Phil the Shelf

Some of you may know Phil Rickman as the author of a series of novels about Elizabeth I’s court magician Dr John Dee. You might also know him as author of the successful “Merrily Watkins” series (recently dramatised on ITV). Merrily is a Church of England vicar in the border country between England and Wales. She is also a “Deliverance Minister”. Or, as we used to say, an exorcist. Oh yes, they still exist, and every diocese has one.

Now, as an idea, Merrily is such a brilliant one as to turn one mad with rage and jealousy. Fortunately Phil is a very nice bloke, and I was very pleased to be asked to appear on his “Phil the Shelf” programme on Radio Wales. We had a good old natter about “The Venetian Game” for about 25 minutes, and Phil asked some very perceptive questions. : for example,  yes, Arcangelo is, basically, Count Dracula…I wrote all his dialogue with Christopher Lee’s voice in my head. I’m fifty years old and I can write my own Hammer film if I want to!

I also spent part of the interview beneath a towel. No, really. Apparently it helps with the acoustics if you’re speaking from a place with hard surfaces. I started to asphyxiate after five minutes and threw the damn thing off. If you notice a sudden difference when you listen, do let me know…

The interview, I believe, is on BBC Radio Wales at 13.30 this Saturday, repeated on Sunday at 18.00. It’ll then be available on iPlayer for a month. At any rate, I’ll post a link when I have one.

Nathan Returns…

Nathan Sutherland returns next year, on April 5th 2018, in “Vengeance in Venice.” Here’s a first look at the cover. I really think Constable have done a fantastic job on this.

Elsewhere, I’m hoping it won’t be too long before we see an Italian edition of “The Venetian Game.” “Il Ponte dei Delitti” (as they’ve retitled it – you could translate it as “The Bridge of Crimes”, or “The Bridge of Murders”) is now starting to appear on various Italian book-related sites. Amazon.it have the release date as the 1st January 2030, but I’m rather hoping that’s just a typo!

“Wanderlust” magazine wanted a short piece from me on the theme of ‘Five Hidden Gems in Venice.’ I actually found this a bit difficult. What is there to add to a city so well documented? And I wondered if some of my original ideas – such as Carlo Scarpa’s Olivetti showroom in Piazza San Marco –  might be a little too obscure. In the end, I chose five islands that are all worth a visit.

Outlying Islands

I was very pleased to see a review in Friday’s Daily Mail.

Daily Mail review

I wonder what Nathan’s communist friends would have made of it??

Radio

Talk Radio Europe telephoned me for an interview on Monday. The timing might not have been perfect – I was making my way from teaching Shouty Class 2A in Venice to Delightful Class 1E in Mestre, and on the bus – but the day job still needs to be held down. And at least my ears had stopped ringing following 60 minutes with Shouty Class 2A…

So I had a friendly chat with Hannah Murray for about ten minutes regarding the background to the book, life in Venice etc. A bit strange for me, as this is all still a bit of a novelty, but it was good fun. The interview will be broadcast at some point in the future, I’ll let you know when I hear.

Twenty minutes later, I was back in front of Delightful Class 1E. Some things change, and some things stay the same…

Launch Parties

I was delighted (and more than a bit surprised) to be invited to the launch of LS Hilton’s Domina on the terrace of the Bauer Palazzo. Lovely evening, looking out towards the church of the Salute. I was rather wondering exactly what I’d done to warrant an invite when LS herself came over and told me she’d bought a copy of The Venetian Game in Waterstones in Picadilly a few weeks back, and stuck me me on the guest list as a result. At this point, despite my best efforts to look cool, I think I might have choked on my prosecco!

My own launch was at Laguna Libre in Cannaregio. Lovely to see so many friends there, and we managed to sell out of books as well. Here are some photos.

A few more reviews have come in – an excellent one from Saga magazine, and I was also delighted to get a very positive mention in the Literary Review.

And as for Book 2…well the manuscript was delivered to my publisher this morning. Which means that, for a few weeks at least, I can relax…

Reviews

I was delighted to see copies of “The Venetian Game” on the shelves at Libreria Studium, Calle Lunga San Marco.

studium

This is the first time I’ve seen it on the shelves of a bookshop in Italy. I tried to be suitably dignified and restrained about the whole thing, and was as discreet as possible when I took a photograph. I hope the other customers and the proprietor understood.

Elsewhere, I’ve had a lovely review from the good folk at TripFiction.

Thriller set in Venice (secrets, shadows – and death…)

And I was ridiculously proud of having been mentioned in the Morning Star. Nathan and his friends in the Communist Bar would, I am sure, most definitely approve.

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-de9c-Expiring-slowly,-and-other-murderous-outcomes#.WOFarJB9601

The Venetian Game

“The Venetian Game” has just been released by Little, Brown. Thanks to all those who have bought it, commented on it or just passed on their good wishes. These are exciting times, and your feedback is very much appreciated.

It’s been a busy week. Apart from the excitement of publication date, I’ve also been busy finishing the second draft of book 2 (title yet to be finalised), which will be released in 2018.