Today is publication day for SACRIFICE, the second in my new series of police novels following the investigation of Detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg.
The internet appears to have been going mad on this matter in the last few days. Friends, loved ones and comrades-in-pens – of which I’m fortunate enough to have very many – have been hugely supportive, re-tweeting my tweets on the matter, sharing my Facebook posts and generally spreading the word (I can’t thank all you guys enough, but I shall endeavour to in due course – I think I owe a lot of people a lot of drinks). The remarkable image above is a screen-capture from the Apple iBookstore, which shows us sitting right in the middle of its new banner.
Amazing – that’s all I can say. And a great honour.
The net-result of all this is that, in terms of statistics alone, SACRIFICE has now officially become the most anticipated book in HarperCollins history. I still can’t quite get my head around that. Before today, it had racked up over 14,000 pre-orders, which apparently has never happened before for any book produced by that great publishing house. Equally bemusing to me are the sales figures now accrued by its forerunner, and the first in the Heck series – STALKERS. The last time I checked, it had sold around 160,000 copies since February, which is simply bamboozling. It would be quite staggering if SACRIFICE was to match that figure, but that’s in the hands of God.
Again though, I have to thank people – readers, fans, friends – for trusting my story-telling skills sufficiently to dip into their pockets and take a chance on me. Hopefully I won’t disappoint. I must also thank my agent, Julian Friedmann, for all his support and advice as we evolved the concept of Heck, my editor at Avon, Helen Bolton, who has been the massive and benign driving-force behind the series (not to mention her many, tireless colleague), and my wife, Cathy, who for 25 years now has been the rock upon which this writing career of mine was built.
So thanks again to all of your who’ve played your part, no matter how small.
I’m off to the HARROGATE CRIME-WRITING FESTIVAL later today, where once again I’ll be among like-minded individuals, scribblers of edgy fiction, whose minds range darkly and yet who are among some of the best guys and girls you could ever hope to meet. How well that’s fallen for me. I don’t believe I could think of a better place to spend Publication Day.