It’s been a quiet January, after a very busy Christmas, and I hope you all enjoyed a break over the holiday period, with plenty of good food, your favourite tipple, brilliant company and of course some time to read!
Hopefully those of you who had the chance to read Killer Christmas enjoyed my festive story, although you’ll have noticed it did include a murder… I just don’t seem to be able to help myself! If you’ve not had the chance to read it yet, you can now download it for free here.
We very nearly had a white Christmas here in London, where one snowfall caused widespread panic and mayhem, as usual. But the garden still managed to look beautiful.
And of course Christmas is a time to be with family, when you can. We were fortunate to spend some time with our close family, one of whom enjoyed her very first experience of snow.
And now, before any more ado, I am excited to share with you a brief insight into the life of the wonderful author Linwood Barclay. I’ve been a fan of his books for years, and was thrilled to meet him when we appeared together on a panel in New Orleans.
Getting to know Linwood Barclay
If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you like to have done?
I’d have probably stuck with my newspaper job. I was a columnist (okay, that’s a writer, too, but it’s not the same as writing books) and I loved the job. But I was writing books in my teens, without success, and knew it was something I always wanted to take a shot at.
Which of your many achievements are you most proud of? And what do you regret the most in your life?
My wife, Neetha, and I have raised two great kids, so, that tops the list. Professionally, it’s hard to single out any one thing. No Time for Goodbye is the book that changed my life, yet I think I have written novels that were better, like Trust Your Eyes. As for greatest regret, years ago, Neetha and I were in a Buffalo, NY, neighbourhood, walking past a community centre, when a crowd of people heading into a wedding reception tried to sweep us along with them, thinking we were among the guests. Neetha said, “Let’s do it.” I chickened out. We should have gone in.
As a successful author, you must do a lot of travelling associated with your writing. When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
It’s true that most of our travel is work-related, and when I have time off, the last thing I want to do is go to the airport, although last year we did a pleasure trip to Newfoundland for a week and it was fantastic. I find, when I’m writing, I don’t have time to read as much I’d like. We have a getaway place on the water about three hours away, and there’s nothing better than sitting on the deck with a drink and a book you’ve been waiting to dive into for months. We watch a lot of movies, binge-watch series (just finished Mindhunter, wow) and I’m also a model train nerd. When I get the time, it’s nice to create a world not with your brain, but with your hands.
By any objective standards you are a phenomenal success as an author, which must have significantly affected your lifestyle. Has this experience changed you as a person?
I’ve been working very hard to become a completely self-consumed asshole, and I’m sure some believe I am making progress, but I don’t think I have changed all that much from the guy I was fifteen years ago. And I’ve always been a somewhat anxious person, and even with fewer financial worries, that has not changed. We are who we are.
You have written stand alone novels and series. Which do you prefer as a reader, and as a writer, and why?
There are pluses and minuses to each. With a standalone, you can do anything to your main character (wait till you read A Noise Downstairs, coming in July…), but in a series, half of your work is done for you. You have your characters, your setting. You just need a new story. With a standalone, you’re starting from scratch. I’ve done both, and like both. But I think the next few books will be standalones. I’m not sure that I will return to Promise Falls, the setting for my last four novels.
A writer’s life…
Although I’ve been happily occupied with family and friends over Christmas and the New Year, I haven’t actually taken much of a break from writing. As you know, Geraldine Steel Number 10 Class Murder was published as an ebook in December, with the paperback due in March.
To celebrate, I’ll be appearing at events in Portsmouth, Glasgow, York, Harpenden, Stroud, London, Shrewsbury, Newcastle and Bristol over the next few months. I love meeting readers so if you live nearby and have a book group or write a blog and would like to meet up for a chat, please email me or get in touch via: email@example.com
Over December and January I completed the edits for Geraldine Steel Number 11, and am pleased to reveal the title… Death Rope. I can’t believe the eBook is already available for pre-order on amazon!
If you’d like to pre-order Death Rope, click here.
I also wrote nearly 60,000 words of Geraldine Steel Number 12. So I’ve not been idle.
LAST MONTH’S COMPETITION WINNER
Thank you to everyone who entered last month’s competition to write a festive ditty.
The winner is…
And here is his winning entry:
‘Twas Christmas Day in Hertfordshire
The snow was falling fast
Poor Leigh was typing furiously
You’d think the deadline was past
The door was opened hesitantly
Then in walked Mike at last
You’ll have to edit this my dear
It NO way happens in Herts!
And I’d like to say that all the entries were brilliant!
Finally, it only remains to wish you all the very best for 2018. Let’s make it a good one!