I. J. Parker's Blog (100)


And that's very good news indeed. I'm grateful. PW has generally been good to me, but it is particularly helpful now because my new publisher, Severn House, is very pleased.

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Added by I. J. Parker on September 15, 2010 at 4:52am — 9 Comments


Given the reputation of Kirkus for savage reviews, I'm pleasantly surprised. Still, a star would have been nice.

The Masuda Affair, Author: Parker, I.J., Severn House,…


Added by I. J. Parker on September 12, 2010 at 5:11am — 2 Comments


I find that I like doing interviews. The only one that was uncomfortable was the very first one, where the interviewer was working for the local newspaper and inisted on coming to my house. My first thought was: what will he think of my house? Maybe I'd better clean, rearrange the furniture, cover the coffee table with impressive books, give the dog a bath, make coffee . . . What do interviewers eat? Do I need to buy a new outfit and get my hair done? By the time the man showed up, I was a…


Added by I. J. Parker on September 6, 2010 at 4:39am — 5 Comments

How nice to find a belated review!

THE CONVICT'S SWORD was released a year ago, my last book with Penguin. I didn't get as many reviews as I'd hoped for, given that I was prouder of that novel that any of the earlier and well-reviewed books. Now I'm with a smaller publisher (Severn House) and reviews are even harder to come by. So I really didn't expect the pleasure of getting a review on last year's novel, and such an intelligent and well-written one one at that.

You may read it here:

Added by I. J. Parker on September 4, 2010 at 12:50am — 6 Comments

Funny thing about those release dates.

It seems to me that until this novel, all of my other releases have observed release dates set by publishers precisely. This time things are different. THE MASUDA AFFAIR, scheduled for release July 28 (today) in the UK, suddenly went on sale on Amazon UK a little over a week ago. And now a fan in the U.S. writes me that he preordered copy, scheduled to be released in this country October 28, will actually be shipped to her August 2. What gives?

I'm not complaining, but isn't…


Added by I. J. Parker on July 29, 2010 at 5:18am — 3 Comments

Today I went a little mad.

Things have been all around unsatisfactory. All those years of work. All those books. All of those miserable hours of promoting them. All of the diappointments. And nothing much to show for them.

So I blew the advances for my latest two novels (plus a sizable chunk of savings) on a painting.

Added by I. J. Parker on July 20, 2010 at 6:30am — 10 Comments

It's Gone on Sale in the UK:

Theoretically it was not supposed to be released until the 28th of July, but I've noticed that for Amazon such dates are flexible. U.S. release is not until October 28., yet I'm told it will be available some time in August. It's all very strange, but not at all bad if that gives me a little extra time to sell a few books before the libraries have them.…


Added by I. J. Parker on July 14, 2010 at 1:15am — 2 Comments


You may recall how horrified I was when my French publisher chose the photo of a geisha to put on my fourth novel THE ISLAND OF EXILES. This is number five, THE HELL SCREEN. They tried harder, because I was so unhappy, and this one is much better and fits the story. In fact, I like it a lot. What I still don't understand is that they think historical mysteries will sell better with modern…


Added by I. J. Parker on June 25, 2010 at 6:26am — 2 Comments

The new cover for MASUDA AFFAIR:

As you can see, the publisher didn't pick my design. I was disappointed, but on the whole, this is ok. It's Japanese art, and it doesn't conflict with the time or setting of the novel. And my name dominates! I didn't even have to ask for it. I could come to love this.

It turns out, the artist read my blog about my troubles with…


Added by I. J. Parker on May 1, 2010 at 7:54am — 7 Comments


I've been on pins and needles to tell everyone since February. My agent strictly forbade this until the countersigned contract was in my hand. Even Amazon got to announce it before me.

I have a publisher. I have a contract for two books. I get both hardcover and tradepaper a year later. I have a great editor (with clout) and a great copy editor (and that's something I really no longer expected). I get published both in the UK and the US. This year! All very…


Added by I. J. Parker on April 29, 2010 at 8:03am — 17 Comments

Covers Again!

Added by I. J. Parker on March 13, 2010 at 1:07am — 3 Comments

About that MASUDA AFFAIR cover

(Apologies for double posting. Thanks to Pepper Smith's help I got the image up, but then the text refused to appear on the same page.)…


Added by I. J. Parker on March 13, 2010 at 1:00am — 2 Comments

For Dog Lovers

I think we all need a break some time. Enjoy!


Added by I. J. Parker on March 10, 2010 at 1:12am — 3 Comments


This reviewer always gets it right. I'm not referring to the flattering comments but to the complete understanding of character and events and how they are interrelated. How important it is to be given back some faith in yourself as an author!

The Convict’s Sword

By I.J. Parker

Penguin Books, 2009

Paperback, 416 pages, $15.00

By Mike Street

Special to The Asian Reporter

In the pantheon of mystery books, I.J.… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on January 30, 2010 at 5:08am — 5 Comments

Fan Letters

These days they are balm for my lacerated feelings re publishers. A few weeks ago, a serviceman wrote from Afghanistan and that reminded me that I'm really comparatively well off even as a "newly-unpublished" author. Today my ego received another great boost: 3 fan letters in one day, and one of them from a university professor (I have had others, but still!) who plans to use one of my books as reading material in a course he is teaching on Asian culture in American film and fiction. How great… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on January 13, 2010 at 1:09am — 3 Comments

And On Christmas Day . . .

. . . I find a fan letter from a soldier in Afghanistan. He says he found one of my books there and ordered the rest, because they help get him through his days there. I cannot tell you how humbling some fan mail can be. And what a gift!

Added by I. J. Parker on December 26, 2009 at 5:18am — 2 Comments

About those Amazon reviewers . . .

they will surprise you! I liked this one well enough to share. Clearly, the reviewer is sufficiently familiar with the historical background to know what he/she is talking about.

Eleventh-century stress, December 12, 2009

By Patto (Vermont) - See all my reviews

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)

This is a delightful series, and the latest book, THE CONVICT'S SWORD, more than upholds the high standard of the Akitada mysteries. The book paints a… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on December 13, 2009 at 8:06am — 4 Comments

A small sign of life

Today I received an offer from a Hungarian publisher for the first book in my series. They say, they like the whole series, but the economy is bad there, so they are only buying the first. I'm greatly "chuffed" by their interest. The whole eastern bloc has been amazingly supportive.

Added by I. J. Parker on December 1, 2009 at 8:17am — 7 Comments

Belatedly and pointlessly, another review:

I just found this via Google. No idea where it's been hiding. I also found out that my book was one of the 10 bestselling tradepaper mysteries at Poisoned Pen in August.

Book Review


From BookList, , 2009, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The sixth Sugawara Akitada novel, set in eleventh-century Japan, finds the Ministry of Justice official leaving his job to hunt down the murderer of an old friend. But his… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on November 18, 2009 at 5:58am — 5 Comments

The End

Presumably typing "The End" for a new novel spells exhilaration for authors. Frankly, it's never done this for me (just as I've never thrilled to holding one of my books). Invariably, there are so many things left to do before the book goes in the mail. In my case, there a few loose ends to check, a historical note to write, a neat quote to find, a map to draw. None of these pleases me. They are chores. So I'm depressed.

I'm even more depressed by the thought that this book may never see… Continue

Added by I. J. Parker on October 31, 2009 at 12:13am — 7 Comments

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