I’ve been in New York for the last few days. It’s extraordinarily cold here. I know I live in the hills in Derbyshire but I had forgotten how chilly the East coast of the US can get. Today, I’m going on a week long writing retreat where I want to finish the first draft of my second book. So I’m going offline for a week or so. No blogging, no Facebook and definitely no Twitter.
Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know I used to live in Athens, Greece. I have a friend there who has promised to message me should anything dramatic happen over the next few days but, that apart, I’m also trying to stay away from the news.
Before I go I thought I’d first give an update on what’s happening with my debut crime novel In Bitter Chill. The proofs are now arrived at Faber and Faber and will be going out in the spring to reviewers. It’s looking lovely and the team at Faber have done a great job with the cover design. To the left is a picture of me holding the proof after I got my hands on copy.
While I was in the US, I met my editor Anne Brewer who works at Thomas Dunne Books. They’re based in the iconic Flatiron building and it was wonderful to get a glimpse inside their offices and then have lunch with Anne afterwards and chat about the book. Below is a picture of Anne and me.
While I’ve been in the US, I’ve also taken the opportunity to catch up with some people I only know online. I reviewed Ann Aptaker’s Criminal Gold at the beginning of the year. She kindly took me for coffee and cookies at a lovely deli up by the Guggenheim museum. It’s great to meet an author whose book you’re reviewed in person and catch up on the NY gossip.
Kathy D (below left) has been commenting on Crimepieces since its early days and I know she’s a regular visit to other crime fiction websites. I finally met her in real life on Wednesday. Another person I know through this blog and from Twitter is Dorothy James. She’s written a mystery set in Vienna called A Place to Die. We met for coffee in the wonderful Viennese Cafe Sabarsky in the Neue Galerie.
Paul Barnett, who also goes under the name of John Grant, is a writer of fantasy, SF, and non-fiction. He also comments regularly on this blog and we chat on his Twitter account which supports a recent publication The Comprehensive Guide to Film Noir. He has a seriously impressive output, numbering about seventy books to his name. He and his lovely wife, Pam, took me to lunch at an Indian restaurant.
Lastly, yesterday evening I met book blogger, Maura Lynch for cocktails at The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Terminal. Maura was excellent company and what was going to be a cocktail turned into three. Lots of book gossip and it was a great evening.
I’ve been completely bowled over by the hospitality shown to me by these New Yorkers. Thanks to everyone for taking time out to meet and for words of support and encouragement. Proof again that the crime fiction bunch are the nicest people out there. I hope to return the favour in the UK sometime.
So that’s it for a week or so. When I’m next back online I hope to have a complete draft of book two. Good luck to everyone else out there currently ploughing through their drafts. It’s not easy but, as recently identified in The Bookseller, it really is the best job in the world.