There are enough words used by English speakers in Thailand to qualify for an Expat English, but this requires a careful balance. Peppering a novel with unusual words or phrases is not a way to bring a reader into a story where disbelief must be suspended. The occasional phrase, in the proper context where the meaning is obvious, however, does recreate the speech of locals.
This has usually been a hit and miss affair. Now there is a website that let’s you answer that question: http://www.worldcat.org/ before you go out the door to hunt down a book on library shelves.
You’ll be able to track down the latest Vincent Calvino crime novel in the library close to where you live and work. A cool feature about this website is that it also tracks libraries internationally.
As a reference tool for library users, this website gets an “A.”
A tip of the hat to my friend Ronald Lieberman (Toronto, Ontario) for bringing this website to my attention.
My US publisher Grove/Atlantic will release the trade paperback edition of The Risk of Infidelity Index in January 2009. Here’s a preview of the cover:
The 9th novel in the Vincent Calvino series published by Atlantic Books has had substantial support from the UK press. The Tribune Magazine reviewer Peter Whittaker has this to say about RISK:
“THE central character of Christopher Moore’s debut crime novel is Vincent Calvino, a disgraced Italian-American lawyer who has decamped to Thailand and reinvented himself as a private investigator. But the word debut here does not mean that either the author or his character is a wet-behind-the-ears neophyte because Moore has written 18 books, all published in Thailand, of which this is the ninth to feature Calvino. Moore offers an explanation of sorts for this state of affairs which casts a not-entirely favourable light on the vagaries of international publishing. That aside, the important questions are can Moore write and is he worth reading? On the evidence of this novel, the answers are unequivocally yes.
“Calvino is a sympathetic, doubt-ridden character and Moore can pilot a twisting plot with skill and panache. . . .”
Most authors understand that without awareness of a book it is difficult to reach readers. Bloggers, some of whom are authors, offer suggestions as to how to break through the noise of the marketplace and attract the attention of readers. It is hardly a science and opinions differ on what works and what doesn’t. The reality is that most books pass an anonymous life to a quiet grave. That fear drives authors to try ways at marketing. I’ve tried as well with my books over the years. An interview here, a review there, and there is a bump in sales. But what all authors wish for is not a bump but a mountain.
My publisher along with Amazon has given me that rare chance to breakout a crime fiction series. The month of August will be a telling one for SPIRIT HOUSE. I could consult a local shaman to read the tealeaves. But tealeaves are better left to brew and the tea drunk. As what happens next no one knows for sure. It is a new experiment. I am told this is the first joint venture of its kind. And it is also an exciting and creative one, finding a way to bring together a traditional literary publisher and with the most significant provider of new technology for reading books. They can see a common interest, and a way forward that honors books and uses technology to expand readership.
Hopefully the results will demonstrate that publishing isn’t a zero-sum game. That an electronic reading devices like the Kindle don’t kill print copy sales; instead, they increase traditional book sales. Or at least that’s the goal. If this works as everyone involved hopes, then publishers and electronic technology providers will have established a common interest beneficial to both.
NEW YORK/ SEATTLE, July 30: SPIRIT HOUSE, a novel by Christopher G. Moore, will be made available free to Amazon Kindle customers before its print publication on August 28. The book, to be published by Grove Press, will be available as a free download for Amazon Kindle customers between August 1 and August 15. Kindle is Amazon’s portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, blogs, magazines and newspapers to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper. For more information on Kindle, or to order a Kindle for $359, visit http://amazon.com/kindle.
“Earlier this year, we introduced this internationally bestselling author to the United States,” said Morgan Entrekin, President and Publisher of Grove Atlantic. “We think this innovative partnership is a great way to expand Moore’s audience even further.”
“Amazon is pleased to work with Grove to make Christopher G. Moore’s SPIRIT HOUSE available one month in advance of print for Kindle owners,” said Ian Freed, vice president of Kindle. “We continue to offer unique benefits for Kindle owners while adding to the Kindle catalog of over 140,000 books.”
SPIRIT HOUSE is the second of Moore’s “Vincent Calvino Crime Novels” to be published in the United States. Another book in the series, The Risk of Infidelity Index was published by Atlantic Monthly Press in January 2008.
