It is nearly three months since Born the Same was released. People have bought it. People have read it. People have loved it! I am very gratified by the feedback and reviews and ratings it has had – I feel I wrote what I was trying to write. Thank you very much to everyone who has bought and read it, and I hope many more get to enjoy it.
Despite that, I have been a little lax in documenting my travels along the promotion highway.
In May I took it to Bristol and to CrimeFest, where I was on two panels talking about the book in the context of Fighting Power, Injustice, and Inequality, and The Importance of Setting. A great experience, sharing the stage with Sabine Durrant, Stan Trollip, David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Emma Styles, Jonina Leosdottir, and Stephen Edger. I got to read all of their books and to talk about them, which is a reader’s heaven, and all copies of Born the Same sold out within a few minutes of the first panel, which is a writer’s heaven.
Also in May was the Born the Same Blog Tour, in which eleven bloggers took the time to read and review the novel, and said the loveliest things which they then put on Amazon and Goodreads. Thank you so much, all of you.
In June I had a launch event in my local bookshop, The Grove Bookshop in Ilkley. I have been buying books there since 1981, so being able to sit down and chat about my own novel with Emily Devane in front of a full house was a bit of a dream come true. And two days after that I spoke on the Psychological Crime & Thrillers panel at the ‘Murder in the Rhubarb Triangle’ event in Wakefield, organised by the tireless Catherine Yaffe. I shared the stage there with Derek Farmer, Dale Brendan Hyde, and Zoe Sharp.
I had July off for tax reasons.* Though I did go to Harrogate for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival where I watched a panel moderated by Doug Johnstone, and featuring Holly Watt, Tim Weaver, and the brilliant and ever ready with a huge hug Femi Kayode. I had hoped to buy a copy of Femi’s new novel, Gaslight, but it isn’t released until November. I expressed my disappointment to Femi, and he replied ‘Oh! I had a copy in my festival goody bag. You can have that.’ And he went and retrieved it from his room, signed it, and handed it over. What a gent.
Later in the bar tent I had a lovely chat with Karen Taylor, Nicola Monaghan, and Natalie Marlow (who was on Val McDermid's sold out Debut Novelists panel), all fellow authors UEA MA Crime Fiction alumni.
In August my article ‘Hope in the Darkness’ appeared in Red Herrings, the bulletin of the Crime Writers’ Association, and I have had a few people contact me to tell me what they thought of it, and all in a good way!
In September I will feature in the Michael Sears interview in The Big Thrill magazine, and towards the end of the month I will be interviewed by the fabulous Sam Brownley for the UK Crime Bookclub.
But I have also been writing. After a penning a few short stories as palette-cleansers, I am back within the sequel to Hunted, Endangered. I had hoped to have a complete draft by the end of September, but I am a little behind schedule at the moment. However, hopefully not too much. I read the opening chapter at an open microphone event (organised by Emily Devane) in Ilkley in May and it was very pleasantly received, resulting in sales of Born the Same, which wasn’t even out at the time, so I have high hopes.
Happy reading, everyone.
*If you’re not a Douglas Adams fan please ignore this sentence.