AS OF MARCH 2017
I know it's been a long time coming, but a brand spanking new novel will be published in the UK, Australia and the US on July 11. One of the reasons you've all had to wait so long is that I've been trying to get my English-language publishers to synchronise their schedules. This is because I know how frustrating it is for readers to discover there's a new book out in the UK, for example, but it won't be available in America for another six months, or eight months. Nowadays with social media and a global marketplace, readers discover very quickly if there is something new available and they my inbox is testament to how cross they become if they have to wait too long to read, or watch something. In a perfect world, I'd love to get all my foreign translations to marry up as well, but really good translations take time and skill and shouldn't be rushed.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....
These are the new covers. The red pram will be a recurring symbol for campaigns in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. The shadowy girl is the US jacket, which comes from a brand new American publisher, Scribner, who have done a brilliant job so far. THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS is arguably my most ambitious book, the story of two women, Agatha and Meghan, who come from different backgrounds, but who both have secrets. Their lives are about to collide in the most dramatic way possible and nothing will ever be the same.
THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS is seeded in a story that I covered as journalist many years ago, but I can't reveal the details without giving too much of the plot away. I can tell you about the two narrators, who are both pregnant and expecting their children on the same day.
Meghan Shaughnessy was born into a comfortable middle-class family, went to private schools and university, worked for a magazine, and then met a handsome and successful man and married him. They five in a lovely house in a nice area of London and have two children, a boy and a girl.
Agatha Fyfle was abandoned by her father, raised by her mother, and spent time in foster care. She lives in a one-bedroom flat and works in a supermarket, stacking shelves and waiting for her boyfriend - the father of her child - to call her.
I have written both of these women in the first person because I think first-person narrators create an immediate intimacy with readers. You are watching the world through their eyes. They are not kick-ass heroines like Buffy or Lisbeth or Katniss or Arya Stark, nor are they damsels in distress. They are strong, vulnerable, intelligent, empathetic women, who both have a terrible secret.
I know lots of you are wondering if Joe and Vincent are coming back.
The answer is yes. I'm in the midst of writing a new Joe O'Loughlin thriller now. I've spent the past few months with Joe and despite his heartache, he is in fine form. The story should be ready for publication in 2018. I won't give too much away, but this one involves Joe's father, a celebrated surgeon - 'God's-Personal-Physician-In-Waiting' - and a secret that he has kept from the family for more than twenty years.
What else is happening:
My Australian publishers have repackaged my three standalone novels with new jackets and quotes. I think they look great.
I'm also embarking on a big tour DOWN UNDER to promote THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS, which so far includes writers festivals in Brisbane, Byron Bay, Mudgee and Queensland's Sunshine Coast, as well as trips to South Australia and Victoria. I'll be posting the dates on my Appearances Page.
The paperback for CLOSE YOUR EYES is now out in the UK. Meanwhile, there are new developments on the TV and film front, but I'll keep everyone posted when I have more news.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a new American publisher, Scribner, who most famously publish Stephen King, who has been one of my greatest supporters ever since he read SHATTER in 2008 and called it his book of the summer. I was sad to leave my very good friends at Mulholland Books, who had done a wonderful job publishing me for the past seven years.
I visited Germany late last year and did a wonderful event in Cologne. They are such passionate readers and have become my biggest international market. The third TV film of the Joe O'Loughlin novels was broadcast in February by ZDF and a fourth is now in development. I've only managed to see two of them so far, but I've been very impressed with the production qualities and the acting.
THE SECRET SHE KEEPS is being translated as I write these words and should be out in Germany by September 2017.
OTHER TRANSLATIONS - are to follow.
Here are Juergen Maurer, who plays Commissioner Vincent Ruiz and Ulrich Noethen, who plays psychiatrist Johannes (Joe) Jessen.
Again, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has begged, borrowed, bought or stolen these books. (OK, not stolen.) And I'm sorry, I've been such a lousy correspondent. If you have emailed or sent me a message on Facebook, or Twitter, I am still trying to answer.
What I’m Watching: THE CROWN and THE KILLING (I missed it first time around).
What I’m Reading: STORM AND GRACE by Kathryn Heyman and the KNOTS AND CROSSES - Ian Rankin's first Rebus novel.
What I’m listening to: new albums from ED SHEERAN and PASSENGER