AKA further adventures in the Land Of Blurbs. After my triumphant blurb for Tighty Whitey’s new book SECOND HAND GOODS I’ve been swamped with requests for my high-powered big name pimpage – open brackets, ha ha, close brackets. One I’ve done, the other is sitting on my desk leering at me like only a big pile of paper can. But it’ll have to wait as I’ve just got the abridged audio script for DYING LIGHT in and I need to approve / fiddle with it before Friday. So, needs must when the devil pokes you in the hairy buttocks with a pointy stick… At least I think it was a stick.
And why am I blurbing? Good question. Not like I’m a McDermid, Billingham or that hippy Rankin. Don’t think having my name on the back of someone’s book is really going to shift any more copies, but hey ho. It’s all part of that ‘paying it forward’ thing – Val McD blurbed for me, and I’m willing to bet her’s was a name that DID make a difference to my sales. So it’s only fair I do the same for someone else, if I can.
Then there’s the fact that I actually got a blurb the other day for DYING LIGHT from someone I consider to be the world’s greatest living crime writer*:
“Another brilliant, riveting police procedural from the new kid on the block. I'm green with envy!”
R.D. Wingfiled: Creator of A Touch Of Frost
And before you ask, no, he's not the one I was having the colly-wobbles about asking for a blurb. And yes, we do share Agent Phil (he gets him Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and always brings him back sticky), but I've never met Mr Wingfield, nor am I likely to as he's something of a recluse. However, I was so emboldened by Lynn’s generous post (and the blushingly flattering stuff people left in the comments), that I went cap in hand to Agent Phil and asked him if he would, you know… ask Mr W if he wanted to be my friend.
What amazes me is that he’s not more well known than he is. I was asked when I was up in Elgin what kind of writers I admired, so I says, “R.D. Wingfield,” blank looks. “Anyone seen Touch Of Frost on the telly?” and suddenly everyone knew what I was talking about. Shame. The books are very, very good. Much better than the TV series, which started off well… then they started making up their own storylines and it all went downhill from there. But the books, ah, the books.
I bought FROST AT CHRISTMAS in a lunch hour, went back to the office, ate me sarnie and read for fifteen minutes. Then went straight back to the bookshop and bought the rest of the series. Frost is a great character: he’s funny, touching, sad, rumpled and incredibly rude. Seriously: this is crime writing at its very, very best.
Mind you, I probably shouldn’t be pointing people at them, as they’re a damn sight better than my ones ;}#
Speaking of which: time to get back to the grindstone. My nose needs sharpened.
* And no, I’m not taking the piss. If you’ve never tried his books, you should. Now. Go out and buy the lot.