In the nearly twenty years he has lived in Bangkok, Moore has written nine novels starring the Calvino character, a disbarred American lawyer working as a P.I. in the dark and steamy Thai capital. Internationally acclaimed, the prize-winning novels have been translated into ten languages. Publishers Weekly called The Risk of Infidelity Index a “complex, intelligent novel,” and according to Kirkus, “the darkly raffish Bangkok milieu is a treat.”
It has been a good month for the Calvino series. My Spanish publisher Ediciones Paidós has released Kicking Boxing en Nirvana. My author copies arrived today. Looking at the covers from various editions, each publisher and their art department have come up with different images.
The Risk of Infidelity Index will come out in Italian later this year and in Spanish in 2009. The English trade paperback edition of Risk has been receiving favourable attention in the UK press.
“The Risk of Infidelity Index (Atlantic, £10.99) is the first (there are nine in total) of Christopher G. Moore’s humorous and intelligent Vincent Calvino novels to be published in the UK. Calvino is an engaging Bangkok P.I. who thinks he is about to smash a major Thai drug piracy ring when things start going pearshaped. It’s a great introduction to the seamy side of Bangkok where the author has lived for 20 years.” –The Daily Mail ( July 2008 )
The British edition of The Risk of Infidelity Index is now out in Great Britain. You can buy it at Amazon for £7.79.
Or better yet do go your bookstore and pay £12.99. Bookstore owners deserve to make a living like anyone else. And God knows that Amazon is rich enough.
I am pleased with the cover design. The designer captured the noir spirit I seek to create in the Calvino series. Great cover, compelling story, an internationally published crime fiction series, so what happens next should be easy, right?
Not really. What if nothing happens next? It is a sinking feeling to be 6 time zones away from the book that has been published. You want to be there doing something. But what can be done at a distance?
A lot of Cambridge boats have sunk in the annual race on the Cherwell since I was a student in England. Assuming that with global warming, there still is a Cherwell River deep enough to race boats.
The question I face, is no different than any other new authors to a marketplace, is whether readers in Great Britain will buy my book. Few people would have heard of the Vincent Calvino series. British travelers to Thailand might have run across my books in Bangkok. But even they wouldn’t know the book is out in England. Unless, of course, someone told them. But my dream of a flashing arrow sign over the stack of RISK nicely laid out on the new arrivals table at Blackwell’s isn’t likely to happen any time soon.
Where to start? What to do? A photograph of Tony Blair strolling along the tarmac with a copy of RISK in hand might help bring attention of the media. But he’d have to explain that book to Cherie. He’s probably the wrong choice. There is Boris. He’s safely elected as Mayor of London. From what I’ve read about him, he’s the kind of lad that would like Vincent Calvino’s adventures. Though I suspect he’s getting a cartload of books dumped on his doorstep every day. I didn’t say the idea was original. All it requires is a bit of luck.
Gordon Brown, is, I understand, and avid reader. He should be on the shortlist. But, then his popularity collapse might be bad for the book. One should always choose a winner in this business. Brown’s star isn’t looking all that bright. There must be some backbencher, someone if the House of Lords who would suit.
While I am waiting for my piece of luck to appear and lift RISK to the attention of British reader, I have a couple of thoughts.
In publishing a precondition to a bit of luck happening requires potential readers need to know that RISK is available. That is a modern challenge as getting reviewed is only slightly less difficult than getting published in the first place. If any reader would care to share an idea on how to get the word out in Britain, please email me. Maybe the name of the right member of the House of Lords would do the trick.
I am not bothered if the person makes a living in TV or sports. These public figures have millions of people who follow their every move, what they wear, drive, eat, and read. I’ve been assured at least a few of them actually read books. But there are dangers here as well. Like Brown, they may be on their way out and at this distance, I’d be the last to know I’d backed someone who was just cut from squad at Manchester City. Just send along the names of the up and comers. I need all the help finding that spot of luck somewhere on that emerald island I once called home.
- Creativity and the hive mind
- American Film and TV Star David Carradine found dead in Bangkok hotel
- The Quantum State in Contemporary Crime Fiction
- The Brutality of Truth
- The Long Haul in Publishing
- Sunday Writers Breakfast in Bangkok
- George Orwell’s 1984 reborn in the Digital World
- Wrapping up 2008 in Bangkok
- Mark Twain: Talking and Writing from the Heart
- Asian Godfathers
- 112 Reasons to read Crime Fiction
- Bangkok Noir – Fear and Loathing