The State of Things

Added on 26 February 2018

Today was supposed to be publication day for BALLAD IN BLUE, my short, modernist, erotic, surrealist romantic comedy that was going to be so successful it would save the UK from the economic calamity of Brexit. However, as millions of concerned readers, economists and Internet conspiracy theorists have noticed, it has yet to appear. Many reasons have been suggested for the book’s non-arrival, including:

  • It never existed
  • I died mysteriously in a Parisian hotel room
  • It was removed by a Russian/GOP Internet troll factory who thought the blue in the title referred to the Democrats
  • Aliens took it

Like literally everything that ever happened, however, the answer is much more mundane.

I signed up with a literary agency. In the first instance, this is primarily in the wake of the Freight Books catastrophe, in the hope that the agency can find a replacement publisher for the DI Westphall series – SONG OF THE DEAD, THE BOY IN THE WELL, and (work in progress) IMPLEMENTS OF THE MODEL MAKER – but I thought I might as well run Ballad in Blue by them to see what they think.


I’m quite happy to publish it myself, and I love the cover, but if they can find a publisher willing to recognise its genius and pay a £750,000 advance, then I’ll take it.

The agency may well splutter into their coffee and insist on selling me in my traditional position as Crime Novelist, in which case Ballad In Blue will be back on the slate in a few weeks.

Signing with the agency has meant that the e-book of SONG OF THE DEAD has been removed from sale for now, and will also mean that DS Hutton 4 – SEE THAT MY GRAVE IS KEPT CLEAN – will be delayed, while they consider the possibilities for finding that one a multimillion pound publishing contract.

It may all come to nought, but one day, some time soon, something will happen one way or another.