• Clair Lamb

March 2021 Newsletter

Updated: Mar 9


Dear Folks,


Hello, and welcome to the first newsletter of 2021. I know some of you may not have emerged entirely unscathed from the awfulness of 2020 — my own family has suffered its losses, and my sympathies to anyone who has been affected likewise — but this year promises some hope, and for that we can be thankful.


In the meantime we have books, wine, and one another, so things could be worse. Obviously, I personally could always use some more wine, which is where you come in. The wine fund thanks you in advance for all donations via book sales. I’ll think of you as I sip, and the better the wine, the more fondly I’ll regard you, so it’s a win-win for all of us.


A New Home for ABC to XTC


I often say it’s lucky I’ve been able to support myself as an author, because I don’t know what I’d be qualified to do otherwise, a career as a male model apart. (And yes, I can hear you sniggering at the back.) But once a week since October 2010, I’ve been able to indulge every music fan’s fantasy, programming my own radio show for the internet station RTÉ 2XM. ABC to XTC explores and shares my own favorite punk, post-punk, and New Wave music from the late 1970s through the 1980s, with the occasional modern track from a beloved artist or new artist working in those older traditions.


Now, deep into its second decade — a phrase I don’t quite believe — ABC to XTC is making a move within the RTÉ stable. After one last show on 2XM on Sunday, February 28, I’m moving to RTÉ Gold, which also streams online, on Saturday, March 6 at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time.


The show will run weekly on Saturdays at 5:00, and you can listen from anywhere in the world via the website or via the RTÉ Player mobile app. In Ireland, listeners can also tune in via DAB at Mux 1, Saorview at Channel 208, and Virgin Media at Channel 941. Shows should be available to stream for up to four weeks on the website or through the RTÉ Player. I welcome suggestions and requests via Twitter @jconnollybooks, but do keep them clean.


Thanks to RTÉ 2XM for giving me a home these past ten years or so, and thanks to RTÉ Gold for the warm welcome.


THE DIRTY SOUTH in UK Paperback on April 1


Many still prefer paper and print in this world of electronic media, as do I. To those of you who share my enlightened/ Luddite views — feel free to delete as appropriate — I am delighted to show you the new cover art for Hodder & Stoughton’s UK paperback of THE DIRTY SOUTH, available from your favorite Irish or British bookseller on April 1. The backlist titles are likely to be reissued in similar form over the next year or so. Look at me, all modern and sans-serif. Rest assured, though, my fondness for a nice bit of velvet will remain undimmed. We don’t want to get completely carried away . . .


THE DIRTY SOUTH is a prequel to the Parker series, taking place after the deaths of Parker’s wife and daughter but before the main events of EVERY DEAD THING. In 1997, a report of murders similar to those of Parker’s family brings him to Burdon County, Arkansas. What Parker finds there is a town of deep and twisted secrets, a family at war with itself, and the beginning of his own personal mission.


THE DIRTY SOUTH is a good jumping-off point for those new to the series, or a good place to return for those who lost track of the series sometime back. Publishers Weekly called it “intelligent and subtle,” and Booklist said it was “a hell of a tale,” but you’d better read it yourselves to decide whether they know what they’re talking about. All complaints to them, not me. I just work here.


Meanwhile, the US paperback edition of THE DIRTY SOUTH will be available on May 11 from Atria/Emily Bestler Books.


THE NAMELESS ONES — now in July!


The global pandemic has disrupted everything, including the many interlocking pieces of the publishing industry, but one happy result is that my UK publishers have moved up the publication date of THE NAMELESS ONES, the next novel set in the Parker universe, to July 8 in the UK and about a week earlier than that in Ireland. The US/Canada publication date remains October 12.


I don’t have cover art to show you yet, but I can tell you that this book is less a Parker novel and more of an Angel-and-Louis novel. After THE REAPERS I’d said I probably wouldn’t write another Angel-and-Louis novel, but what did I know? Remarkably enough, it’s not the first time I’ve been wrong about something. Maybe the second. Third at a push.


THE NAMELESS ONES begins almost immediately after the events of A BOOK OF BONES, although you don’t need to have read A BOOK OF BONES to understand what’s going on. (Then again, you do need to have read A BOOK OF BONES in order to support my wine fund.) The disappearance of an old ally draws Louis and Angel to Amsterdam, and from there to Vienna and Serbia in pursuit of violent men and their companion, who may not be human at all.


It feels unlikely that I’ll be touring the UK for this book, though we may try to schedule an event or two for Dublin and Belfast if enough people are vaccinated by then. As for the US, we shall have to wait and see. Signed books will be available, one way or another, probably along with one of our usual little gifts for loyal readers, so watch for more information about that in a month or two. For now, the nice people at The Gutter, Alan Hanna's, No Alibis, and Goldsboro will be happy to take advance orders for the UK edition.


So there we are. Keep washing your hands, keep wearing those masks, stay well, and take good care of each other. You can find me on Twitter @jconnollybooks, and get any breaking news on the official Facebook page. I look forward to seeing you again in person before too long, and thanking you for all that wine.


Your socially-distanced friend,


John