Bryant & May 11: ‘The Bleeding Heart’ Arrives March 27th

Bryant and May

Bleeding Heart


Writers are always working a year ahead. I’m currently on 2015, but simultaneously proofing the US edition of ‘The Bleeding Heart’, which arrives much earlier here in the UK, on March 27th. The series feels as if it is really evolving now with the plots being driven by the characters, not the other way around.

Being a little OCD, I find I like to arrange the books in sets, so that the first big story arc of the series ran from volumes 1 – 6, and the next will climax in volume 12, ‘The Burning Man’. The UK and US editions of the latest volume are subtly different. (I’ll explain about this in a later post.) I do wonder whether e-reading and having two staggered editions affects my sales in the US. If I knew a book was out earlier in another country, would I get it first there? Can you even buy from Kindle UK? I don’t know.

The plotting of ‘The Bleeding Heart’ feels both more complex and simpler. I still don’t understand how I actually plot books. Technology has changed, which means that it’s easier to think on the screen – I was never one of those writers who puts postcards in a rack and shuffles them. I realise I was obsessed with dovetailing plots when I was very little, and filled thousand of pages with insanely complex adventures. When my mother attempted to take up short story writing, she introduced 23 characters in two pages, so I probably got it from her. ‘The Bleeding Heart’ feels like a further step in the direction of ‘The Invisible Code’, but as always it’s the readers who have the final say, as it should be.

The ideal mystery to me would be one that appears both obvious and inevitable from the conclusion. Although I did not enjoy the book, ‘Gone Girl’ operated in that way. It’s not an approach I can use with Bryant & May very easily because there needs to be a lot going on in the novels, and the characters breed an element of randomness. However, both ‘The Bleeding Heart’ and ‘The Burning Man’ have something new about them – I’ll leave you to figure out what that is.

I’ll be back in the UK signing and reading throughout March and April.

11 comments on “Bryant & May 11: ‘The Bleeding Heart’ Arrives March 27th”

  1. Jo W says:

    Thanks,Admin,for reminding us that we still have six and a half weeks to wait. Hoping to be able to attend one of the signings . Hope your holiday is going well.

  2. Simon says:

    This shall be my birthday present to myself. Excellent news.

  3. Reuben says:

    I always find it interesting that Admin has to ‘translate’ his work for the American market, but I rarely see this in reverse.
    The oddest example of this is Essex based writer Warren Ellis’s Gun Machine, which I’m currently reading. Set in New York & written for an American publisher I believe, but the UK edition still keeps all the Americanisms right down to ‘color’. So do US publishers believe Americans are too dumb to understand anything not American? That would be a depressing stereotype if the case. Or do UK publishers believe that US culture is so ingrained in us via film/TV that we instantly understand & identify with it?

  4. Patricia Penon says:

    Looking forward to the release of the US edition. Funny, I never realized we needed a translation.

  5. Helen Martin says:

    That is an important question, Reuben, and I would like someone in American publishing to answer it. Canadian publishers…? I wonder how many of us are buying from the UK source and whether that affects the sales numbers. American terminology would just sound weird in Bryant and May.
    And how bad is the flooding getting? Thames Valley the worse since ’47 they say and I’ve been asked about conditions in Devon but haven’t a clue.

  6. Diane says:

    As a die-hard Bryant and May fan – when will Bleeding Heart drop in the U.S?!

  7. m says:

    I hope I can catch a signing. I don’t think US readers can buy UK kindle titles. If book releases are more than a month or two apart I do tend to buy the UK edition of the book rather than wait for the US edition. Between lending and losing books I sometimes end up with the US edition too.

  8. James o says:

    Getting a review copy tomorrow. Can’t wait! Trouble is I am off for a valentines weekend away so it should be the ultimate test of a page turner.

  9. Peter Lee says:

    I’m still feeling nervous about “The Burning Man” after the hints Admin dropped on Twitter a while back.

  10. Dan Terrell says:

    Americans can not buy British Kindle editions and I believe this holds for all British eBooks. There is always a notice next to the British edition saying not for sale in the U.S. I suspect this is to protect the British publishing industry, to send business to amazon’s Book Depository, and to not cause accounting confusion.
    If I may say this without raising too many eyebrows, it sounds like I “plot” as you do. A great many elements churn around for a while and then are extruded. The plotting seems to follow as things go along and I credit that to my being more than a tad OCD and after three or four drafts in voila.

  11. Stephen Maxam says:

    I just wanted to let you know that this here American just found out how you got your Bryant and May names. Somewhere on the web I came across images of the Bryant and May matches.
    I suppose there must be many British folk who knew this, but if the matches aren’t made anymore, they would have to be of a certain age to have seen them.
    I haven’t read all of this series yet, but I was wondering if your fellows deal with an unusual amount of arson?
    It strikes me, on the surface, that you might have had a sulphurous inspiration for these mysteries.
    (Sorry. I’m running out of word plays and puns.)
    Stephen Maxam

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