I. J. Parker's Blog (100)

SHAKEN is here!


This collection of short stories from twenty writers (no fewer than ten are members of CrimeSpace) is the brainchild of our own Tim Hallinan.  He has worked on this project for several months now, as our contribution to the Japan disaster relief.  The book contains mysteries, articles, and Basho's haikus and is an altogether lovely thing.




Added by I. J. Parker on June 11, 2011 at 5:47am — 7 Comments


"The Fires of the Gods," the eighth installment of I.J. Parker's saga of Heian Period official Sugawara Akitada, begins as a study in the abuses of power. The protagonist is removed from his position in the justice ministry by an incompetent appointee with connections to Kiyowara Kane, a powerful minister.

Akitada, whose wife Tamako is expecting, can ill afford to lose his job. But when he goes to the official's mansion to ask that his dismissal be reconsidered, Kiyowara is found… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on May 12, 2011 at 4:20am — No Comments

THE FIRES OF THE GODS is now also on Kindle:


We delayed a little on this to give the hardcover some time to sell, but I'm happy to say that my most recent novel (an April 2011 release) is now also available at the very modest price of $ 4.99.


The hope is, of course,  that Kindle sales will bring me new readers.  I have always believed that Kindle book purchases are made by a slightly…


Added by I. J. Parker on May 9, 2011 at 5:03am — No Comments


Of the three novels I have just released on Kindle this one has been selling best.  I have no idea why that should be.  Is it the cover?  Or is it the description of the book?


MASUDA AFFAIR is the follow-up on CONVICT'S SWORD.  In CONVICT'S SWORD, Akitada loses his small son, and his marriage crumbles.  Fans have objected to this much tragedy. …


Added by I. J. Parker on April 30, 2011 at 4:31am — No Comments


This is one of the novels where e-rights reverted to me and not to Penguin.  To my enormous delight, I get to use them myself.

As with HELL SCREEN (same situation), I had to provide my own cover design.  I usually scour Japanese art for something useful and time-appropriate, in this case a print by Yoshitoshi.  The novel is probably the most romantic of all of…


Added by I. J. Parker on April 28, 2011 at 4:51am — 8 Comments


Finally, I've managed to get a few books on Kindle.  These are titles where the rights have either returned to me, as in the case of HELL SCREEN, or where I have refused to sell e-rights.  The latter move cost me a two book contract, so I hope this will pay out.


The books were put on Kindle through my agent's office.  They worked from the printed page. …


Added by I. J. Parker on April 26, 2011 at 8:28am — 2 Comments

Blogs on CrimeSpace

Far too many of the blogs here have nothing whatsoever to do with crime writing.  And of the rest, another 80% are merely used to sell books or post blogs by people who have no interest whatsoever in participating on CrimeSpace and who don't bother to answer comments.

This place has become a dumping ground for SPAM and that diminishes the site.


I would suggest we close the Blog section to anyone who isn't an active member on this site.

Added by I. J. Parker on April 9, 2011 at 4:25am — 9 Comments

I.J.Parker's "Success Story" posted on Jenny Milchman's blog:


The link below will take you there.  I haven't figured out how to transfer text to this blog.  There is already a bit of conversation there, or you can comment here.


The "success story" bit is tongue-in-cheek, though Jenny may have faith in us.  Presumably we talk about the moment when we knew that we had made it. How many authors are likely to believe they've made it these days?  I've had a few of those foolish and naive moments when I thought that maybe good things…


Added by I. J. Parker on March 25, 2011 at 4:59am — 4 Comments

Sometimes A Fan Makes It All Worthwhile!


When you run into the sort of problems I've had with my three publishers, you begin to question your masterplan for the series.  Thank God for fans who'll write to tell you that you are not to blame.



Dear Ms. Parker,

I just finished reading the “News and Events” page on your web site and was shocked to read that your publisher has done such a dismal job promoting such a wonderful series. I ran into the first book accidentally a year or so ago at…


Added by I. J. Parker on March 13, 2011 at 1:35am — 8 Comments

More Reviews for THE FIRES OF THE GODS

After the starred review from PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, I'm a bit spoiled.  These aren't starred, but very nice anyway.

Booklist and Kirkus have spoken.  I'd like to share them, but the site won't let me copy and paste.  You may see them on my Amazon site for THE FIRES OF THE GODS.


(Blogging is beginning to be an impossibility here. Bummer!)


