Sunday, 13 May 2012

New from Five Leaves: Blood Tears by Michael Malone

Michael Malone's Blood Tears is now in our office - bookshop stock will start to go out next week. We have described this novel as Scottish Catholic Noir, though the biggest problem in publishing it was not the wrath of the big man upstairs, but trying to get our two proof-readers to understand that people from the West of Scotland really do say "Come aff it", and that "aff" is not a misprint. There were many such changes where the Scottish wing of Five Leaves had to recorrect the corrections, sometimes twice. Perhaps I should have sent my colleagues on a training course involving reruns of early editions of Taggart. Michael Malone comes from Ayrshire, the home of Burns, though there is little poetic about his rather dark book. It did raise the issue of "dialect" though. The main text and the dialogue had to be comprehensible to Michael's readers outside of Scotland, but had to sound right to those within that country. By and large I share the general view in creative writing that dialect should be avoided, save for a little salting of the text to give flavour. Some writers, Lewis Grassic Gibbon for example, used mostly standard English but you can feel the rhythms of Scottish speech in his Sunset Song. With Blood Tears we were aiming for something more direct but I hope we have not clipped too much off Malone's coin in pandering to the southerners. Blood Tears is the first of a series by Michael Malone, meaning we now have two Scottish crime series running, with a new Russel McLean out this autumn.
Blood Tears is available from, though overseas readers will find it cheaper to order via to get free overseas postage.

1 comment:

Bill Kirton said...

At last. Good luck with it, Michael.