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Harrogate Crime Festival programme is launched !

Last night at the British Library, within the setting of the current A-Z of Crime Writing exhibition, the ‘H is for Hardboiled’ was ignored for one night, replaced by the phrase ‘H is for Harrogate!’.

The full programme and line up for this year’s festival is now up on line – so, go check it out, book loads of tickets and enjoy.

Here’s where to go.

Keith

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Exhibit A Signs Matteo Strukul in Two Book Crime Fiction Deal

Exhibit A, the new crime fiction imprint of award-winning publisher Angry Robot, has signed award-winning Italian author Matteo Strukul for two novels.

Exhibit A’s Commissioning Editor, Emlyn Rees, bought World English rights in The Ballad of Mila and Black Queen: The Justice of Mila from Allan Guthrie at Jenny Brown Associates.

The Ballad of Mila tells the story of female Italian Bounty Hunter, Mila Zago, a.k.a. Red Dread. Abandoned by her mother and violated by a gang of criminals just after they slaughtered her father, Mila is a cold-blooded killer, a deadly assassin. Brought up by her grandfather on the Sette Comuni plateau under a rigid martial code, she returns home to seek her revenge, conspiring to create a spectacular showdown reminiscent of A Fistful of Dollars.

Exhibit A’s Commissioning Editor Emlyn Rees said: “This is concise and thrilling storytelling of the highest order. Imagine Elmore Leonard behind the wheel of a car in Grand Theft Auto. Only twice as brutal and fast.”

Exhibit A will publish The Ballad of Mila in June 2014 simultaneously in the UK and US in paperback and eBook.

The author, Matteo Strukul, is also a well-known graphic novel writer. Together with international artist Alessandro Vitti (MARVEL and DC), he created Red Dread, a comic book series with Mila Zago as protagonist, which was awarded the Premio Leone di Narnia as “Best Italian comic book series of the year”. Matteo is also the artistic director of the Sugarpulp Festival and line editor of Revolver, a crime fiction imprint of Edizioni BD.

For more information on Matteo Strukul, visit http://www.matteostrukul.com, follow him on Twitter @MatteoStrukul, or see his Facebook page.

Keith

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HARVILL SECKER BUY TWO MORE BOOKS IN THE SWEDISH SERIES SET TO BECOME THE NEW THE KILLING FOR THE BBC

Alison Hennessey, Senior Crime Editor at Harvill Secker, has bought the next two books in Arne Dahl’s award winning crime series, adaptations of which the BBC will be broadcasting in the same Saturday night slot that turned The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge into household names. Hennessey bought UK & Commonwealth (ex. Canada) rights from Tor Jonasson at the Salomonsson Agency.

Alison Hennessey, Senior Editor at Harvill Secker says: ‘We knew when we acquired the first two books in Arne Dahl’s crime series that he would go on to become one of the leading lights of our crime fiction list, and I’m delighted to have signed up the next two installments in this gripping, intelligent series. Arne’s books are perfect for fans of Henning Mankell and upmarket, international crime so we couldn’t be more delighted that the BBC will be screening the Swedish tv series.’

To the Top of the Mountain, the book that won Arne the prestigious German Crime Prize, sees Detective Paul Hjelm and his team coming back together after the traumatic events at the end of Bad Blood to investigate a series of crimes – a man killed in a random attack in a restaurant, another blown up in high security prison, rumours of a forthcoming terrorist attack. In Europa Blues, winner of the Best International Thriller at the Dutch Book Awards, the team try and establish links between the execution of a man at Stockholm zoo, the abduction of 8 Eastern European women from a refugee centre and the horrifying murder of a professor at the Jewish cemetery in a case that will extend across Europe and back through time.

Arne Dahl is an award-winning Swedish crime novelist and literary critic whose books have been translated into over twenty languages. He will be attending Cuirt, Bloody Scotland and Edinburgh International Book festivals this year. The first book in the series, The Blinded Man, was published straight into Vintage paperback in July 2012 with Bad Blood coming from Harvill Secker this July.

