Monday, 18 June 2007

Catching up...'s been a while since my last post but I've been working hard on my next book - leaving little time for much else. There will be a teaser of this novel (the first chapter) in the back of the paperback of BLOOD TIES, which is out this September but you'll have to wait until next year for publication of my second book. Meanwhile, I recently received the BLOOD TIES paperback book proof from my publishers. And it looks fantastic - especially with The Bookseller's lovely quotes splashed on the front and back covers. I was lucky enough to be picked up recently in the magazine's Autumn Paperback Preview section in the 'Breakthrough' novel category. I was even compared to Harlen Coben! The week before, The Bookseller listed BLOOD TIES in its 'Ones to watch' column, with another nice quote describing it as "a hard-hitting debut" and giving it "high marks". This is all gearing up for the September release of the paperback, of course, which suddenly seems mighty close even though we haven't had summer yet. Before then, I have to turn in novel number two and cram in a much-needed holiday. That we haven't booked yet.

The signs so far are fantastic for BLOOD TIES doing really well in Australia and New Zealand. It was released downunder at the beginning of June and, apparently, it's receiving quite a lot of hype. I was recently interviewed for a feature in the Sunday books section of the Sydney Sun Herald - to coincide with the recent publication - and this should be out in the next week or two. I have quite a few Aussie visitors to my site so make sure you pick up a copy! When I know exact dates, I'll post it here but I suspect it's Sunday 24th June. Plus, I'm in the featured authors section of the Australian Hachette Livre website.

Oh, and huge thanks to Lisa (June 14th) and Mel (June 17th) for posting fabulous reviews and very kind words about my book on their blogs. This is just the kind of thing that I love to see. Real people reading and enjoying BLOOD TIES. I want my work to bring on masses of talk and discussion and whip up some serious book group banter. Real soon now (promise) I'll be putting some book group discussion points on my website to get things started. And look what I found ... New Zealand Woman's Weekly have a competition to win 5 copies of BLOOD TIES. Fabulous!

And I now have a German cover. It's really quite scary, don't you think? I really like it, even though it's very different to the UK and Australian cover. The German publishers obviously know their market and dressed it suitably. It would certainly catch my eye in a bookshop.

Back in April, on the hardback launch day, I signed all these copies of BLOOD TIES. In record time, apparently. Perhaps it was because I wasn't too fussy about searching for a pen that was 'just right' or having a certain blend of tea to accompany the job or even a neck and shoulder massage while penning my name in all two hundred copies. Authors do, it would seem, develop little signing quirks. This is something to look forward to although if I do develop a signing fetish, then I hope it's for something easy to procure - like a bar of chocolate. (The pic was taken before I signed, hence the half-smile!)

I've been 'out there' quite a bit recently - let loose among book buyers while wined and dined in perfect style by my publishers. A jaunt up to Edinburgh followed a trip to Leeds and London where Headline staff collected other authors and book trade folk together for very enjoyable evenings of chat about our books and, of course, the world in general (that bit came later). Before I was 'signed', I hadn't realised just how important this sort of thing really is. Book buyers - a particularly friendly lot, it seems - are key to getting books in store and therefore, into readers' hands. I'm in London again soon for another dinner to meet the Amazon folk and also to do a Meet the Author video clip. I wonder how many takes I'm allowed?

Vegetable-wise (for those that don't know, I'm a passionate grower) things are coming on well in the garden. Having said that, my patch is a victim of time deficiency but even so, we've had all kinds of lettuce coming out of our ears, and the broad beans are fattening nicely, courgettes by the dozen are swelling and I've got a gazillion tomatoes, chillies, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers on the way. Not to mention all the other thousands of seeds I've not even had time to plant. Oh, and some of the potatoes are in flower although I haven't a clue when to harvest the earlies. Anyone know about spuds?

Finally, I've held my breath and jumped into myspace so do come and say hi and add me to your friends list. I'm going to (ha ha, when I get time) send out bulletins about my books and various events that I'll be attending in the future.

Meanwhile, take care all and thanks for visiting.

Sam xx