Novel News, or: New Novel

Just in case you are not on Twitter – a surprising message today.

It has taken a while, but it looks as if Richard is close to finishing his first piece of long-form writing. I have a feeling that I first heard him mention his novelistic ambitions at RDC5 in London. (But I could be wrong about that – maybe you have a better memory than me.) That was at the beginning of 2018. However, I *do* remember him saying some time last year that he used lockdown to write a novel. And apparently so in conjunction with Audible.

I am not really clear whether the thriller will be published as an audio book only or whether it will also be available in printed format. But RA is reading his work himself. (Good idea? Bad idea? I don’t know.) And it is already available for pre-order on the Audible UK site, prior to release in October. (It also appears that it cannot be accessed on Audible.com or Audible DE. Which is surprising – with all their constant fan-baiting, Audible ought to know that RA’s fan base is spread all over the world and not exclusive to the UK 😡.)

So, Richard is going to do some sleuthing in Geneva before he hands in his final manuscript. Haha, have you booked your flights yet? Nah, maybe not. No offence to Switzerland, but I have to say that Geneva is not the most exciting city in the world. Very wealthy, yes, but I found the place rather quiet when I visited my in-laws there. (Granted, that was 20 years ago. Maybe Geneva is now where it is at.) Mostly famous for an underground particle collider and the assassination of a much-loved Empress 120 years ago. Has a nice lake front, though.

Anyway, I am very curious what Richard has in store for us. The blurb reads as follows:

Has anyone read the mentioned thrillers?

Well, wishing Richard all the best for his final touches… I am sure it is really hard to eventually call a novel finished… Hope he is able to let go of the manuscript and not edit it to death.

78 thoughts on “Novel News, or: New Novel

  1. Whaaaat? Geneva in July? Practically in front of my home while I have to be away three times. So unfair.
    Andy idea about the places mentioned in the story?

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      • Well, there is online one big conference centre close to the United Nations quarter. Or the big exhibition hall used for the Salon d‘Automobile.
        Or Sarah and Daniel are physicists and the conference would be at the CERN. But there it is not easy to get access. At least Dan Brown was refused and who knows the area has extra fun with the mistakes in Illuminati.
        And I owe you my opinion on the Seville communion Book, which I finished some time ago.

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        • Ha, it’s always great to have some local fans on the trail. I’m going to google those buildings, just to get an idea.
          So what did you think of Seville Communion?

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          • I liked the Seville Communion in the French version I had bought. Maybe I should write an email with my full recension, it would be too long for the comments 😉
            What I really had to keep in mind when reading it was that it was published in the 90s. They must have changed quite some situations for the film to make it fit in the 2020s. Obviously there were no mobile phones, so some characters keep coins in their pocket for public phones or receive calls via a restaurant’s land line. And a torrero as a lover was replaced by a flamenco dancer for the film as torreros have obviously lost their attraction in the last 25 to 30 years.

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          • July is almost over and no sign of RAs presence in Switzerland. I was busy anyway with having Covid myseld and then my husband and family in Germany.
            Still I say, Mister, if there is not at least one selfie with Lake Geneva in the background, I will not believe you were here.

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  2. That’s great news, I’m glad Richard has worked on a completely new project and is so (almost) happy with the final result that he feels like sharing the news. Yes, probably it will take him a bit to polish his creation and consider it done (hence his admission about attention to detail, which I found rather cute :)) but hopefully by the due date of October. I’m quite excited that he is also narrating, 99% of my audiobooks are narrated by him, and it should also help that he knows his characters well and the real “spirit” of the story. I already pre-ordered it

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    • The quip with the “details” was fun. Oh yes, we know that he is detail obsessed… I just hope that he has some professional (external) editors for his first attempt at a novel. (I often find with self-published texts that they would have benefitted from some tight editing.)

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  3. I also heard him mention that he’d be writing a novel at some point in the past, but I really don’t remember when and where I heard it first…. I’m glad it is seeing the light of day now!

