning of friendship, the nature of Death and the origin of the universe, without ever becoming worthy or forgetting that its primary function is to tell a good story. It takes great skill as a writer to balance these aspects of the narration and manage to keep the reader engrossed. The Demonata manages to achieve this effortlessly and is a fitting ending to a magnificent series.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Shan has a new book, The Thin Executioner, coming out early next year and follows that with a four-volume series about Larten Crepsley, one of the most enduring characters in the Vampire series. Does the man ever sleep?

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Review: The Bromley Boys

The Bromley Boys: The True Story of Supporting the Worst Football Team in Britain is an affectionate look back at Bromley's 1969 season by lifelong - and somewhat obsessed - fan Dave Roberts.

What makes the book so much more than so many dull football memoirs is character of the narrator himself (and the fact that Bromley were indeed a bit rubbish). Eternally optimistic, a draw or narrow defeat is seen as a sign that good times must be just around the corner. It is this misguided optimism that makes the narrator so endearing - especially when it flies in the face of footballing reality. Newspapers are pored over for details of match reports and he's duly outraged when his team don't feature; a faux-sheepskin football manager's jacket (surely not the the usual Christmas present for the average teenage boy) is worn as a mark of pride and he never forgets to bring his boots to the matches - just in case someone doesn't turn up and he's asked to play.

The book is full of very funny anecdotes that display Roberts' love for his team and the lengths he goes to watch them home and away, and he is joined by a supporting cast of oddball fellow supporters who are all portrayed with affection and warmth.

It's a tribute to the author that he can look back at his teenage self and not only recognise exactly how obsessed he was but can put it down on paper 'warts and all' with openness and genuine nostalgia for a more innnocent time.

Funny, well-written and very honest, The Bromley Boys is for anyone who has ever supported a football team - especially if they were useless.

Monday, 31 August 2009

It Was Too Good to Last...

..and Bryan Adams can stop worrying now. After a good run at the top of the charts I had dropped down to No. 5 on the original fiction list last week. Can't complain though.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Doesn't the time just fly by?

It's been a busy few weeks at Casa Harry.
A few more updates on events occuring:

Third Pig got good reviews at the Eurocrime and Cornflower blogs as well as in the Tuam Herald newspaper (below). Good to see that people are still liking it.

Another local newpaper, The Limerick Leader, did an interview. I can be seen, in all my glory, here.

The Third Pig was also released as an ebook and sales have been pretty good - then again, it's been at a very attractive promotional price too.

In other news, the horror trilogy seems to be attracting interest and I've had some interesting discussions about it. Nothing concrete has happened yet but so far the feedback has been positive. As they say in the Heineken ad: 'Now we wait'

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Number One (with a bullet)

It may be the only time I'll ever top a bestseller chart. It will almost certainly be the only time I figure ahead of a Booker Nominee (Colm Toibin), Carlos Ruiz Zafon and one of my all time heroes John Connolly. I think I should just call it a day right now - or maybe just savour the experience a little while longer.

Update August 3rd: Still Number One. That's four weeks. I'm getting delusions of Bohemian Rhapsody or Brian Adams right about now. Steady!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Getting Noticed aka DIY Marketing

Now that The Third Pig is on shelves, I, of course, want people to flock to bookshops in their thousands and buy it. As part of that grandiose aspiration, Harry needs as much publicity as he can stand (and that's quite a bit). With that in mind, we came up with a cunning plan to try and get review copies noticed.

Firstly, we mocked up a Thid Pig Detective Agency complimentary slip. Using the magic of Photoshop, a copy of the cover, one used coffee stain and judicious application of filters we produced:

Aha, we said, that does look quite nice, now how else do we get our book noticed amongst the hundreds (if not thousands) of others that arrive on a weekly basis? In keeping with the crime theme of the book, we mocked up an evidence bag (see, watching CSI every week can be educational) complete with red tape and included the book and press release in it (excuse quality of photo).

