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Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Hello America!

. . . And today the book launches in the USA, having been in shops over here in England for the past few days. (I know because I checked. I took photographs. A security guard built like a WWF wrestler tried to stop me until I made a plaintive face and said, 'But it's my book! Really, that's my book!' Fortunately he accepted that and did not try to throw me out, which I'm glad of, as could have swallowed me without chewing.)

Interestingly, Borders has the book in the Crime section. Blackwells had it on a new releases table. I'm not speaking to Foyles, because they didn't have it at all, the beasts. Meanwhile, it's gotten some good reviews, which I'm going to add to the site in the Reviews section later, but am waiting until the reviewing round is finished until I do . . . And they tended to review it as science fiction. Life continues interesting in genre-land.

Pending posting the reviews, here are a few quotes right now:

A fresh, exciting and superbly-realised novel from an exciting newcomer.
SFX magazine (which for those of you in America is the main science fiction and fantasy mag over here, and currently very high on my list of magazines I'd like to hug.)

A nuanced exploration of prejudice, this deftly written, absorbing debut deserves a crossover literary and fantasy readership.
Publishers Weekly starred review. (They called it a 'werewolf novel with a detective story twist', which is a fair way of putting it, I think.)

A cautionary tale with echoes of The Handmaid's Tale or Nineteen Eighty-Four . . . Her story resonates with real issues of power, responsibility and blame. Lycos may be imaginary, but the things that people do to each other are all too recognisably real.
The Times (and they reviewed it in the science fiction section)

And interestingly, a review here http://www.soteriamag.co.uk/Reviews/Books/KWbareback.htm on what seems to be a Christian website.

This latter intrigued me. It said very nice things about the book, which is always good, and it also assessed whether it would be offensive to Christians, which I assume is par for the course on such sites, warning that there's 'a small amount of violence and some aspects of a sexual nature' (quite true, and some swearing as well), but it implied that if you're a Christian, it's probably not a problem. Which is a relief, as I'm agnostic myself but didn't want to offend people needlessly, and there were some things that concerned me, like mentioning real saints. Before it was published I actually asked a friend of mine who's a clergyman-in-training whether he thought that would be offensive, and he said no, probably not as long as I wasn't saying all Christians are bad, so I'm pleased that the vetting seems to have worked. I'd hate to have the Harry-Potter-promotes-evil-occultism crowd after me. Then again, the Soteria reviewer reckoned that 'by placing the novel in a different reality Kit Whitfield should escape the problems other authors face from some Christians complaining about the occult, often with good reason', and that argument doesn't seem to work for Ms Rowling . . .

So there we have it: what kind of book it's classed as depends, literally, on which bookshop you're standing in. (If you're standing in an American one, there's probably only going to be one answer.) But it's definitely not a book that promotes devil worship. Your soul is safe from me. Probably.

(I'm joking about this a bit because I'm surprised to see the book crop up on a Christian website at all, but actually it's a really nice review and I'm very grateful to the reviewer, so if whoever wrote it is reading this, thanks, I owe you. I'm also a bit more relieved that I'm letting on because I read Antonia White's Frost in May at an impressionable age and was much alarmed by the suggestion that if a writer writes a sinful book, they're responsible for all the sinful deeds and thoughts it provokes in their readers, and I would so not like that to happen to me.)

Finally, for your visual pleasure, as Del Rey decided to produce the book today on the grounds that there's a full moon tonight, click here for an appopriate image . . . http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/12278/display/5039562

It's funny, I suppose I always used to think that bookstores all agreed on which areas books should be marketed. But at about the same time I thought blue packet=salt and vinegar and then Walkers broke ranks and there was CHAOS...
(Nice obscure UK reference there)
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