Keith

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Exhibit A Signs Terry Irving for Two Faster than Hell Political Crime Thrillers

Exhibit A, the new crime fiction imprint of award-winning publisher Angry Robot, has signed 4-time Emmy award-winning writer and producer, Terry Irving, for two novels

Exhibit A Commissioning Editor Emlyn Rees, bought World English, translation and dramatisation rights in Courier, plus an as-yet unnamed sequel, from Dean Krystek at Word Link USA.

Courier is the first in the Freelancer series of breakneck-paced thrillers, featuring Rick Putnam, a Vietnam veteran and motorcycle courier for one of Washington’s leading TV networks.

In addition to 4 Emmys, the author, Terry Irving, has also won 3 Peabody Awards and 3 DuPont Awards. He has been a producer, editor or writer with ABC, CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

Terry Irving commented: “I started my career racing through Washington on a motorcycle and getting published by Exhibit A is damn near the most exciting thing to happen since.”

Exhibit A Commissioning Editor Emlyn Rees said: “Courier is a super fast thriller, set in 1970s America, with a lead as cool as Easy Rider playing detective against a host of rogue US government elements determined to bury the truth.”

Exhibit A will publish Courier in May 2014 simultaneously in the UK and US in paperback and major ebook formats.

For more information on Terry Irving, visit his website at http://www.terryirving.com or follow him on Twitter @terryirving.

Keith

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Win a Kindle Fire in the ‘ALL FALL DOWN’ Treasure Hunt – The final clue is here….

Treasure Hunt Large

To celebrate the release of ‘All Fall Down’ by Mark Edwards and Louise Voss, here’s your chance to win a kindle fire thanks to Harper Collins.

Firstly, to whet your appetite for the book, click here for an exciting extract.

And here, Louise and Mark talk about their latest book, read on for the question you’ll need to answer and then click here to get in the game and submit your treasure hunt entry.

You’ll need the answers from the other blog tour locations, the previous one you can find here, for all the clues you can go to the Voss and Edwards Facebook page, and make sure you get your entry sent in to killer reads by 28th February. Good luck.

075145-FC3DWriting ALL FALL DOWN:

Louise:   Years ago, I came up with the idea of setting a novel at the now-defunct Common Cold Unit (CCU) – a scientific research facility that used to be based in Salisbury.   This was a real feature of my youth, a place where  cash-strapped students used to volunteer to be given a cold in return for a bit of money. I thought it would make a really original setting for a novel. When I first told Mark about it, I had in mind a sort of gentle love story about two volunteers meeting and bonding over Kleenex,   Mark, however, had other ideas.

Mark: I have always been fascinated by pandemics – when SARS and bird flu broke out in the noughties, I read all the news reports with a mixture of fear and excitement.  When Louise told me her idea for a book set at the CCU, I immediately thought it was a great setting for a thriller. I had just read The Da Vinci Code, and wanted to write something with that book’s pace, and a conspiracy, and I knew that Bird Flu was heading our way so thought it was great timing.

LOUISE:  Why not?  I thought.  Mark’s plot ideas about rogue scientists manufacturing deadly viruses with which to hold the world to ransom sounded a lot more exciting than what I’d envisaged, anyway.  And as soon as he came up with the title Catch Your Death, I was completely sold.

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MARK: When we wrote Catch Your Death, it was never intended to be the start of a series. We saw it as a standalone novel. So we were surprised when we received a number of reviews that stated that we had obviously left things open for a sequel. As far as we were concerned, we had told Kate Maddox’s story and wrapped it up but with a hint at the end that the story might continue, though we intended it to carry on only in the reader’s imagination.

However, when Catch Your Death became a hit, we started to think that perhaps there should be a sequel after all. Inspiration hit me one morning on a crowded commuter train, while I was squashed between an armpit and a briefcase. Somebody in the carriage sneezed, and I started to think about how rapidly a virus would spread through the train.  I whipped out my iPhone and tapped out a rough idea for a new Kate Maddox book. By the time I reached my destination, I had an outline for a story, which I emailed to Louise so we could start fleshing it out.

