Wild Fire Down Under
Wild Fire, the latest and last Shetland novel, will be published on Tuesday September 4th in the US and on Thursday September 6th in the UK. Of course I'll be in the islands to celebrate and to thank all the locals who have helped me throughout the series. But in Australia the novel came out a few weeks early to coincide with my visit to the Bendigo Writers' Festival. Bendigo is a couple of hours inland from Melbourne and the festival is friendly, informal, a little quirky, a bit like the former gold-mining town that hosts it. The world-wide launch of the book was in the small library at Boort, which was tiny, very rural, and where I felt completely at home. It could have been Shetland: people had travelled from all over the region to celebrate the extension of their library, the mayor was there, and the whole community turned out. And there were home-bakes!
Lemn Sissay, the brilliant poet and advocate for children in care was at Bendigo. It was great to meet him and to see how his performance moved the people lucky enough to be in the audience. I came across some terrific Australian crime-writers for the first time and caught up with Penelope Curtin, an old friend from Adelaide, who interviewed me. Without exemption, the writers, volunteers and organisers were welcoming and efficient.
From Bendigo my fabulous publicist Yvonne Sewankambo and I moved on to Brisbane, a beautiful city that was new to me. I very much enjoyed talking to Sarah Kanowski of ABC for their Conversations programme. We did two library events in suburbs of Brisbane - one in Chermside and one in Carindale. I loved these, the enthusiastic readers and library staff. Thanks to everyone who turned out to make them such a success.
Then it was the long flight home, and a few days to catch my breath before the Edinburgh Festival event with Dougie Henshall on the 25th, and the beginning of the UK Wild Fire tour.