Happy New Year! We’re gearing up to publication of the fourth book in my Stockwell Park Orchestra series. The Prize Racket is out on 20th January. This time our orchestra is invited to compete on television for a £50,000 prize, along with other musical acts of varying, um, natures. Mrs Ford-Hughes is back, this time singing in Portuguese. We have tiny, dancing violinist children. There is a poet. An awful poet. Nobody can accuse me of not trawling my past to fish for character traits — though I must state legally that I never steal a whole person intact. Where would the fun be in that? I like making stuff up.
I persuaded Don Paterson to write me a bit about that poet for the back cover: I figured he would recognise and enjoy the kind of person I invented. I think he did, though it sounds like he might need some time to recover:
The first week in the life of a new book is crucial, and absolutely key to its success. If you felt like buying a copy, doing that in the week from 20th January would have the most impact. Whether that is from your local bookshop (any bookshop can order you a copy if it’s not in stock), or online via places like Waterstones or other sites, or Amazon – I’m not about to preach about where to buy books. The Farrago link here gives a range of options. Requesting a copy from your local library is another fantastic way to support me, if you prefer to borrow. Did you know authors are paid when you borrow books from a library? We are. Libraries are brilliant.
Basically, any and all clamour you can make for The Prize Racket will be enormously appreciated. I do hope you like it. Every time I finish writing one of these, I miss my musician friends for ages afterwards. They are fun to hang out with.
I’ll be running a giveaway on Twitter next week, if you’re interested. I’ve also written a New Year piece for the Farrago site, which I’ll link to from here when it’s out. Thank you for all your support!