Since Plague was published in September I have been working hard to promote it and it is only now, two months later, that I think I begin to realise that I am actually now considered to be a ‘crime writer’. Although I knew that crime was the most popular genre in the UK ( in the States it’s romance, apparently ) I was unprepared for the number of websites, festivals, clubs, societies and sub-sets of same devoted to crime fiction. I am just beginning to appreciate how many fans of crime writing there are ( for whom I am most grateful ) and just how knowledgeable and how much fun they are.
There are any number of crime fiction book clubs and I’ve joined several. I regularly engage with and post items on the Facebook page of one of the largest, the UK Crime Book Club, which has fourteen thousand members!
Next week I will be running a giveaway of a dozen signed, pre-publication copies of Plague exclusively for UKCFBC members in conjunction with an Author Chat, one of the regular features on that Facebook page in which crime fiction authors are interviewed and take live questions from members. ( You can find a link on the Events page of this website. )
Last Tuesday I was intrigued by the technology ( something called Be.Live ) when I recorded a short promo for that event and got familiar with how everything worked in preparation for my Chat. Past UKCFBC events include interviews with Ian Rankin, William Shaw and Elly Griffiths, so I’m in elevated company. I’m also looking forward to participating in the UKCFBC Pub Quiz ( Just Not In A Pub ).
UKCBC has also furnished me with a number of volunteers to test out the leaflet of the Book Walk for Plague, starting at Bond Street Tube Station and ending at the River Thames. Once its been tested I will make it available on this website for anyone who wants it. Unfortunately because of COVID any book walking is delayed.
I’ve also learned all sorts of interesting things. There is a current debate about the length of crime books, or example, many UKCBC members saying that they wouldn’t consider buying a book of less than 300 pages, which was a bit of a surprise, especially as Plague is only 288 pages! The good news, however, is that crime fiction lovers adore a series and Cassandra is scheduled to appear in at least two more books ( and possibly more ). I am pleased to say that readers are already asking me when the second is due out ( which keeps my publisher happy ).
I was also very surprised and extremely pleased to find Plague featured in this month’s edition of the Literary Review Crime Round-Up, even the literary establishment has to recognise the popularity of the genre. It has also been reviewed in The Yorkshire Times, Time & Leisure magazine and a number of other regional newspapers and regional radio stations ( you can find links to interviews and reviews on the Events page of this web-site ). No nationals so far, but I’m not complaining.
For more on Plague take a look at my earlier blogs, or follow the events coming up, which you can find on the Events page.