Monday, 26 August 2013


Well and truly let down by Lulu,  still with no word, according to the Cornovia Press, on when they will make it  available, Dead Woman Walking is at least now listed to buy on Amazon, on paper, and very soon as an Ebook. And so is the second print edition of  The Fifties Mystique. So it's possible to get hold of a copy, even though the book hasn't arrived in real, physical bookshops yet. What an obstacle race! If it hadn't been such a lovely summer in Cornwall I'd be weaving straws into my hair by now. As it is, after an afternoon in the garden, in a comfortable chair with a good book, the sun shining and  a plateful of cherries (the best crop ever, cherry growers are saying) even a publisher's delays can't shake my comfortable calm.

Monday, 19 August 2013

DEAD WOMAN WALKING - Update on Pub-date

Having been well and truly punished for the hubris of announcing the publication date of Dead Woman Walking - which is still not available - at least I now understand what's happened.
The book is being published by a small firm, Cornovia Press, which specialises in books with a Cornish connection. Mine is that I have lived in Cornwall for most of my adult  life, and am married to   Cornishman, Charles Thomas. Cornovia  produced my husband's most recent  book beautifully. Gathering The Fragments  is a collection of miscellaneous articles and essays that originally appeared in obscure places or, like a couple  of  funeral addresses, were never printed at all. Incidentally, it's a perfectly delightful volume!

The Cornovia Press, like many other small publishers, is not using conventional print methods, which involve a big outlay of capital and require storage space for the books. Instead the books are produced by Lulu, i.e. print-on-demand. Lulu then offers small publishers a Distribution Deal, which gets supplies of a new book to shops and distributors. Cornovia's experience has been that these distribution deals  have always been active a few days either side of the six week mark, and planned accordingly.

Well, you can guess the episode to follow!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Dead Woman Walking

The publication date of Dead Woman Walking  was supposed to be August 8th. But there's many a slip between promise and performance, and this particular one has taken an almighty tumble. Five days on and there's still no sign that the book's ready to distribute. If anyone - apart from my publisher and me - is waiting for a finished copy all I can say is that it's really coming. Soon.
Which is all I can promise myself too.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Another lovely review

Martin Edwards writes, and writes about, crime  fiction,  and maintains one of the subject's most perceptive blogs, entitled (for reasons that are painfully obvious to his colleagues!) Do  You Write Under Your Own Name? It is a fascinating contribution to the crime fiction's history and criticism - and that he keeps it up so regularly, as well as having a day job as a solicitor, is most impressive. Given that he is so expert in the subject, praise of  a crime novel from Martin is praise indeed. So it's blatant boasting to direct you to his review of Dead Woman Walking. who, though, could resist boasting about this one?

see the post published on Wednesday 7 August.

Friday, 9 August 2013

An unsolved mystery

Having mentioned the disappearance of  the post I wrote about Any Questions, I should probably mention its reappearance. How, where from and why I don't know - but dated Sunday 28th July, there it is!


I have realised that I'm something of a jinx on publication dates.
For example: The day the paperback edition of one of my best reviewed and best-selling novels was due to come out,  the distributor's computer broke down. It was  out of action for 6 weeks, so  by the time the book was available, all the pre-publicity and reviews were forgotten. Predictably, the sales figures were disappointing. Then, when  offered the next book, the publisher turned it down because  because the paperback of the last book hadn't sold!
Some other similar episodes should have taught me to predict and promise more cautiously. I should have known that it was tempting fate to announce August 8th as the publication date of DEAD WOMAN WALKING. And fate hasn't resisted temptation: the book is not ready or available yet after all. But this time I'm not saying when it actually will be available - because if I did, it wouldn't!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Life's Minor Mysteries

One of the minor mysteries of cyber-life: last week, after appearing on Radio 4’s Any Questions programme, I wrote a long post about the experience. It disappeared into cyberspace at some point between then and now. Can it have been censored? Hardly: it was a very innocent piece! Perhaps if I rewrote it with the addition of a little vitriol, the cyber-censors would leave it up. But rewriting is no fun. I will do some more posting and  boasting,  instead, because Dead  Woman Walking, though not officially published for another week, has already had reviews worth reading.
N. J. Cooper, herself one of today's best crime writers, and  most original commentators on the subject of crime fiction, has written an interesting piece about my book in the online book review magazine, Book Oxygen - a site that anyone interested in contemporary writing should follow.
And here is Lizzie Hayes, in  Mystery People.

 The characterisation is masterly, gives the reader the person without the need for description. Isobel recounts at one point: "When I left him, Hector blamed 'those bra-burning harpies' and if he could he would have cited the woman’s movement as the co-respondent in our divorce."
As the story progress more and more layers are stripped away from the characters, and a sad but gripping tale of mystery and vengeance is revealed. If the novel has a message it is that one should be careful of making decisions that not only effect but can change and destroy lives. This book is highly recommended.

Thanks, N.J.Cooper and Lizzie Hayes: you've made my day, week, month or even year!