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  • Clair Lamb

May 2022

Dear Folks,

The publication dates for THE FURIES draw ever nearer, and so, too, does the likelihood of receiving what may be the most welcome, yet also the most amusingly frustrating response to a new book. Rarely does it take more than twenty-four hours after a new novel hits the shelves for someone to write and say, "Enjoyed that. When’s the next one due?"

There is no percentage, of course, in pointing out that it takes rather longer to write a book than to read it, and indeed it would be churlish to do so. That a reader should consume a novel so rapidly is, at the very least, testament to the fact that they probably enjoyed it—or, like a painful visit to the dentist, or the consumption of bitter medicine, they considered it best simply to get the whole unpleasant business over with as quickly as possible, thereby enabling them to move on with their lives. Optimist that I am, I like to think it’s more the former than the latter. It’s being so cheerful what keeps me going, as someone once said, accurately if ungrammatically . . .

Part of the purpose of this newsletter, therefore, is to update you on what you can expect from me over the next year or two, and roughly when it might appear. It has often been remarked that God laughs when we make plans, so I’m hoping He has an understanding sense of humor. That said, these plans are, at the very least, quite far advanced, in the sense that drafts, either complete or nearly so, actually exist. It’s not me telling you that I plan to become an astronaut, or take over Twitter in order to make it, in all likelihood, a less kind place. Lord knows, Twitter has its issues already, at a time when the world is not necessarily running a surfeit of kindness . . .

But let us not let such issues trouble us. We shall be kind, and wish kindness on others, although nothing should prevent us from whispering to ourselves, in times of stress, the words of Edmund Blackadder (helped by Baldrick), "Dear Enemy, I curse you and hope something slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head."

Onward we go . . .


THE FURIES, in case you’ve forgotten, is the next Charlie Parker book, officially published in the UK and Ireland on August 4, in Australia and New Zealand on August 9, and in the US and Canada on September 27. As usual, we expect to see THE FURIES in Irish bookstores about a week ahead of the official publication date, and early copies will be available at Harrogate.

We also have a nice new limited edition tote bag to give away with the book, although it will only be available at in-person events, and from certain booksellers. Actually, we're providing the tote rather reluctantly, as we've been strong-armed into advertising the Fulci brothers' latest endeavor, namely their nascent security company, although this should in no way be considered an endorsement of the business in question. If you hire them, it's your own lookout. You can't say that you didn't know what you were letting yourself in for.

These stores in the UK and Ireland are already taking pre-orders, and will have tote bags to give away, as long as those supplies last:

We’re working on making the totes available with orders in the US too, but news about that down the line.

The Future

At the risk of becoming some cut-price version of Mystic Meg, the Sun newspaper's long-serving astrologer, I have seen the future, or a version of it, and it goes something like this, book-wise . . .

Hang on. Before we go any further, mention of Sun astrologers reminds me of one my favorite newspaper anecdotes. It concerns Kelvin McKenzie, former editor of the aforementioned publication. Upon discovering in the 1980s that the Sun's resident astrologer had been recycling old horoscopes, McKenzie is reputed to have penned a legendary memo firing the chap in question. The memo began, "As you will no doubt have foreseen . . ."

Anyway, back to the future, as it were. Here's the first announcement, and it's kind of a big one. You're the only people beyond my publishers to know about this, so far.

For some time I've been working on a sequel to THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. I never really thought I'd write a sequel to that book, although I have returned to the universe of it with some short stories over the years. Nevertheless, I’ve had recourse to re-read the original over the last decade or so: first to give it a gentle polish for the 10th anniversary edition, and then, during lockdown, in order to write a film script based on it. (The script provided a way forward, I think, as well as indicating that there was too much material in the book for a two-hour film. The film company is now looking at it in terms of a possible television series, which would provide more scope for expansion, but I've done my bit as far as scripts for it are concerned.)

The polish for the anniversary edition, completed in 2016, probably provided the initial impetus, while the screenplay concretized some ideas I'd had. The result is that THE LAND OF LOST THINGS will be published in the autumn of either 2023 or 2024, but most likely the former. There's some work to be done on it yet in terms of revision, but it's coming into focus.

Should THE LAND OF LOST THINGS need a little more time to mature, a new Parker novel is on its fifth draft, and will be held in reserve. Assuming all goes well with TLOLT, that Parker novel will be the book for 2024.

Finally, about two-thirds of a new NOCTURNES collection has been completed, but I want to add more original stories, as yet unwritten, although the ideas are waiting to be developed. The collection will, I think, appear in 2025, at the latest.

So there you have it: the future, according to me, and the answer to "When is the next one due?" Now don’t get me started on "Where do you get your ideas from?"

A New Look For Parker

As many of you may have noticed, the most recent Parker paperbacks in the UK have been published with snazzy new covers. That design is now being extended to the rest of the titles in the series, and the first six books featuring the new look were published on May 5th, with the rest to follow later in the year. I rather like them.

THE NAMELESS ONES, incidentally, will receive its US paperback release on August 16th.


Meanwhile, literary festivals have returned to our post-pandemic world, and I am trying to juggle invitations with other obligations and my reclusive nature. (No, really—it’s not you, it’s me. Also, I am trying to write a bit—see above.) I am grateful for all the invitations, and I'm sorry that I can’t say yes to everything, but two are now officially on the schedule:

VLC Negra—I have been practicing my Spanish daily with a tutor for the tenth annual VLC Negra festival, happening next month in Valencia. I can’t promise to be an adornment to the language, but I am trying . . .