Added by I. J. Parker on February 25, 2011 at 1:30am — No Comments


Sorry there is no cover image.  I also don't seem to be able to copy and paste the text.  However, the cover is on my web site and the review will be there soon.  (www.ijparker.com)

Meanwhile, just an observation: What must one do to get a publisher to support a series?  I've raked up national awards and a string of starred reviews, and my Amazon reviews are great.  My sales increase little by little, but publishers like large numbers.  And large…


Added by I. J. Parker on February 11, 2011 at 1:29am — 2 Comments

THE FIRES OF THE GODS has gone on sale in the U.S.

I tried for a cover image, but the new system balks (the add-image screen is partially covered up). Why do I have such problems with this?


The release times of my books apparently no longer rely on the dates set by my publisher.  THE FIRES OF THE GODS went on sale in the UK in December (as planned).  The U.S. edition was not scheduled to go on sale until April, but here it is already.  Amazon has started shipping.


This appears to be my last book, fans…


Added by I. J. Parker on January 17, 2011 at 12:58am — 4 Comments

THE MASUDA AFFAIR Listed as Best of 2010

LIBRARY JOURNAL has just listed its "best genre novels of 2010". Happily, my book is among them, one of the five mysteries honored.


Added by I. J. Parker on November 20, 2010 at 4:16am — 6 Comments


Yes, even if they got my gender wrong and continue to compare me to aura Joh Rowland, I was very happy to get this.

Their comment: "Once again Parker has written a moving and beautiful tale, this time involving parental love and loss of a child. His depiction of an 11th-century Japan as a brutal society in which one’s fortune is made or lost on the whim of the most powerful will appeal to historical fiction fans and readers who enjoy Laura Joh Rowland."

That makes two…


Added by I. J. Parker on November 1, 2010 at 12:32am — No Comments


While traveling alone on horseback through a gloomy forest near Lake Biwa, northeast of Kyoto, Justice Ministry official Sugawara Akitada suddenly comes upon a filthy, shivering urchin who appears to be deaf and mute.

In the previous installment of I.J. Parker's ongoing saga, Akitada's young son Yori had perished in an epidemic, and out of a sense of desolation, perhaps coupled with guilt, he pulls the waif onto his horse and takes him to lodgings in nearby… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on October 26, 2010 at 4:53am — 3 Comments

God Bless the French.

They have their own problems at the moment, what with riots and debts, but they still want to publish my books. And that's more than I can say for the rest of the world at the moment. Belfond just offered for a mass market version of HELL SCREEN. A nice offer! Mind you, they've also paid some nice royalties recently. I think the point of this is that this particular publisher promoted and marketed my series from the start, something that no other publisher has done. It makes all the difference.

Added by I. J. Parker on October 23, 2010 at 5:05am — 3 Comments

THE MASUDA AFFAIR is taking off!

Well, I looked and saw that it is # 24 among all historical mysteries. The release date is Oct. 28., and it has been selling for a while now.

This time, my book is a hardcover, and not particularly cheap, so I'm doubly flattered and encouraged. May it keep going!

Added by I. J. Parker on October 19, 2010 at 4:41am — 2 Comments

An Amazon Review of MASUDA AFFAIR

I'm normally just quietly grateful for readers who'll post a review on Amazon, but this one pleased me so much that I'm sharing it. As you can see, the reviewer is of Japanese descent. Writing cross-gender has never bothered me a great a deal, but I also write cross-race and cross-nationality (as well as across time). A review like this proves my profound conviction that all people at all times share a common humanity that allows them to understand each…


Added by I. J. Parker on October 14, 2010 at 5:20am — 6 Comments

PW Interview

Publishers' Weekly generously included my name in an essay on historical mysteries they ran this past spring. I was honored. The company was select, and it felt great to be in it. Now they honor me again: with an author interview -- a good interview that made me think about why I do the things I do, and why my books are set up the way they are. It's not that I'm a thoughtless author, but rather that each novel takes over and I'm not always aware of the larger picture or how I fit in with…


Added by I. J. Parker on September 29, 2010 at 4:50am — 7 Comments

Thoughts about reviewers and Booklist Review

I have always been very lucky with my reviewers and owe them a lot. PW has been wonderful, and so have the print reviewers, those talented people who write for newspapers. As we know, their jobs have been cut drastically as circulation has plummeted and the recession cut into advertising funds. Only a small handfull still work, and frequently (so I've been told by one of them) the choices of what they review are made for them. That means that bestselling authors are more likely to get…


Added by I. J. Parker on September 21, 2010 at 1:20am — 3 Comments

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