- Clair Lamb
Updated: Mar 29, 2022
Some years ago, a newspaper article once described me as “not quite reclusive, but keeps himself to himself.” After two years of COVID, and counting, that could probably describe most of us—although is it terrible to say that I quite liked some of lockdown?
I admit that I sometimes find it hard to balance the private and public sides of what I do: the requirement to write – even, more properly the need to do so – versus the task of publicizing the products of that writing. To write requires solitude, which may be why I made so much progress on projects during COVID, but the promotional aspect involves tapping into a very different aspect of my personality. The more time one spends indulging one side, the harder it is, I think, to return to the other; and if one is a writer, especially a full-time writer, it may be the solitary, creative side that is the more pronounced anyway. As I get older, that side comes more and more to the fore, which might explain how, in the first decade of my career, I published ten books, and in the thirteen years that followed, I published twenty-four, soon to become twenty-five.
All of which is a roundabout, thinking-aloud way of saying that the resumption of in-person promotional duties, although welcome in some regards, is not without its potential stumbling blocks and adjustments. Still, masked or otherwise, events beckon . . .
The Return: Live and In Person
Following last October’s testing of the waters for SHADOW VOICES, I will be making another public appearance later this week in Belfast, where I will interview my friend Brian McGilloway about his new novel THE EMPTY ROOM at The Crescent, with No Alibis selling books for the event. Brian is a good soul and a fine writer, and THE EMPTY ROOM is his best work yet. The event is free but ticketed, and you can book those tickets here.
I also have the honor of being a special guest at this year’s Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, taking place July 21st through 24th at the Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire. It’s flattering to be among an all-star list that includes Lynda LaPlante, Tess Gerritsen, Michael Connelly, Lucy Foley, Kathy Reichs, and, of course, the Festival Chair, Denise Mina. Since the festival is so close to the UK publication date of THE FURIES, early copies of the book will be available for sale there, and I will be signing them. I think it’s been ten years since I was last at Harrogate for the festival, which is probably just long enough for people to have forgotten whatever it was I said back then, so it’ll all seem fresh and new to them in July. At least, that’s the hope. We may lock the doors, though, just in case. After all, nothing casts a pall over an event like a sudden exodus of punters as soon as one takes the stage.
Plans are still developing for other Irish and UK appearances related to THE FURIES, and that planning has also begun in the US. But now that I’ve mentioned it . . .
A Preview of THE FURIES
THE FURIES, the 20th Charlie Parker book, will go on sale in the UK and Ireland on August 4. The export trade edition will be available in Australia and New Zealand on August 11. And North American bookstores will have the US edition on September 27.
As I mentioned last month, the book is not one but two short-ish Charlie Parker novels (60-70,000 words each, give or take) in a single volume. Regular readers of this newsletter will be familiar to some extent with first one, “The Sisters Strange,” which began as a serialized story on my website during the first year of the pandemic, but has since been expanded to twice its original length. The title novel, “The Furies,” is actually set in early 2020, as Parker takes on two apparently unrelated cases for women who may be better equipped than he realizes to deal with the threats they face.
If you have not yet pre-ordered THE FURIES from one of the fine booksellers listed below, may I offer you a sample to seal the deal? You can read the first chapter of “The Furies” here (click the button that says "Read an Excerpt"). An excerpt from the new incarnation of “The Sisters Strange” will follow in a future newsletter.
In Ireland/the UK, these stores will take your orders for a signed book, to come with a small token of my gratitude, more of which down the line:
In the United States, we are still figuring out what will be possible in terms of signing books and getting swag to bookstores. But these are the stores that will have whatever that turns out to be:
Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
Murder by the Book, Houston, TX
The Mysterious Bookshop, New York, NY
Once Upon a Crime, Minneapolis, MN
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, AZ
Fireside Bookshop, Chagrin Falls, OH
These are not complete lists! We will add links to future newsletters and to the website—and if you are an independent bookseller that would like to be added to our list for signed books and give away items, please let your publisher’s rep know, or send us an email directly at email@example.com.
