Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Kenny Smith

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.”

In print

The cover for The Killing Sea­son

De­lighted Cam­bus­lang’s Gavin Bell, who writes as Ma­son Cross

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