Friday, 25 May 2012

Walking a tightrope in a world of crime!

I have some amazing publishing news that I’m now able to share with everyone.

I can’t tell you all how long I’ve been waiting to publicise this. Several times I’ve almost jumped the gun and gone ahead and said something, but have always, thankfully, managed to restrain myself.

Now, at last, I can make this very exciting announcement.

In a nutshell, I have agreed a three-book deal with Avon Books – an imprint of HarperCollins, no less! – for a new series of hard-boiled crime novels.

Though I write a lot of horror and fantasy, some of those who read this column will also know that I had a former life as a cop and that I entered the world of professional writing by penning TV scripts for the ITV crime drama, THE BILL.

I’m a sucker for a good thriller, and have long sought to create a few of my own. In fact, it’s always been an ambition of mine to add to my literary repertoire by writing no-holds-barred cop novels, telling gritty tales about the modern police and their war against the underworld.

If you suspect that this ambition does not really include ‘Sunday evening’ type police stuff concerning investigations that proceed at a stately pace, usually in leafy rural locations or under the thatched eaves of opulent country mansions, you’d be very right. I prefer my cop stuff to be pacy, suspenseful, violent, frightening and smeared liberally with blood and grime from the darkest heart of Britain's inner cities. Like most current fictional detectives, I prefer my cops to be thoughtful, affable, imaginative and intelligent – but I also like them to be hard-edged rule-benders who will stop at nothing to bring justice to the streets.

Those were the goals I had in mind when I wrote my first police novel, THE NICE GUYS CLUB.

Think you haven’t heard about that one before, and you’d be correct. It has only recently been completed, and late last year was sent out for the perusal of publishers. Now, finally, we're green-lit. Avon Books have come back to me – not only wanting to publish THE NICE GUYS CLUB, but asking for three novels featuring the central character, Detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, a tough but tortured loner, who uses every trick in the book as he grapples with a succession of psychos, creeps and maniacs.

I guarantee you these will not be like anything I've written before. These books are firmly in thriller territory. We’re dealing with crime here, not the supernatural – but I’ve not let my horror expertise go to waste. If I’ve done my job properly, this new series should have you shuddering all the way through, both with revulsion and fear.

Anyway, enough bragging. The final issues are sorted and I'll be signing the contract next week. What can I say after that, apart from start looking out for THE NICE GUYS CLUB.


  1. Fantastic news, Paul, really pleased for you!

    1. Thanks Mark. It's always nice to be able to make posts of this sort. Your good wishes are much appreciated.