“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Embiggened O: Instant Karma’s Gonna Get You

Things ain’t easy here at the coalface of independent publishing, folks. Mind you, some days are better than others. One such good day was when a US house got in touch to say they were keen on publishing The Big O. Now, being keen is one thing, crossing the line and actually offering contracts is another. And while they’re happy enough with the fact that The Big O has received decent reviews to date, they’re concerned it mightn’t translate to the US. Which is fair enough. So they asked if there was any way we could get some best-selling / well known / award-winning American authors to big up the book. Not a problem, says we, except for one tiny detail – in common with most people, we’ve never met a single best-selling / well known / award-winning American author. But hell, what’s the point in the interweb if you can’t persecute famous authors via their websites and blogs and ask them if they’d mind having a read of your book and – providing they liked it – say as much in print, right? So we drew up a list (checking it twice, for naughty rather than nice), and got busy persecuting. The result? Not the restraining order we were expecting, no sirree (and ma’am). No indeed – every single last author we got in touch with said yes, here’s my address, send the book. Now, from our limited experience of blogging over the last few months, we already knew the crime writing and reading community is generous above and beyond the call of duty. But for every single person we got in touch with to say yes? That’s simply incredible. So incredible – na├»ve as it might sound to say it aloud – that we quickly realised their collective reaction is actually more important to us now than whether or not the US house decide to publish the book. Because the world can live without one more book published, and God knows the shelves are already jam-packed, but you can’t buy decency, generosity of spirit and a willingness to lend a hand. God bless you, one and all. Meanwhile, the first author to get back to us was Jason Starr (left), who was kind enough to pitch in his two cents thusly:
“Declan Burke’s The Big O has everything you want in a crime novel: machinegun dialogue, unforgettable characters, and a wicked plot. Think George V. Higgins in Ireland on speed.”
Is it really necessary to say our cup runneth over like we’re Oliver Twist standing under Niagara Falls? Yes indeed, Momma never told us there’d be days like these …

2 comments:

Ann said...

You deserve it, Declan. But I can see how good it must feel to have all these nice people being , well, nice.

Did you try Sara Paretsky? She's surprisingly approachable. But keep in mind that the FBI will probably start digging into your email if you do.

Jennifer Jordan said...

Oh, and you used that photo of Jason where his kick-ass Karate Kid hair is on full display!

Well done, Mr. B!