It may work, it may not; but if it gets Harry noticed only once by the right people it will have served its purpose.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Busy, busy, busy.

And still the publicity machine rumbles on.

The Clare Champion did a good interview and photo recently. They're still working on their online site so for the moment you can have a gander here:

I've had a couple of good reviews recently also (which is great).

Award-winning crime writer Matt Beynon Rees enjoyed the book and followed it up with a Q&A session which you can read here.

Caroline Smailes, author of the dark but very satisfying Black Boxes and In Search of Adam, also liked it. If you don't believe me, check it out here.

I contacted the two big local bookshops and asked if I could come in and sign their stock of The Third Pig. Both were delighted for me to do so, so signed copies are now available in Eason and O'Mahonys and both have said it's selling well.

And not letting the grass grow under my feet, I've just started sending out a horror trilogy to agents and publishers to see if any of them will bite. It's very different to the Third Pig so we'll see how it goes. I expect much waiting and "Dear Johns" but maybe someone will like it. It has received good feedback from people in the industry so perhaps...

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sign Here Please.

Yesterday's signing was a hoot. It went off well and a goodly crowd (who weren't all family and friends) showed up. I was signing for about 40 minutes and then did a quick reading. As the signing went on, my handwriting deteriorated so those at the top of the queue got wonderfully legible messages, those at the end may have trouble deciphering what I wrote.

Kudos to Dervilla and the girls at the Ennis Bookshop for organising and hosting and to everyone that actually turned up on what was a dreadful day.

After the signing we all (family, that is) went back to my mothers for some grub and excellent desserts.

Here are some pics of the day and I'll throw the rest up on Flickr in due course.

"Look mom, he can do joined-up writing"

"And he'd be able to read too if he looked down at the book"

I was going to mention that I'd done an interview for the News of the World but what ended up in the paper after a 45 minute conversation was short, inaccurate, mostly pointless and didn't mention the book by name once. Still, I did end up on the same page as a huge picture of the girls from Baywatch so it wasn't a total disaster!
At least it didn't have something like "My Stalker Hell!"
Welcome to tabloid journalism.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Last Minute Reminder

...if anyone happens to be around, do drop in.

Hopefully I'll have some pics of what went on (assuming someone, other than me, is there to use the camera)

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Updates on My Quest for World Domination

There seems to be a lot of activity around Harry Pigg at the moment. Hughes & Hughes in Galway (hi Liz!) have sold out of their current stock of The Third Pig and O'Mahony's in Limerick have said they're almost out of theirs. Means someone is buying it at any rate!

The Ennis Bookshop contacted me and asked would I be interested in doing a signing. Would I, heck! If anyone is in the Ennis area at 3pm on Saturday July 11th and fancies having a heckle at the sweaty guy standing in front of the table of books, do drop in. I'm fully aware that there could be anything from 3 to 30 people turning up but it'll be a useful experience whatever happens. If you're around, call in and say hi. They've also given it pride of place in their window - alongside John Connolly again. Hmm, I detect a trend here.

Mention should also be made here of my niece, Aislinn who did the spiffing poster that you can see advertising the signing and Conn, who took the photo.

Local newspapers have been very supportive too. Both of the papers in my home county did an article. The one from the Clare People is below and I'll scan in the other over the next few days.

All in all it's been a busy few weeks - so much so that writing has temporarily taken a back seat, but it'll be back to the grindstone as of next Monday as work continues on Harry 3 (working title: The Curds and Whey Mystery).

Friday, 26 June 2009

The Ego has Landed

What a crazy few weeks it's been! Two frenetic weeks holiday in Orlando for the theme-park junkies (recommend Manta, Kraken, Hulk and Simpsons rides) followed by a jet-lagged return to Ireland to discover The Third Pig Detective Agency had already gone on sale. I was so out of it I walked past the local bookshop, saw something in the window that struck a chord in my befuddled mind and went back for a second look. The (badly-taken with phone camera by tired jet-lagged individual) is below.

