Newsletter June 2006

Michael Jecks learning the medieval skill of archery

I know that everyone is getting ready for a long, quiet, peaceful summer. If I was working in a normal job, I would be too, only sadly I don't, and instead I'm having to prepare for the madness and mayhem of a short book launch and tour.

This month is one of those strange ones which come about each year, in which I have to launch four books. Yup, four. It's not that I am a glutton for punishment, but publishers like to launch a new hardback at the same time as the previous one goes into paperback. Well, that makes sense. Except that it means I have to remind myself of two stories instead of boning up on only one for the media interviews. Promise you, it can get confusing.

Only in June every year, now we have the added fun of a Medieval Murderers book as well. The first, The Tainted Relic, came out last year to some fanfare - I said "some", not lots - and this year the second is coming out at the same time as the first gets into paperback. The new one (which is also jolly good, actually) is called Sword of Shame, and it works in the same way as Relic, in that I collaborated with my friends on Medieval Murderers to write it. I wrote the prologue, Bernard the second piece, Ian Morson the third, me the fourth, and so on, through to Ian's epilogue.

Who are Medieval Murderers? Well, for the time being you can our section of the programme listen to us on the BBC web page - we're the last piece on the programme, I'm afraid, so you have to listen to twenty minutes of other people first, but that's no hardship. If you want to be scared, here's a picture of us, too.

The Medieval Murderers at Lincoln Book Festival

The Medieval Murderers at the Lincoln Book Festival

More to the point, though, my next books are also out, and since they pay the bills and keep the mortgage going, I'd be a fool not to remind you about them.

In hardback is my latest, The Death Ship of Dartmouth, a special story for me because this one marks my coming of age as a writer - it's my twenty-first novel in the Templar series. I can honestly say that when I started writing back in 1994, it didn't occur to me that I'd get so far with a medieval series, but I'm very glad that I have. And I am particularly happy with this book. It's setting the scenes for the next four books, too, so I'm lining up for the quarter of a century in the series.

The paperback is A Friar's Bloodfeud, which is one I really enjoyed writing. Hopefully you and many others will like it too.

And that's all for now. I'm in the fortunate position of having a couple of days of relative peace and calm before throwing myself into the bear pit of book launches. If you're around, do please some along to any of the events listed on my website. You'd be very welcome, especially at the launch of The Sword of Shame on 6th June.

All best wishes, and I hope you have a brilliant and relaxing summer.
Michael Jecks
North Dartmoor

Cornwell Internet

Photos courtesy of Gill at Ottakar's, Lincoln: thank you, Gill.
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Last update: 5th June 2006