LOUISE:   We knew we wanted to ramp up the drama in All Fall Down, and develop the three main characters (Kate Maddox, her partner Paul, and Kate’s young son Jack) to make them all a lot more proactive than before.  They all, in different ways, take control of their own destinies – although not without various sets of disastrous consequences.   I particularly enjoyed writing the sub-plot of eight-year old Jack stowing away in an Airstream with his buddy Tyler, and embarking on a perilous road-trip across America with Tyler’s older brother at the wheel.

MARK: We were also determined to have more science in this book – but written in an exciting and easy-to-understand way. We wanted to show how Kate and her team would go about researching the virus and trying to find a cure. As neither of us have any kind of scientific background (we both failed science at school) we sought help in the form of Dr Jennifer Rohn, who runs a site called Lablit.com. She helped us create our deadly virus, explained what might happen in the lab, and eventually read the manuscript and pointed out all the bits that were wrong and needed to change. Importantly, she also helped us dream up various ways in which someone could maim or kill someone else in a lab-based fight scene…

LOUISE:  Even though we only wrote it last year, I actually struggle to remember which of us wrote which parts – I know that Mark wrote the scientific bits and I wrote the Jack/road trip chapters, but we wrote it so fast that quite a lot of the rest is a bit of a blur!  I’m pleased that the pace turned out to be as fast as we’d hoped.

MARK: We set it in California because we wanted the book to be a big, bold adventure story painted on the broadest, most cinematic canvas possible. After what was already a high-stakes adventure in Catch Your Death, we wanted to up the ante with a bigger threat to the world – because this time the virus is already out there – plus nastier villains, more frantic action and even more peril for Kate, Paul and Jack. We like to think of it as Catch Your Death turned up to eleven.

Early reviews have been fantastic, with one reviewer describing it as “Outbreak meets Die Hard” which, come to think of it, is what we were aiming for!  We’re really proud of this book and hope that people like it. We love hearing from readers and you can contact us through our Facebook page: facebook.com/vossandedwards.

Treasure Hunt small

And here’s your question – answer it and the others preceding it for a chance to win a kindle fire:

How have early reviewers described All Fall Down?

Good luck, and don’t forget to keep up with Mark and Louise via their website or twitter: @mredwards @LouiseVoss1

Keith

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Aric Davis…on writing.

If you haven’t yet caught Aric Davis, then you have missed a treat.

You can check out a couple of my reviews of his books here:

A Good and Useful Hurt  &   Rough Men

And, I’m really pleased and honoured that Aric has taken the time to write this exclusive piece about his writing for Books and Writers – many thanks, Aric, you’re a gent.

imagesThe biggest influence on my writing, without question, has been Stephen King. First and foremost for his work as a storyteller, but also because of his wonderful book, “On Writing.”

I have no way of knowing exactly how many authors found their inner-muse because of Mr. King’s brilliant little guide, but I can say for certain that this one would never have been published had that book not seen the light of day.

It may seem odd to attach such a tremendous debt to a man I’ve never met, but I’m serious in saying that if it weren’t for my editor, Terry, and the work of Mr. King, I would never have become a published author. Because of this influence, I find two common themes in my writing. There is the more obvious one which is influenced by Mr. King: storylines and characters that jump from novel to novel, but there is another more secretive one as well. That narrative finds its soul in the work of another phenomenal author, Andrew Vachss. Just like the aforementioned Mr. King, Andrew Vachss and his incredible Burke series need no further introduction. That said, if you like noir and have missed out on Burke, get your butt to Amazon and order “Flood.” Don’t worry, the rest of us can wait.

Back?

Great.