In the window I'm (not literally) sitting beside John Connolly (a huge fave) and in the shop itself I'm sitting alongside Darren Shan (another fave). Very exalted company indeed.

My son had blagged copies of the book for his school class when we visited The Friday Project in May, and these arrived the following day. I was asked to visit the school and say a few words. Two hours later I came out after a fantastic reading, Q&A sesssion and my first set of autographs (followed by tea and chocolate with the teaching staff). A great day was (apparently) had by all.

Late last night I got a request to revisit Clare FM and do some PR (including a quick reading from the book) on their morning show. After a quick straw poll, consensus was that the poo section was the most appropriate extract to read (which says something about the readers, but I'm not sure what). The show and reading seemed to go ok and feedback was good.

Two local newspapers have expressed an interest in doing an interview also so I'm waiting to hear back from them too.

All in all, a hectic few weeks where I've been making it up as I go along.

I need a holiday.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

As I'm on hols right at the mo, opportunities for blogging will, I suspect, be limited - especially when they're up against all the attractions Florida has to offer.

That having been said, I got to read (The Artist formerly known as Colin) Bateman's latest, Mystery Man, while waiting in airports, waiting on planes etc. I'l stick up a proper review in due course but in the interim, it was an hysterically funny detetctive story with the fictional owner of a real-life Belfast bookshop (No Alibis) as the protagonist (hero would be stretching it a bit!). I got many strange looks as I giggled, guffawed and laughed quite a bit as I made my way through it. Definitely a huge improvement on his last, Orpheus Rising

How Bateman can write such funny stuff and, balance it with a clever and engaging plot I have no idea (and can only look on enviously) but I'll have whatever he's having.

Bateman back on form again is no bad thing at all.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

You Vill Answer Ze Questions

Crime Always Pays, brainchild of renaissance man and criminal mastermind Declan Burke (no relation) keeps tabs on all aspects of Irish crime writing. Occasionally, Dec will strap someone into a chair, attach electrodes to sensitive areas, beat them with some rubber tubing and shine bright lights in their eyes while brutally interrogating them about their writing*.

I was lucky to survive such an inquisition recently and, from my hospital bed, I can the reveal the results here.

Thanks Dec, the medical bills are in the post and you'll be hearing from The Boys sometime soon, just when you least expect it.

*Some of this may be untrue or slightly exaggerated.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea

The sequel to Tom Reynolds Blood, Sweat and Tea, his memoir of his experiences as an inner-city ambulance driver is now available. Friday Books are also making it available to read here:

Do have a look, bet you'll like it.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

And the hits just keep on coming....

Following on the school visit yesterday, I got a call from Scott at The Friday Project this morning. He told me that the advance copies of The Third Pig Detective Agency had arrived in the office and that they looked fab. More importantly, a copy of the book was winging its way to me through the miracle of the postal system as we spoke.

As news goes, this was as exciting as it gets. Hopefully I'll have it in my sweaty hand before I head off on holidays next Tuesday.

I Am Harry, Hear Me Waffle

Yesterday I got an opportunity to talk to a class of 9-10 year olds at a local Gaelscoil (for the benefit of those of you watching in black and white, a gaelscoil is a school where education is carried out via the Irish language). The school itself is very forward-thinking and the original plan was to talk to a group of students about how to add flavour and characters to virtual worlds that they were developing but when we arrived one of the teachers asked would I mind talking to her class.

The talk itself went fine. There were lots of questions following my on-the-fly delivery of bits about me, the book and how I came to write it. Apart from one boy who seemed to have an obsession with films in which people are dismembered via the skilful method of chainsaw, the class seemed interested in the book and the process around how it came into existence.

