I have written a book. It is my thirteenth book. I am very proud of it, it’s called The Purple Shroud. I think it’s a good sequel to Theodora, and I think – as I do with every book I write, at the time I write it – that it’s the best book I’ve written. So far.

However, because it is 2012 and because this is the way things are done these days, I have been thinking about making a trailer which would be me, on screen, telling you about the book and finding ways – subliminal and not – to suggest you go out and buy it. Click a button and buy it. Buy it.
Many writers make these trailers. I made one for Theodora last year. I was happy with it and so were my publishers, and people said it made the book seem interesting and so they bought the book.

But – I do not want to make a video about why I’d like you to read my book. I am a book writer, I am not a video maker.

I honestly believe the thing that ought to sell my book is how well I have written my book, not how skilled a performer I am (and I say that knowing I am far more practiced at performance than many of my peers), nor what promotions in which bookshops my publishers can get for me, nor which bookshop windows my publishers can pay for my book to be placed in, nor the amount of coverage I can get in national and local newspapers, not how many radio shows I do, how many followers I have on Twitter or friends on Facebook – but whether or not the reader thinks it is a good book.

So, I’m going to do something else instead, and because it is offering up the actual writing, it feels a lot more scary than filming myself saying how excited I am about my new book.

The Purple Shroud is published (in the UK) this Thursday, 5th July.
You can buy it in shops and you can buy it on amazon and the Guardian book shop and lots of other book-y places.
And you can read the first chapter of The Purple Shroud now, by downloading this pdf.

I am a writer. Here are some words.

The Purple Shroud, Chapter One