• Three Little Pigs

    10 February 2024

    I read Three Little Pigs recently, the third DCI Kett book by Alex Smith, and ripped through it at top speed. The first two books in the series were very enjoyable, but this took things to a different level, building on them expertly and delivering perfect payoffs to some big questions rasied in the first couple, not least of which was -- what the hell happened to Kett's wife?!? It moved swiftly, with rarely a pause for breath, and although it has the cute factor of the detective's three young daughters always tagging along with their dad, it got VERY dark in places -- it's almost as if the author read some Darren Shan books when he was younger!!! :-)

     

    Actually, he DID!!! Because Alex Smith is in fact a pseudonym for Alexander Gordon Smith, who wrote the fab Furnace series for teens some years back. He was a fan of my books and wrote to me when he was starting out, and we've become very good friends over the years -- we even holiday together on occasion. Although Furnace did pretty well for him, he was struggling to crack the horror YA market -- it seems to have tightened up restrictively over the last decade, and some great authors simply aren't being pushed as hard as they could be by the big publishers. Barry Hutchison, another friend and great author, was in exactly the same boat, and I feared we were going to lose them to other careers.

     

    Then Barry made the move to self-published crime novels, and Gordon followed suit a few years later, and the pair are enjoying HUGE success. The switch has changed their lives, and they've gone from struggling to sell thousands of copies of their books to selling millions!! They're proof of how self-publishing can be a perfectly valid and financially rewarding option these days. If you're prepared to think outside the normal publishing boxes, and can write the sort of books that there's a big demand for, you can be just as successful -- or even lots more so -- than if you release your books through a traditional publisher.

     

    I'm delighted for the pair of them. I love it when nice people with a strong work ethic succeed. No lucky breaks or wearying successful-because-the author's-a-celebrity-and-the-publisher-spent-a-load-of-money-promoting-it strategies for these guys. They've made it because they write damn good books and work really hard. Massive kudos to them, and long may their hot streaks continue!!

     

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