    Although I am not at all surprised that it is only available in the UK. I can’t count anymore how often I have screamed insults at Amazon or Amazon Prime because they were promoting a project (movie, series, book etc) as if it would be available worldwide, only to then find out it was limited (mostly) to the US, or the UK, none of them was ever available in Germany, or only MUCH MUCH later. I HATE that. With a passion. But they simply don’t care…. “benefits” of being such a huge company.

    So I hope at some point the book will be published in printed form as well, mainly because I prefer to read books myself instead of listening to audiobooks.

    Btw, I am also tempted to travel to Geneva, but it’s quite a distance away, and we do not know when exactly he will be there, so I desist. 🙂

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    • It really is frustrating that Audible restricts some of his audio work to certain markets. I really don’t get why – at least not when it comes to a new piece of writing. But it’s still some time until October, so maybe more markets will be added until then.
      I’d also like to see this text in writing rather than just in audio format.

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  4. I only heard about The Woman in the Window as a good movie, haven’t seen it, only the official trailer on Netflix.
    It all reminds me of the card from you with the photo of the RAPS *The pen is the tongue of the mind* on my desk, that helps me get to the finishing touches (if I ever get there).

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  5. Geneva has a great museum of the Reformation.

    I have read “The Woman in the Window.” It’s controversial because it’s basically plagiarized. The author is an Anna Sorokin-level liar. It was a very suspenseful book. I hope they’re not overselling.

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    • I haven’t been to the museum but I remember the wall with the great big reformers in a leafy park.
      I fear that overselling is unavoidable – when it comes to a celebrity authoring their debut novel.

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      • There are pictures of me at that wall. In a dress. Feels like a lifetime ago. I’ve been there twice. Gave a conference paper there …

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        • Now that I think about it, Geneva sounds like the obvious place for you to go to for conferences, given your specialisation. I also remember visiting a very plain church with an old wooden pulpit that one of the reformers (eh, reformator??? What’s the English term?) preached from. Can’t remember who. Calvin is the obvious one, or was it Hus?

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          • Servetus and NF will know better, but maybe it was the chapel called The Calvin Auditory (originally under the name Chapelle Notre-Dame-la-Neuve) associated with the reformers Calvin and Knox. It couldn’t be Hus. You visited many places in Geneva, Sonja. I was only in Basel and traveled with the Glacier Express from Chur (it was gorgeous) to Zermatt.

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                    • The Protestants’ martyrological tradition didn’t start with Hus, at least not as they saw it! (Luther made a lot of remarks about his relationship to Hus.) I think it’s more the issue that Hus’ death started a war in Bohemia (when the Bohemian electors refused to elect a Catholic monarch) and when it ended, the Roman church had to make a deal with the Bohemian nobility to allow some heterodoxy in the Eucharist. It’s the first time in several centuries that powerful elites became involved as a large group in a heresy (the notorious heresies of the middle ages were mostly marginal movements), and it teaches everyone involved a lot: the Bohemians demonstrate to everyone that a religious issue is a significant enough axis to justify a political war; Rome realizes that it has to jump on heresy more quickly than it had been able to do previously; and everyone sees that Rome doesn’t want to compromise. Add to that, that we are starting to see the seeds of absolutist governments in Europe and the development in how the popes see their secular rules. Some historian (I’ve forgotten who, now) remarked that the difference between the Hussite revolts and the German Reformation is the printing press.

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                  • You still remember well a lot of things from this lectures and you’ve seen a lot in Geneva. And I liked the term you used – a very plain church, that’s what they are and I like it, so I supposed what chapel you were visiting.