In any case, one of the most important themes in the Burke books is that family has nothing to do with blood. Even though I grew up comfortably in a family with two well-adjusted parents who have yet to divorce, that idea caught me in the guts like a hook to the liver. It was such a pure message, and such a well-meaning one.

images-1At the risk of alienating some potential readers-and to be perfectly honest, in this case I don’t give a shit if I do-there is nothing that bothers me more than someone trying to decide for someone else what the word, “family” means. Family can be the bond between an adopted African child and her European parents, it can be the relationship between two homosexual men in an American red state, and it could be a football team that still meets every year to celebrate a championship victory from fifty years prior. The bond is what matters, not the way it is defined by a stranger. It’s a theme and a torch that I’m proud to help carry, though there are people with far more on the line than myself carrying this idea in a much more dangerous manner. After all, I’m a white male who was born in one of the world’s most privileged countries, so it’s easy for me to champion the rights of those who must fight a judgmental public every day of their lives. But it’s still something I believe in strongly.

images-3This perspective was what formed the nucleus of my new novel, “Rough Men.” I don’t want to give too much away, but some of the familial bonds revealed in “Rough Men” aren’t as they appear at face value. In the end it doesn’t matter. Family is family, whether from blood, marriage, or acquired by other means. I have no right to tell a stranger what defines a consensual relationship or not. This, more than anything else, is the root of my intention when writing about this stuff, from the love between my doomed characters in “A Good and Useful Hurt,” to the strange bond between Nickel of “Nickel Plated” and his father, the mystery man who trains his illegally adopted son how to be a monster with a conscience.

images-2Even in my first novel, the self-published and poorly edited “From Ashes Rise,” the meat of the story is about violence, but the undercurrent is about the bonds forged between men, and with their estranged families, during a time of war.

I don’t know if my writing will ever change any minds, and I’m ok with that. A success to me would be if in some small way my work was a reminder for us to remain vigilant towards those who stand against the basic rights of humanity. It is very easy right now to affiliate oneself with one political party or another, or to judge someone else based solely on what you don’t understand about them.

I try to let my writing draw on familiar themes, be they crime, horror, or love, but let non-traditional elements play within, and I love that I have a platform to share them with my readers.

You guys are the best!

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Breaking News!

 

Paula Daly at the festival on Saturday…….Read more:

 

Transworld Publishers are delighted to announce the acquisition of two novels by UK debut author Paula Daly.

 

Rachel Rayner, Commissioning Editor, bought Just What Kind of Mother Are You? and The Day Before You Came from agent Jane Gregory at a lively auction involving six major publishers.

 

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? is a novel that plays on one of your greatest fears – what would you do if your best friend’s daughter went missing on your watch? That’s what happens to Lisa Kallisto – an overwhelmed working mother of three – one freezing December day in the Lake District. Not only is thirteen-year-old Lucinda missing and it’s all Lisa’s fault, but she’s the second teenage girl to go missing from the area in the last fortnight. But, as she peels away the layers surrounding Lucinda’s disappearance, Lisa learns that all is not quite as it first appears to be.

 

“I’m incredibly excited to be working with Paula Daly at the beginning of what I’m sure will be a brilliant career. Just What Kind of Mother Are You?, with its terrifying premise, distinctive voice and cracking plot, has that instant word-of-mouth quality, evidenced by the enthusiastic in-house reads and immediate buzz from my colleagues across all departments here,” said Rachel Rayner.

 

“It has been an exciting auction and I’m thrilled that Transworld are publishing,” said Jane Gregory.

 

Paula Daly said: “I am absolutely delighted to be published by Transworld. It’s a real honour to be in the company of such incredibly talented authors as Kate Atkinson, SJ Watson and Belinda Bauer.”

 

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? will be published in Bantam Press hardcover and ebook in Spring 2013, with Paula’s second novel The Day Before You Came to come a year later. Transworld Publishers hold UK & Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights for both books. Internationally, rights have already been sold in Germany (Goldmann Verlag), Italy (Longanesi), Holland (De Fontein (De Kern)) and Israel (Kinneret-Zmora-Dvir Publishing).

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