Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Gallows Court in paperback
Gallows Court appears in paperback tomorrow, and I'll be at Waterstones in Knutsford tomorrow afternoon to sign copies by way of celebration. It's always exciting when a new book comes out. It may seem surprising to some, but I feel at least as much pleasure now as I did when my earliest books hit the shelves. I've never regarded writing crime stories as a formula or a chore, even though it is often a challenge. Each book, for me, represents a different kind of experience. This is equally true with books in a series. I try to give each one a distinctive personality, while striving to retain the qualities that made the book appealing to a publisher and readers of the series in the first place.
Gallows Court has been a happy and a lucky book for me, and I've been delighted by reviews and general reaction to it. One can never please everybody, and indeed it's futile to try to do so, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the breadth and strength of the positive response to the novel. There were times when I was writing the book when I worried whether it would ever see the light of day. Remembering those moments of self-doubt is important - definitely something to keep in mind the next time that self-doubt strikes...
This year, I've been devoting more time to writing than ever before. Not just to the writing life - travelling to events and so on, though there is a lot of that to come, very soon - but to getting down to putting words on the page. And I've enjoyed it.
First and foremost, I've been concentrating on the sequel to Gallows Court, Mortmain Hall. I'll talk more about this novel when it's finished and my agent and editor have seen it, but I'm feeling very hopeful about it. In addition, since the new year, I've written a short story about the Peterloo massacre, an essay for a true book about the Harold Shipman case, a lecture about Sherlock Holmes and the Detection Club, and an essay for an academic reference book. Quite a mixed bag. And that sort of variety does help me to keep fresh, and makes it easier to keep my writing fresh.
More of those other projects in the future. Just for the moment, I'm allowing myself to celebrate Gallows Court!