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                    • I am surprised I remember anything at all from Geneva. We went there just a few months after my daughter had been born, and I probably suffered from baby brain fog 😂. (Maybe that is also why I wasn’t overly impressed by Geneva?)
                      Most Protestant churches seem to be very plain, aren’t they? Actually, not all. I remember visiting the Protestant church in Cieplice (near Jelenia Gora). (My grandparents were baptised, confirmed and married in that church, and my grandfather played the organ in there as a young man.) To my surprise, the church is an amazing rococo gem, *very* ornate with two galleries and beautiful crystal chandeliers. (See here: https://flic.kr/p/KAYAe3)

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                    • Protestants and plain churches: it’s a really complex question and to some extent it’s a city by city or even a case by case thing. If the church pre-existed the Reformation and the city experienced either a violent iconoclasm or a partial removal of the church art, yeah, they tend to be plain inside (lots of Dutch churches are like this). Reformed / Calvinist churches in general tend in this direction if they were built after the sixteenth century. But Lutheran churches are a mixed bag. If they pre-existed the Reformation, they usually didn’t experience violent iconoclasms (there are a few exceptions), and they often didn’t suffer the removal of all their images. This happens because frequently the decoration inside a late medieval church was somehow related to a particular local family of influence. So art was sometimes just removed but stored, or given back to the donors, or even just hidden. (Think of Nuremberg and the Engelsgruß: it stayed there, covered up, for three centuries, in a very prominent place. In general WWII was harder on Nuremberg’s church art than the Reformation was.) And a tradition grew up of so-called Pfarrerporträts that documented a particular congregation’s pastors one by one. Possibly more significant for church art among Protestants in Germany: these congregations tended (again, it’s not a 100% thing) to move burials away from the church and its direct vicinity to locations outside city limits, so that new burial art in churches in general declined / abated.

                      The first generation after the Lutheran Reformation even witnessed a low-level practice of adding Reformation-related art to churches (there are enough examples of altarpieces with figures of Luther and other Reformers on them to say it’s not anomalous, and there is even a handful of altarpieces with Luther & Co depicted as Jesus and the disciples at the Last Supper). We can’t even say that the excesses of the Baroque / Rococo passed the Reformation completely by, although it tended to be court churches that reflect that (e.g., Frauenkirche in Dresden) and of course it was more prominent in Catholic structures. German Lutheran churches built in the 19th c. and after almost always have some Reformation-related art in them, usually a statue of Luther, although it’s true that their interiors are starker than their predecessors (at least in part because they are 2-300 years newer).

                      And of course, in England, although I know much less about it, all of the late medieval churches initially became CofE (which considers itself Protestant). They experienced some loss of church art. There’s a detailed book by a real laureate of Reformation studies, Eamon Duffy (yes, Irish), called “The Stripping of the Altars.” But the Catholic church structures in England that are Catholic are often less conventionally decorated in that style just because they are also much, much more recent.

                      Anyway. Sorry to go on. You pushed some weird button.

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          • Don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t like anything here anymore. I click like and the whole page reloads. I also have to give in my pw every single time. Grrr.

            Anyway, yeah, I was only there once for a conference b/c the city is so expensive, but I have also given papers in Wittenberg and St Andrews and on the Wartburg and in Eisleben (repeatedly — Eisleben is a lot cheaper than Geneva). Just remembering offhand. I can’t imagine that the society I was affiliated with for Geneva will ever have a conference there anymore; it was insanely expensive, and US tax law changed so the people who could deduct it as a business expense won’t be able to any more.

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            • Grah, the WP bugs are really annoying. I had a look at my page settings but could not see any “like” issues. I googled it but there only seem to be really old threads about that same issue. No idea what WP is up to.
              Haha, yep, I can imagine that Eisleben has a better Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis than Geneva. BTW, I am heading to the Wartburg in November. Friends of mine are getting married there and have basically block-booked the whole castle 😱. I was last there in 1986 on a study trip organised by my local Volkshochschule…

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              • LOL, I wasn’t there before ’89 but I’m guessing that most of the GDR Reformation propaganda is gone now. (Have you ever been to the museum in, I think, Mühlhausen? Maybe it’s changed, but when i was there it was being consciously preserved as a representative of the GDR view of the Peasants’ War. So interesting.) Hard not to have mixed feelings with that neo-Gothic overlay. I’ve been there probably 5-6 times, including Christmas in 2007 (stayed in the right there on top of the mountain for a few days. If you’re staying in the hotel, the restaurant was excellent). My biggest “aha” moment about the Middle Ages occurred there, Xmas morning. It turns out there is a congregation that meets up there and so I strolled over to the service and the wind was rushing past my head but there was *nothing* else up there. It was really quiet. And I thought — yeah, the Middle Ages where there is no sound anywhere unless nature, or a person, is making it. It made me think about how people may have processed music back then — when it wasn’t ubiquitous.

