Cambuslang writer Gavin Bell has been given the presidential seal of approval - by Bill Clinton!
Gavin sent a copy of his debut novel The Killing Season to the former president of the United States of America, and was given a real surprise when he received a letter of thanks!
The letter from the 42nd president of the USA said: “Thank you for your nice note and for sending me a copy of The Killing Season - it looks terrific, and I can’t wait to read it! All my best wishes for continued success.”
And it was a bit of a surprise for the former resident of Huntly and Stewarton Drives, now living in Drumsagard.
Gavin said: “I had a few spare proof copies and I couldn’t really sell them at events, so I sent a few out to people I knew liked thrillers.
“No one had got back to me, until I got a call at work from my wife, telling me Bill Clinton had written back.
“It was a really nice surprise especially as he’s got plenty of other things to do.
“I’ve no idea if he will read it, but it still came as a nice surprise.”
Gavin’s second novel, The Samaritan, is being released in printed form next week, but it has already been released in electronic form.
He explained: “Nowadays, they tend to bring out the e-version ahead of the printed one
“This is a new technique I’ve noticed recently. I assume it’s a good way of getting advance sales data to gauge print run, and pick up some early reviews. It’s a bit like getting radio airplay ahead of the album release, maybe.
“If you can’t wait for the real book version to be published on July 16, you can get The Samaritan on your Kindle right now, or as an Audible download.”
The official launch of the printed version takes place on July 15, when Gavin will be signing copies of The Samaritan at Waterstones on Argyle Street in Glasgow.
Bestselling author Craig Robertson (Random, Witness the Dead) will chat with Gavin for the official launch of The Samaritan. There will be a reading, a Q&A and a signing. The event, starting at 7pm, is free, and all are welcome.
Meanwhile, Gavin has been given a massive boost after learning The Killing Season has been included on the 2015 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.
Gavin said: “This is a pretty big deal, as the longlist of 18 is cut down from hundreds of submissions. All of these titles will be promoted by WHSmith in the runup to the announcement of the shortlist on June 15 and the eventual winner on July 16.
“I’m actually kind of astounded to be in the running for the most prestigious British crime novel award for my debut novel. I always wanted to write an enjoyable, page-turning book, but awards have frankly never crossed my mind. Anyway, it’s still a longshot since I’m up against 17 other great books - including some of my literary heroes - but it’s a very nice place to be.
“I’m up against the likes of Ian Rankin and Lee Child, so to be alongside them is a real honour.”
Meanwhile, Gavin has just put the finishing touches to his third book.
He added: “It’s actually been pretty difficult. I sent it off to my agent, who really liked it, but has had a few notes for me.
“I’m planning to send it off to my publisher, Orion, this week. They always come back with copy edits - but it’s just about there. This one just seems to have taken a bit longer than the first two.
“It ’ s definitely been more challenging than the second.”
The cover for The Killing Season
Delighted Cambuslang’s Gavin Bell, who writes as Mason Cross