A Bumper Year Coming: Start Building Bookshelves Now

Bryant and May, Reading & Writing

I work on narratives for a couple of years and then everything suddenly comes out together, but this does seem to be shaping up as my bumper year. The Bryant & May books are, it seems, doing okay; they may never reach the giddy sales heights of a Lee Child or an SJ Watson but it looks as if more readers are discovering the dubious delights of spending a few hours with the borderline dysfunctionals of the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

So, this is the way it’s looking;

We start with ‘Invisible Ink: The Mysterious Case Of The Disappearing Authors in October. This consists of my first one hundred columns from The Independent on Sunday, rewritten with added information. There are a great many authors we grew up with whose books became touchstones in our lives. They were popular, influential and hugely successful, but they vanished from bookshelves, even in their own lifetimes. What happened to them?
There will be a small launch party for the book in central London.

Next up in November is the graphic novel ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May No.1’, which includes two cases, ‘The Soho Devil’ and ‘The Severed Claw’, together with various items of ephemera. There will be a signing for the book at Forbidden Planet, London, and it will be orderable overseas.

In June of the new year comes ‘Plastic’, my long-gestating thriller. This is its first publication and features a foreword by Joanne Harris. Thanks to parts of the book being leaked by fans, ‘Plastic’ is one of the few novels that got nice reviews even before it was printed.
‘The dark reverse of a personal growth novel, a hoot of a crime thriller.’ The Independent.

In April comes ‘Film Freak’, another memoir in the style of ‘Paperboy’. This one deals with my years at the arse-end of the British film industry, dragging script around to disinterested producers as cinema box office collapsed in the UK. It has been described as ‘hilarious and heartbreaking’ but I don’t trust reviews and nor should you.

After this, although without a date just yet, there’s my first new stand-alone thriller in several years. ‘There’s Something I Haven’t Told You’ reveals the tangled network of deceit that exists between three people, each of whom has omitted to tell something important to the person they love. It starts with assassination and kidnap – and ends with a surprise.

Somewhere between all of this, the first of TWO new Bryant & May novels will appear. The first is ‘Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart’. dark and eerie in tone, with the subject being death itself. The second is an incapacitated Bryant solving a crime that requires him to revisit past untold cases, in ‘Bryant & May and the Burning Man’.

On top of this there will be the theatre play ‘Falling Stars’ and a Hammer radio play called ‘The Devil In Darkness’, as well as numerous short stories appearing in anthologies. I hope also to get my collection ‘Red Gloves’ out as a mass market paperback – anyone got any ideas?

NB The picture top right shows Keith Page’s rendition of Spitalfields.

24 comments on “A Bumper Year Coming: Start Building Bookshelves Now”

  1. Phil says:

    Think I had better get a bank loan out for all these!! How come you are a no-show at the fantasy con in Brighton this year??

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    You can’t be serious.
    We have a finished basement. I can’t squeeze another bookshelf in. As it is the shelves are packed so tightly, I have to employ the jaws of life to draw out a book and risk having a half-shelf’s worth of books suddenly expand out all over me? It takes forever the “replace”, actually pound them back in line, using a felt pad and a wooden mallet.
    Seriously now, Bryant & May and the Burning Man? How will you get an incapacitated Bryant to the Nevada desert to join this fiery and odd festival the last week of each August? Or I’m I so Deep American I’m missing a Deep E. reference?
    Now that you have a beachhead in Spain, I’d thought you’d be promoting translations and allow us to catch up with other authors.

  3. Patricia Penon says:

    I wonder when the Bryant & May books will be published in the U.S. I’m still waiting for The Invisible Code.

  4. stephen groves says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve started a list of family members who I consider have body parts they don’t really use that much .
    Good to know Bryant & May are continueing.
    all best

  5. Philip Jackson says:

    Happy days aplenty! Good to hear there’s more B&M to look forward to, and I’m glad you’ve amassed the Invisible Ink articles, as I missed this in the Independent (I’m a Guardian man myself).

  6. Andrea Yang says:

    Excited about all the new books. I have just reached the Cyril Villa chapter in Paperboy and now I can look forward to the next installment. I hope to add your graphic novel to the library system where I work and introduce Bryant and May to a whole new group of readers, including my son!

  7. Merlinprincess says:

    Buying bookcases with glass doors this weekend ( hate dusting) I might need to get a whole new extra one for that lot!

  8. BangBang!! says:

    Oh how brilliant! Please let me get a job soon or I’m going to have to wait for some of these and I have little enough patience as it is!

  9. Ben Aaronovitch says:

    Strangely enough I was just using my ill gotten gains to install some serious shelving – so bring it on – I’m ready.

  10. John Howard says:

    IKEA order placed, wife is considering divorce and i’m looking for a 2nd job. On second thoughts if I took a second job I wouldn’t have enough time to read them all so forget that.

    Dan, there was a pagan burning man that was very Deep English, apparently Julius Caeser referred to it in his ‘Commentary on the Gallic War’. So, very Deep Man. Who knows, maybe the chaps could be going all druid on us. (Slaps head in sudden realisation, Arthur IS a druid!).

