Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just Sign on the Dotted Line

Ken Bruen called it “one adrenaline-pumped novel,” and Random House UK obviously agreed, as it snapped up Scottish author Tony Black’s debut novel, Paying for It. Black landed a two-book deal negotiated by London agent Judith Murdoch this week--an arrangement that puts him among a select contingent of writers for the new Trevor Dolby imprint at Random House under editorial director and industry legend Rosie de Courcy.

The 35-year-old Edinburgh-based Black will see Paying for It--which features a washed-up hack turned private investigator--published in hardback and trade paperback next June, with a mass-market paperback to follow later.

Black, a former Young Journalist of the Year, told the Rap Sheet: “After the initial, ‘can you say that again?’ bit, it was punch the air time! Judith [Murdoch] really knows her stuff and always sounded confident of a good sale, but as an unknown you just don’t expect to be bought by Random House. I’m honored, and blessed, to have found a home for Paying for It with such a prestigious imprint.”

It didn’t hurt that Bruen was in his corner. Elaborating on his fondness for Paying for It, the best-selling creator of Irish private eye Jack Taylor (Cross) said it was “as moving and compassionate as it is so stylishly written. ... The writing is a joy, in your face, with that wondrous dead-pan humor that only the Celts really grasp. The narrative blasts off the page like a triple malt.”

Black basks in the attention. “To hear a writer of Ken Bruen’s status--a man I regard a genius--say he likes my work is mind-blowing! I've been reading Bruen for years with nothing but awe, so his big-hearted remarks felt like God himself had whispered to me ... I’m just stunned, rapt, ecstatic he liked my book!”

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