liamwithgunAs you might possibly have heard, unless you’ve been trekking in Bhutan or meditating in an isolation chamber, A Walk Among the Tombstones opens Friday, September 19, all over the US and the UK and most of the rest of the world. (October 15, I believe, in Australia. As late as mid-November in a couple of other countries.)

I’m preparing this newsletter in a hotel room in Los Angeles, where I came for a guest shot on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. If you set up your TiVo to record it, well, a presidential address jostled the TV schedule, and you may have missed it. We can’t have that, can we? So just click the link and you get to see it all—except for the film clip Craig showed, which I guess they can’t bundle in. But hey, that’s okay. You’ll see all that this coming weekend, in A Theater Near You.

The promotional campaign for the picture, and the buzz that goes with it, is beyond anything I can recall. The posters are on every subway platform in New York and, from the looks of things, every bus in London. Overseas, some of the media placement has been downright spectacuar. The film trailer’s running in theaters and turning arcdetriompheup in TV commercials. I’ve been getting tons of interview requests, and, media slut that I am, I’ve been saying yes to damn near all of them.

It’s exhausting, but so what? Writing’s a wonderful life, and I wouldn’t change it for anything, but it’s rarely what you’d call exciting. For all the satisfaction of sitting in a room or hours on end in the company of figments of one’s own imagination, it doesn’t often make the heart pound and the blood race. But lately things have turned exciting, and I have to say I’m enjoying it.

So while I’m at it, let me share some news that’s also pretty exciting. I believe I mentioned—quietly, elliptically—that I wrote a book in July. As I told Craig, I went to Philadelphia, holed up in an apartment on Rittenhouse Square, and came home a month later with a book written. What I didn’t get the chance to tell him was that it’s a down-and-dirty noir thriller, characterized by my Hollywood agent as “James M. Cain on Viagra.” (Charles Ardai, who’ll be publishing the book a year from now at Hard Case Crime, might want to put that line on the cover.) The title is The Girl With the Deep Blue Eyes, the setting’s a small town in Florida, an artist’s already working on the cover painting—and I can’t wait to see it. Soon as I do I’ll give y’all a sneak preview.

But let’s get back to the movie, because it’s just so much fun. One happy effect of all the billboards and bus posters is that book sales have shot skyward. The book Craig held outthewindowup—and gave away to the studio audience—is Hard Case’s movie tie-in edition, and besides flying off the racks in airports and supermarkets, which everybody expected, it’s also having a surprisingly strong online sale. So is my trade paperback, available online or—if you want a signed copy—at our eBay bookstore. And ebooks of have been, well, spiking skyward at Kindle and Nook and pretty much everywhere. Ka-ching!

The sales are mostly A Walk Among the Tombstones—no surprise there—but like any proper rising tide, this one’s raising other boats as well, as readers drawn by the movie go on to work their way through the Scudder series. The first of the Scudder short stories, “Out the Window,” has been absolutely surging, and people who read it and like it tend to pick up the complete collection, The Night and the Music. (The story’s exclusive to Kindle, but the collection’s widely available.)

I’ve seen the movie, as I believe I mentioned, but that was nine or ten months ago, and Lynne and I can’t wait to see it again. A lot of you have asked if they’ll be filming other books in the series, and I’m not the only one who hopes so. Scott Frank, who’s done such a brilliant job as writer and director, wants to do more, and Liam Neeson would welcome another star turn as Matthew Scudder. Ultimately, it depends on the numbers. If the movie’s a big success, there’ll be more. Fingers crossed, huh?

Although it’s okay to uncross them long enough to reserve your tickets for opening weekend…



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