Author Update: What I’m Writing Next

Bryant and May


Well, ‘Strange Tide’ has barely hit the ground (we haven’t had the launch party yet!) and I’m hard at work on ‘Wild Chamber’.  To all those of you who yelled at me for what I did to Arthur Bryant, I hope now all is being forgiven.

Of course most readers buy the paperback (although hardback sales are gradually increasing for authors) so it will be another year before many get to that point. The gap between conception and publication remains frustratingly wide.

‘Strange Tide’ was a joy to write – I especially relished the chance of creating the surprising guest appearance at the end of the book – and now I’m sending my decrepit duo into the ‘Wild Chamber’ – an old nickname for a London park. There’s a new member of staff, a baffling crime, a trip into London’s past and a way toward the PCU’s future. This will be the third volume in a four book contract, so whatever happens there will be another novel after this.

There’s a script for a TV version which I really like, but getting commissions is a notoriously random and lengthy process, so who knows what will happen there? Meanwhile there are a number of other irons in the fire.

The latest issue of ‘Interzone’ has a story by me in it called ‘Spine’ – I’ve always enjoyed writing short-form and am about to do it again for New York’s illustrious Mysterious Press with a limited edition novella called ‘Reconciliation Day’.

After this, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on a standalone thriller entitled ‘Unexpected’. This is a departure for me but something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It’s very hard getting readers of one style to read another – I doubt many hardcore Bryant & May fans read ‘The Sand Men’ for instance – but an intriguing challenge.

I have detailed plans for three further novels beyond this, all in different states of preparation. In the coming month, at Scarborough’s ‘Books by the Beach’ festival here and at First Monday Crime in central London here we’ll be discussing crime in all its forms. If you’re in either area come along and say hi!

The photo shows one of London’s small hidden parks.


23 comments on “Author Update: What I’m Writing Next”

  1. Vincent C says:

    I gaze in awe and admiration at your work ethic. Congratulations on all your many achievements, accomplished and nascent.

  2. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris, will there be another collection of Byrant and May short stories as well?

  3. Brooke Lynne says:

    I am so envious of your creativity combined discipline and productivity. And so pissed off by the ending of The Burning Man. And by the fact that I cannot find hard copies of the Case Book and Strange Tide in state-side bookstores. The Case Book is not even available on kindle.

    BTW– I am a hard core B&M fan and have read Roof World, Sand Men. Before our independent bookstore devoted to crime and mystery went out of business, the owners routinely found your short stories in European mags for me. Hard to find now.

  4. snowy says:

    Hi Brooke.

    I’ve mentioned this before, so I’m repeating myself a bit. Can’t find a book? Time for a metasearch! There is a link hidden under my name, click that and try entering the Author name and “Strange Tide” and see what pops up. [You might need to adjust the currency and destination settings as well.]

    The Casebook is a special case, that was a limited edition graphic novel. So might be harder to find, looking at some of the prices quoted, [and after picking my jaw back up from the floor], It might be simpler to buy a copy from the publishers. [PS Publishing, they are also offering signed editons for a bit extra.]

  5. Adam says:

    Good stuff! I’ve just finished Strange Tide whilst sitting by the pool in Florida; fantastic book, possibly my favourite B&M. Long may you keep writing. It was nice to read about a cold rainy London when I was baking in the sun!

  6. Jay Mackie says:

    Hi Chris
    What the latest on your next short story collection Frightening? Also I was wondering if you had any plans to compile a definitive list of all your short stories represented in collections/magazines and elsewhere?
    This would be great for people like me who have all your collections but might wish to ‘fill in the gaps’ as and track down other short stories you’ve producdd but may have missed?

  7. Ford says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. Can’t wait for the next! One question … is Darcy Sarto based on anybody in particular? It might amuse, and surprise many – I actually bought a copy of the Burning Man in a WH Smiths (should that be Smiffs?)! Honest!

  8. Jo W says:

    Wasn’t Darcy Sarto the name of the author of Lady Don’t Fall Backwards, the book in Tony Hancock’s tv series episode – The Missing Page? 😉

  9. Helen Martin says:

    I think you might be surprised at how many of us read Sand Men. Or perhaps not, since you have the sales figures. The request for input on the cover was interesting and increased a desire to know about the book itself – sneaky of you. It was a good read, too, and the peculiar mysterious element that really surfaced at the end was just like similar bits in Bryant & May.

