Saturday, November 12th 2016 : "30 years on..."
There's been a big gap since the last entry. That's partly because I've been struggling to complete the new Vera novel THE SEAGULL, but mostly because life has been a bit mad in the past couple of months. COLD EARTH, the latest and penultimate book in the Shetland series, was published at the beginning of October and I spent the first three weeks of the month touring - starting in Shetland and ending up in Dorset. This was a very special tour because COLD EARTH marked my 30th book and my 30th year of publication. So my lovely publicist Maura decided that we should do 30 events to celebrate.
Ann and fellow 'Killer Women' Gaby Chiappe and Douglas Henshall
There were some amazing moments. There was the tea in the Bigton Community Hall in Shetland - a beautiful sunny day, terrific homebakes and the first airing of Bannocks and Blood, a murder mystery available free to libraries and bookshops through the Pan Macmillan website. More teas in Elgin, Perth and Oswestry (I did eat lots of cake on this trip...) A brilliant fundraiser for the Variety Club in Liverpool. Being interviewed by the magnificent Minette Walters in Dorchester and by Clare Donoghue and Chris Ewan in Yeovil. I did book festivals in London with Killer Women, and in Manchester, Sheffield and Chester, but the big one was Cheltenham. I was there with the team behind the TV drama SHETLAND - the scriptwriter, script editor, executive producer and the two lead actors. The panel was moderated by our friend Alison Graham from the Radio Times. It was lovely to catch up with everyone again and despite the audience of a thousand people in a very big tent, it felt as if we were just chatting and reliving the process of bring the characters in the books to the screen.
Since the tour ended it still feels as if I've been on the road. With my fellow murder squaddie Martin Edwards, I explored the nature of classic crime with the interviewer Mark Lawson in the perfect setting of the British Library. There have been two prison visits - to Thameside in London and Deerbolt in Co Durham - and last weekend I was in Orkney talking about reading and libraries to Cerys Matthews for Radio 6 music. This afternoon I'm at the Write Idea Festival in Tower Hamlets. Next week I fly to Reykjavik for the Iceland Noir Crime-Writing Festival. HIDDEN DEPTHS has been shortlisted for best translated crime novel and it'll be a chance for me to meet Jakob, my Icelandic publisher. Afterwards I fly back to Glasgow and immediately to the Western Isles for events in Benbecula and Stornaway Libraries, as part of Book Week Scotland.
Then it's home. A chance to rest and relax in the run up to Christmas. To spend a bit of time with my husband and family. And to think about writing the next book.
Posted by Ann at 09:55 AM GMT