VLC Negra honored El frío de la muerte (the Spanish translation of A Time of Torment) with its Best Novel award in 2020, so I am doubly honored to have a chance to thank them in person and talk about "New Myths" with Jordi Llobregat. My session happens on Saturday, May 14th at 8:00 p.m. at the CCCC Centro del Carme Cultura Contemporània. Details about the festival are here.

Incidentally, that’s also the day Liverpool play Chelsea in this year’s FA Cup Final. I have asked for the two hours of match time to be kept free of other obligations, but if I arrive for my interview with head bowed, and eyes red from weeping, well, you'll know why, although similarly if I appear to be walking on clouds, and am smiling with joy. God forbid that there should be extra time, though.

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival—It's been a decade since I last visited this festival, known to its devotees simply as Harrogate. I have the honor of being a Special Guest—they've persuaded me that "special" is a good thing, and while everyone is, of course, special, I'm assured that I'm a little more special, just as my mummy told me—and will be talking with Mark Lawson on Saturday, July 23rd at 5:00 p.m. This is a ticketed event; you can buy a festival pass here, or a ticket to my session alone here.

I will be doing at least two more festivals in Ireland this summer/early autumn, but am waiting for the organizers to announce those details. You'll probably see those announcements first on Twitter and/or Facebook, and you also can check my website's Events page for updates. We'll also post August dates for bookstore events in Ireland and the UK to promote THE FURIES as soon as those are available, which should be very shortly.

All the rest

Did I mention that I'm studying for a doctorate? Well, I am, because obviously I don't already have enough to do. It's all thanks to the welcoming folk at University College Cork, and is an outgrowth of the work I did on SHADOW VOICES—which, incidentally, receives a physical US publication in October. It's another reason why I haven't been online as much, have had to cut back on email, and, indeed, have been forced to redirect much of my reading toward historical and academic material. That situation is likely to continue for the next two years, but I am grateful for your forbearance. Just think: down the line, should someone become ill on a flight, and a doctor is requested, I can offer my assistance. I mean, I won’t be able to provide any medical attention, but I’ll probably be able to recite a consoling verse. Every little helps.

I am managing to keep up my weekly radio show, ABC to XTC, on the internet radio station RTÉ Gold. It's a tribute to my favorite punk, post-punk, electronic, and New Wave music of the late 1970s and 1980s. It streams online every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time, and I'd welcome your recommendations via Twitter, Facebook, or email to Minion Clair is good at keeping track of things, and I do see everything that comes in, even if I am not always able to reply.

Finally, publication of THE FURIES will coincide with a new and improved author website. I'm grateful to all who completed the survey form that came with the last newsletter. Your replies were a huge help to us.

Thank you all, as always, for your support, and I look forward to seeing some of you in person soon.

Best wishes,


Y para nuestros lectores español . . .

Queridos lectores,

Espero que estén todos bien.

Para comenzar, un breve resumen de la información en el boletín informativo en ingles sobre los libros siguientes. Entiendo que hay un retraso de dos años, mas o menos, entre la publicación de mis libros en ingles y español, pero creo que les gustaría esta información sobre mis planes para el futuro—¡para los libros, al menos!

Por lo tanto, probablemente la próxima novela en ingles para 2023 va a ser una secuela de El libro de las cosas perdidas, titula La tierra de las cosas perdidas, en la que he estado trabajando durante los últimos años. Pero si la novela no está lista para noviembre, tengo una novela de Parker de reserva. También, tengo mucha de una nueva antología completada en la serie Nocturnos, aunque no se publicará hasta 2024, o incluso 2025, en ingles.

Mientras tanto, dos libros mas se van a publicar en español: Los sin nombres (The Nameless Ones), una novela de Angel y Louis; y Las furias (The Furies), probablemente en 2023 y 2024 respectivamente.

La publicación de En lo más profundo del sur

Pero más inmediatamente, tenemos En lo más profundo del sur, que se publicará en junio. Se puede leer más sobre la novela aquí. También, se puede leer un extracto de la novela aquí:

Una aparición en Valencia

Estoy muy contento y honorado ser un invitado en Valencia Negra este año, la décima edición de la feria. Se puede ver el programa completa aquí, pero voy a hacer una entrevista con Jordi Llobregat el sábado 14 mayo, a las 20.00, y voy a participar en Firmas Pata Negra el domingo 15 mayo, a las 12.00-14.00. Voy a intentar hacer mi entrevista en español, pero solo si estoy preparado a tiempo. Por lo tanto, perdóname de antemano por cualquier daño a su idioma.

Ustedes pueden traer tantos libros como puedan llevar, y tendré un regalo pequeño para todos los lectores que traen un libro para ser firmado. Desafortunadamente, En lo más profundo de sur no va a ser disponible para la feria, solo mis libros anteriores.

Tenía la esperanza de asistir a la feria en Madrid también, pero no será posible porque tengo una otra obligación en Irlanda ese fin de semana. En otro año, espero . . .

Si se quiere escuchar mi voz, y además escuchar algo de música de los anos setenta y ochenta, mi programa de radio, ABC to XTC, está disponible cada sábado en RTE Gold, y también hay un archivo de programas más antiguos allí.

Eso es todo por ahora. Gracias, como siempre, por su apoyo y su amabilidad.

Con mis mejores deseos,


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