After we were done, I got to talk to the boys devloping the virtual world - which in itself was quite impressive - and hopefully gave them a few ideas about how to embroider their creations to give them both a distinctive look and feel.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, especially as it was my first time in front of a group of children to talk about my book. Thanks to James and Keith of daynuv for setting it up.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Support Your Local Bookstore

The more I read about the publishig industry, the more I've become aware that regardless of how the publisher works, when it comes to selling and marketing the book a lot of the heavy lifting is going to have to be done by the writer. With that in mind (and not being the 'cold calling' type of individual) I approached my biggest local independent bookshop with some degree of trepidation to see if they'd be interested in stocking The Third Pig Detective Agency.

To my surprise and delight, not only had they a small number already on order but, when they heard I was a local writer, they promptly went back to Harper Collins to increase the order. They've also asked me to get in touch formally next week to see what else - if anything - can be done.


Now that I've got one out of the way, I won't be as nervous about approaching others, though I'm fully aware that not all will be as accommodating as O'Mahony's.

Friday, 24 April 2009

All We Hear Is...

Well the radio chat went reasonably well - according to those who listened in. As it was a morning show, the chat was short and snappy but I didn't screw up (to the best of my knowledge) and answered what I was asked without getting tongue-tied or saying any rude words.

Rumour has it I might even get asked back for a more detailed chat around the book's release date.

I should have a copy of what went on fairly soon and I'll post it here once it's available.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

All the News That's Fit to Print

Well there have been some developments on the Harry front over the past while...

Waterstone's are quite enamoured of our porcine detective, so much so that they want to include TPDA in one of their summer promotions. As a result, publication has been brought forward to 25th June. From what I'm hearing, it's going to be part of the Crime section. Does that mean I have to change my job description to Crime Writer now???

TPDA is going to print first week in May (finally) so it won't be long before I get to hold a copy in my grubby little fist.

As part of my ongoing quest for domination of the world's literary scene, I'll be on Clare FM radio tomorrow morning. As it's based in my home town of Ennis, I'm delighted to be going back and getting the opportunity to waffle at great length on whatever arises! Although the station is only available in the mid-West region, it can be streamed for anyone with a passing interest. Drawback (for me as well) is that I'm on at 8am so it looks like an early start.

And finally we enter the realms of fantasy. 20th Century Fox have taken away a copy of The Third Pig to have a look at. This, of course, means absolutely nothing in real terms other than that it gives them first dibs should they decide they like it. They may say 'no thanks', they may option it, they may even come back and decide thay like it so much they want to make it into film. Either way, I've been around the block enough times to not start spending my 10% of the backend just yet. There's a long way between someone saying 'can we have a look' to seeing the famous Fox logo on the screen. It does make things a little more interesting though.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Things I've Learned (following my trip to London)

Scott Pack and the rest of The Friday Project Team are nice people - but then you knew that didn't you. And Scott makes a great cup of tea. Bonus points for including my son (11yo) in the conversation. He enjoyed the trip to Harper Collins as a result. More news on developments on Third Pig to follow soon.

Madame Tussauds is outrageously overpriced and distinctly underwhelming. We were both very disappointed with the experience.

Contrast that to the Sherlock Holmes Museum just around the corner. For a quarter of the cost we were treated to a genuine and enjoyable replica of what 221b Baker Street would have looked like based on Conan Doyle's writing. It's not flashy; it's not hi-tec but it's a treat for any Holmes fan (and we both are). The actor that played Dr Watson and acted as our guide was a top bloke. N2S was hugely impressed with our visit there.

Russ Abbot was a fantatsic Fagin. He more than made up for our disappointment at missing out on Rowan Atkinson. Abbot gave a masterclass in comic timing and stage presence. If RA is only half as good in the role, he's very good indeed. The show itself was slick, well presented and thoroughly entertaining and all this from someone who views Musicals the same way he views Country & Western music, Harry Hill and Manchester United (things to be avoided where at all possible).

The London Eye is good fun.

Friday, 17 April 2009

News (sort of and a bit cryptic)

Things are beginning to happen as a result of recent developments.

Publication date has changed once more - but this time it's been brought forward to June 25th. This is as result of major interest by a well-known bookstore chain. Hopefully I'll be able to be a tad less cryptic after I meet Scott (my publisher) in the flesh (so to speak) next Monday morning.

