Friday, January 16, 2004

A late start for Friday 

The thing with living at home temporarily and generally adopting a somewhat slothful, lazy existence is that I can sleep late when I like. Except on weekdays, I normally don't, because I do like to be up at a reasonable hour. But sometimes, it's necessary--especially when temperatures continue to stay at a disgustingly arctic level (-43 C windchill this morning. Ain't it grand?)

Anyway, to the news. First, Orion seems to have a lot of success with dead authors. The Robert Ludlum juggernaut (he still writes novels! Amazing for a dead guy, but granted, not as amazing as V.C. Andrews' prolific output since her own death in '86) staggers on, and Orion's making good money off of Rene Goscinny, the creator of Asterix.

And speaking of Orion, they launched their New Blood Initiative this week in grand fashion, as all nine authors were partaking in various festivities relating to the launch of each of their debut novels. The big party was last night at Browns (more details forthcoming when I hear from my sources) but Tuesday night, Alafair Burke, Richard Burke, Victoria Blake, David Corbett, and Denise Hamilton were reading and signing at the Ottakars bookshop in Putney. Check out this lovely photo of the five of them.

According to Jiro, Ruth Cavin and Thomas Dunne will be honored with the 2004 Poirot Award, given by the Malice Domestic convention for their lifetime achievement and contribution to the mystery field. The award will be presented on May 1 at the Convention banquet. More information is available in this press release.

Bill Clinton's memoir is now expected from Knopf in mid-2004. We shall see if this actually transpires.

Looks like things with Conrad Black are getting even more messy. Latest allegation? That he used company money to buy historical documents related to his biography of FDR. It turns out he spent 12 million bucks on it, and so, where did the money come from?

Candace Allen has written written a novel based on the life of jazz trumpeter Valaida Snow. The Independent finds out more about Allen's impetus for doing so and her own relationship with music.

The Bookseller interviews Jason Webster, longlisted for the Guardian First novel award, and BBC journalist Rageh Omaar, whose reporting on Iraq has secured him a book deal from Penguin.

And finally, actress Uta Hagen is dead at the age of 84. She created the role of Martha in Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, now remembered as a scenery-chewing exercise for Liz Taylor and Dick Burton.

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