Reviews

‘This is splendidly written fare from the reliable Poulson, written with keen psychological insight.’ [Invisible]

- CRIMETIME

Book Launch! Any excuse for a party . . ..

Posted on Jan 10, 2018 in Cold Cold Heart, Waterstones in Sheffield | 6 Comments

. . . and really, what could be better than a party in a book shop?

The launch of my new novel, Cold Cold Heart, takes place at the Orchard Square branch of Waterstones in Sheffield. It’s on Tuesday 23rd from 7.00-8.30 pm, which is also the date of publication in the US. There will be wine and, as the novel is set in Antarctica, there will be some Antarctic-themed entertainment. All are welcome. It is a ticketed event and you can find out more here: https://www.waterstones.com/events/book-launch-cold-cold-heart-by-christine-poulson/sheffield-orchard-square

I hope to see lots of old friends there, and some new ones, too.

Great God! This is an awful place

Think of this: a place where each night lasts for months and so does each day. The mean annual temperature is −57 °C. It’s a place where money isn’t important because there’s nothing to buy. There are no children or old people or land mammals and only one species of insect. There are no trees or shrubs or flowers, no fresh fruit or vegetables or meat or milk or eggs . . .

It is indeed an awful place, but awe-inspiring, too, and the perfect place to get my series character, Katie Flanagan into terrible trouble. If you’d like to read more about it, here is the link to my post for the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine blog: https://somethingisgoingtohappen.net/2017/12/20/great-god-this-is-an-awful-place-by-christine-poulson/

This is my last post of the year. It only remains for me to wish my readers and blog friends all that they would wish for themselves and their families in 2018. See you in the New Year!

The photo of the ramparts of Mount Erebus is courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The book I wish I had written (and the one I did write)

It’s always a thrill when publication day arrives. All the hard work and waiting is over and here at last is the book! Plans for a launch are in progress, but meanwhile, I’m a guest today on Sue Hepworth’s splendid blog, Fragments from a Writer’s Life, and you can go to http://SueHepworth.com to hear about what I’m reading at the moment,  the book I wish I had written, the book I am most embarrassed at not having read and more.

Sue and I are having a lunch together today and it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that a glass will be raised . . .

Best thing since sliced bread?

It’s that time again in the publishing cycle: the time when I have to bend my mind to promoting my new novel. Cold Cold Heart comes out in the UK in November and in the USA in January 2018. It is always a thrill and a privilege to have a book published. But as for the promoting . . . That is another matter. I’m British! We don’t like to blow our own trumpet.

Or at least it used to be the case . . .  This is what I read in the i newspaper a few weeks ago: ‘judges for this year’s Man Booker prize have condemned the breathless blurbs that overhype mediocre novels . . .’ and rejected ‘submissions accompanied by exaggerated claims by their publishers. “I learnt to ignore blurbs. They are outrageous in certain places,”said Tom Phillips . . . Fellow judge Colin Thubron [added) “In one case, a publisher submitted three or four novels and gave the same blurb to each of them, “the best novel since Tolstoy . . .”’

Perhaps publishers would do better to emulate the wonderful Ray Brooks, a London estate agent who was famous in the 1960s for brutally honest descriptions of the properties that he was selling. Here’s an example. ‘Do not be misled by the trim exterior of this modest period res with its dirty broken windows: all is not well with the inside. The décor of the nine rooms, some of which hangs inelegantly from the ceiling, is revolting. Not entirely devoid of plumbing, there is a pathetic kitchen and one cold tap. No bathroom, of course, but Chelsea has excellent public baths. Rain drips sadly through the ceiling onto the oilcloth. The pock-marked basement floor indicates a thriving community of woodworm, otherwise there is not much wrong with the property.’ In spite of this – or because of it – he made a fortune.

I am not going to emulate Roy Brooks. But nor am I going to claim that my novel is the best thing since sliced bread. I will only say that I have done my best to write a gripping story, to entertain my readers and – perhaps – to keep them up past their bed-time. It will be for them to judge if I have succeeded.