I’m pleased to announce that my novel ‘Cairo Mon Amour’ has been accepted for publication in 2017 by an international publisher, thanks to the great work of my agent Michael Cybulski and the team at New Authors Collective. Many thanks to those who have supported my efforts in bringing ‘Cairo Mon Amour’ to this point. I’ll be keeping my readers up to date with details of the release date as they come to hand.
I hope I can reward your enthusiasm with my next novel Cairo Mon Amour, which will be released on 31 August. There’s a swish website here where you can read about it and even pre-order a copy for the promotional price of 99c.
My challenge this week was to make an 80-second video promotion for my novel An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity. I’ve used a DSLR camera previously for this kind of thing, but I just got an iPhone 6s, and it did the job just as well. I used iMovie to compile and edit the film, and Graphic to make the opening title. The only problem was getting the video file from the iPhone to my laptop because it was too big to email. In the end, I managed to do it with iCloud.
I wrote a script, but on the first few takes I kept peeping it at and my eyes were darting all over the place. I solved the problem by taking off my glasses so that I couldn’t see the script, and had to memorise it instead.
You can find my video here.
Let me know what you think!
Before I started Cairo Mon Amour, I wrote a memoir called Cairo Rations about my time in Egypt during the 1973 war, to bring back memories of the settings that I wanted to use in the novel.
I’ve just published a new version of the memoir Cairo Rations, which I am distributing free. Click here to sign up for my newsletter and get a copy of Cairo Rations in pdf, mobi (for Kindle) or epub (for many e-readers).
If you have comments about any of my books, please respond through this blog or by email at email@example.com .
I’ve relaunched An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity on Kindle with a new cover. The evolution of the cover is a story in itself.
My working title for the book was Forty Apple Trees, the name of the house in the West of England where most of the third part takes place. The name hung around for so long that it stuck, and I asked my wife to paint the imagined cottage to incorporate into the cover. The version on the left was my favourite.
But some of my beta readers and writing friends thought the title was meaningless. I had to agree, and I spent a month throwing ideas around until I settled on Magenta Falling. They threw this one out too. An Englishman’s Guide to Infidelity hit me like a brick when I was out walking one day. It references a book written by one of my characters, An Englishman’s Guide to Fidelity. He’s a complete swine, by the way.
Being an expert on everything, I roughed up a sketch and asked my cover designer to see what she could do. Here’s the before and after:
But I’d miscalculated. First, the cuckold hand gesture seemed unknown to most people. I was asked a few times if the book was about heavy metal . Secondly, the subtitle a novel was a wasted opportunity to add a hook; it obviously wasn’t a cookbook! And despite it being a lovely cover, it lacked impact compared to others in the marketplace.
A year or so later I went back to my designer and asked for the blockbuster treatment. She gave me two bits of advice: (1) Don’t try to tell the story on the cover, (2) Leave everything to me this time.
So here it is, and I think it’s brilliant. I love the way the title punches out of the centre, and I love the sense of anticipation as the figure walks into a landscape that is both bright and forbidding. And best of all, the cottage is back!
Find out more about my books here.
My covers are designed by Rachel Ainge at Tribe Creative Co.
What does a Sydneysider do when they get back from the US? Get a cup of decent coffee, what else? No, I shouldn’t be so cruel – I’ve had espresso in New York and San Francisco that approaches the refined drop we enjoy in Sydney, city of a million coffee snobs. But spare me the warmed-up filtered stuff they serve in US diners! Kerry J Donovan serves gallons of it in this lively novel about Chet Walker, a young itinerant musician whose past is tantalisingly hinted at. Finding himself in the lakeside town of Lucky Shores, he is quickly embroiled in a festering scandal and instantly attracted to Josie, the minx in the diner with the coffee pot and an interesting past of her own. I loved the whole thing, even the sweet ending (I would have preferred a bit of angst, but that’s the kind of writer I am). Chet’s music and lyrics are woven into the plot, but because they are original I couldn’t play them in my head: Hey, Kerry, what’s the chance of getting them recorded on Youtube and embedding the links in the e-book?
I had some questions for Kerry:
Q – I think that On Lucky Shores was your first novel set in the US. What sort of reaction have you had, especially from American readers? After all, you’re an Irishman living in France!
A – Agreed, OLS is my first US-set novel and will come as a bit of a change of pace for my readers. I mostly write UK-based police procedurals, although in one of my books, I did send my hero, DCI David Jones to France to catch a paedophile killer.
Setting OLS in the Colorado Rockies was a bit of a gamble for me and required a heck of a lot of research. Although the resort town of Lucky Shores is totally fictitious, I did want the setting to feel authentic. As for dialogue, narration, and ‘feel’, that was equally as tricky. I considered making my leading man, traveling musician Chet Walker, a British ex-pat, a sort of Crocodile Dundee character, but that would have been a bit of a cheat and I didn’t want to write a ‘fish out of water’ comedy. Instead, I tried hard to find a realistic American voice for the narrator and the characters, and hired an editor from Colorado, PC Zick, to help me with the settings, US grammar, and colloquialisms. She did a wonderful job and so far, reader responses have been incredibly supportive.
Basically, no one’s called me out on my misuse of the lingo. Not yet, anyway.
Q – If you found yourself in the diner in Lucky Shores, who would you most want to have lunch with?
A – Great question and a difficult one. The easy answer would be Chet, or Josephine (the diner’s owner and female lead character), but they’d be pretty much lost in each other and I wouldn’t have much of a chance in the conversation. Young love, eh?
Apart from the two leads, my favourite character is ‘The Ghost’, Sheriff Casper Boyd. He has his own agenda and, like Chet, is a recent addition to the Lucky Shores community. As an outsider, he has a different perspective from Lucky Shores’ other residents. Apart from everything else, he’s more my age than the youngsters, and we’d have slightly more in common. One question I’d like to ask him is why he’s being so tough on Chet. After all, the poor guy only wants to find a gig, earn some money, and move on with his life. Yeah. “What’s your game, Sheriff? Why are you being such a hard-ass?”
Q – People drink an awful lot of coffee in Lucky Shores. Are you willing to share your true feelings about the coffee they serve in US diners?
A – Couldn’t possibly comment. I don’t drink coffee. Never have, never will. I’m old school, a tea drinker through and through. I’m sure all US diners serve delicious coffee all the time, but I’m not an expert and will leave that discussion to others. And by the way, in Chet’s defense, he’d been out in the cold and the rain most of the night and needed the coffee as much for its warmth as its caffeine. And anyway, he’s a big guy and the coffee cups are small. Give the guy a break, will ya?
Find out about Stuart Campbell’s novels here.