Best Selling Crime Writer – 2015*

I am – well, I was – well with a small caveat. Best selling crime writer of 2015 – in the best bookshop in Busselton, WA. I know, it is a narrow criteria, but, it’s true – I outsold all other crime writers. I may have a tee-shirt made up. The caveat might be in small writing – on the back. But, nonetheless, the truth of the statement is there for all to see. All I need now is to have a thousand more bookshops across the globe love and promote my books the way Barefoot Books of Busselton does…

I owe them a great deal of thanks and so, I was very happy to have the official Australian launch of Flight Path in their marvellous shop, nestled within Fig Tree Lane.

Peta and Bob and their fantastic staff – “The Minions“, laid on a great day on Sunday 1st May and a good sized crowd turned up for an hour or so of me doing a few readings, telling a few stories, answering some questions and signing a few books. Thanks to all who came out on what was a relatively overcast day for Western Australia. Pictures, courtesy of Minion Steph, are below.

 

 

Advertisements

An Indy Book Tour – 10

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

“Just a few meanderings and musings about London…”

Face Value and Flight Path have a lot of London locations. Today I went and had a proper close-up look at some of them for the first time in quite a while. I also took in a whole bunch of other London sights. Nothing to do with books, but it prompted a small list of things that have struck me since being back in town:

  1. Lots of people still smoke.
  2. Lots and lots of people use those vapour stick things.
  3. There are a lot of foreign workers. Now… this is not an anti-immigration statement. It is just an observation that in cafes, restaurants, hotels and pubs there are a lot of Eastern Europeans, Italians and other nationalities working. In case you still think this is a negative comment, it really isn’t. There are some notable positives from the situation:
    1. Tourists in cafes and hotels can now be fairly confident someone on the staff will speak their language. (That alone is a HUGE boon for UK tourism). No longer will visitors get shouted at to speak English. In the “Great British Fish & Chip Shop” in Leicester Square I heard Italian, Spanish, Russian and one unidentified language. The customers being addressed were relaxed and happy.
    2. Most hospitality jobs are filled with people keen to have them and keen to do a good job. Standards of service are way better than they used to be.
    3. Give them a generation and the UK will have a whole new middle class 🙂
  4. London Underground Transport staff are plentiful, happy, polite and really, really helpful. Fantastic.
  5. Technology on display in the streets is quite innovative. Hologram greeters and video adverts are beginning to make the place look like a sci-fi movie.
  6. Standard of TV has crashed. Seriously, with the exception of a couple of good dramas, what on earth are you doing to it? Maybe it was always like that and I just never got to see daytime TV?
  7. There are lots of ladies with accordions and little dogs on street corners. Is there a factory production line churning them out?
  8. There are a lot less McDonald’s restaurants than there used to be.
  9. There are a lot more Union flags on buildings and generally on show.
  10. Oyster cards are cool.

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus

 

An Indy Book Tour – 9

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

“Cromwell lived round here… But he’s dead now…”

Pictures from the Huntingdon Independent Bookstore Event. Thanks to one Mr Webb, a navy Photog who in no way was the inspiration for a character in Face Value 🙂

Thanks to all that turned up and those from all around who sent messages of support 🙂 Next up is the London Book Fair then the St Ives Corn Exchange on the 17th…

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus

 

An Indy Book Tour – 8

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

“Green hills that back a special place, the homeland of Latharna’s race…”

Home. Or at least my original home, for I have had many and have been fortunate with them all. I’ve spent the last week there, catching up with family, friends, drizzle 🙂 Yep, Northern Ireland in the spring can be glorious. It can also be overcast, wet and cold. I lucked out this time and got the latter. It does serve well to remind me of the benefits and glories that Western Australia offers 🙂

IMG_1765

But, the weather did occasionally show flashes of brilliance, and having a book launch in the old home town, in the old home town’s old library (Carnegie Hall – yes that Carnegie, but not “that” hall) was great fun.

IMG_1723

I was a little disappointed that the crowd was maybe not as big as it could have been, but the thirty that did attend were most welcome and I was very grateful, especially as it was the Easter week, it was wet on the night and it was fairly short notice. All that aside, I was thrilled to see some family members I hadn’t seen for a long time and meet a few “new” editions to the clan as well as friends and acquaintances. Must say a huge thanks to Marian and Rachael from the Mid-East Antrim council as none of it would have happened without their efforts, and also to Alderman Tommy and Councillor Beth who popped along to kick-off proceedings.

