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Thursday, 15 November 2007

TV Time!

Okay so it's not Parksinson and the channel's wedged somewhere between QVC and re-runs of Hogan's Heroes, but here's your chance to hear me making a fool of myself being inteviewed by Nina Sebastiane (yes, you would) on BookZone about The Gilded Seal.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Read it and you’ll love it

This blog is a great way of venting, but for once I have good news to share. The guys at Crimesquad have named me as their book of the month and written a great review which I wanted to share, because if I don't tell you, who can I tell! It's followed by a Q&A you might also find interesting.

"James Twining is fast becoming a shining star in the thriller-writing firmament – and justly so.

Using the clever conceit of basing his stories on real art world cases, he weaves brilliantly plotted, intelligent, believable and highly literate stories from the threads. In a genre somewhat dominated by American authors he deserves to take his rightful place on the world stage – and this could be the major breakthrough book that does it. Move over Dan Brown!

All the elements of a truly great thriller are here – a brilliant central premise, strong main characters, believable villains, fabulous and interesting locations, a dash of romance and a very decent dose of death and mayhem. Tom Kirk is also a more confident and likeable hero in this third outing. His connection with and understanding of the underworld characters that he encounters, and a strong sense of natural justice, often belie his putative role as a ‘good guy’. Kirk is tortured by his past and still uncertain quite where he fits in. Both perfect ingredients for a classic hero.

The story moves along at a cracking pace and – utilising the classic style of the genre – manages to mix parallel storylines into a delightful cocktail of cliffhangers, twists and turns. It’s genuine page-turning stuff.

However, what makes this thriller stand out from the crowd, aside from the stroke-of-genius link with one of the world’s most famous art icons, is its truly outstanding use of language. The writing is often breathtaking. Whole passages and key phrases literally sing out. The author’s intelligence and empathy for his characters make this a genre-busting novel that deserves to rate serious literary merit.

Buy it, read it and you’ll love it. Guaranteed"

Friday, 2 November 2007

Party time

Last week went from bad to worse. As if my two near-death experiences at the hands of BA and then a suicidal taxi driver (See Roman Holiday) weren't punishment enough, I was then subjected to the excruciating torture of a book signing on Saturday morning. Not that a book signing is in of itself painful, of course. That is unless no-one turns up to get their books signed...

Actually, I'm lying, as I did sell 5 copies of The Gilded Seal. Five whole copies in four hours. That's 1.25 books an hour! Believe me, there's nothing more depressing than loitering expectantly around a stack of your own books, nursing a tepid cup of tea, looking up expectantly everytime the door opens while trying not to look desperate, and then having to grit your teeth as they sweep past and head straight for the latest Katie Price or Jamie Oliver. The shopkeeper claimed it was the slowest Saturday she'd had since she'd opened the shop, but then after the week I'd just had, that seemed entirely predictable! Oh well, from small acorns etc. etc.

Anyway, all that was soon forgotten on Monday night at the publication party for The Gilded Seal at Adam Street. There were about 80 people there - friends, fellow writers, journalists and publishers - and we sold over 60 books. In fact the bookshop ran out and by the end of the evening was taking orders. My publishers Bruce said some very nice and completely true things about me and I mumbled some slightly incoherent but no less heartfelt response. Everyone was polite and clapped, helped no doubt by the free booze. Happy times.

One of the things I mentioned in my speech was that I'd heard that morning from my German publishers that The Double Eagle had sold very well over there. That news made me feel, let's be honest, pretty good about life, until my wife pointed out that this effectively made me the "David Hasselhof" of the thriller world - for those of you who don't know, David Hasselhof is famous in the UK for being a hugely popular singer in Germany but no-where else - he was even invited to sing at the offical ceremony that marked the bringing down of the Berlin Wall!

To be honest, I didn't mind the reference. After all, like many of you, when facing a particularly tough dilemma or decision, I often ask myself:

"What would the Hoff do?"