Bad news from the wide world of publishing, which I found out on Friday (leading to a particularly eloquent bout of swearing on Twitter). It seems that sales of THE LEVELS have been lower than expected (or returns higher; it amounts to the same thing) and consequently Headline - who’ve been great with the books and me throughout - aren’t too optimistic over the prospects for THE RAZOR GATE. Which means that an offer on a third book in the same vein is highly unlikely - if TRG somehow sells like hot cakes when it hits paperback in August it’s possible, but since the theoretical market for what was always a tricky commercial proposition turns out to have been even harder to find than expected, the odds on that happening are low.
So I have to scrub several months of work on MURDER PARK, with the book two-thirds done and about a month from completion (and looking good), and write something else, in some sort of different genre (or some sort of actual easy-to-define genre), that will be a nice, straightforward sell. And it’s got to be double-plus awesome because second chances are hard to come by. (And I’ve already had one of those, for those who remember the Penguin third book debacle.)
Hence, fuckery. In particular since the timing, on top of other unspecified stuff last week, was especially unfortunate.
I’m now pitching ideas to my agent like a baseballer trying out for the majors. In the meantime, you’d be doing me a great favour by each buying about 500 copies of both books. Unless you’re happy with me and my family starving to death in poverty, selling our organs for food coupons, etc. etc. etc.