Last week was an exciting one, as it heralded my first photo shoot for a national magazine as part of the pre-launch publicity for the release of my debut novel ‘Justice For All.’ The magazine in question was Arena, and the photos and forthcoming interview will form part of a feature they’re running on young thriller writers. Six writers were covered in total, and I’ve been told that each of us will get a full page to ourselves in the magazine, so that’s pretty cool! The feature will be included in Arena’s September issue, which will be released towards the end of July / start of August.

The photo shoot took around two and half hours to complete. Initially, I reported to an address in East London, which turned out to be the photo editor’s flat, at which point I had my hair and make-up done (note to self: next time a stylist says she wants to ‘soften’ your quiff, run like the wind in the opposite direction). I was then kitted out in designer gear – shoes, shirt, suit, flashy watch. God knows how much it was all worth, but I don’t think there was much chance of me being allowed to keep any of it!

The shoot itself was at a location close to Brick Lane, and it was here that I met the freelance photographer, his two glamorous assistants, and a chap with a camcorder who was filming a documentary. I was then photographed loitering in a shadowy backstreet, the location specifically chosen for the sumptuous burgundy coloured building that was used as a backdrop. As expected, it all felt a little surreal. At one stage, the photgrapher was taking shots of me as his two female assistants angled lights in my direction (one of them from the top of a stepladder), while the documentary filmmaker weighed in by throwing bruised rose petals at my feet (I kid you not!). Some passers-by even stopped to take a few snaps of their own, presumably as they thought I was someone famous! All in all, it was quite an experience. Not something I’d want to do everyday of the week, but good fun nevertheless, and it should provide some excellent publicity for ‘Justice For All’ ahead of its release on the 15th August.

Away from the glamour of London photo shoots, I finally got the news I’d been waiting for from my publishers, namely that the follow up to JFA, ‘Blood Law’ is done, dusted, and good to go. In this book, Hunter receives a plea for help from a damsel in distress, and finds himself sucked into the dangerous world of L.A. gangs. With no more editorial work to do on Blood Law, I was able to get back to writing my third book, provisionally entitled ‘The Beholder.’ Progress on this novel has been somewhat stop-start to date, but overall I’m happy with how it’s coming along.

On the social front, there were no gigs to report on, although I have picked up tickets for three great bands that will be playing in Norwich later this year: The Subways, Dirty Pretty Things, and Funeral For A Friend. I also discovered that the first band I ever saw live, Scottish rockers Gun, have reformed and will be playing at the T in the Park Festival in Scotland next weekend. Their 1989 debut album, Taking on the World, is a cracker, full of heavy guitar riffs and anthemic power ballads, and I’ll be eagerly tuned to the BBC’s coverage of the festival to see if they get any airtime (my sister Karen, a fellow fan, even fancied making the trip north of the border to see them!)

In addition, my thoughts are also turning to the forthcoming football season, as my beloved Norwich City F.C. are currently in the process of reshaping their playing squad, and everyday brings a new clutch of internet rumours as to who we’re about to sign. For those in the know – OTBC!


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