Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Life as an author


I haven’t written a serious post here for a while.  That’s not because I haven’t been thinking about books, and writing, publishing and readers, and all the other topics that authors think about:  plots and subplots, characters’ names and book titles, foreign rights and royalties. And it’s certainly not because I’m lazy. 2012 has been hectic, with weekly book signings – sometimes as many as 8 in 8 days - talks in libraries, universities and colleges, panels at literary festivals, and that other thing... what was it? Oh yes, writing. And that’s just for starters! Actually, change ‘hectic’ to ‘manic’.

2013 is looking equally busy. In addition to all my events in the UK, I've decided to start travelling further afield, flying the flag for UK crime fiction.  I’ve been invited to run a creative writing course on a beautiful Greek island in 2013. In 2014 I’ve been invited to appear at a Literary Festival in France, and there’s talk of going to Bouchercon and Miami Book Fair as well that year. Having accompanied me all over the UK from Portsmouth to Sunderland, Liverpool to Tunbridge Wells, and everywhere between and beyond, including almost getting stuck in snow in York and in Hemel Hempstead, my faithful travelling companion is decidedly chuffed! 

Before all that, there’s CrimeFest in Bristol of course, followed by our annual pilgrimage to Harrogate, plus I'll no doubt be running my regular workshops for the Society of Authors. I've started to co-ordinate the Manuscript Assessment Service for the CWA, which is a brilliant new initiative to support aspiring crime writers with expert critiques. I'm also interviewing members of Mystery People for the ezine, which is a thrill. The interviews are posted on here as well, and so far I'm sure you'll agree the authors have all been incredibly interesting. This year my books came out on audio and in large print, and they are being translated into French and Italian, having been bought by the major Italian publishing house Mondadori. 

But there's more - and this is where I start to get really excited! 

The best news of all is that my publisher has asked me to write a second series to run in parallel with the Geraldine Steel series. Do you remember Ian Peterson, the sergeant Geraldine left behind in Kent when she relocated to London in DEATH BED? If you’re not a fan of the series (yet), here’s a brief summary of the books so far.
2009 CUT SHORT introduced Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel, working on the Kent constabulary Murder Squad with her sergeant Ian Peterson.
This book was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger.
2010 ROAD CLOSED was the team's second murder investigation, and a Top Read on Eurocrime. At this point journals like The Times began to notice the series and write favourable reviews. (Love those reviews!)
2011 DEAD END was the third in this part of the series. All of the titles in the series so far have reached Number 1 on kindle for detective novels. This one went straight into the Top 50 Bestsellers list.   
2012 DEATH BED In this novel, Geraldine moves to the Met and starts a new life in London, on the Murder Investigation Team (or Serious Crime Command) leaving Ian Peterson behind.
You can find links to all the books on my website - http://leighrussell.co.uk
As the Geraldine Steel series continues in London, the plan is for Ian Peterson to have his own series that will run alongside the Geraldine books. So that will be two books out a year if we go ahead.

What’s that? Am I worried about the pressure of having to write two books a year? Well, I’ve just finished the first draft of the first Ian Peterson book (today!) the next Geraldine Steel book STOP DEAD will be out in print in 2013 and available to download December 2012, and I’m half way through the first draft for the following Geraldine Steel novel, out in 2014. So no, I’m not worried. I love every minute of the writing process – I can’t get enough of it!

Follow my blog if you want to see how the reality pans out… am I being insanely optimistic in my plans? Probably, but you have to be an optimist in this life.  As for insane – well, I write crime fiction. What more can I say? Except that I hope you will forgive me for not posting here as regularly as I should. Life's kind of busy... 

12 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like many opportunities opening up. THat Greek Island sounds fun!

Leigh Russell said...

A bit hot, but it should be amazing if it comes off!

Mary Bate said...

Good for you Leigh!!! I have complete admiration for you. I couldn't write one book if my life depended on it, never mind two series at the same time!!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

Ride the wave! :)

Leigh Russell said...

You never know, Mary. You just never know. Seriously. One day you might be struck by an idea, as I was, and then who knows what might follow? I never would have thought I'd write a book, let alone a series - or two - but here I am!

Leigh Russell said...

That's exactly right, Bernard. Make the most of what you have while it lasts. The future is dark and mysterious... and not necessarily in a good way. The best any of us can do is keep on keeping on, and keep our fingers crossed!

Guillaume said...

This is great news! And congratulations, it is a tribute to your creativity as a writer. I struggle to write stories about one main character, I can only imagine what it is to write a spin off.

fizzycat said...

Go for it and write as much as you can!

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Guillaume - just have to see if it actually happens. You never can tell! Fingers crossed.

Leigh Russell said...

There's no stopping me, fizzy cat. I just hope the MS is accepted! It was fun writing it, whatever happens.

Val said...

This is fantastic! You are cranking them out like a pro.
Nice to hear from you also.

Leigh Russell said...

Thanks, Val! Nice to hear from you too.