British author Roger “R.J.” Ellory called me yesterday from Birmingham Airport, very happy to hear that his flight to Canada would be taking off in defiance of that unpronounceable Icelandic volcano, which is again disrupting European air travel.
Ellory was en route to Montreal, Canada, where he is to receive the Quebec Booksellers’ Prize for his fifth novel, A Quiet Belief in Angels. Then he’s away to France, where readers seem to have taken a particular liking to his brand of crime fiction. (It was in France that he was presented last year with the Nouvel Observateur Crime Fiction Prize.) I am so pleased for Ellory, as his tale of rejections, publication, mid-list worries, and final transformation into an international award winner should give hope to all determined scribes.
Funny, it seems like only yesterday that I was heralding his early authorial efforts and getting into a spot of bother with him during our visit to Bouchercon Baltimore in 2008.
Ellory and I are planning to defy the volcano again this fall, when we jet west to Bouchercon in San Francisco. It will be a time for me to see old friends and to make some new acquaintances, and an opportunity for Ellory to publicize not only A Quiet Belief in Angels, but also his newest work, The Anniversary Man, which Overlook Press has slated for a June release in the States.