So that was 2020, and, safe to say, it wasn’t the year that anyone expected.
It was a year in which I spent an inordinate amount of time indoors. A year of cancelled events and festivals. And of “Venetian Gothic” coming out right in the middle of lockdown.
But, let’s be honest, I was one of the lucky ones. “Gothic” came out to very gratifying reviews (and even made the Literary Review’s list of crime novels of the year). I managed to do a few events online. And, if we had to be indoors all the time, I kept myself busy with writing and some Big Projects : I listened to every Hawkwind studio album in order, followed by every Bach cantata. Then later in the year, I listened to audio recordings of the complete HP Lovecraft, shortly followed by MR James. I don’t know why, but I had this urge – very Nathan-like perhaps – to obsessively complete things. Or perhaps it really was just having the extra time at home.
It was a good year, professionally, in spite of everything. “Das Venezianische Spiel” came out in Germany, and will be followed by “Venezianische Vergeltung” in June of this year, translated again by the wonderful Birgit Salzmann. “The Venetian Masquerade” came out in Bulgaria, retitled (pretty well, I think) as “The Lost Monteverdi”. And perhaps most importantly, my lovely publisher is really committing to the series with further Nathan novels confirmed for 2022, 2023 and 2024. I very much hope there’ll be more beyond that as well.
“The Venetian Legacy” is out on April 1st (and please let the bookshops be – safely – open this time). I hope you enjoy it – and if you want to read an almost spoiler-free prequel, my short story “Deep and Crisp and Even” can be found here (free, no less!) on the Waterstones website:
Thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to write – it’s much appreciated : as I say every year – this wouldn’t be happening without you.
Finally, here’s a plea : there are many, many independent bookshops in the UK in need of support right now. And many debut authors are facing the truly wretched combination of closed shops and cancelled orders. That, I know, must be heartbreaking. Please try and support your local bookshop. And if you know a debut writer, try and give them a shout-out in whichever way you can.
2020, then, wasn’t the year I expected. It was also a lot better than it could have been. I am, I know, one of the lucky ones and I am grateful for that.
I hope 2021 is better for all of you, wherever you may be.