Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Yeah, I know.....

....it has been a long, long time. I've been looking into getting the website rebooted, but that's no excuse really. Lazy also comes into the equation. That said, I have been updating fairly regularly on Facebook if you want to search that out, and there's also been Twitter in the last couple of weeks.

So where are we?

The new book, The Day of the Jack Russell, was released this week, and should be in the shops. I'm expecting reviews to appear over the next few weeks - fingers crossed. Any feedback I've had so far has been very positive. For those who don't know about it, it's the follow up to Mystery Man, and I'm currently working on the third in the series, which at the moment I'm calling 'Dr. Chicago' (think about it).

What else is happening in Bateman world? Well, I've written a 60 minute script for the BBC based on 'Mystery Man', but no decision yet as to it actually going into production or not. There's a lot of scripts out there vying for very few slots. But fingers crossed. It would be nice to make it, and even nicer to make it in Belfast. If you've read it, and have any ideas who you think might be good in the lead role, don't be shy!

The book had a very successful launch at No Alibis - where else? - last night, with a full house, which I think was pretty great for a miserably wet Monday night. At the event I read a short excerpt from 'Dr. Chicago', plus two short stories, 'Happy Endings' and 'Dublin Express'. The first of these is due to appear in the er, prestigious Red Bull Magazine, which I believe is given away free with The Independent newspaper, but I've no idea quite when. The other is currently lacking a home, written purely for fun.

Elsewhere in Bateman world, I've been writing a tv script called 'Alice Glass', about a bi-polar detective, I've written a children's book which is the first in a planned series, 'SOS: Icequake', and I've been talking to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast about staging my first play, 'National Anthem', when it re-opens early in 2011. So its been a busy week.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Zoot Alors!

If you happen to be passin' thru Paris this week, then do call and say hello. Yours truly will be performing - and I mean performing, I juggle now as well as read - at the Irish Cultural Centre this Thursday evening at 7.30 pm. It's at rue des Irelandais, naturally enough. Then on Saturday night I'll be taking part in a panel discussion at Bilipo: 48-50, rue du Cardinal Lemoine. This is a library actually devoted to crime fiction, and I'll be on stage together with two other authors who like to have a laugh as well, the Frenchman Colin Thibert and the Englishman Charlie Williams, whose works, like mine, have been published in French by Série Noire. The moderator for the evening is Nathalie Beunat. So if you get the chance, come along and say 'ello, 'ello.

Thursday, 7 May 2009


Strewth, whatever will they come up with next?! You can now download the first chapter of Mystery Man onto your mobile phone simply by texting MYSTERY to 64888! I have no idea how this works outside of the UK, but why not give it a try? If it doesn't work you could try txting me directly and I'll call you back and READ you the first chapter. Just key in CATCHYOURSELF ON. Meanwhile I fully expect The Observer to carry a piece on Mystery Man and the publicity whirlwind surrounding No Alibis this weekend, and also The Sunday Times has been looking for a photo of me, so this probably means they're doing something as well, unless of course they've discovered that I've secretly been trafficking gerbils to Azkaban in which case I'm saying NOTHING. These may only appear in the Irish editions of these papers, which is a crying shame.....

Friday, 1 May 2009

It's no longer a Mystery, it's a little piece of History

Hopefully very exciting times ahead folks, with the news that Mystery Man has been seized by the Richard and Judy show for their Summer Read promotion, news which was released by huge coincidence on the very day the book was published. I'm in with seven other books, which I'm sure are all fine and wonderful, but really I'd much prefer you buy mine! What it does mean is that the hardback/trade paperback will be joined very suddenly next weekend by the mass market paperback as well. Frankly, I think you should buy them all. It's also a little ironic that a book which in its own mad way celebrates the wonder of independent book stores, suddenly becomes available through Tescos and Asda and other major chains where previously I couldn't get arrested. Seriously, it's a huge bonus. Depending on where you live of course, and when you read this, I hope some of you can come along to what will be a rather surreal experience tonight, the launch of Mystery Man in No Alibis in Botanic Avenue in Belfast, that's 7 pm on May 1st.
This extra promotion for the book has also led my publishers at Headline Review to bring forward the publication of the sequel, The Day of the Jack Russell, which instead of May next year, is now to be published this coming November. Around about that time I should also be starting in on the third in the series, which at the moment I'm calling Dr. Chicago. All I need now is a plot.

Meanwhile, entirely independent of the above promotion, I'm at a fairly advanced state of negotiations with the BBC over a television version of Mystery Man, and if all goes according to plan I'll start writing the script in about a month's time.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Mystery Man is now just about....

at a shop near you. At least if you live in Ireland, where they seem to release it a few weeks early. The OFFICIAL release date is April 30th, and will be marked by a series of three readings in almost as many days. Those of you in the vicinity of my home town of Bangor, Co. Down, can pop along to the all new Library on Hamilton Road on the 30th, or come along to No Alibis bookshop the following night, Friday, May 1st. The No Alibis reading will be particularly meaningful/emotional as the book is almost entirely set in the shop itself. I may also be reading a little bit from the sequel, The Day of the Jack Russell. Then on Monday, May 4th, I'm appearing at the Black Box theatre in Belfast, as part of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival. I'm sharing the bill here with Dublin writer Gene Kerrigan. So you get two authors for the price of, uhm, two. Also worth noting that if you attend any of these gigs you'll hear two pieces of news about Mystery Man that have me very excited. If not, all will be revealed here in the next couple of weeks.
Before these gigs I'm also appearing at the Cuirt Festival in Galway - that's this coming Friday, and that gig is again with Gene Kerrigan.

Monday, 26 January 2009

When the going gets weird.....

I had the weirdist experience the other night.

A had this dream/nightmare about being attacked by a giant bee. I was just in the act of punching out at it when I woke up suddenly - just in time to stop myself punching my wife in the head.

I pretty quickly went back to sleep and then forgot about it until the following evening when I jokingly apologised to my wife for almost hitting her. She asked why and I explained about being attacked by a giant bee. And her mouth just dropped open. Because the novel she had been reading in bed beside me that night featured a man who could control bees with his mind and make them attack people.

This was a book I had never read and knew absolutely nothing about.

Just a coincidence?

Or evidence of the untapped powers of the mind?

Forty years ago I might have reported it to the Bee Specials, but too late for that now.

(Only a few of you will get this. Apologies. But the bee story is true. And scary.)

Told you....

Last week I mentioned that I was flying to Manchester for the Salford Children's Book Award, and how my previous experience of attending such events was quite embarrassing - authors who do attend sit on a stage before a large audience awaiting the announcement of the winner, who, invariably, is unable to be there. That happened twice last year - at one the winner couldn't make it because he was busy, and at the other the author couldn't make it because she was dead. Well, you could probably detect from what I wrote that I wasn't hugely unthusiastic about making the trip to Salford, but as it turned out I had to cancel at the last moment as an important business meeting came up. A good thing, as it turns out, as I lost to that very same recently departed author. To lose once to a recently deceased author is unfortunate, to lose twice is.....