Books in Translation
For readers in other parts of the world, we are happy to announce that Безименните, the Bulgarian translation of THE NAMELESS ONES, is available from Prozorets, here. We hope to see the Greek translation of THE NAMELESS ONES, and the Italian translation of THE DIRTY SOUTH, later this spring.
Para mis lectores españoles, sigan leyendo . . .
I remind you that THE NAMELESS ONES is now available in paperback throughout the UK and Ireland, from all the finest booksellers. The US paperback will be available on August 16.
A few copies of SHADOW VOICES are still out in the wild; if you find a signed first edition, buy it quickly, as it’s long since gone into reprint. For readers in North America, Hodder & Stoughton will publish a new hardback print edition of the book in the autumn, all things going well.
And the people at Kindle reminded me that PARKER: A Miscellany, the collection of essays I published independently in 2016, remains available in electronic format for anyone who missed out on the limited hardcover edition. We’ve had some questions about it recently via the newsletter, but the hardcover sold out many years ago, so the e-book is now the only way to access it.
And also . . .
My tireless Los Angeles-based film and TV rights agent tells me that only the very last details need to be hammered out on an option for a limited-run TV adaptation of the Charlie Parker novels. Continuing to hold my breath was proving bad for my health, but my fingers remain crossed (apologies, therefore, for any typos), and I hope to have more news to report shortly.
Still, it’s early days, so I’m not about to invest in a yacht just yet, being the naturally cautious type. But should the whole TV thing fail to come to pass, I can rest easy knowing that you, my beloved, generous readers, will be only too happy to contribute to a yacht fund, because you wouldn’t want to see me go without. It quite brings a tear to the old eye, I have to say, knowing that I have you to rely on. Gawd bless you! Gawd bless you all!
Wherever you are in the world, you can still listen to me and the best of my music collection every Saturday on the internet radio station RTÉ Gold, where I host ABC to XTC, a tribute to the punk, post-punk, and New Wave music of the late 1970s and 1980s.
Finally, my son Cameron is redesigning my website, and we’d like your feedback as we decide where to put things. Could you please answer a very short survey about whether and how you use the website? Seven easy questions, right here. Thank you!
I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy, and that I see many of you — most of you — well, some of you — in person soon.
Best wishes, and thanks, as always, for your kindness and support,
Y para mis lectores en español . . .
¡Hola, queridos lectores!
Como siempre, les doy mis sinceras disculpas por mi español, pero necesito practicar, y este pequeño boletín informativo es una oportunidad…
Espero que ustedes estén bien, y gracias por su apoyo y paciencia. Entiendo que tienen que esperar un poco para las traducciones de mis libros en español. Por otro lado, ahora hay dos libros más en ingles para su edificación, y mas tarde este ano va a ser un tercero. En casa de que me ocurra un accidente – nunca sabes qué puede pasar – ustedes tienen algunas novelas para prever.
Y la primera es inminente…
Llegando en junio: EN LO MÁS PROFUNDO DEL SUR
La edición española de THE DIRTY SOUTH (En lo más profundo del sur) será publicado en junio, y el libro está disponible para pedir aquí o en su librería favorita.
Espero poder visitar España al menos una vez para promocionar la novela, y un evento ya se ha confirmado. (Tenemos que esperar el anuncio oficial del evento en abril, pero lo compartiremos en nuestros medios sociales, y en el próximo boletín informativo.)
En otras noticias, estamos un poco más cerca de una adaptación de las novelas de Parker para el televisor, pero como dice el proverbio, “Del plato a la boca, se cae la sopa.” Sólo podemos esperar, por que me gustaría mucho un yate.
Finalmente, pueden escuchar mi programa de radio ABC to XTC todos los sabados en RTÉ Gold, por si necesitan escuchar mi voz – o, alternativamente, escuchar algunas canciones de los años setentas y ochentas.
Gracias otra vez.
Con mis mejores deseos,