By Paul Waters

Maverick cop Jolly Macken goes looking for a killer, but accidentally starts a war

Friday, 27 March 2020

Linda Grenfell and the Blackwatertown book launch

Good news for Linda and everyone else. The lovely Linda Grenfell asks: "What's happening with Blackwatertown? Have you any information about when it might be available? Is it still in the process or has the project been abandoned?" And you, kind supporter, may be wondering the same thing. The short answers are: Lots. Yes. Yes. No.

What's been happening? The manuscript for Blackwatertown was delivered to the publisher Unbound last year. The very useful structural edit was then completed. Earlier this year both the copy edit and typesetting were completed. Since then the cover has been designed and may already be complete. (I wanted to share an interim version with you in this update, but I'll be able to let you see the final version very soon.)

Which means that, yes, the book is still in the process. And, no, it has not been abandoned.

So when will the book be out? There has been a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over the date because of reorganisation within the publisher. That was outside my control, but has been mostly sorted out by now. Then, like many businesses, Unbound is now having to cope with the impact of coronavirus on the people who work there. However, all being well, Blackwatertown will be published in June or July 2020. I am hoping it will be out before the 1st of July start of the Northern Ireland summer holidays (earlier than in England) and the Marching (and leaving) Season. But it looks as though the school summer holidays have begun already for most and who knows whether there'll be much marching or holidaying?

Like you, I'm eager to get a firm exact publication date, so I can spread the word online. When I hear it, you'll be the first I tell.

And book launch means book launch party! Many authors have had their physical book launches scuppered by the need for social distancing at the moment. It looks as though that will happen to me too. So the parties may have to happen a little after the publication date. But they'll definitely still be going ahead.

I have three venues in mind - one each in Belfast, London and south Bucks. Three launch parties. I hope most of you will be able to come to one of them. (To supporters outside Ireland and the UK, I haven't forgotten you.) When I have the exact publication date and we see how the coronavirus situation evolves, I'll share more details. But if you'd like indicate which of the launch party locations you want to attend, please leave a comment below, or via Twitter @paulwaters99 or email paulwaters99 AT hotmail DOT com - it'll help with planning and numbers.

In the meantime, I give belated thanks to some recent supporters. Thank you very much Michael Smith, Gareth Bellamy, James Pierson, Jason Ballinger and Bidisha Sinha. You are all epic.

Thanks to The Ulster Fry website and their story Marching to become an official Olympic sport, from whom I nicked the picture at the top.

Thanks also to Linda Grenfell for prompting me to send you this update. If you've any questions or remarks or responses to the launch party locations, leave a comment here or get in touch via the contacts above.

Meanwhile, if you want something new to listen to, search for the books and authors podcast We'd Like A Word on Anchor, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. I present it with fellow author Stevyn Colgan, author of some very funny books including Cockerings - well worth a look. We'd Like A Word is also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram - but without the apostrophe - @WedLikeAWord and the website is here  Even if you think the presenters are dodgy, we have some truly high calibre guests, including Graham Norton, Will Dean, Tony Kent, Denise Mina, Dr Erica McAlister, Helen Cullen, Adrian McKinty, Brian McGilloway... An embarrassment of riches.

Next time - the cover reveal...

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