I’m very excited to share with you the news that, as well as my publisher sending me lovely new bookmarks (see above), Class Murder, the tenth Geraldine Steel title, is available as an ebook on December 7th. It can be pre-ordered here if you’re in the UK, here in the US and here in Australia.
So get clicking!
And watch out online for the blog tour from 1st December with these brilliant bloggers:
The print version will be out on 29th March and our publicists have gone into overdrive arranging events to celebrate the publication of the TENTH Geraldine Steel. In fact, they told me in a recent email that I’m “going to get busy”… hmm, “busier” ?
So look out for an invitation to a spectacular launch party! And don’t forget you can pre-order the paperback here.
Before I share any more of my news, here is this month’s visit from a fellow author.
Getting to know Bill Beverly
I’m thrilled to be interviewing one of my writer friends from across the pond. Bill Beverly has won more awards for his debut novel Dodgers than most of us dream of receiving in a lifetime, including the CWA New Blood Dagger for Best First Novel and the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Novel of the Year, the British Book Award for Best Crime Novel, and the LA Times Book Prize. There are more but if I listed them all, we’d have no room to chat to the man himself. So without more ado, let’s hear from Bill.
You teach American literature and writing to university students. In addition to studying other people’s books, has it always been your intention to write yourself?
Yes. But I was a strange, self-defeating kid. I did not permit myself the pleasure of writing. Then there occurred a number of episodes where I glimpsed my friends doing creative, artistic work, and the sight amazed me – it shocked me. The envy, how I longed to be doing it too.
In college I was a fairly indifferent student at first. The reading in my courses was like eating sand. I encountered all these writers who were writing, you know, bright and wonderful 19-year-old writing, and I was crushed not to be among them. The poet Stuart Friebert agreed that he would supervise a January term project. And I went to London and was lonely and cold and I must have written 200 pages. It just volcanoed up. I have always been grateful. That saved my life. Otherwise, I would have been done. Beginning to write lit everything up. It made the world once again worth watching.
Which of your achievements are you most proud of? And what do you regret the most in your life?
I’ve written two books. One began as a 335-page dissertation. The other is a novel. Each took my brain on a path that ordinarily I would abjure. I would choose something else, something sensible and more lucrative and certainly less painful. But I am grateful for both, for the pilgrimages they required.
I don’t know what to regret. I regret an ill-advised move in the goalmouth that cost me a knee. I regret timidity. I regret my use of global positioning systems.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your time?
I don’t have an attractive answer, because I have never been very good at spending my time. God knows I don’t do anything or go anywhere very exciting. I should sit outdoors more, or run around, or ride a bicycle. Mostly I teach class, maintain a comfortable level of disorganization, and nap. I am fairly good with a skillet. I do not golf nor maintain acquaintances. Once upon a time, American men fixed their cars, but that time has passed.
By any objective standards your debut novel has been a phenomenal success, attracting praise from critics and readers, and winning awards. Has this success made it easier or more daunting for you to write your next book?
So, so much more daunting. The next book will most certainly be something else, and I’m beginning to love that, to fear where the book is taking me, to close my eyes and go with it.
Did the idea for Dodgers arise out of your reading, or did you conduct your extensive research because you had the idea for the book?
Dodgers came to me in the shower. Nearly all of it. But of course, I was sweating out a lifetime of reading, most of it done for brute animal enjoyment. I love to read and to learn and to study things extensively. But I am too God damn old for research.
A writer’s life…
I am privileged to serve on the board of the Crime Writers Association, and the end of October saw the glittering Dagger Awards Dinner where as well as catching up with many crime writer friends like Ann Cleeves, who won the CWA Diamond Dagger this year, it was fun to meet Robert Thorogood, creator of Death in Paradise, and television stars like Brenda Blethyn (Vera) and Peter Capaldi (Dr Who).
The CWA celebrates the best in international crime fiction but also supports emerging talent and I’m thrilled to chair the panel of judges for Debut Dagger Award. I’ve been carrying out that role for three years and the two previous winners in my time have gone on to gain deals with major publishing houses. This year all the five shortlisted writers attended the Awards Dinner, two coming over especially from the USA.
And who doesn’t love an excuse to get glammed up? Here I am with the girls at No Exit Press – what a team!
Despite the glitzy events, it’s not all plain sailing being an author. Hallowe’en brought a few shocks even for a hardened crime writer…
LAST MONTH’S COMPETITION WINNER
I’m looking forward to reading a first chapter written by this month’s competition winner! And the winner is…