There aren’t many jobs capable of sustaining body, soul and mind but, on a good day, the book trade achieves all three at once. Mind you, the good days sometimes seem few and far between. A few luxuries would be nice every now and then. By and large, as we both know to our cost, the trade sustains soul and mind rather better than it does the body.
I’ve spent my entire working life with books – nearly forty years. I began as a freelance editor in the choppy shallows of publishing, as a librarian in the days when libraries just loaned books and, since 1982, as an author. I have even helped out behind the counter at our local independent, the wonderful Forest Bookshop in Coleford.
Two things about the book trade haven’t changed in that time: one is the importance of people, of the personal recommendation; the other is our need for the sort of narratives that enthrall and engage us.
That’s why independent bookshops are crucial to authors like me who write the sort of books that don’t take kindly to brand labels and aggressive discounting. We fit each other.
The Scent of Death isn’t solely a crime story or a historical novel. It is also (in a way that took me by surprise) a love story of sorts. It’s an attempt to write honestly about the American Loyalists of New York – those honourable people who were foolish enough to support King George in the American War of Independence – and the choices that faced them. It’s an unfashionable viewpoint in modern America but one that has many resonances with post-colonial Britain. The novel isn’t a prequel to my earlier book, The American Boy, but it is in many ways a companion piece
I’d be delighted if you felt able to stock The Scent of Death. If there’s anything I can do to help you sell it, please let me know.
With best wishes
The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor is now available in paperback from Harper. 9780007213535, £7.99
The American Boy by Andrew Taylor has been reissued in paperback by Harper. 9780007109609, £8.99