My bit was much the same as the rest of the events on this little tour, but I suppose with one major difference… I didn’t have to explain my accent or interpret the Norn Irish pronunciation of eight, now or mirror… Ah, the joys of attuned ears. 🙂

The only hiccup was a lack of photography during the event but sometimes unavoidable things happen. There were some portraits taken later and I await the finished versions soon. 🙂  I am hoping a bit of photoshopping will make me look windswept and interesting… I’ll post some of the proofs at the foot of the page.

Much of the rest of my time in the auld country was spent catching up with friends, launching a new creative initiative called the Latharna Creatives Collective (much more of which later) and catching up with the Linen Hall and Belfast Central Libraries. Proper libraries that smell of books and reek of history. Much like the old Larne Carnegie hall used to. However, the Carnegie now fills the need for an arts and museum centre, so it is still serving the public’s need for education and enlightenment… I hope my launch didn’t detract too much from those lofty ideals…

I left NI on Monday, thanks to a French Air Traffic Control strike I sat in the plane, on the tarmac for an hour or more (don’t think the upcoming in or out of Europe vote will affect the French ability to mess up NI Air Traffic slots…) but eventually arrived Stanstead, (Travel tip – hire cars are in a hire car village… the bus for which is right down the far end of the terminal and badly signposted…) then off for a mini-reunion with a former colleague. Nothing like a spicy curry and half a crate of Grolsch to set one up for the next leg of the tour 🙂

Onwards to Huntingdon and the scene of a murder…

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus

 

An Indy Book Tour – 7

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

“We’re all of to Dublin in the green, in the green, where the rifles glisten in the sun…”

Monday, April 24th 1916 and the sun may well have been glinting off the bayonets and rifles of the Irish Volunteers and Citizen Army soldiers, but as I travel across to the Easter Rising Centenary celebrations in Dublin, it isn’t April, isn’t a Monday and there is no sign of the sun. Glad to say, on board the Irish Ferries’ Ferry Ulysses, there are no signs of rifles or bayonets either. There are signs of a nervous watchfulness in some of the passengers, and the occasional hefting huey of vomit, but that is due to the massive car ferry pitching about quite a bit in the grip of a force-7, often gale-8, sweeping the Irish Sea and us in it.

IMG_0454

Thankfully, big ship stabilisers, which alas are not little wheels like those fitted to a kids bike, but thankfully are incredibly good technology that helps to straighten things out quite a bit, have been fully deployed and are keeping us fairly steady.

On the assumption I “make it” I’ll try to upload more blog posts when I get to dry land 🙂

Okay, ….. so that post and all the rest I did at sea, didn’t actually make it onto the Internet until just now, in the full force of a hotel wifi. I obviously did make it to shore. I did wait for an hour for a taxi… what the f*** Dublin??? Is it a surprise that passengers get off a big boat and need transport… eejits.

IMG_0452

And don’t be mislead by that photo above. The sun was being coy and poking out between showers. See below for the real view…

IMG_0451

Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow and a gale-lashed parade 🙂

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus

 

An Indy Book Tour – 6

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

Llandudno…

“Lewis Carroll’s old stomping ground, although the Mad Hatter and Alice have nothing on the Colwyn Bay Murder & Mayhem group…”

The second book event of the tour was in a town I’ve known since I was a boy of seven. I spent many a summer holiday there and then later, during the early years of my RAF career, it was a home away from home. My younger sister still lives locally with her family, and I thought it would make a great stop on my travels. Luckily, Anne and Elin and all the rest of the Llandudno Library staff thought so too.

2016-03-25 09.05.40

2016-03-24 13.32.54

I must say a huge thank you to Anne for all her efforts in getting things to work so well and for all the help she has provided connecting me up with various reading groups. One of which, the Murder & Mayhem group from Colwyn Bay, were well represented on the night. (Okay, that’s not their real name, but it worked on the evening, so I want them to adopt it).

2016-03-25 09.10.10

The library is right bang in the middle of the main thoroughfare, Mostyn Street, and is housed in, what on the outside appears to be, a traditional Victorian building, but inside has been completely and fantastically refitted. Bright, light and welcoming it’s a great space for readers of all ages.

2016-03-24 13.25.45

The event itself was good fun, people laughed at my rambling stories, they seemed to enjoy the book readings, I signed a lot of books and all in all, it went swimmingly. Some of the “Murder” ladies were even persuaded to pose for a photo 🙂 Alas, by the time I realised, I had missed the opportunity for a photo with another attendee who I was delighted to see on the night.