    Hi ADMIN, I’ve had my very own, ‘It Came From Behind The Shelf’ moment. Whilst making a little room for all the extra stuff recently bought, I came across ‘Samuel Pepys – The Man In The Making’ by our very own Arthur Bryant first published in 1933. Hasn’t the boy been a busy lad. Finally can I just say I am looking forward to all of the upcoming stuff.

  11. Reuben says:

    Unusually I can’t find anywhere in the UK offering a pre-order for the Bryant & May GN yet. Still plenty of time of course.

  12. Mary says:

    Such really good news. A beam of sunlight to look forward to.

  13. Chris Lancaster says:

    I’ve been keeping an eye on the PS website, but no mention of the B&M graphic novel yet. Do you know when in November it is due? Great news about Plastic, btw. I had assumed it was going the way of Sherlock Holmes and the giant rat of Sumatra – “a story for which the world is not ready”!

  14. Helen Martin says:

    I have to make sure to read some deep Canadian periodically so have been following Inspector Gamache in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, but I obviously must reactivate Amazon.UK. We gave up on shelves some time ago and the den/library/scriptorium/tv/computer room now has 10 book piles 3feet high. I really will have to do something to rectify the situation before all of these new books come out.

  15. Dan Terrell says:

    Thank you John. I do remember about the Wicker Man who was burned, so that must be the ember of the story.
    Now, you all usually hang with me, so please do again. As you mention Deep English and Helen mentions deep canadian, may I quickly tell you the best Deep English happening of the month. I take that as a posiotive show of hands.
    This afternoon I attend a Washington Bach Consort program in Washington, D.C. In addition to two pieces by Bach, there are pieces by John Blow – let’s race on – William Boyce, G. F. Handel & Gibbons. During the interval (intermission) a tall, slender woman comes up to me and says: “They are all quite good aren’t they?’ Does plummy crusty English accent work here? Very Upstairs, Upstairs sounding and that’s the compliment, okay. I agreed. Then she says that the chorus sings the German exceeding well. Don’t I think?” I agreed. Wait, it’s coming. “It is just so unfortunate they had to sing the William Boyce. They don’t sing English at all well.” Ta dam!
    Cue Shirley Bassey.
    This is a for real. Happened about 4:30 pm our time.

  16. John Howard says:

    Like the story Dan, and Upstairs, Upstairs works as a method of description.

    Hi Helen, know the ‘piles of books on the floor’ idea. I too seem to have a den/library/scriptorium/computer/boys room but only recently have managed to squeeze some bookshelves in. The problem is that the shelves are full and I still have piles (in the book sense you understand). Having read the Deep Canadian reference I have ordered ‘Still Life’ and will be giving Inspector Gamache a go.

  17. Helen Martin says:

    That is a very good one, John, so enjoy! Dan, you do know that to be a music enthusiast you must always find something to criticise; it proves you don’t accept everything on offer holus bolus. I asked an organist about a concert I’d missed (more of those than ones I’ve caught)and his comment was that the musician had spent more time arranging the event than he had practising, but that it had been pretty good. That I’d accept, but how was the chorus’ English singing?

  18. J. Folgard says:

    Good news! Please keep us posted with info about your various publishers, it’ll help preordering those babies! Another good thing is, I’ve been reading your books and blog for several years now, and I like the fact that every project you tease us with materializes sooner or later -some other creators in the same ‘field’ are notorious for endless hype and tease that, in the end, amount to nothing. So keep them coming, please!

  19. Dan Terrell says:

    Helen – the English the lady heard was North American English (Great North American version, which includes New England and the Eastern half of the upper Midwest, as well as halfway down the Eastern seaboard). Perhaps, the chorus was less “trippingly on the tongue” than a British group might have been, but the phrasing and enunciation sounded spot on to me.
    She really rather irked me. My wife has created a 26-version homestudy course called Accent Modification & Communication Skills for Native Speakers of ——. I fought not to recommend the woman take the course for —— English Speakers.
    However, she is now fodder for a future character. As admin writes: talking to people is the best way and I’m fortunate people have always seem to come out of the weeds to chat. Although when I was much younger, and single, it was usually not the young females. But, perhaps, that’s because of this; Once at a party in Jakarta, a Dutch woman well-steeped in plum “antifreeze” came up to my wife and said: “About your husband’s beard and mustache. Don’t you think it makes him look like a pinching Greek?” My wife said: “Yes. I really suffered at first, but don’t worry. He won’t pinch you.”

  20. BangBang!! says:

    I used to have a full set myself Dan with a beard a good foot long. Spontaneously one day I shaved it off. I came down stairs and my wife didn’t say a word. I left it an hour and then pointed it out to her. She said, ‘I thought there was something different but I couldn’t put my finger on it!’. Funny how we can’t see what’s in front of us sometimes.

  21. Stephen Groves says:

    Hi Chris,

    How about trying ‘Red Gloves’ with Hammer.They seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment.

    All Best

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