Getting out and about for one. I just completed the final date on a tour of WHSmith stores in central Scotland, taking in Hamilton, East Kilbride, Glasgow, Ayr, Livingston and Stirling.
It was a really fun experience getting out and chatting to people, some of whom I was even able to persuade to buy a book. Big thanks to the team at Smiths for organising everything and making me feel very welcome at every stop.
I also made a couple of other appearances, one at East Kilbride Library for Book Week Scotland, which was great, plus a talk to my old primary school (pictured below). Speaking to sixty ten-year-olds was hands down the most terrifying experience of my writing career to date, but it was also awesome. I didn't have to persuade them of the benefits of reading books and writing their own stories, because most of them were already doing both. Fantastic questions, too.
I got copies of the large print edition of The Samaritan delivered in hardback - another great job from Magna Books:
The Time to Kill picked up another nice review from Crime Review:
"In Blake we have a hero with questionable motives but one that is fundamentally likeable...The Time To Kill is an exhilarating and absorbing thriller making good use of fast-paced action, scenes of tension and convincing characters."
I guested on a couple of great blogs: a Q&A on From First Page to Last and Seven days in the book world for Cool Books, where I talk about everything I've read over a week.
I put the finishing touches to the copyedit of the fourth Carter Blake book, which at the time of writing is still going to be called Don't Look For Me (preorder now! It's out 20th April in the UK). It's a change of pace from the epic scale of the last one, and I had a lot of fun writing it. I just hope everyone else will enjoy reading it.
I appeared at Noir at the Bar in Carlisle with an excellent lineup of crime writers including Jay Stringer, Matt Hilton and GJ Brown. If you're not familiar with the format, the title basically says it all: crime writers reading short pieces in a bar.
This one took place in the Old Fire Station in Carlisle, which was a great venue. I decided at the last moment to read a really old story of mine called A Living. It seemed to go down okay, but for me the real pleasure was watching the other writers do their thing.
Oh yes, and the only other minor part of news is...
I've started work on the fifth Carter Blake book.
Although I work mostly on computer, I've got into a tradition whereby I write the first chapter of a new book longhand in a pub. And that's just what I did last week.
Wish me luck...