Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A nice review of 'Death at the Clos du Lac'

A nice review of one's own books is always a lovely surprise. And 'Death at the Clos du Lac' has received one such in the hallowed pages of Euro Crime Reviews, a website which posts news and reviews of all that is good in European crime fiction writing.

You can read what their reviewer, Lynn Harvey, thinks of book 4 in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series right here.

Thank you, Lynn, for the kind words. Much appreciated.

'Death at the Clos du Lac' - Signed hardbacks available here

P/bs, ebooks and audio downloads available here and all good bookshops.

If you can't get to France this summer, the least you can do is read about it.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Book review - 'Season of Fear'

I don't seem to have had much time to do any thriller reviews just lately. Call it busy, call it trying to not pick up the 'voice' of other authors. It happens occasionally, especially when starting a new book and I haven't yet got into the swing of the latest project.

It's the same as picking up local accents, which I have a tendency to do, much to the annoyance of certain folk who think I'm taking the rise after I've been in their company for no more than about three minutes. I'm really not, I promise. But I know I'm not alone in that.

However, one book I've just read is 'Season of Fear' by Brian Freeman. You can read my review on the ShotsMag review site.

The front cover blurb says, 'as brilliant as Harlan Coben'.  I can see what they mean.

Worth a read.

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Paperback release in US

'Death at the Clos du Lac'

In what might well be Inspector Lucas Rocco's final adventure, 'Death at the Clos du Lac' is available in paperback format for US readers from tomorrow, 15th July.


I don't mean that Rocco meets his maker - nothing quite that final. I just mean that in spite of some lovely reviews the publishers have decided not to renew the contract as the sales haven't reached expectations... whatever they were.

Why would I advertise the final in a series? Isn't that admitting failure?

Well, because lovely readers have been asking about the next title, I can't keep pretending there will definitely be one.

As for failure, I don't believe it is. Rocco wasn't my only creation (see the current Harry Tate series and the new Marc Portman series), both of which are doing extremely well. But this one simply didn't make the grade. It happens.

So, if you fancy the idea of a cop series set in France in the 1960s, there are 4 books to choose from, whether hardback, paperback or ebook. Take your pick

I thoroughly enjoyed writing about Rocco. I hope you enjoy reading about him.

Rocco in paperback - right here.

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"Deserves to be ranked with the best." - Daily Mail

"France's answer to Jack Reacher!" - CrimeSquad.com

"Clever and complex, this taut and chilling new novel from Adrian Magson is a spine-tingling treat." ('Death on the Rive Nord') - The Good Book Guide.

"Rocco is every bit as strong as Martin Walker's Bruno Courreges... with an authentic sense of place. I'm extremely glad this is a series and will certainly be back for the next."
Linda Wilson - http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com

“…a darker and subtler novel than Death on the Marais… The novel is ingeniously plotted and works up to an unexpected climax… A thoroughly enjoyable read from an accomplished crime writer… “
Historical Novel Society - http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/death-on-the-rive-nord/

"... a tense, clever 1960 police whodunnit. Insp Rocco is a thoughtfully produced creation... and I hope to see more from this very gifted author." Terry Halligan - EUROCRIME Reviews

"...this book captures perfectly the rural atmosphere of France... Littered with characters and oodles of charm, this is a brilliant debut, a great read and terrific fun. Excellent!" Books Monthly - http://www.booksmonthly.co.uk/

"Rocco is a likeable character... a law unto himself. The reader is kept hanging till the very last moment... the ending is excellent. If you enjoy all things French, this book will appeal." The Book Bag - http://www.bookbag.co.uk/

"Death on the Marais is a slick and memorable thriller… Terse writing, a very credible plot and fascinating characterisation make for a most entertaining reading experience." Conor Tannam - http://www.thecrimeofitall.com/

"The climax, when it comes, is explosive... and Magson skillfully draws the various threads of his story together in a very satisfactory manner." Reviewing the Evidence - http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/


Sunday, 13 July 2014

Latest articles in Writing Magazine

August issue.

