My new novel Interlude will be published 25 September by Turnaround Books. Here’s a first look at the cover, featuring a photograph by Dom Agius. It came back from the printers this week, and is now going out for review and so on. You can pre-order it on Amazon here, or of course buy it from your local independent bookshop. Digital edition will be published at the same time.
Category Archives: Publishing news
I now have a publication date for Interlude (as it’s now called: I’ve dropped the definite article). 25th September 2014, print and digital. That may shift a week or so either way. Turnaround Books are publishing it. The cover is almost ready and features a very beautiful photograph by Dom Agius. Watch this space for more. I’m so pleased Interlude is finally going to see the light of day because I’m really proud of it.
After more twists and turns than I would ever dare put into a novel, The Interlude is finally going to be published by Turnaround in September 2014. It’s a book I’m very proud of, a big multi-generation story of hidden love, secrecy and ambition. It’s in the same vein as Man’s World, ie literary fiction with a big gay love story at the heart of it, and I hope it’ll have the same kind of success.
I’m not one to bear grudges, but The Interlude was very nearly the one that got away thanks to some spectacular shenanigans by people in the industry who, shall we say, promised more than they could deliver. However I’m confident it has now found a good home and I really hope people enjoy it. We’ve got a gorgeous cover coming together, featuring a photo by Dom Agius, which I’ll preview as soon as I can.
A journalist recently asked me why it’s taken so many years and a dozen or more novels to get round to writing horror. The answer is that I never really needed to do it till now. I had a subject – the strangeness of small towns – and I needed a way of writing about it. I could have done a literary novel with a broad canvas and lots of subtle twists and turns (or at least I could have tried) – but that wouldn’t have captured the sense of threat and alienation that I feel in those places. So I tried a horror story – and that did the job. Of course people in quaint English coastal towns don’t do the disgusting, deadly and illegal things that are depicted in Grim, but I always feel as if they could.
I’ve turned my hand to a few different genres in my time – erotica, chicklit/blockbuster, literary fiction – and one thing I’ve learned is that each genre does a fundamentally different job. Erotica has one obvious purpose: to turn the reader on. Literary fiction engages the mind and the feelings through the exploration of character. Horror should scare – and, most importantly, should make the reader see the potential for strangeness and fear in apparently mundane things. That’s what I needed to do in Grim. I wanted to make people walk down the streets of small towns and think ‘Hmmm, that fat, depressed-looking goth could be a cannibal’ or ‘that sweet little gran in the teashop could be a plaything of Satan’. After spending a lot of time on the north Norfolk coast, where Grim is set, that’s how I started to feel. It’s about being a fish out of water, about feeling like a misfit in an essentially hostile environment.
The horror novels and films that I like are the ones that use fantasy and gore as a way of exploring everyday life and communities. I don’t like horror that is just violent and disgusting for its own sake, and I don’t like total fantasy. It has to be rooted in reality, and it has to acknowledge the essential ridiculousness of the paranormal stuff. That’s why I revere Stephen King, because his subject matter is always communities, not evil clowns/special powers/aliens etc. King no more believes in this stuff than I do, but he uses the genre conventions like a surgeon uses a scalpel.
Grim is about two outsiders – a widowed American archaeologist and his strange, withdrawn teenage son – who come to the fictional English seaside town of Besselham to uncover the truth about their wife/mother’s death. Along the way they get involved in a teen suicide cult, witness the emergence of a prehistoric temple from the sea bed, and do battle with a bunch of very sinister locals. By the end of the story we’ve strayed a long way from its realistic beginnings, but I hope every step down the path of madness has a gruesome logic. And I hope, if you brave the terrible train service or wiggly A-roads that are the only way of getting to north Norfolk, that you will understand the weirdness under the surface that inspired me to turn to horror in the first place.
I’m very pleased to announce that two of my novels which have been out of print for a long time have just appeared in digital editions, looking very spiffy thanks to the design talent of Daniel Coupe. Fly on the Wall is my 2002 story about what would happen if a TV company tried to make a reality show in my neighbourhood, Elephant and Castle – it’s a very black comedy with a cast of characters that makes I’m a Celeb look relatively sane. Service Wash came out in 2006, and it’s the story of a washed-up soap star trying to squeeze out the last few drops of fame with a tell-all autobiography – at the time of writing, I’d been working on a huge EastEnders project and ghosting Michael Barrymore’s book, so that gives you some idea of the territory. Both books and my other Rupert Smith e-books can be found here.
I’m pleased to report that all my backlist will soon be available in digital editions. I Must Confess is out now for both Amazon UK and Amazon US and elsewhere. Fly on the Wall and Service Wash are both in preparation as we speak and should be available this side of Christmas 2012, fingers crossed. Watch this space.
And if you feel the need for some hands-free reading, the James Lear canon is now available in audio versions, voiced by the lovely Daniel Carter. I’m saying he’s lovely although I’ve never met him, but I feel that we’re close as he’s read my sexual fantasies out loud for money.
I’ve been tearing my hair out – and I don’t have that much left to tear – trying to figure out how to link up to my old, established website www.rupertsmith.org.uk – and in the end it turned out to be incredibly simple. So hopefully this is now the one-stop shop for everything to do with my books and other projects.
And speaking of technology, I hope to be able to tell you quite soon that my fiction backlist will all be available in digital editions. At the moment my first three novels I Must Confess, Fly on the Wall and Service Wash only exist in book form, which is a shame as they’re ideal Kindle-fodder. Steps are being taken to rectify this. Nothing’s going to happen overnight but maybe by the end of the year it’ll all be up there, alongside Man’s World and the new one, The Interlude, which is out in August.
Needless to say the James Lear novels all exist in e-book form, as do the Rupert Jameses.