Friday, 18 February 2011


Yesterday was the book launch of THE AFRIKA REICH at Waterstones in Piccadilly. It was a tremendous event and naturally I felt obliged to say a few words of thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years. Towards the end of my speech I also mentioned some exciting but secret news. Now I can reveal all.

Getting published was always my ambition, but once I had my deal with Hodder I indulged myself in a few fantasies for the book.

There were five things I dreamed of:

  1. To sell the foreign rights (already achieved: to Spain and Norway)
  2. To sell the foreign rights to a country that doesn’t use the Roman alphabet
  3. To sell the film rights
  4. To get a review from a literary hero
  5. A review in the Economist
Why the Economist? Because I think it has the best books section of any paper in the world. It is compulsory reading for me every week (as it has been for the last decade). So you can imagine my delight when I heard that the Economist was going to run a review.

But it was more than just that… which brings me to my exciting news, what I described on Facebook as ‘the most amazing telephone conversation of my life’.

On Monday afternoon the Literary Editor of the Economist phoned me up at home and told me she had raced through my book in less than 24 hours and thought it ‘the best thriller she’d read in years’. I was left utterly speechless.

What’s most gratifying is to see someone really connecting with what I was trying to do with the book. I wanted to write a novel that thrilled – but also one that was morally complex and had a serious intent.

Please do click 'recommend'; and if you twitter, pass word on - and tweet!


  1. A fantastic review. Congratulations. And here's hoping all your other dreams come true.

  2. Congratulations! It's always amazing when one of your dreams come true. I've achieved #1 and #2 but I'm still dreaming of #3. One day...

  3. The Economist? Holy sh*t!!!! Great news, Guy. Absolutely, astounding.

  4. It was a fantastic review Guy and as for the other things on the wish list they will soon all be achieved I'm sure. You are also a great inspiration to all of us out here in the chill lone world of writing who just keep plugging away hoping to one day get a novel published. More power to your elbow.

  5. Finally - you are blogging!
    Yay for the Economist!!

    Take care

  6. Hi all

    Thanks for your lovely comments.

    @K - yes, it would be rather fine if the other three dreams came true! Invite to the premiere if #3 does

    @Cally - what was the #2 country? I'm intrigued. And I'm sure you can make #3 too. Congratulations, btw, on the recent German publication...

    @Timberati - I was astounded too!

    @Writearound - Glad I'm an inspiration. How kind you are to say.

    @Old Kitty - proper blogging to start soon...

    PS - sorry if I sound overly 'formal' in using your profile names. Don't know what the etiquette is here on a blog. Is it OK to use real names or do you prefer a certain anonymity...?

  7. Guy - #2 was China and Taiwan. I've received the Chinese version but not the Taiwanese yet. Honestly, the thrill of getting a new foreign version is something that just doesn't wear off!

  8. Hi Guy

    Just read the news on Facebook - great stuff!

    I'm sure 3 and 4 are on their way too. A filmed version would be a spectacle to rival any Hollywood blockbuster.

    Best wishes


  9. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Whoop, whoop! :o)

  10. For those who may be wondering why people are congratulating me, I've recently sold the book to China thus fulfilling dream #2. I get a Mandarin character edition of the book next year.

    Thanks Ron and 'Anon' (assume you must be a FB follower to know the news; no need to be shy!) for your congratulations. Ron, I'm still working on that film deal.