What The Author Did Next
Christmas is approaching – it’s the time from which writers theoretically derive most of their earnings. This isn’t usually the case for me because my books tend to be published in spring and autumn. I don’t have the weight to punch through the scrum of summer holiday/ Christmas publications.
This year and next year, however, I’ve something very close to Christmas arrivals. The new paperback edition of ‘The Book of Forgotten Authors’ is revised and extended, and out now. The author entries have been spruced up and updated to include ongoing revivals of some of the authors, and there’s a new section at the end featuring an essay, ‘Where were all the BAME writers?’, plus a new author, William Melvin Kelley, whose backlist has been returned to print to coincide with the publication of the paperback. I’ll be continuing publicity through to March, when I’ll be in one of my favourite cities, Glasgow, for the Aye Write! festival.
And next year it looks as if there will be TWO Bryant & May books, the first ‘The Lonely Hour’, arriving in March, followed by the second collection of the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s missing cases, ‘England’s Finest’, arriving late autumn / early Christmas. This volume will feature longer stories and a missing case much discussed by our decrepit duo in earlier novels, the body found in the basement of the PCU.
I’m not due to start the 19th Bryant & May novel until March, which is just as well as I haven’t a clue what I’m doing for it yet, then I should really go on to a twentieth, just because I should. In the meantime, I’m finishing the first draft of my standalone thriller, under my own name this time. My publishers failed to send my pseudonymous novel ‘Little Boy Found’ into print for reasons beyond my control, so I’ll be reverting to my own identity. This means there are two ‘rogue’ novels out there; ‘Breathe’ was published by a small press house some years ago and they retain a death-grip on the rights. And ‘Little Boy Found’ was written under the name ‘L K Fox’, but one day I’ll buy it back and republish under my own name.
I swore I wouldn’t write any more short stories but I’ve just delivered one. I’d love to write another play, and another graphic novel, and I’m looking around for new collaborative projects to get involved with. The beauty is that I’m still far enough below the bestseller radar to be able to choose what I want to do. A friend of mine who writes ‘Dr Who’ (among many other things) gets attacked by lunatic Whovians on Facebook and was going to take down his page until his agent said, somewhat bluntly; ‘If you do that you’ll remove the only reason people have for remembering you.’ Ouch. The moral? Be remembered for your prose, not your brand.