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              • No wonder Geneva wasn’t that interesting as your daughter 😊 Yes you are right, between the architecture of the lutheran churches and the reformed (Calvinian) churches there are some differences (the last ones do not have paintings, figures, usually not even a collar for Quart 😊). That’s why it was easier for me to guess what you were visiting. Oh, I see now that Servetus has already described it better.
                The rococo church in Cieplice looks beautiful in white and with beautiful windows. All still original, including the organs. It can be visited virtually (only 3min video) and it’s after renovation. They still have the original church books from the 18th century onwards, and they write on the website that you can send them an e-mail and they will try to find entries in the books. But you were probably there on a trip 😊.
                The whole Wartburg castle for a wedding, wow. You know some royal families 😉 I was also there for a school trip in the second half of the 1980s, but don’t remember now exactly which year. I hope you will be able to get there by car, then it took us a while to climb this castle hill. Such a flood of weddings (I’m evidently awful stubborn 😉).
                Hopefully RA will post some selfie from Geneva…😊

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  6. The phrase “because, you know how I feel about details” cracks me up. Poking fun at himself and his uber-preparedness. Likely would have researched on location earlier in the process, but then those two little screen projects got in the way. 🤣

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    • Yes, I was thinking about this fic as well.
      And wondering what inspired Richard to place the story in Geneva, if he has ever been here before. Normally the town is linked to the United Nations and related organizations, the CERN and the physicist community there or the financial sector and Swiss banks. All could fit for a thriller.
      As Geneva is in the French speaking part of Switzerland, we can also expect to hear him speaking some French again, at least I hope that.

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      • Just saw that he said something about “springing from a fascination with science and technology” in an interview about the novel … so my guess is on CERN.
        Have to ask my husband if they expect any VIP visits in near future. There will be a big event with a lot of media coverage for the restart of the Large Hadron Collider next week.

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        • Wow, the restart of the Large Hadron Collider that sounds very interesting. I’d love to see this particle accelerator myself.
          Hmm, Sarah Collier from the novel 😉 at the event for the restart of the Large Hadron Collider in July.

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          • Yep, this will be a big thing. I just feel it because my husband is working more.
            The LHC is mainly 30 km of tunnel with a big tube in it. My husband works on the Atlas Detector, which is a big construction of magnets, tubes, cables etc. in an underground cavern and more impressive than LHC’s tunnel. on photos linked to CERN you often see Atlas.
            Maybe we can only guess what RA was visiting in Geneva in October when the audiobook is published and we get to know the story. In the meantime I can still fantasize about a chance encounter anywhere in town or in the area …

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              • I could just join him in the canteen (which would not even be unusual behaviour) if there are signs that CERN is the place to be. Or hang around at the airport when flights from London or New York arrive (which would be far out of my normal manners). Unfortunately I still also have my own job to look after, even if the kids will be transfered to Germany to stay with Grandma.

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            • Wow, the Atlas Detector looks very very impressive, awesome, unearthly. Amazing level of science, Marie and Pierre Curie would be delighted. I would definitely choose to see in Geneva the Atlas Detector. Dark matter in a dark psychological thriller. And Collier and Collider fits together, we’ll see. Anyway your husband has the best chance for seeing RA 😊.
              I volunteer to carry this lunch for you 😊, only to see the Atlas Detector, although they probably won’t let anyone in there.

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              • No one can go in once the machines are started, there are a really strong magnetic field, radiation, vacuum, high voltage, liquid argon (-90°C and below) and other very uncomfortable things …

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                • That’s definitely a lot of very uncomfortable things once the machines are started (each of them is discouraging enough).
                  I keep my fingers crossed for your chance encounter RA in the city or around.

