Thursday, 4 February 2010

It's All Alexander, Except For The Bits That Are Ian

Loads and loads about Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin today.

The Independent with a brief review of Alexander McCall Smith's TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT, while the author himself "defends his upbeat view of Africa". And more here on his appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival. And the Indian Express on the Number 1 Ladies Man.

From the same publication, an article on the 'lumbering presence' that is Ian Rankin. And an interview with Ian Rankin himself from his Lit Sutra tour, and the Times of India on the man who had "no interest in crime fiction". And he will be one of the stars at Barcelona's Semana de Novela Negra festival. At least, I think that's what it says. Meanwhile, the Review Broads give a thumbs up to DOORS OPEN, as does Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times.

Closer to home, you can see Louise Welsh in Pitlochry on 5th February and at the University of Strathclyde on February 11th. And if you're in London on March 12th, how about going to see Ray Banks, Cathi Unsworth, Toby Litt and Courttia Newland for "a night of crime fiction, comic art, and music of a darker hue."

Allan Guthrie, with his agent hat on, has been very busy recently. First of all he gets Doug Johnstone a two book deal with Faber. The first one is called SMOKEHEADS - described as 'Sideways meets Shallow Grave with a hint of The Wicker Man'. Nice. I'm really looking forward to that - I read Johnstone's THE OSSIANS recently and found it most excellent. Then he and Christa Faust do a deal with Hard Case for the next Angel Dare book. And Christa gets a new tattoo to celebrate. Christa is my heroine (but don't worry Mum, I celebrated my deals by bursting into tears and having a nice cup of tea). And thirdly, Al signs up the funny and charming Helen Fitzgerald as a client. Congratulations to all.

And, talking of Helen Fitzgerald, here's an excellent podcast interview with her, where she admits to googling herself (hi Helen!).

Tony Black talks to the Aberdeen Press & Journal about loss and LOSS.

Ian Pattison says he is nothing like Rab C Nesbitt. Before he sobered up, Rab C's favourite drink was Buckfast, so thanks to my friend Yvonne for pointing me in the direction of this article from the New York Times, about Scotland's Buckfast Triangle. I particularly liked this quote:
'Mr. Miller was hard-pressed to articulate what he likes about Buckfast. “You get used to it,” he said.' Yes indeed. It takes a little getting used to, since it tastes like a mixture of cough syrup, petrol, half a ton of sugar, and a soupcon of warm sweat. And the only reason you do get used to it is because each sip destroys a handful of brain cells.

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