I work on narratives for a couple of years and then everything suddenly comes out together, but this does seem to be shaping up as my bumper year. The Bryant & May books are, it seems, doing okay; they may never reach the giddy sales heights of a Lee Child or an SJ Watson but it looks as if more readers are discovering the dubious delights of spending a few hours with the borderline dysfunctionals of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
So, this is the way it’s looking;
We start with ‘Invisible Ink: The Mysterious Case Of The Disappearing Authors in October. This consists of my first one hundred columns from The Independent on Sunday, rewritten with added information. There are a great many authors we grew up with whose books became touchstones in our lives. They were popular, influential and hugely successful, but they vanished from bookshelves, even in their own lifetimes. What happened to them?
There will be a small launch party for the book in central London.
Next up in November is the graphic novel ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May No.1′, which includes two cases, ‘The Soho Devil’ and ‘The Severed Claw’, together with various items of ephemera. There will be a signing for the book at Forbidden Planet, London, and it will be orderable overseas.
In June of the new year comes ‘Plastic’, my long-gestating thriller. This is its first publication and features a foreword by Joanne Harris. Thanks to parts of the book being leaked by fans, ‘Plastic’ is one of the few novels that got nice reviews even before it was printed.
‘The dark reverse of a personal growth novel, a hoot of a crime thriller.’ The Independent.
In April comes ‘Film Freak’, another memoir in the style of ‘Paperboy’. This one deals with my years at the arse-end of the British film industry, dragging script around to disinterested producers as cinema box office collapsed in the UK. It has been described as ‘hilarious and heartbreaking’ but I don’t trust reviews and nor should you.
After this, although without a date just yet, there’s my first new stand-alone thriller in several years. ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You’ reveals the tangled network of deceit that exists between three people, each of whom has omitted to tell something important to the person they love. It starts with assassination and kidnap – and ends with a surprise.
Somewhere between all of this, the first of TWO new Bryant & May novels will appear. The first is ‘Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart’. dark and eerie in tone, with the subject being death itself. The second is an incapacitated Bryant solving a crime that requires him to revisit past untold cases, in ‘Bryant & May and the Burning Man’.
On top of this there will be the theatre play ‘Falling Stars’ and a Hammer radio play called ‘The Devil In Darkness’, as well as numerous short stories appearing in anthologies. I hope also to get my collection ‘Red Gloves’ out as a mass market paperback – anyone got any ideas?
NB The picture top right shows Keith Page’s rendition of Spitalfields.