Discover more from Antony Johnston
Announcing The Dog Sitter Detective
I'm still amused that everyone is so 🤯 about me writing cosy crime, tbh
In his newsletter this week, Kieron Gillen calls newsletters themselves “writing in front of an audience”… and suddenly I understand why I’m so bad at them 😅
When I pointed this out, Kieron explained “It's how I justify my typos, as if I'm a garage band, playing drunk in a bar”, but I think that speaks to part of the difference: if all I had to do was get on stage and drunkenly bang out some songs for you all, I’d be in your inbox every other day.
ANNOUNCING THE DOG SITTER DETECTIVE
The Dog Sitter Detective is my new cosy crime murder mystery series, starring retired actress Guinevere “Gwinny” Tuffel as she takes up dog sitting to make ends meet… and, naturally, stumbles across a murder or two 😉
My fabulous agent Sarah Such sold the series to Allison & Busby, who’ll begin publishing next year with The Dog Sitter Detective itself, followed by second book Death in Little Venice in 2024.
Here’s an article with more detail in The Bookseller:
I wrote The Dog Sitter Detective during the original Covid lockdown – long-term followers know I’m a dog lover, to the extent that over the years many friends have joked I should write a book starring them. Well, during that first lockdown everything was rather depressing, not to mention that less than six months earlier we’d lost our second dog in the space of a year. So I decided to cheer myself up by writing a light-hearted murder mystery featuring hounds…
…And at the end of it realised I had something that other people might want to read – especially dog lovers, of course, but also anyone looking for a book that could make them smile. Which is probably most of us, these days!
The Dog Sitter Detective world is filled with larger-than-life characters, twisty murder mysteries, a ‘dogged’ (sorry) heroine, pups both adorable and mischievous, and even a few laughs along the way. I hope you’ll come to love Gwinny like I have 😊🐕
(PS nothing bad happens to the dogs!)
(PPS Yes, North American readers, you’ll be able to get these books. I don’t have exact details yet, but you won’t have to import anything like with the Brigitte Sharp books)
(PPPS Because people keep telling me my regular headshot makes me look like I’m about to kill someone, I had the new one above taken. It is without doubt the cosiest headshot of me that ever cosy’d)
Meanwhile, of course, The Patrios Network was released a couple of months ago, and as usual I wrote some articles to help promote the book.
At the Crime Readers’ Association, I did a piece on the challenges of finding new obstacles to throw at Brigitte over a series of books:
At Crime Time, I lamented the difficulties of writing a thriller that relies on things like foreign travel and geopolitical status during this time of Covid-born upheaval:
At Shots Mag, I wrote about the rather depressing and distressing research I did into online neofascism and the rise of the radicalised right which features so heavily in The Patrios Network:
And on a more technical level, I did a piece for Bang2Write on the difficulties of structuring a complex story like Patrios, and how I solved lots of big knotted plot problems:
THE ORGANISED… PODCASTER?
Speaking of solving writing problems, I was interviewed by Caroline Sanderson on the ALCS podcast Authors’ Matters about The Organised Writer: what it is, why I wrote it, and how it can help you take control of your workload and schedule. If you’re not already subscribed to the podcast, you can listen at:
I have to give HUGE credit to the production and editing team on this one. We had some major technical problems during the recording (all entirely my fault, LOL) but you’d never know it from the finished episode. As someone who produces and edits podcasts myself, I know how much work that took.
A HOST OF REMIXES
Greg Mackintosh and Nick Holmes of Paradise Lost, one of my all-time favourite bands, have collaborated on an electro-throwback side project called HOST.
Last month they released the first single, Tomorrow’s Sky, which is pretty great – and uses a drum machine rather than PL’s usual live drummer, making it very easy to bugger about with in an editor if you know what you’re doing 😉
So just for fun I made two remixes of the song, using nothing but the original track and some custom boops and bleeps of my own in Logic. Because I’m a contrary git I decided to do contrasting versions, so here’s the BANG mix:
And here’s its partner, the WHIMPER mix:
Both completely unofficial, of course! Enjoy 🤘
THE LAND OF GIANT WOOLLY CREATURES
I’m still on Twitter, because so is everyone else, but also like everyone else* I’m exploring other outlets. To that end I’ve revived my Mastodon account (which I first opened in 2017, LOL) and you can find me at https://mastodon.social/@antonyjohnston
I’m also at Hive, but as of writing that service is still down. When/if it comes back up, you can find me there under the same username.
*I say ‘everyone else’, but it’s kind of funny seeing how little effect EM’s takeover has had on the UK book industry’s use of Twitter. If that’s all you follow, you’d never know anything was different.
Well, close enough. This is my last newsletter of the year, so I’m calling it. And with Christmas comes… music for everyone to complain about 😂
As a Birmingham lad, I’m contractually obliged not to complain about Wizzard or Slade at this time of year. But I admit to being fairly ambivalent about both of those songs. So instead, let me introduce you to a song with which you may be less familiar: I Believe in Father Christmas, by Greg Lake.
I first heard this song when I was about 8 or 9 years old (my mother had the 7” single) and it’s been my favourite Christmas song ever since. The lyrics, the drama, the sentiment: yep, I’m on board with that all right.
I hope you all have the best holiday season you can, and let’s do it once again in 2023…