Work in Progress
Now that the second Albia book is published, it is interesting how many more readers are starting to love her in the same positive way as people love Falco. Interestingly, there also seem to be more people reading, and much enjoying, my great Civil War book Rebels and Traitors. Generally publishing is about instant reactions and as a writer I have to force myself to wait for the slower burn that seems to apply to new kinds of books.
This is harder since I am myself one story ahead of everyone else! I have now completed the third Albia story, though at the moment we are still haggling about its title so I can’t tell you. These now romp along, with her as familiar to me as Falco once was.
People have been asking about audio books, especially since in the UK BBC Worldbooks/AudioGo went into liquidation. I am delighted to tell you that all of the Falco series are to be reissued by Audible. They will also publish Rebels and Traitors, which has not been an audio book before; you may like to know that came about specifically because a reader asked me if it had been done! So, even though I take a long time to answer your emails, it is always worthwhile sending me a particular query. I am very grateful when they bear fruit in this way.
Some of the previous titles will need to be re-recorded so I cannot tell you when these audios will appear – probably in dribs and drabs, so if you want a particular one just keep looking.
NB these will be single-voice recordings; the radio dramas of the first five Falco novels are still available.
The other problem is in the USA where a group of titles in the middle of the Falco series has gone out of print. The plan is to reissue them as ebooks. But I can only do that when the previous contract formally ends after a book has stopped selling in print form. However, I keep the situation under review and, again, your emails do help apply pressure. I am currently waiting for a contract for the next batch, which will be then published in ebook form by St Martins. I do hope eventually to fill in the entire gap for you.
Mammoth Film have said they will renew their Falco film option for another year, but I have no other news to give you on progress.
Readers in Germany have asked repeatedly for translations of the remaining Falco novels. I am very sorry but the publisher doesn’t want to continue and at present I have no better news to give you.
Special Book Auction
Twenty five years ago I started writing my Falco books, without ever having been to Italy. My first serious visit with an archaeologist guide was to the Bay of Naples, a tour led by Stephen Greep. Of course I have been very many times since, but that was special. I was researching the book that would become Shadows in Bronze, but since that wasn’t even written, as a thank you I gave Steven a copy of The Silver Pigs – yes the famous sought-after original UK hardback that now sells for ridiculous sums. Sidgwick and Jackson, ISBN 0-283-99842-3. It was suitably inscribed, so it’s unique. Stephen has now made a generous offer to auction his copy for charity. I will provide a note giving its history. Bids in pounds sterling can be made HERE. The auction ends at midnight on Sunday 27th April after publication of Enemies at Home.
There is a reserve. I will contact the successful bidder for their details and the copy will be sent by registered post on safe receipt of the money by cheque or PayPal. Proceeds will be donated to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
In 1997/8 I was Honorary President of the UK Classical Association. I recommend joining if you are interested in the jolly side of classics. See their website,www.classicalassociation.org.
Organ Donor Card Appeal
This is a personal appeal on an issue where I have experience from both sides.
Please carry a donor card. And if ever you are in the sad position of having to decide whether to agree to organ donation from someone close to you, please consider the good you may do. Honour their wishes if they carry a card. If not, then it is your choice; please use the opportunity. I understand just how hard it is at the time – but I can also tell you, because I have had to do it, that afterwards you will feel glad you took the decision to say yes.
Lives can be saved or dramatically improved by organ transplants. From childhood, I had a rare eye condition called keratoconus. Eventually I needed a corneal transplant – not often mentioned when organ donation is discussed, though in fact one donor can save the sight of two people. Being able to see, without discomfort, helps me to write. A stranger’s generosity freed me from years of pain and anxiety. I was never able to thank my donor or their relatives, but I shall always remember them. Every time you read one of my books, you too are a beneficiary of their gift to me.