Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A Day in the writing life of JM Gulvin.

Today and on the first stop of his The Long Count blog tour J M Gulvin talks about a day in his writing life.

It’s January 1968 and it’s snowing. Not here in Wales where I live, it’s snowing over the Fort Worth Turnpike in Dallas, Texas where John Q is meeting with his father to collect his son’s belated Christmas present.

I’m on the third John Quarrie novel, he’s an old school Texas Ranger and my landscape is the flat lands of Wilbarger County in the Texas panhandle. I’m at my desk in the Welsh town of Crickhowell, my view the River Usk and the Llangattock Escarpment. It’s a stunning landscape, a holiday town and people ask me how I can sit in one country and write about another in another time period altogether. I just tell them I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s easy for me.

Actually, I think coming away from one’s subject matter isn’t a bad thing, because a novelist’s most powerful tool is their imagination. It’s the way one adds a sepia tint to the work in order to make sure the flavour is exactly as it should be.

I’m not good at mornings so I’m up just before nine, at my desk ten minutes later with the first of many cups of Americano filtered coffee. Today I’m looking at a scarred Welsh skyline, though it matters little. As soon as I turn to the page I’m in Texas fifty years ago driving a 1965 Buick Riviera with a Wildcat 425 under the hood, a radio fixed to the dash, and carrying a pair of single action army pistols.
From that moment on nothing matters except a sip of “gone cold” coffee. My day is spent in Texas, the only interruption, to get up and microwave that ailing cup of coffee.

The Long Count, by JM Gulvin, is published on 5th May by Faber & Faber (£12.99)

In The Long Count, the first book of JM Gulvin’s masterful new crime series, we meet Ranger John Quarrie as he is called to the scene of an apparent suicide by a fellow war veteran. Although the local police want the case shut down, John Q is convinced that events aren’t quite so straightforward.  When his hunch is backed up by the man’s son, Isaac - just back from Vietnam and convinced his father was murdered - they start to look into a series of other violent incidents in the area, including a recent fire at the local Trinity Asylum and the disappearance of Isaac’s twin brother, Ishmael. In a desperate race against time, John Q has to try to unravel the dark secrets at the heart of this family and get to the truth before the count is up...

Monday, 2 May 2016

Malice Domestic - Agatha Award Winners

Malice Domestic announced the Agatha Award Winners on Sunday 1st May 2016.

Congratulations to all! The full list of nominees can be found here!

Best Contemporary Novel
Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)

Best Historical Novel
Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King (Bantam)

Best First Novel
On the Road with Del and Louise by Art Taylor (Henery Press)

Best Non-Fiction
The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story,
A Year Without Santa Claus?”  by Barb Goffman (AHMM)

Best Children’s/Young Adult
Andi Unstoppable  by Amanda Flower (Zonderkidz) -

Friday, 29 April 2016

MWA Announces the 2016 Edgar® Award Winners

Mystery Writers of America at its 70th gala dinner announced the winners on 29th April 2016 of the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honouring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2015.

Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House - Dutton)

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper)

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers - HarperCollins)

"Obits" – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)

"Gently with the Women" - George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)

"Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Russell W. Johnson (Dell Magazines)

GRAND MASTER Walter Mosley

RAVEN AWARDS Margaret Kinsman Sisters in Crime

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International


Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ian Rankin marks the 30th anniversary of John Rebus

2017 marks the thirtieth anniversary of one of crime fiction’s greatest characters, John Rebus, created by one of the world’s leading crime writers, Ian Rankin.
On 28th April the Orion Publishing Group will be announcing news of a year-long series of events and activities to mark the anniversary of the famous creation.
28th April is both Ian Rankin’s birthday and the date Rebus first walked across the page of Knots and Crosses. Over the course of the anniversary year Rankin will be embarking on a major international tour; Orion will be publishing special editions of selected titles; and two very exciting events in Edinburgh and London are being planned.
One of the highlights of the year is a role Rankin has accepted at one of the UK’s most respected universities with an international reputation for its creative writing courses. The University of East Anglia is delighted to announce that Ian Rankin will join as UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professor in September 2016. It is a testament to the impact Ian Rankin and his creation John Rebus has had on crime writing and British literature that he has been offered this prestigious position.
UEA's prestigious visiting UNESCO professorships bring leading authors of international reputation to the university by invitation, to engage with UEA's world-leading Creative Writing programmes. Ian Rankin will be on campus during the autumn semester, and contribute to seminars, lectures, and tutorials.
Ian Rankin said:
“I was still a full-time student when I wrote Inspector Rebus's first adventure. That was in 1984/5 and Edinburgh University didn't have a Creative Writing course. Almost no university did - and I remember being jealous of Ian McEwan and others who had learned from their experiences at the University of East Anglia. That's why it is such a privilege and honour to accept UEA's offer of a Visiting Professorship. I hope to learn, share, and teach, because as a writer you should never stop trying to hone your craft.”

Henry Sutton, senior lecturer in Creative Writing at UEA, co-director of UEA's MA in Prose Fiction, said: 
"We are thrilled to be welcoming Ian Rankin to UEA. His extraordinary experience and expertise as a writer of contemporary fiction will be invaluable to our current students, from undergraduates to those studying for PhDs. Ian will also be involved in UEA's new Crime Fiction MA - the crime fiction genre being an area of increasing expertise at the university."