In other news, I finished the first draft of The Ho Ho Ho Mystery earlier this week and gave myself a well earned clap on the back. I'm putting it away for a while before starting second draft/rewrite but already I'm thinking of ways to make it better. The strange but welcome thing is I'm not consciously doing so, these ideas are coming to me as I work on other stuff.

Now I'm off with Number 2 son for a four day break in London. I know the city well so am looking forward to being a tourist and showing him around. Highlight of his trip will, I suspect, be seeing Oliver - 'tho I've just discovered Rowan Atkinson will not be Fagin-ing again until 25th April as he's undergoing surgey so N2S going to have to make do with Russ Abbot. Bah!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dublin, Dracula and One City, One Book

Dublin: One City, One Book is an initiative designed to encourage everyone in the city to read the same book during the month of April each year.

This year's book is one of my favourites, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and there are a host of events designed to support the initiative including tours, readings, exhibitions, and films.

I think this is a fantastic idea and the organisers deserve much credit for developing the idea with imagination (one of this year's sponsors is the Blood Transfusion Service!) and enthusiasm.

I hope to get to some of the events if I can manage a trip to Dublin during the month but, if not, I can gaze enviously from afar at what's going on.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Irish Book Awards 2009

The nominations for the Irish Book Awards 2009 were announced this morning. The full list of categories and nominees can be found here.

I'll be watching the Childrens and Crime Awards with interest and, if there's any justice, Mr. S and the Secrets of Andorra's Box will romp home in the popular fiction award.

There are a lot of "obvious" nominations (Netherland, Secret Scripture, Mr. Whicher, White Tiger) but there some welcome inclusions in Tana French's The Likeness,David Park's The Truth Commissioner and Kevin Power's Bad Day in Blackrock among others.

Winners will be announced on May 6th.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Big in Jap...I Mean Canada

Scott, my publisher, tells me that HarperCollins Canada are showing an interest in The Third Pig, so much so they even have it in their catalogue. What that means in real terms I have absolutely no idea but it's exciting all the same.

I see they have a publication date of 15th April which I suspect is incorrect. Hmm, must investigate further.

Sunday, 15 March 2009


The stuff in this blog is so wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to describe the fun to be had therein.

This is a blog for dipping into when you need a spot of light relief or cheering up.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Dawn of the Living Redneck Dead

This is a mind boggling clip - hilarious, compelling and oddly scary.

For anyone from outside Ireland, some explanatory notes are required. Fianna Fail are the current party in government and recently held their annual conference. As is usual with these things, RTE (national broadcaster) sent their PolCorr to report. The clip below is from the news programme where he wraps up what went on at the conference.

Points of interest:

1. I thought the guy bottom left was a cardboard cut-out until I realised he was looking more stupid as the broadcast went on.

2. There are at least three (ostensibly mature) grown men hopping up and down in the background like children doing a "let me see, let me see. I want to know what's going on" routine.

3. You get the distinct impression the PolCorr is a tad intimidated as it takes him a few seconds to compose himself. Then again, I challenge anyone not to be if placed in a similar situation

4. Highlight of the clip: keep an eye on the bearded chap just to the right of the reporter when they cut back to the studio. Now you see him, now you don't.

Scariest thing is that these peoples slightly more evolved country cousins are running the country.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bisto Book Awards 2009

The 2009 shortlist for the Bisto Book Awards in association with Children's Books Ireland has just been announced. There are some very strong contenders in this years field.

Airman by Eoin Colfer
An Phleist Mhór le Ré O’Laighléis, Susan Edwards & Emily Colenso
Anila's Journey by Mary Finn
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Brionglóidí le Áine Ní Ghlinn & Carol Betera
Creature of the Night by Kate Thompson
Her Mother's Face by Roddy Doyle
Highway Robbery by Kate Thompson
The Gift of the Magi Illustrated by PJ Lynch
The Great Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

Full details can be found right about here

Monday, 9 March 2009

Stop the Presses

Further to my post a few weeks back about a possible interview in a national Sunday newspaper, a photographer eventually arrived to take a few shots for the article - evidence enough that it was going ahead. Well, it appeared in the magazine supplement to yesterday's Sunday Tribune and the horrible evidence can be seen here.

