I admit I cheated. I kept an episode of Poirot back (Dead Man’s Folly) so that Curtain wouldn’t be the last I saw of the fantastic David Suchet. It’s many years since I read Curtain and I sometimes feel a little guilty at not re-reading many of the Agatha Christie books I loved as a teenager. After all, it was reading them that gave me an appetite for crime and mystery which, in turn led me to become a writer.
The plot of Curtain is certainly original for a crime novel, even though Shakespeare used something very similar in Othello. It has to be said that Shakespeare himself wasn’t averse to adapting other people’s plots and ideas in his own special way. They say there are only a certain number of stories in the world (I’m not sure, but I think it might be seven) so true originality, although that’s what most writers (including myself) strive for when they begin a book, is probably more difficult to achieve than most people think.
Recently all my time has been taken up with writing my next Wesley Peterson novel and I’m pleased to say that I’ve just completed the first draft. However, this is only the beginning of a long process and my lovely editor won’t be seeing it for a few months yet. I view the first draft as a sculptor views a block of stone. It’s the raw material of a book to be shaped and chiselled away until I am happy to allow someone else to read it. At the moment only I know what’s in the manuscript sitting there on my desk but I can reveal that the title on the front is THE DEATH SEASON.
I’ve just had the news that the publication date of my next novel THE SHROUD MAKER has been brought forward and the hardback (and e-book) will be available in January – not long to go now – and the paperback in June 2014.
Another exciting development is that copies of THE SHADOW COLLECTOR have been put on the London Underground by Books on the Underground. The idea is that people pick up the books, read them (and possibly blog about them and recommend them to their friends), and then return them to the Underground so that they can be read by someone else. It’s a great idea and I’m really thrilled that my book has been chosen. I do hope everyone who picks it up enjoys it!