Already Here And Coming In The Next 12 Months.

Just this week, my publisher put up a blog interview with me about what these last 10 years of publishing books has been like. You can read it right here. It touched on a few things, book things, but to my amazement, the decade has stretched beyond that.

There have been a couple of plays, The Empress On The Corner, a one-women play about Annabelle Harper and her life, with scenes performed at various places in Leeds. One was filmed at the Hark To Rover pub in Abbey House Museum.

New Briggate Blues was commissioned by Leeds Jazz Fest in 2018. It featured Dan Markham (Dark Briggate Blues) and revolved around memories of Studio 20 Jazz Club in Leeds. Two characters plus a live jazz quintet, and both performances sold out.

 

The biggest thing, though, came with my involvement in The Vote Before The Vote, an exhibition at Leeds Libraries about the Victorian Leeds women who worked towards suffrage. It coincided with the publication of The Tin God, when Annabelle Harper runs to become a Poor Law Guardian. I wasn’t the historian who did most of the work, but I helped, and I’m hugely proud to be have been part of it – and that Annabelle wrote herself into Leeds history.

Of the books, perhaps the thing that truly blew me away happened in 2011, when Cold Cruel Winter, my second novel, was named one of the 10 best mysteries of the year by Library Journal. I was quite literally speechless for a while.

So what lies ahead? Here’s a taster:

“The end of this year brings the third Simon Westow novel, To The Dark, then a new Tom Harper, Brass Lives, sometime next summer. I’ve just finished writing A Dark Steel Death, the tenth Harper mystery. I couldn’t comment on rumours that I’m making headway in the final Harper book…”

And here’s the cover for TO THE DARK. What do you think?

To The Dark 1

Finally, a bit of micro fiction.

He poured hot water into the bowl, watching the soap bubble. Pushed the masks down with a spoon. Once it cooled he’d rinse them off, wring them out and hang them to dry. This is how we live now, he thought. This is how we stay alive.

Thank You and Good Wishes

It’s that time, the year drawing to a close. Celebrations and reflections.

And time for me to thank you, all of you, for reading what I write. You make it worthwhile, the bloggers, reviewers, the people who finish one of my books and hopefully enjoy it. Without that, well, there would be nowhere near as much point in doing it.

It’s been quite a year, with high points and turns into the unexpected. My involvement with The Vote Before The Vote exhibition might have been small, but one of the most important things I’ve done. It celebrated the Victorian women from Leeds who laid the foundation for 1918 and 1928, giving the vote to all women. And as a bonus, having Annabelle Harper as part of it wrote her into the fabric of Leeds history.

A play with live jazz. New Briggate Blues, my chance to celebrate Studio 20. Two sold-out performances, and a success because of the director, Ray Brown, the cast and musicians. Remarkable.

I published three books and i’m immensely proud of them all. But The Tin God will always stand head and shoulders above them in my mind. It’s Annabelle’s book, and it feels like the one I was made to write. Something that does her real justice, and I’m so pleased to have been the conduit for that. Even finished the year with a review of it in an academic journal, the first (and probably the last) time that’s happened.

Tin God Journal review

So thank you, every one of you, and I hope 2019 sees all of us with peace and health.