I should point out that the photo was cropped for the article but for some reason they included the full pic on the web so all the mess that was craftily shifted out of camera is there to see.

As, I should point out, is evidence of my total nerdiness, which can be spotted by the sharp-eyed among you. See how many you can spot. As a starter, I'll point out the Borg mug on the shelf just over my head.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Cover Me, I'm Going In

At last, after a long wait, the full Third Pig Detective Agency cover is here. And what a joy it is.

I love the way the designer, Liam Relph, captured that dime novel, noir-ish feel. It's almost exactly like how I envisioned it - and I love it to bits.

So without further ado...

If you look really carefully you might even be able to make out the blurb, bio and other gubbins that are part of the cover creation process.

Hope you like it.

Monday, 23 February 2009

World Book Day Survey

Did you ever claim to read a book you hadn't actually read, in order to impress someone? Well now's your chance to fess up. As part of World Book Day, this fun survey looks at peoples' secret reading habits.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

It's All Greek to Me

Literally, in this case!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Bits and Pieces

Interview - Wayhay: following the announcement that Dell were shedding 1,900 jobs locally, I was contacted by a journalist who was doing an article on ex-Dell employees who had made a career change or done something with themselves after leaving. Having a book published this year clearly qualified so we had an interesting chat and I had the opportunity to talk about The Third Pig Detective Agency. Hopefully I'll be included in the finished article. Does this qualify as my first official interview. Probably!

Book Update: Final proofs were signed off earlier this week. Apart from gasoline being misspelt, I didn't see anything else odd so anything wrong that appears in the published book is now my fault. Oh the pressure.
The cover will be signed off tomorrow so I'll hopefully be able to reveal all (ooh er missus etc) here in the next few days.
The Friday Project have come up with some interesting ideas for marketing the book (which also ties in to their recent announcement). More to follow but a consequence is that publication has been put back to August - which is a bit disappointing.
Still looking for an agent!

Another Success: Justine Windsor (who was the winner of the 2007 YouWriteOn Children's Book of the Year) has been shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. You go Justine, we're rooting for you!

Me and My Sony: I like reading and I read a lot so I was delighted to get a Sony e-book reader from Santa (very nice of him when you consider what I'm doing to him in the latest Harry Pigg book, The Ho-Ho-Ho Mystery). Despite all the brouhaha about readers and the death of physical books, I don't see them as the enemy of books but as a complement to them. I'm using it a lot (40 books downloaded) but I'm still reading as many physical books. For someone who reads as much as I do, the reader is an absolute godsend. I'll give a full review in the next week. or so.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Monday, 12 January 2009

Books, Books, Glorious Books

I've been on a bit of a book binge over the Christmas. Current reading list includes:

Ritual by Mo Hayder (always worth a read)
Just After Sunset by Stephen King (short stories)
Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson (one of a very few decent fantasy writers)
The Bloomsday Dead by Adrain McKinty (comes highly recommended, we'll see how it goes)
Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler (the master at work)
Stories Volume 1 by Ray Bradbury (most of his classic stories are there)
Flesh House by Stuart MacBride (third of the way in, good thriller)
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (e-book - sounds good)
Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks (e-book - I like the concept)
The Shattered Teacup by George Mann (free e-book from Snowbooks, I like steampunk!)

The two ebooks are ones I've looked at in bookshops over the years but never felt tempted enough to shell out for. WHSmith were having a boffo ebook sale recently so I got 'em both for less than £4 each. Considering the scandalous and unjustifiably high cost of current e-books this was a bargain indeed.
Lots of goodies there to dip into.