2016-03-24 19.43.29Eric, a representative of the local National Service association and an RAF veteran from the 1950s, had driven himself through a very cold, stormy and rainy night all the way from Anglesey because he had read in the local press I was ex-RAF. It’s men like Eric, secretaries of the veterans associations and their like, that keep the camaraderie of the Service alive and well. I am sad he left before I got the chance for a photo.

I wish you well Eric. Thanks for coming and thanks to all that turned up. Now, a day of rest before the trip to Dublin…

 

Till next time…

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus

 

An Indy Book Tour – 5

3d Adventurer waves a friendly hello

Cider, Cheese and Cream Teas

“There are places that just ‘feel right’…”

On the way to Cheltenham I diverted a little from the direct route, to visit Cheddar Gorge. This massive gouge in the earth is home to caves, cliffs, rare fauna and flora and if you want all of that detail, wikipedia is probably a good source (article here) but, my fascination with the place dates back to 1989, when, as a young airman with a free weekend from a training course at nearby RAF Locking (alas now a housing estate), I drove into the Gorge’s magnificence and was stopped in my tracks.

2016-03-23 11.59.45

The road wound up with sheer cliffs on one side and sloping rises on the other. A river, gentle in its meanderings, flowed softly next to it, while the footpaths were lined with quaint shops and cafes.

2016-03-23 11.51.14

It was a little tourist enclave of ‘twee’ and I can’t really tell you why the ice-cream parlours, souvenir outlets and tearooms, the happy-go-lucky proprietors, the friendly staff and the array of tourist gifts made me feel so relaxed all those years ago, but perhaps it was because it was all so ‘genuine’. Yes, touristy, yes the shops and cafes tried their hardest to entice with souvenirs, but 2016-03-23 11.47.42they were real. The complete opposite of ‘Disney Culture’ and you knew it had evolved from the original discovery of the caves to be what it was. No marketing plan, no corporate vision, just a bunch of hardworking locals making a living from the opportunity on their doorstep. After I initially found it, I did return a few times as I attended more courses at Locking, but the last time I wandered her winding riverside paths must be twenty-three years ago.

2016-03-23 11.52.38

I am sooo glad to be able to say, nothing really has changed. Well, there are probably a few more shops, a few more tearooms, but the feeling remains. I walked to the head of the gorge before turning and retracing my steps. I gave ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ and its 274 steps to the summit a miss this time. I figured I’d seen it at least twice before and it was probably also the same… (My excuse and I’m sticking to it)… Then I indulged in the stable fayre of the gorge. The Cheddar Cheese shop. Selling Cheddar cheese, real Cheddar, made in… Well Cheddar actually. Right here. As authentic as you can get and phenomenally good. 2016-03-23 11.48.31Then to next door and the shop selling handmade fudge before popping into the cider shop, with its aroma of mulled (warm, spiced) cider. The smell alone, a rich heady mix of Christmas and summer, combined in a warm breath, drew every passer-by into the small shop with the rotund store keeper. Other shops sold Somerset wines and mead, sloe gin and brandy, souvenirs, ice-cream and old-style lollies and sweets.

I eventually pulled myself away from that version of ‘tweeness’ and went to the Wishing Well Tea Room. A rustic, family run, up and down-floored, chintz-pattern-china-cup eclectic mix of traditional. With scones and jam and cream and tea that tasted as good as it looked and it looked terrific.

2016-03-23 12.49.39

I spent an hour in Cheddar Gorge and then returned to my car and the world. On my way I noticed one difference… Squadrons of lycra-clad cyclists were using the steep hill climb to challenge themselves, while others, the challenge met, were hurtling their flimsy machines back down to the levels.

2016-03-23 12.02.06

As I watched a peloton wedge sweep past, I heard a goat’s bleat up on the high cliffs. It looked strangely out of 2016-03-23 12.15.26place in a tourist spot. Clinging on precariously, its bright patches of white wool flashing past gaps in the trees and shrubs. Its horns, testament to it maleness, as if it needed to show off to be sure in its status. I looked back at the cyclists and wondered…

 

Armed with Cheddar gifts, I headed off to North Wales and the hospitality of family in the Principality.

Till next time…

Ian

Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purposethe detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media:

facebookTwitter logoinstagramgoogle plus