As I write, When the Music’s Over has been on the UK bestseller list for six weeks now, having spent one week at #1 and a week at #2. It has also made #83 on the USA Today chart, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because that list includes everything—all formats and all genres—from cookbooks to ebooks.
I have just got back from the Crimetime Festival in Visby, which is a beautiful medieval town on the island of Gotland, off the coast of Sweden. I was International Guest of Honour among a host of primarily Scandinavian authors. Sharon Bolton and Elizabeth Hand were the only other English language authors present, though everyone I met spoke perfect English. The festival was excellent, and we were very well treated, though I must say they worked me hard, often with three or four events and interviews a day. I had events with Håkan Nesser, Arne Dahl, Camilla Läckberg, Sharon Bolton, Denise Rydberg and Viveca Sten, and had the honour of congratulating Maj Sjöwall on stage after she received her award (see photo). I also met many other writers, some I have read and others I will read. The wonderful Kerstin Wixe interviewed me on stage, and champagne flowed at the book launch with Ninni Schulman. My thanks to everyone involved in the organisation, especially Carina Nunstedt, the chief! The evenings were always spent in entertaining company with good food and good wine. I was also thrilled to discover from my publishers, Forum, that When the Music’s Over (or När Musiken Tystnar) received a first hardcover printing of 20,00 copies, and my translated books in all formats have sold over three million copies in Sweden.
Peter with Maj Sjöwall.
After a couple of days relaxing and sightseeing in Stockholm, it was back to work again, but what pleasant work it was—an evening event on 25 August at White Rose Books in Thirsk. It was a miserable night weather-wise, but plenty of people turned out, and I think a good time was had by all. Many thanks to Caroline and Sue and all who work there. I met up with an old school friend, and Derek Shelmerdine kindly gave me a copy of his magisterial, encyclopaedic book Rock n’Roll Unravelled. I can see already that it will lead to a huge expansion of my CD collection.
I have a few more events before I head over the pond for the Canadian national tour. There’s an event at Topping & Co in St Andrews at 8pm on 9 September, then an event with Mark Billingham at Bloody Scotland, in Stirling. That’s 12:15pm on the 10th at the Alberts Hall. Finally, I have a reading/signing at Castle Hill Books in Richmond, North Yorkshire, on 17 September at 5pm.
And don’t forget to tune in to ITV at 9pm on Wednesday, 31 August for the first episode of series five of DCI Banks.