Just wanted to thank everyone at the 2015 Swanwick Writers’ School for their hospitality during my visit yesterday, and for their courtesy in enduring more than an hour of my lecturing them on the joys and pitfalls of writing. And thank you to everyone who bought my books! I shall now be able to afford my new computer. Whether this will have any effect on my writing style is a moot point.
Watkins, my non-fiction publisher, are becoming far more proactive in their publicity recently, part of which involves running an interesting blog, to which their authors are asked to contribute. I’ve just written a piece for them (see link below). Please feel free to avoid it if you don’t care for Nostradamus, as it can be used simply as an entry to the Watkins blog and all the good stuff no doubt contained therein. Or read it at your peril!!
If anyone would like to listen to an interview I gave recently to Evolve & Ascend in the US, here is the link. I suspect the sound from my end might be the teeniest little bit tinny, given that I was using Skype - or maybe I always sound this way and just don’t realise it? But I’ll stand by the content! Oh, and by the way - that’s me on the right, ahem…
Well, after the interesting correspondence on the cover of the French Pocket edition of my The Mayan Codex below (please remember these are for a mass market - I sincerely hope!!) they’ve just come up with the cover for the final part of the trilogy, due out in France in September. How can I possibly deprive you of a sneaky foretaste? And believe me, folks, it’s the first time that I’ve seen it too. Mass market paperback publishers are not renowned for their publisher/author bonding processes.
I can’t resist posting this! What a cover!! It’s the French paperback edition of my The Mayan Codex. I feel like a heady mixture of Rider Haggard, Dennis Wheatley, Dan Brown, John Buchan, the bloke who wrote Captain Blood, and Conan Doyle at his most fantastic. All rather captivating. The guy who designed this must have had a ball..
Writing fiction or non-fiction is a pretty solitary task most of the time, and most writers are content with that. But just occasionally – usually when publicity for a new book is required – writers are drawn out of their shell and forced to mingle. A new edition of my perennial bestseller Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies For The Future is due out a the end of May, and largely because I included a Hillary Clinton quatrain in the original edition (published 2006), which was index-dated 2015, radio stations in the United States are suddenly showing an interest. Last Friday I was interviewed, live, for a full hour, by the World’s Number One Live Internet Talk Radio http://bbsradio.com/ in the guise of one of their star interviewers, Christina Winslow. This was all done, somewhat miraculously given my dubious internet connection, on Skype. Authors enjoy these little excursions into the real world, and actually communicating with another human being from time to time is no doubt good for the authorial soul. On the back of that interview, COAST to COAST AM Radio have now got in touch through Watkins’s splendid US publicist, John Tintera, and want me to do an interview with them. The nice thing about COAST to COAST is that one does one interview, and it is then magically relayed to 500-odd other radio stations throughout the US. A quintuple whammy, if you like. COAST to COAST specialise in cosmology, life after death, strange occurrences, and unexplained phenomena. Grist to the mill for Watkins readers then! The British do this sort of thing too, but not quite as well as in the US, if truth be told. Having a new book out is always an unsettling experience, as so many separate factors can come into play. I’m lucky in that Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies For The Future has such a good track record over the past ten years, and benefits from a fantastic new cover by the Watkins team. The world has certainly changed for authors since the arrival of Twitter and Facebook and Amazon and what-have-you. We need to be far busier on the self-publicising front than ever before. But it’s definitely worth it. One can spend too much time immersed in one’s new novel/non-fiction tome, and the danger lies in becoming disconnected from the real world. Using social media (within reason) obviates this danger, and keeps one in touch with one’s readers. If readers feel they can actually communicate with their favourite author directly, the world immediately feels like a more open place. The epoch in which an author could immerse himself/herself in an ivory tower is therefore long gone. We are all citizens of the Brave New World of interactive media whether, it seems, we like it or not. For my part, I welcome it, and would recommend all new authors to embrace these new possibilities with all their hearts. Because therein lies the future.
If anyone fancies an alternative to the General Election, I am being interviewed, live, on Californian Radio Station www.bbsradio.com at 7 pm our time tomorrow night (7th May). I shall be talking about Nostradamus (the third edition of my hardy perennial Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies For The Future is due to be published in late May/early June). I included a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy quatrain (index-date accurate and dated 2015) in the 2006 edition. The US has just caught on to this and wants to know more. As in the entire history of Nostradamus scholarship - at least according to Wikipedia, and I quote - ‘no Nostradamus quatrain is known to have been interpreted as predicting a specific event before it occurred, other than in vague, general terms that could equally apply to any number of other events’ the situation is clearly fraught with possibility! I shall say no more.
Wonders never cease. Estonia - yes, Estonia - have just made me an offer for a book I published six years ago called The Nostradamus Prophecies. That takes the foreign rights sales for that novel up to a semi-miraculous 39. Apparently ERSEN is one of the biggest publishing houses in Estonia and publishes the likes of Mary Higgins Clark, Jody Picoult, George R R Martin and Kazuo Ishiguro, so I’m in good company. Whatever anyone says about people getting blasé the further on into their careers they are, I still get a pleasant frisson of anticipation when anyone new buys one of my books. What cover are they going to choose? What will the book look like translated? Will it be a bestseller or sink quietly to the bottom of the pond? My books have been successes in countries I never suspected (China, Korea, Portugal, Finland) and have sunk without trace elsewhere (I never did get paid by Indonesia). All in all a career in writing is pretty good fun. You never quite know what is just around the corner. Or when you’re going to fall flat on your face in the mud.
My publishers, Corvus, have just done a Twitter promotion in which five lucky retweeters won copies of my new book. How do people hear about such things? I have a feeling I may be underestimating Twitter. It’s a very interesting learning process. Publishing has changed exponentially in the twenty years or so I have been an author. The end of the Net Book Agreement. Twitter. Facebook. Kindle. Amazon. The decline of the bookshop. I sell more copies of my books in supermarkets than I do at Waterstones now. France, my major overseas market, hasn’t changed that much though. The French are more self-consciously literary than the British, and are quite prepared to spend a lot more on books than we do. Germany is the same. I wonder how things will pan out here?
The Templar Inheritance is doing very well, particularly on Kindle
http://amzn.to/1IRBMjq. Some kind people have given me some very nice reviews which is always encouraging. It’s odd being a writer in the 21st century with all the electronic gizmos and suchlike. Quite different from being one in the 20th (I know - I’ve been both).