The months are getting shorter, I swear. My mother warned me about this, but I didn't believe her.

Anyway, my latest 'Beginners' piece in Writing Magazine is called 'Give Yourself a Break', and focusses on NOT trying to think about or write an entire book in one go. This might seem like
common sense, but many writers get too involved in thinking about the project in its entirety, which is like climbing Everest and the Matterhorn in one day or, as I liken it in the article, to eating a chocolate bar in one sitting.

Thinking about putting down 90,000+ words is not for the faint-hearted, and will invariably swamp your thoughts and put you off - so much so, that you might consider giving up before you've begun.

Better, therefore, to approach it in chunks; be it paragraphs, sections or chapters. Believe me, the words soon add up. That way you'll get to enjoy it more. A bit like tackling a chocolate bar. Geddit?

This month's New Author is BK Duncan, whose debut novel, 'Foul Trade', all about 1920s London and a female coroner's investigation into a murder, has just hit the shelves and the e-waves.

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

If they can't see it, they can't buy it...

The ALCS (Authors' Licensing & Collection Society) has just released its latest findings reported here on author earnings, and it comes as no surprise that the figure has dropped to £11,000, described as: 'more than £5,000 below the income level considered to be a socially acceptable standard of living'.

Ouch. It also says that 'it is not surprising that the number of full-time writers... is declining sharply.'

The Society of Authors comments that while earnings are going down, publishers' profits are going up (their concern being that authors are getting a smaller share than they used to), and that the 25% royalty commonly paid for ebooks 'doesn't adequately reward authors and gives publishers a disproportionate share.'

That's probably true. But the share on paper books is even less.

They also mention the Amazon effect, and suggest they are pushing the producers out of business by offering high discounts. (The producers being authors, I presume).

Well, what about another, much more blindingly obvious reason - to me, anyway - why authors can't always earn to their full potential?

That is, if the books don't appear on the shelves, the readers can't buy them.

(Which is why most authors, including self-published ones, will argue that any shop window is better than none at all).

Of course, the publishers have a simple response: 'Your sales aren't up to the required level.' As if they themselves somehow weren't part of the equation.

End result: your contract doesn't get renewed.

It's a simple enough marketing philosophy and comes down to supply. If you don't have your products on the barrow, customers will go elsewhere. And these days, customers have lots to choose from.

And a percentage of nothing is still nothing.

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Friday, 4 July 2014

I foreworded The Saint!

Is that even a verb? Ah, heck, I've just made it one.

I've been a fan of Leslie Charteris's 'The Saint' books ever since the age of eight. So I've always been able to blame him for my life of crime (writing). And my parents, who encouraged me to read. Thank you, Mr C, Mum and Dad, in equal measure.


I was therefore absolutely stoked when I was asked to contribute a foreword to a re-edition of 'Follow The Saint', which was first published in 1939.

(I would like to point out that I do NOT recall this first publication; I wasn't even the hint of a glimmer at the time).

This is just one of many titles being re-published (49 in the US by Thomas & Mercer, and 35 in the UK by Mulholland Books), all retaining the grammar, style, punctuation, etc, of the original texts.

As a fan at that very young age, when I tore through all the books at a heady pace, I think I already knew what I wanted to do with my life, which was to follow Leslie Charteris even in a small way and become a writer of crime and thriller novels.

Something I never imagined in my wildest dreams (and they were pretty wild), was that one day my name would feature alongside one of his titles and that iconic stick man.

But, 16 books of my own later, here it is.

This (and all the re-prints), is due to Ian Dickerson, producer, writer, director and Honorary Secretary of The Saint club, and about whom you can read more here and here.

The books are lovely and atmospheric in colour and detail, and both publishers have done a wonderful job.

Oh, and they're also available as ebooks, so nobody need go without.

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