Thursday, 9 October 2014

SECOND LIFE

I'm delighted to tell you that my new novel is finished. It's called SECOND LIFE and will be out (in the UK) in February, with other countries to follow. You can find out more here. The book's Amazon page is here.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Film coming soon!


The film of Before I Go to Sleep is coming soon! The above is a still from the movie, showing Nicole Kidman as Christine.

Friday, 18 May 2012

An update

I've been on holiday so there's something of a backlog of news to report! Before I Go to Sleep has been on a few lists lately - it's been longlisted for the Desmond Elliott prize and the 2012 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel Of The Year, as well as being shortlisted for a Crimefest award for the best unabridged audiobook.

Then there's the film. Nicole Kidman has signed up to play Christine in the film of Before I Go to Sleep. A few people are asking when the film is out - the simple answer is 'I'm not sure!' Filming is now scheduled to start later this year or early next year, however. Watch this space for more news regarding the casting of the other parts!

Also, the book was selected as the readers's choice in the TV Book Club. It's so lovely to be nominated for any prize, of course, but as this was chosen by the readers themselves it's that bit extra special. Thanks to everyone who voted!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Quai du Polar

I was lucky enough to be invited to France's Quai du Polar festival the other weekend, which was held in the beautiful city of Lyon. I'd never been to Lyon before, and as usual on these trips I didn't really get the opportunity to explore much of the city, but what I did see (mostly from the back of a car as I was being driven from one of my events (a discussion
panel about thriller fiction) to another (my introduction to the film Fight Club at cinéma Lumière) was stunning. The city sits at the convergence of two rivers, and I was told that a lot of work has recently been done to improve the appearance of the banks of the rivers, which are now a destination in themselves.

 I had a lot of fun at Quai du Polar. The festival is held in the huge Palais du Commerce with a few of the larger sessions held in the Trinity Chapel. Both stunning buildings, and it was an honour to be invited to speak alongside a whole raft of well known French and International crime writers. Of those I managed to speak to I got on particularly well with Paul Cleave, a New Zealand writer also published by Sonatine Editions in France, and I'm looking forward to checking out his books.


The sessions were held in French of course, which caused few problems (not because my French is good - I have an 'O' level, which means I can have a conversation about shopping or how old I am or where I live, as long as the person to whom I'm speaking speaks REALLY SLOWLY and doesn't mind if I get my tenses wrong. There was a rather embarrassing moment when I went into a restaurant for lunch and upon enquiring, in French, whether the waiter spoke English, and hearing he didn't, for some reason I lapsed into Spanish. I know even less Spanish than I do French). The simultaneous interpreting, through discreet headphones, was wonderful, though during one of my sessions the wireless technology must've temporarily malfunctioned and for a few brief moments I could hear what sounded like a local radio station. It did mean that it was difficult to be spontaneous, though, and humour was difficult (my jokes are rarely hilarious, but when they're delivered to no reaction WHATSOEVER it can be disconcerting. I consoled myself with the thought that the audience were just waiting for my oh-so-witty comment to be translated into French, not that it wasn't funny in the least.)

I also got to meet my French translator, Sophie (pictured right). She was absolutely lovely and told me it'd been a joy to work on the book, which was very gratifying to hear. Friends who have read  the book in both English and French tell me it's a very good translation - I think translators rarely get the credit they deserve. Their job is to tell the same story of course, but also to choose language that mirrors the emotions and rhythms in the source material. It's not easy, and it must be upsetting that the original author gets their name on the front of the book and all the credit. The least I could do was buy Sophie a coffee, though even that will have to wait until next time - the cafe we chose didn't take credit cards and I had no Euros. A great excuse to go back to France, though...


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Saturday, 31 March 2012

In Denmark, in Prison.

 I was in Denmark last week, where the book, (called "Før jeg lukker øjnene", which means "Before I Close My Eyes") has just come out. I certainly had a great time, beginning in Copenhagen, where I'd been invited to the studio of "Go'Morgen Danmark" to record an interview. It was very odd to be sitting in front of a huge screen with a picture of my book on it, talking about the characters and the inspiration for the book, but very gratifying. You can see the resulting interview here.
From there I went on to my publisher's offices, where I was given a hearty (and very caffeinated - the Danes like their coffee, and they like it strong!) welcome by the whole team. It was really nice to meet everyone - writing is so solitary, but publishing is not, and there's a whole team of people behind the scenes working really hard on the books - and to say hello. I then filmed a short video on the roof, with the glorious sights of Copenhagen in the background.

I then moved on, by train, to Horsens. The Krimimessen festival is a celebration of all things criminal (in writing, at least) and fittingly enough it'd held in a disused prison. It was certainly atmospheric, and I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the prison itself, which is in the process of being turned into a museum. I went into some of the cells, many of which felt like they'd been vacated only a few days ago (in fact the last prisoner left Horsens a few years back). There was graffiti on the walls, abandoned toothbrushes and so on, and one could even see the marks on the doors where the paint had been scraped off by the jailer's keys. It was all enormously evocative - I saw the venue of the last execution to take place in Denmark: the prison yard. It was a beheading, and apparently the person charged with that gruesome task was the city's butcher. The execution took place in 1892 - Denmark has not had the death penalty since the1930s, even for 'war' crimes.

The prison itself was maximum security, for the worst offenders - rapists, murderers and so on. I was told that there was a complicated hierarchy in the prison - the more powerful offenders charged the newer or weaker inmates rent for example, and it was not uncommon for people to owe tens of thousands of Kroner on their release. With no way to repay that debt (and presumably in fear for their life), these people's only recourse would be to commit further crimes in order to obtain the money. It was easy to see how in many ways a prison is actually a breeding ground for crime, almost a training school. People who leave prisons have a depressingly high likelihood of offending again and finding themselves re-incarcerated, and for those who are not habitual offenders and who would not ordinarily be a danger to society, this is a shame. Wouldn't it be better if the end product of an offender's punishment was a responsible, person with a place in society?

Anyway, I wasn't there to spend the whole day wandering round the cells, but to talk about the book. Here I am with Nana Goul, who interviewed me, and the next day I talked onstage with Barry Forshaw. It was a lot of fun, and I left Denmark very happy, especially as a few days later the book hit number 4 on the chart over there. I can't wait to get back, and I hope one day to return to Horsens to have another look at the prison museum, once it's officially open.