  10. Jan J says:

    Loved Strange Tide! I am so pleased to read that there will be at least 2 more Bryant and May books (I am hoping for lots more than 2 more, but this is a good start). Thank you so much. I would love to see Bryant and May on the television if the scripts and the casting are both right.

  11. Brooke Lynne says:

    To Snowy. Thanks for the suggestions and the link. I do search e-bay, amazon, powell, able, etc for Christopher’s work. Seller are usually UK based and/or prices are outrageous. And I’m not sure how Christopher benefits.
    Oh, well. It’s spring and I can do another walk around to our last 2 bookstores and order copies.

    I hope B&M’s US PR agents are not charging for work!

  12. snowy says:

    Brooke, you are very welcome. How people source books over the ocean tickled my curiosity. [Perhaps some US readers might care to share tips, experiences.]

    And as my curiosity was still undimmed I could not resist a little trial.

    One new copy of ‘Strange Tide’ sent from the UK to the US from a mainline distributor.

    Base price £11.89
    P&P £6.98
    Total £18.87
    Convert to USD $26.92

    Does that seem reasonable?

    [PRs and work, not often you see those two words in such close proximity!]

  13. Helen Martin says:

    That price is about right, Snowy, although I have to translate to Canadian dollars. That is interesting because I don’t know the present dollar/pound exchange rate. We’re 77cents to the US dollar as of this morning so we’re not planning any US trips for the near future. I was surveyed on that subject the other day – tourist bureaus are nervous.

  14. Kathy Keenan says:

    The guest appearance at the end of the book was one of my favorite moments. I also liked Jack’s return. I loved the book all around! And I was upset about Arthur (my husband was though, almost in tears at the end of The Burning Man) because I knew you couldn’t really kill him off! He’s way too resiliant!

  15. Greg Delaney says:

    Enjoyed the latest B & M book as always. Was a bit perplexed as to how Bill Crooms fitted into the plot, as the reasoning in the final chapters didn’t seem as strong as your usual plotting – or maybe I’ve been devouring my meals from foreign platters?

  16. admin says:

    Your questions answered, in no particular order…
    All books except ‘Casebook’ are coming out in the USA. ‘London’s Glory’ has been retitled; ‘Bryant & May’s Missing Cases’.
    ‘Frightening’ and all of my other collections are coming out as e-books in pairs, twenty volumes all with new prefaces, and ‘Frightening’ is entirely new.
    Bill Crooms in ‘Strange Tide’ – I always leave a few details unexplained because I figure the average reader doesn’t want to be spoon-fed.
    No, I don’t make money out of hiked prices, or signed editions, or ones that have been doodled in, or second-hand copies.
    ‘The Sand Men’ became that publisher’s bestselling title – haven’t seen any returns from it yet.
    And Jo W, what a memory you must have to have spotted the name Darcy Sarto. But there’s another recurring name in the books that I stole from somewhere else – any guesses?

  17. Jo W says:

    Now,would that be Jack Renfield? The name of Dracula’s mate from the local insane asylum. 😉

  18. Wayne says:

    Nice to see your still a busy chap. I haven’t started Strange Tide yet but am looking forward to it. I am one B&M fan that did read “The Sand Men” and enjoyed it, then I enjoy close to all your books. I think only “Plastic” didn’t really grab me. I am not sure why? Keep em coming…..

  19. Helen says:

    I am a hard core Bryant and May fan. I read The Sand Men. Loved it. Good writing does cross genres well. It is more about the quality of the work than the type. Go ahead and genre jump all you want.

  20. admin says:

    No, ‘cos they made jokes to his face about his name. I’ll give you a clue – one of Maggie’s sidekicks.

  21. Jo W says:

    It came to me when I woke this morning,funny how often the answers come when I’m asleep. The little grey cells keep on working. Dame Maud Hackshaw,from Blue Murder at St Trinians ? 😉

  22. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris, I presume you don’t know yet whether there will be another collection of Byrant and May short stories.

  23. John Howard says:

    Another of your core blog readers here who started with Bryant & May and is quite happy to follow where your muse takes you. A long way really of saying I bought The Sand Men as well. I picked up my first Admin book many years ago in Waterstones because of the names of the detectives, ( yes I am of am of an age with you and it “struck” me that if the author could create that piece of fun the book might just be as amusing ) and have been merrily buying up anything with your name on it ever since.
    It has added another little piece of enjoyment to my reading world.

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