Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Bad Neighbour Sold to Flame Tree Publishing

I think I mentioned in my end of year round-up that there was big news on the way, of the sort that I couldn't reveal at the time.  Well, now I can, and it's of the immensely good sort: Flame Tree Publishing, as part of their opening foray into novel publishing, have picked up my crime debut The Bad Neighbour.

But let's unpack that a little, since it's all sorts of exciting beyond the basic level of "I've sold another novel and people are going to get to read it."  Flame Tree first: I've talked about them a few times here on the blog.  We ran into each with their Gothic Fantasy anthology series, which I've been in a couple of now, and which are also the two single loveliest books I own.  I mean, they're beautiful; they're the books that I show off to visitors, even if you've only come to read the electricity meter or deliver the post.  They're the sort of books that, when you find out that those same publishers are opening to novel length fiction, you make damn certain you have something to put in front of them and hope that they'll bite.

They bit.  And on a book that - this is the other exciting part, by the way - is absolutely nothing like what anyone might consider a 'David Tallerman book.'  If you're one of those people who's followed my career through it's many twists and turns then, firstly, thank you! and secondly, this one's still going to come as a shock.  And I mean that, I hope, in a good way.  It's an exciting prospect as a writer to get to move wholeheartedly into a genre you've hardly more than glanced at before.  That genre, in this case, being an urban crime thriller, one set in present day West Yorkshire and drawing on elements of my own life and experiences.

I've never been much for writing what I know, not when I can make stuff up and get paid for it.  However, I'd been thinking that I wanted to try my hand at writing crime for a long time, rather than merely flirting with it as I had in the Easie Damasco books and elsewhere.  And a number of factors, including a surprising discovery about the house that I bought back in 2011, happened to come together and form the seeds of a story that I knew I really, really wanted to tell, and sooner rather than later.  Thus was born the tale of Ollie Clay, the twenty-something supply teacher who makes a dreadful mistake when he invests an unexpected windfall into a battered terraced house in the outskirts of Leeds without pausing to wonder just who he might find himself living next-door to.

But let's not say any more than that; it's early days, after all.  While we already have that splendid cover up in the top right, there's still a long way to go with The Bad Neighbour, and though I'm expecting it to be out this year, I don't have a solid release date as yet.  More news as I get it, then, and expect me to be talking about this one a lot in the coming months!

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