Last time I warned you this was going to be all about me. And mostly it is. Because, all of a sudden all sorts of things are happening. First off, after quite a long break, I’ve got two new books coming out. Well, one is new, and the other is sort of new.
So, just like they used to say about the number Eleven bus. “You wait for ages for one, and then two come along together.”
First off, come back with me in time to 2004 when I was punting about a book called Answers From The Grave. A big, sprawling saga of a south London gangster family over forty years, with a guest appearance of Nick Sharman as a bent cop in the Eighties. No takers unfortunately, until an old friend of mine, Jim Driver, owner of The Do-Not Press took a chance. The book came out to superb reviews, but unfortunately, before it could be properly distributed, The Do-Not Press was no more. That’s the way life goes sometimes.
Then, last year I got a call from another old friend, Maxim Jakubowski, the only man I know named after a machine gun, from the much missed Murder One bookshop. He’d brokered a deal with John Blake of John Blake Publishing to set up a crime list called MAXCRIME (Maxim- Geddit?) and wanted to know if he could republish Answers. No problem. I almost bit his hand off . The rights had reverted to me, and so this month, after a rewrite, including a brand new ending, and a change of title, sees the publication of Guns of Brixton in large paperback form (ISBN 978 1 84454 924 5 £7.99). At the same time is a hardback of the latest, and last Nick Sharman novel proper, Stay Another Day from No Exit Press in hardback as I write, (ISBN 9978 1 84243 328 7 £18.99), and in paperback in late April (ISBN 978 1 84243 329 4 £7.99).
If that’s not enough, Whole Story Audiobooks have put out a CD featuring a story of mine from way back in 1994, first published in an anthology called London Noir by Serpent’s Tail, and spookily, edited by the self same Maxim J. It’s called Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) once more featuring Sharman in Soho looking for a missing boy and, read by Brian Bowles.(ISBN 978 1 40745-455-9 £13.99)
And finally, fifteen years after they were first broadcast, Network are releasing the Sharman – The Complete Series
starring Clive Owen in May. It’s a box set of all five shows, and much more about that later.
Right now I’m also finishing a book of lists called 101 Best TV Crime Series: Bad Guys, Spies and Private Eyes. It’ll be out in time for Christmas this year, and is the sort of gift that keeps on giving.
On the viewing front I’ve soldiered on through the first three series of The Bill for the new book, and was looking forward to the Sons of Anarchy
box set. But the bikers wear crash helmets, and all their leathers are suspiciously new. They’re supposed to be anarchists for Christ’s sake. Everyone know how to age a leather. Tie it to the back bumper of your car and drive up and down the street a few times. I believe it works for people too. (Just joking)
Listening wise, I’ve got hold of there albums that don’t exist. Or rather, they didn’t First off, an original copy of The Great Lost Kinks Album on American Reprise from Markus at Sugarbush records 01892 541 746, who sells super 2nd hand vinyl, and Tinkerbells Fairydust, a repro of an LP that never made it to the stores on Decca, and R.I.P. The Lost Album by The Zombies on Sweet Dandelion records from Nick at Heyday Mail Order. If you’re a fan of Prog or Freakbeat reissues, he’s your man on 020 8246 5553
See ya later Alligator. (RIP Bobby Charles)