My new Katie Flanagan mystery, An Air That Kills, comes out on Friday. An author’s work is not over when she has delivered the final draft to her editor, or even when she has sent back the corrected proofs. Far from it. There is still all that is involved in trying to promote the novel. So for the last week or two, I have been writing pieces for other people’s blogs and web-sites. I’ll be putting up links as they appear. And this time there is actually a blog tour – which is a thrill! I’ve never had one before!
Soon I’ll be getting back to the next writing project, but for now I’ll try to make the most of my little bit of time in the spotlight and as for Friday – the bottle of wine is already cooling in the fridge. Of course I hope the book will do well and I am very grateful to my lovely publishers for the effort they have been putting into PR. And I love the striking cover design. But for now, whatever happens, simply being published and having a new book out will be ample reason for raising a glass or two.
Writing a novel involves spending an awful lot of time on one’s own. It can be difficult to meet other writers and that is where the Crime Writers’ Association is such a godsend. I joined in 2002 when my first novel came out and through the CWA I have made some very good friends. They have helped to keep me going through the inevitable ups and down of a writer’s life. And there’s the opportunity just to hang out with other writers at conferences – I have been to the Lake District, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Lincoln. We are a famously convivial lot. But the stellar event in the UK crime-writers’ firmament is undoubtedly is the Daggers Dinner, held this year on 24th October at the Leonardo City Hotel in London. The photo shows me and my friends, Sarah Ward (left) and Kate Ellis (right) quaffing prosecco. Kate won the Dagger in the Library that evening. The winner of the Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year was M C Craven for The Puppet Show.
The following week-end I headed up to Newcastle to hear my short story, ‘Safe as Houses,’ read brilliantly by Janine Birkett as one of three stories on the programme of Haunted: Ghost Story Readings for Halloween at the Lit and Phil (a Newcastle Institution – in every way). The other too were a Victorian shocker, ‘The Phantom Coach’ by Amelia B Edwards, and the disturbing ‘Three Miles Up’ by Elizabeth Jane Howard. It was all great fun. The other reader and the producer, Stephen Tomlin of Demiparadise Productions, is shown here with me and Janine.
So now it’s back to earth . . . But there’s the CWA Christmas Party and a spring conference in Torquay to look forward to.
If you are a crime writer, I hope you’ll consider joining us. If not, you could join our sister group, the Crime Readers’ Association, for free and receive news and reviews every month: http://thecra.co.uk.