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        • CERN was my first thought, especially because his main character is a Nobel-prize winning scientist. That’s a tough character to write, I would think…

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          • CERN would also mean a tough community of scientist who will have a very close look at the story and the plausibility of every detail.
            There are also many Tolkien fans among the physicists. This could be good and bad. Many liked the Jackson films but the toughest critics I ever met were theoretical physicists.

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              • Even JK Rowling couldn’t get her mystery published when she submitted it blind. It was only after she submitted it (still using a pseudonym, but admitting her identity) that she got it published. (And then later some indiscreet publisher gave it away — after which sales skyrocketed).

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                • You have a point. At least when it comes to publishing through a publishing house, a (somewhat) well-known name will help. Self-publishing might have been an option. But then hardly anyone will see the work.

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  7. Pingback: Mittwochsfüller | Unkraut vergeht nicht….oder doch?

  8. Maybe he’ll check out the Montreux Jazz Festival nearby from july 1st to 16th. For a little ‘smoke on the water’ or ‘fire in the sky’ athmo 😉
    We’ll be traveling past Geneva on our way from Andalusia to Bavaria on july 23rd. 🙂
    The only time I was in Geneva was a stopover on my first honeymoon on our way to Provence. It was one of the most horrible nights ever, because the hotel room that had looked nice enough when we arrived in the afternoon, was crawling with cockroaches when we returned from dinner late at night 🙈🙈🙈

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    • Nice. Montreux would be definitely worth while visiting.
      And wow – Andalusia to Bavaria??? That’s quite the trip. Keep your eyes peeled for Mr A while you are stopping over in Geneva!

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      • Will do 😉
        The hubby’s driving like on autopilot and the dog and I are mostly sleeping – we’re used to it by now. It’ll be the 3rd trip for this year with another one to come in october 🙈

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          • Actually we have moved to the heart of Jerez de la Frontera by the end of february 😉
            But will be at least spending three to four times a year with family (grandkids) in Germany. If you are in the area, just let me know, a small guest room is there 🙂

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            • Oh my goodness!!! I just had a look at the map, and Jerez is about as far West as you can get from Germany, right??? Fantastic. The town looks like an amazingly beautiful gem! Is it the area of Spain that has all the Moorish buildings? I’d love to travel there (although possibly not in the summer – it must be roasting there…)

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              • Yes it’s exactly that area 🙂
                It’s hot in summer, but not as brutal as in Sevilla 😅 Jerez is only about 25km from the coast and you notice a breeze from the sea in the evening. It has everything you want from a city, except the mass tourism like Sevilla, Granada or Cordoba. Truly a hidden gem, as andalu as it gets 😉
                In the weeks before Christmas it is known for its “Zambomba” a sort of flamenco-christmas-flashmobs throughout the city. So if you’re ever in the mood let me know 🙂

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                • It sounds absolutely gorgeous. Maybe I should bribe my son into a December trip to Jerez. He studied Spanish in college and loves Spain. If that ever comes to pass, I’ll give you a shout 🙂

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  9. And I queried why he put ‘writer’ in his tagline! It is an intriguing prospect (hopefully it won’t become his full-time profession) and I love the title ‘Geneva’, glacial and mysterious. He possibly mentioned writing something at RD5 but I don’t remember, my eyes were more attentive than my ears then!

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    • Well, I have to say that I do admire his confidence re. putting “writer” into his bio. I mean, even *I*, who is literally writing for a living, still feel somewhat reticent about calling myself a writer. Or a photographer, despite a full degree in the subject. (But that says more about my lack of confidence…)
      Interesting how you perceive the title of his thriller. I wonder whether it is somehow cultural. Or even just geographical proximity. Geneva doesn’t sound particularly evocative to me. Probably because I have been to the place (and was not overly smitten with it.) But nevertheless I am curious to hear what he has come up with.

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      • You have definitely earned the right to put writer/ photographer on your bio! Our different perceptions are interesting, I loved Geneva when I visited as a child and stayed there as teenager, it seemed the most glamorous place, with the lake and jet d’eau and looming mountains. Maybe I’d feel differently now.

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