A Message From Our Sponsor (i.e. Me)
In case you think I’ve been taking too much time off to write about tea, let me assure you that I’ve been busy planning the next tranche of books to come your way.
First up, on October 5th ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ launches in the UK. Once there were popular novels almost everyone owned. Mum had Georgette Heyer, Dad had Eric Ambler, kids had Billy Bunter and the Borrowers. They were the books that shaped imaginations and became touchstones in our lives. They were often hugely successful, but at some point many of their authors vanished from family bookshelves. What happened to them? If these books were any good at all, why were these authors forgotten?
Every book lover has a favourite forgotten author. For every Agatha Christie, there was another great mystery writer. For every Sherlock Holmes, there was another great detective. I decided to investigate further and uncovered a wealth of stories. Sometimes brilliant writers were too shy to attend their own launch parties. The forgotten authors wrote books you’ve heard of but can’t quite remember, ones that get passed down through families and end up in second-hand shops.
The project of unearthing these writers became a labour of love that made me new friends around the world, as I tracked them down and heard their stories. I tracked some writers to their homes, where they told me the truth about what had happened to them. But I also look at the novels they wrote, and show why they’re worth seeking out.
My ten-year mission to collect them produced over 450 missing authors. My editor Rich Arcus and I selected 99 of the best, together with a dozen essays about others. ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’, tells the stories of the authors who deserve to be rediscovered by book lovers everywhere. The selection is designed to inspire, to offer new reading ideas and let you take another look at authors you only thought you knew.
It will be followed by a national tour of readings and signings, and I’ve just finished recording the audiobook.
After this comes ‘Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors’, which goes back to 1969, an extraordinary time that saw a man walk on the moon and the Charles Manson murders. This book showcases the detectives as much younger men, seen through the fractured prism of Bryant’s faulty memory as they causes havoc in London and in the countryside. We also have a wonderful new artist for the covers.
The book will be followed by a new present-day Bryant & May adventure, and a second book of missing cases called ‘England’s Finest’.
One of the most exciting projects for the entire Bryant & May series is the long-awaited repackaging of the books, ironing out the different styles to make them into one collectable, desirably geeky set of editions. I’m supervising the new editions, and as I’m embarrassingly geeky myself you can be assured that they’ll be the bee’s knees.
Good news also on the LK Fox front; ‘Little Boy Found’ is doing really well as an e-book (at the time of writing it’s part of a special Kobo Bank Holiday promotion, priced at just 99p, and there’ll be a different promotion in early September) and then it will appear in paperback.
It will be followed by a new LK Fox suspense thriller about two women who are lifelong friends. Also on the horizon is ‘The Foot On The Crown’, a historical fantasy which I’ve finished and am now taking advice on. Various other irons in the fire, too – but I think that’s enough for now!