We’ve just done the Diwali/Halloween/Guy Fawkes fortnight here in India. Eva’s absolute favourite time of year, probably because there’s only a few nights to wait before the next celebration. Though she’d never admit it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it trumps Christmas. Brilliant to see her so lit up. On the downside, this has meant fireworks. Lots of fireworks. Thousands. Diwali is a big firework celebration in India – the festival of lights – and the letting of of fireworks doesn’t seem to be confined to one particular day. I love fireworks, but this has been a bit mental. I want things to stop exploding now, please.
My All Hallow’s Read giveaway was drawn at the end of October. Congratulations to Anna in Cookham, UK. Your copy is on the way, and I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to everyone else who played.
My gibberings last week about the publishing industry, and my place in it as a writer, were intended more as a personal reflection than anything else – a chance to rethink, reboot, and seek a way forward. However, with the publishing industry in absolute upheaval at the moment, I’m far from the only writer trying to adjust my expectations and practices to suit the bold new era. Those blogs have become part of a conversation, on and offline, that I’ve found rejuvenating (and which I suspect will lead to some very exciting things to come). Also joining in the worldwide conversation is my Hiram Grange cohort Kevin Lucia. For his own thoughts on the industry we’re both trying to carve our sigil into, I’d start here (a rather bleak entry, verbalising how a lot of us feel, and wondering how to move on). Then go here, and keep reading. I’m name checked, which is nice, but Kevin’s setting out a different stall from me. There’s a lot of crossover in our thinking, and as he’s struggling with many of the same hard truths that I am, I’m finding his own conclusions interesting reading.
I watched the first series of The Killing on DVD recently (the Danish original). Absolutely brilliant, with one of the bleakest endings I’ve seen on TV (absolutely nobody comes out smiling). In retrospect, it suffers a little from the Inspector Lynley school of detecting, in which the detective goes around accusing everybody until somebody finally confesses in a fit of exasperation, but as whodunnits go it’s a lesson on character and plot that I was grateful for. I didn’t guess the killer until the penultimate episode, just before they pretty much made it clear. Like Lund (the almost loathable, entirely obsessive investigating officer) I’d also accused most characters at some point during the season, with various degrees of certainty, and been proven wrong.
The list of stores shipping my novel Cuckoo has expanded further. You can now grab it direct for the Kindle, the Nook, iTunes, and Sony Reader. I’ve also discovered the Book Depository in the UK. As far as I can see, with Amazon stubbonly declaring the paperback of Cuckoo to be unavailable in the UK (this has only been the case because they haven’t stocked it), the Book Depository is by far the best place to get a copy. Check it our here. Also note, it ships to a huge number of countries worldwide, including India, completely free of charge. You might have to wait a week or two for it to turn up, but you won’t be hit with shipping fees that double the cost of the book. The cover price is £7.95, so if you prefer to do your reading through the medium of dead trees, this is definitely where you should buy from.
If you want a copy in the US, you can of course get it at Amazon. However, you might first want to have a look at Barnes & Noble, where there’s a splendid 25% off the cover price. Times are tough – you might as well save what pennies you can.
Finally, with Christmas approaching and joy in your hearts, you may well have your eye on the charity anthology Kizuna (benefiting tsunami orphans in Japan) as the ideal feel-good gift for friends and loved ones. Having just received a copy of the paperback, I can assure you that it doesn’t disappoint. However, don’t leave it until the last minute to place an order for a copy – as each one is printed to fulfill your order, there’s a chance that shipping times will be delayed closer to Christmas, as the printer gets backed up. Go and get it now, and hide it away until the stockings come out. Here’s a tempting picture of the book, with some copies of Cuckoo to boot.
You know what you must do.