- Clair Lamb
First of all, apologies for the slight delay in getting the newsletter out, but we were trying to nail down final dates for Irish signings. Consider it delayed gratification, albeit on a very small scale…
So where did June go? More to the point, where is my life going, and can I have some of it back, please? To be honest, June hasn’t been the greatest of months, so I’m happy to see it receding into the distance. Among other things, I finally succumbed to the dreaded lurgy, after two-and-a-bit years of dodging it, like a soldier evading sniper fire while his comrades fall by the wayside. It was little more than a sniffle and a headache—hurrah for vaccines—but I still don’t recommend catching it.
Anyway, given that few clouds are entirely without silver linings, self-isolating in my office meant that I was able to finish a draft of THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, as well as doing some further work on the next Parker novel, so I’m right on track to have a decision to make about which manuscript to submit come the autumn.
But that’s next year’s book. Meanwhile, this year’s, THE FURIES, will be in stores in Ireland in just a few weeks—Tuesday July 26th, to be precise—on sale in the UK on August 4th, and in Australia and New Zealand on August 9th.
THE FURIES returns to Charlie Parker’s first person point of view, and brings him up to the present day in not one but two short novels: The Sisters Strange, a revision and extension of the serial I published as a pandemic experiment in 2020, and The Furies, an entirely new story set just before the pandemic lockdown. We’ve posted a new excerpt to the website, the first two chapters of The Furies, and you can read that here (click on “read an excerpt”).
Meanwhile, the first reviews of THE FURIES are coming in, with Publishers Weekly describing it as “exceptional” in a starred review, which is very nice of them. You can read their take on the book here.
Live and In Person, Kind Of
Further to the missive above, COVID has not entirely left us, which is limiting my in-person appearances for THE FURIES. Stores – and readers – understandably remain a bit reluctant to return to the kind of sit-down events that were common pre-lockdown, but we’re working on a schedule of signings in the UK, so at least folks will be able to come along, get their book signed, pick up this year’s natty tote bag, and go about their business, all in a matter of a few minutes.
But the first of the more formal appearances is coming right up: I’ll be at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival on Saturday, July 23rd, in conversation with Mark Lawson. It appears that weekend passes have sold out, but you may still be able to get a ticket for the single event, which begins at 5:00 p.m., here.
The official Dublin launch for THE FURIES is happening on Tuesday, July 26th at 6:30 p.m. at The Gutter Bookshop. No ticket or booking required, just come along on the night. All attendees must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks will not be required, per the store, but you’re obviously free to wear one if it makes you feel more comfortable. You can also pre-order a copy of the book to be signed that night here (and keep reading for a full list of pre-order links).
Due to personal and travel commitments, there will just be two further Irish signings, at least in the week of publication. We’ll have tote bags for each, and the stores will happily reserve copies for those who can’t make it on the day.
Thursday July 28 at 1:00 p.m.
120 O’Connell Street, Limerick.
Thursday July 28 at 5:00 p.m.
4 Shop Street, Galway
I’ll be dashing back to Dublin immediately after the Galway signing in order to pack a bag for the UK. Such is the life of the beloved literary figure and noted humanitarian . . .
We are waiting for final details of UK signings in August, so please stay tuned. We’ll send another short newsletter out at the end of the month, and will post signings as confirmed on the Events page, and will share details on Facebook and Twitter.
Later this year, on Saturday, September 3rd, I will join Mark Billingham in conversation at the first Spike Island Literary Festival, in Cork Harbor. That event is scheduled to run from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., but it includes the boat ride to and from Spike Island and a guided tour as well as the talk. Tickets are available for the entire festival, which runs September 2-4, or to single events here.
And because it seems to be my year for festivals, I’ll be at Bloody Scotland in Stirling on Friday, September 16, talking with author Alex North at 7:30 p.m. Again, you can buy a ticket for the entire festival, or for the event alone here.
We still haven’t figured out what’s happening with United States bookstores or events, but hope to get all that sorted before the August newsletter. I have not forgotten you.
A Soundtrack for THE FURIES
To my gratitude and delight, the composer David O’Brien, who performs as Envoy and has composed music to accompany earlier Charlie Parker novels, created a score for “The Sisters Strange,” which he is making available later this month. David describes it here, with a sample track:
“Lost Bear” is the opening track from “The Sisters Strange” score, composed during the first period of lockdown in Ireland and done simultaneously with the chapter releases of John’s novel of the same name. The entire score has been revised and refined, and will also include three brand new pieces of music inspired by the second novel in John’s new book THE FURIES.
All of the music will be free of charge via BandCamp, but should anyone wish to purchase it, all of the money will go toward my daughter Odette's therapy fund, which is used for physical therapy and equipment to help her reach her full potential through her journey with Cerebral Palsy. This can be done via BandCamp and you can select how much you’d like to contribute. The entire album will be released on Friday July 22nd, just enough time to get you in the mood for THE FURIES, which launches just five days later. (Trust me, you’re in for a treat.)
I hope you like the music, folks. It has provided some vital distraction over the last couple of years, and I'd love if it brought a little joy to you.
Again, the full soundtrack will be available on July 22nd, and you can listen to it (and purchase it for download, if you like) here.
Those Pre-Order Links Again . . .
Signed copies of THE FURIES, with the custom-designed Fulci Brothers tote bag (while supplies last!), will be available from these fine stores in the UK and Ireland:
The Gutter Bookshop
Alan Hanna's Bookshop
No Alibis Bookstore
The Secret Bookshelf
And in case you’ve forgotten that tote bag design, here it is again (this is a mock-up, I’m not sure what the fabric looks like):
Alert readers have noticed that the hand with the “FULCI” tattoo has six fingers. We’re not sure which of the Fulci brothers, if either, has six fingers. Somehow it felt impolite to ask.
Hello, North America!
THE FURIES will be published on the far side of the pond on September 27th, and I’m currently examining how I might be able to spend a little time over there to coincide with its appearance, having been away for so long. As it happens, SHADOW VOICES, my 1,100-page piece of light reading, which uses Irish writers to examine the history of genre writing, will be published in North America on the same day, which is all the more reason to return.
And Hello – Shortly – To New Readers in Arabic
The Parker novels are about to be translated into Arabic for the first time, which will be the 29th language for the books. The Al Arabi publishing house in Cairo has acquired the rights to Every Dead Thing, and it will join a list that includes Ian Rankin, Claudia Piñeiro, and Pierre Lemaitre.
And the Rest
The UK e-book edition of SHADOW VOICES is being offered in the UK on all platforms for the bargain price of £3.44, or thereabouts, which is about as good a bargain as you’re likely to get this month. Also, since the physical book is so heavy, it means that you won’t put your back out with the e-book version, although, on the other hand, you won’t be able to use it also as a footstool, doorstop, handy step, or weapon. Don’t say that we don’t give you options…
Many things feel uncertain at the moment, but you will find me on RTÉ Gold every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time, playing the punk, post-punk and New Wave music I love on ABC to XTC. That show streams online, either via the RTÉ mobile app or through the website, here. Shows remain available for playback for a few weeks.
And there you have it . . . thanks, as always, for your support, and I hope to see many of you in person soon.