Tania Carver, the author of The Surrogate, has been revealed as the pseudonym for Martyn Waites, the award-winning author of the Joe Donovan crime series set in Newcastle, and his wife, Linda Waites.That’s right: The Surrogate has been shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award. The winner will be announced on July 22 during a ceremony during the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival.
Powerful, pacy and provocative, The Surrogate introduced DI Phillip Brennan and psychologist Marina Esposito in the first of this unflinching and compulsively readable series. It was in the paperback fiction top-50 for four weeks, and was a Sunday Times top-20 bestseller. It outsold the four-week debut sales of Tess Gerritsen, Mo Hayder and Karin Slaughter, and was a massive bestseller in Germany, published by Ullstein, where it reached the Spiegel bestseller list--a very rare achievement for a debut novel. It has also been translated into several other languages. The second novel in the series, The Creeper, is due to be published this September.
Martyn Waites said:
‘When David Shelley heard that I was writing a thriller that would be the British equivalent of Karin Slaughter or Tess Gerritson, I don’t think he believed it was something I could do. But he challenged me to go ahead and do it. And he was right. I couldn’t do it. Not on my own. My wife, Linda, has always worked closely with me on my novels--in fact the original idea for The Surrogate was hers--and I found myself increasingly calling on her for help as I was writing it. Eventually her input was so great she became co-writer. We’re very proud of The Surrogate and thrilled at what Little, Brown and [literary agent] Jane Gregory have achieved in making it an international bestseller. And it’s wonderful to be working with David Shelley again, who is undoubtedly one of the best editors in publishing today. Roll on The Creeper!’
David Shelley, Deputy Publisher at Little, Brown
Book Group said:
‘I have always been a huge fan of Martyn’s work. The Surrogate is one of the very best debut thrillers I’ve ever worked on--I think partly due to the special chemistry between Martyn and Linda, which makes it a book with utterly believable (and often terrifying) male and female characters. It’s an amazing book and its genesis makes it even more intriguing to me. I’m thrilled that it is on the Theakston’s shortlist.’
When I sit down to have a drink with the authors afterward, should I address them as Martyn and Linda, or as Tania?