The page proofs of Silent Fear have arrived, which means one more read-through to make sure everything works and to hunt down any typos/printing issues/etc. It's interesting to see it at this point, because up till now it's always been laid out like a manuscript: on an A4 page with 3 cm margins all around. Now it's still on an A4 page but it's set out as the page will be in the book, so it has lines marking the corners of the book page, proper chapter headings, page numbers on the bottom and my name and the title on the tops of alternate pages. It's 404 pages but of course when it's a book it'll be printed on both sides of the pages so it won't look like the huge thick thing it is now. It's exciting to see it come together and I can't wait till its release in February!
The sixth book in the series is coming along well too. Can't tell you anything about title or content just yet :) but I can tell you that I'm loving writing it!
I'm loving reading too. I've just finished Lee Child's new Jack Reacher novel, The Affair. This is really a prequel, set before the first book in the series (The Killing Floor), and shows beautifully how Reacher comes to be the man we know so well from the series. It is (of course) as gripping and thrilling as the other books, so whether you're a fan or you've never read Child before, I really encourage you to get this one.
Other books I'm reading are crime novels from a range of fantastic Aussie writers: The Brotherhood by YA Erskine, The Old School by PM Newton, Border Watch (aka Wings of Fear) by Helene Young, and a re-look at Blood Born by Kathryn Fox. I'm interviewing this awesome bunch next Sunday at SheKilda, Australia's second-ever crime conference, in Melbourne. We're going to be talking about doing the jobs we write about - an excellent topic, don't you think, considering that Helene Young is a pilot in nth QLD and writes about that, Kathryn Fox was a doctor and writes about that, and YA and PM were cops and they write about that? What better insight could you hope for? I'm looking forward to putting all sorts of questions to them, and to hearing the audience's questions too.
I'm also reading books by Margie Orford, one of SheKilda's international guests, who I'll be interviewing in a one-on-one on Saturday afternoon. I'm looking forward to finding out about the background behind her stories and how she works.
All these women write excellent books that you really can't put down! and it's going to be a marvellous weekend. Check out the programme for details of these and other sessions, and how to book. One feature of the conference is the Davitt Awards, an annual award for the best crime books by Australian women published in the previous year. in the categories of best adult novel, best children's/YA novel, best true crime, and reader's choice as voted for by the members of Sisters in Crime. This year I have two in the running - Cold Justice and Violent Exposure. You can attend the awards as part of the conference or buy tickets separately here.
In other news, we had a fantastic time on our holiday in Tasmania, and if you're heading that way I can recommend a stay at The Hideaway. It's a truly gorgeous place and we had the most relaxing couple of days there, sitting on the balcony reading and listening to the sea wash onto the rocks all of forty metres away.
Hope all's well in your world!