Sorry about the radio silence over the last few months: there’s been something brewing which I couldn’t talk about (and didn’t dare, in case I woke one morning and found it was all a wonderful dream).
I submitted my latest book in mid-February, with the modest hope that it might be good enough to develop into a new series. On the 20th, I got a call from Felicity Blunt, my agent at Curtis Brown. She really liked it, and wanted to present it at the London Book Fair – but there were a few tweaks she wanted to suggest. Could I do a rewrite? Sure, I said. In time for the fair? Only the fair was early this year, so they would need it by the 27th. I swallowed hard. I could stock up on coffee, I said, feeling a little queasy. And one more thing – how did I feel about another name change?
If I’m honest, I didn’t expect too much. I’ve been at this game for 21 years (I actually ‘come of age’ in October 2017), and I’ve had my share of ups and downs on the rollercoaster ride that is publishing. But there’s a strange alchemy that happens at Book Fairs. I’ve never before been in the lucky position of being the subject of ‘book buzz’ at LBF – or anywhere else, as far as I know – so I’ve nothing to compare it with, but something magical did happen, and I feel certain that the skill, enthusiasm and energy of Felicity Blunt, and CB’s foreign rights wizard, Melissa Pimentel, had a lot to do with what happened next. People got really excited by the book. Felicity and Luke Speed, book to film agent at Curtis Brown, thought it was strong enough to send out to TV and film producers before publication, an unusual and bold move – but it paid off.
The new novel, Splinter In The Blood, went to four rounds of bids among German publishers at the London Book Fair, and the winner of the final bidding round was Blanvalet. They will publish the first two in the series, making Splinter In The Blood one of their lead titles for in 2018/19. Blanvalet also publish Jeffery Deaver, Karin Slaughter, and Robert Galbraith, and were the first to pick up Paula Hawkins’s Girl On The Train. Hot on the heels of that truly breath-taking news, William Morrow, who publish Dennis Lehane, Faye Kellerman and Elmore Leonard, acquired the US rights to books 1 and 2, and Modernista will publish Splinter In The Blood in Sweden. In all, the book has been requested by 150 publishers worldwide, and there is keen TV interest in the series on both sides of the Atlantic. As for the name: we settled on Ashley Dyer.
Endnote: Some of you have met Helen Pepper at the many events and presentations we’ve done as A.D. Garrett over the past year. She’s a great favourite with audiences, not only for her wit and dry humour, but also for the depth and breadth of her knowledge of crime scenes, policing, and forensics. So I’m delighted to tell you that Helen, Forensic Consultant on both the Vera and Shetland TV series, and as well as the upcoming series, Bancroft, will advise on forensics and policing for the Ashley Dyer novels (hopefully on TV too – we’ve still got everything crossed for that).
It will be a while before the new Ashley Dyer books hit the bookshops, but in the meantime, you might want to catch up on the A.D. Garrett trilogy… Available at Amazon, Wordery – and your favourite bookstore.
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