It’s Publication Day (Again!)
To commemorate the launch of my latest novel, I had Maggie Armitage over for tea to tell me all about why there are people living in her TV set, the drug dealers on the Blackstock Road, mysteriously moving dustbins, the resurrection and what makes her turn off the fridge at night. The threshing machine of her mind is a source of endless fascination.
They say the fun wears off, that you eventually become blasé about your publication day, and perhaps one day I will, but for now I still walk around with a badly suppressed gleeful smile on my face all day, like a child happily adding jam to soup. I may be wrong but I make this my 49th published book in total, even allowing for anomalies like ‘Breathe’, ‘Menz Insana’ and ‘Little Boy Found’.
‘The Lonely Hour’ also my 17th Bryant & May book, and possibly the darkest, although there are a few top jokes. The 18th will be ‘England’s Finest’, out October 31st this year, comprising a dozen missing cases, including the story of what happened to the ambassador’s son, found in a stone coffin in the basement of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.
The following March will see the arrival of the 19th volume, not that I’ve started it yet but I’m well into the planning stage (me, planning, ha!) a process which consists of me mooching around London eating Rolo doughnuts and pushing open doors marked ‘Do Not Enter’.
And there my contract will end. I’m counting on it being renewed in time for a 20th volume, and then the time may have come to call it quits. We’ll see; it all seems a very long way off. There are other projects I’d like to tackle currently waiting on back-burners. They may take years to finish and certainly won’t sell as well, but you have to keep growing and changing.
Onward! Being interviewed by crime knowledge supremo Barry Forshaw in Covent Garden tonight, then into the Lamb & Flag across the road (the pub features in the new novel and is the oldest in Covent Garden, once used to stage bare-knuckle prize fights in the 17th Century. Fights took place on the cobbled front yard and in the back room, which became known as The Bucket of Blood.) I’ll be there with friends for beer therapy. And that’s all it takes to make me happy.