I've been back from the States for a couple of weeks, and now I'm shortly to return again. I really can't wait. We had such a terrific time visiting so many vibrant independent mystery stores in August, and in just a few days I'll be flying via Chicago to St Louis for my first experience of the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the biggest festival of mystery writing and reading in the world.
As a big crime fiction fan, I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to listen to a bunch of my favourite writers discussing their work (both formally, and a little more informally around the bar). I'm also excited to be joining a trip to a local gun range that's being organised by Zoe Sharp (author of the brilliant Charlie Fox thrillers) and her husband Andy, where I'll get to discover what it really feels like to fire a pistol (and maybe, all going well, the odd flame-thrower, too). I'll also be appearing at three panels during the course of the weekend:
Friday 16 September 11.30am - 12.30pm HOT ICE - Landmark 1,2,3. Caper Novels. Benjamin Whitmer, Eoin Colfer, Sean Doolittle, Chris Ewan, Peter Spiegelman, Keith Thomson
Saturday 17 September 8.30am - 9.30am SECOND OLDEST PROFESSION - Landmark 4. When your hero isn’t a nice guy. Anthony Rainone, Rob Byrnes, Jodi Compton, Chris Ewan, Joseph Pittman, Jason Starr
Saturday 17 September 11.30am - 12.30pm CRANKY STREETS - Landmark 1,2,3. What’s so funny about murder? Peter Rozovsky, Eoin Colfer, Colin Cotterill, Chris Ewan, Thomas Kaufman
I hear Bouchercon takes writing festivals to a whole new scale, so if you happen to be there and you spot me looking kind of dazed, please come up and say hi!
Following Bouchercon, I'll then be teaming up with my good friend Anne Zouroudi, author of the bewitching Mysteries of the Greek Detective, for a couple of author events in Houston, Texas, and Scottsdale, Arizona, where we'll be visiting the legendary Murder By The Book and Poisoned Pen bookstores. The details for these events are as follows:
19 September 2011
Murder By The Book, Houston, Texas (6.30pm)
20 September 2011
The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Arizona (7.00pm)
Lastly, and just in case it sounds like all I do these days is swan off to the States, I should just say that I spent a wet week in my parent's caravan recently, finishing the first-round of edits on my standalone thriller THE SAFE HOUSE, which will be published by Faber & Faber in the UK in August next year (Bookseller announcement here), and by St Martin's Press in the USA. Since then, I've been pushing on with a second draft of THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO BERLIN, which is shaping up pretty well and should, all going well, be completed before too long...
Right. Time to go pack.