John Connolly John Connolly
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Greetings, my good and faithful readers,

This month's newsletter is being typed by my new assistant, Bilek, who is doing a stand-up job, mainly because he doesn't have a desk.

I hadn't meant to hire a new assistant—although Minion Clair has been sowing discontent belowstairs (something about money and the quality of the food)—but it all came about through Ashley Madison, oddly enough. You see, I'd been doing some research on having affairs—for a book, you understand—and had made contact with Ludmilla, who seemed like a very promising interview subject. I advertised for someone who needed an older chap: a kind of Daddy Warbucks/Little Orphan Annie affair, except Orphan Annie had to be 25-30, well stacked, and with reasonable English. (I know that sounds creepy in print, but it was much more affecting once I'd added the emoticons.) Up popped Ludmilla's profile, and it was full steam ahead.

I can only assume that there was some sort of glitch in the Ashley Madison system, because what arrived was an actual orphan, and a bloke to boot, which wasn't what I'd arranged at all. It was rather embarrassing, as I'd paid for a hotel room, and some champagne to put Ludmilla at ease, and Bilek seemed quite confused by this. Bilek is also 57. I mean, he's still technically an orphan because his parents are dead, but it does seem to be stretching things a bit to call himself one, if you take my point.

Anyway, once we'd figured out all of the confusion—which took a couple of months, as Bilek didn't have much English—I felt obliged to find some sort of station for my new adoptee, and he has settled nicely into the East Wing at Connolly Towers. I'm still not entirely sure where Bilek is from, exactly: it's either a country in Eastern Europe that didn't exist until recently and now does, or a country that used to exist but now doesn't. Never mind: he's a welcome addition to the family. Ashley Madison should change its slogan: "Life is short. Find an assistant."

Type on, Bilek old chum, type on...

We have reached the point at which it has become difficult even for us to keep everything straight. Please bear with us, then, as we move through the agenda in a rather arbitrary order—not the order of importance, of course, because you are all equally dear to me, and all these events are of equal significance.

A Song of Shadows A SONG OF SHADOWS: On Sale in the US on September 29!

North America's long wait for the 13th Charlie Parker novel is almost over. A SONG OF SHADOWS goes on sale in the United States and Canada on September 29.

As you may remember, THE WOLF IN WINTER left Charlie Parker at a crossroads, with his future in some doubt. Charlie did survive (spoiler!), but he and his world are changed in ways that will unfold over the next several books. A SONG OF SHADOWS finds him recovering in Boreas, a small town on the coast of Maine. His neighbor Ruth Winter and her daughter Amanda become the targets of an old, terrible evil rooted in the crimes of the Second World War. Charlie moves to defend them with all the resources at his disposal—including some he did not know he had.

A favor, please: the ending of A SONG OF SHADOWS reveals some startling information that will influence the direction of the books to come. People online have generally been pretty good about not spoiling this twist, and I'm very grateful for that. If you'd like to discuss it online, we've set up a forum on the Facebook page to do that, where people who haven't read the book yet won't see things by accident.

The need to finish the next Charlie Parker novel, A TIME OF TORMENT, means that I won't be touring the US with this book. I will, however, be making a handful of appearances in the Northeast, and signed books will be available (with the companion CD, "Shadows") from a few independent bookstores that ship worldwide. Keep reading for those details.

Night Music NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2—October 5 in the US & Canada, October 15 in Ireland and the UK

American readers, rejoice: you're actually getting my second collection of short stories, NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2, before your counterparts in the rest of the world. The US edition is being published as a trade paperback, while the UK/Ireland edition will be available as a hardcover and/or the "export paperback" format. NOTE: The UK hardback first edition of NIGHT MUSIC is a special signed edition, and can be ordered in advance from our friends at:

No Alibis
83 Botanic Avenue
Belfast BT7 1JL
Northern Ireland

The Gutter Bookshop
Cow's Lane
Temple Bar
Dublin 8

Alan Hanna's Bookshop
270 Rathmines Road Lr.
Dublin 6

Goldsboro Books
23-27 Cecil Court
London WC2N 4EZ
+44 (0) 207 497 9230

NIGHT MUSIC collects several stories that have appeared in other formats and collections over the years, including the Edgar®-winning "Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository" and a much-expanded version of "The Wanderer in Unknown Realms," now part of a longer novella called "The Fractured Atlas," but the majority of the material is new—and even when it isn't, it's often revised or expanded, as in the case of "I Live Here," which was previously only available as a limited edition paperback and is now twice its original length.

NIGHT MUSIC Limited Edition

The big news for collectors is that the lovely David Torrans of No Alibis in Belfast is publishing a limited edition of NIGHT MUSIC, available only by special order from his store for £125. As anyone who was lucky enough to grab one of the No Alibis editions of THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, David produces the most beautiful limited works, and this one is no exception. It will be specially bound and slipcased, with a second bound set of prints included. Those prints, exclusive to this edition, have been created by Anne Anderson, who also created the illustrations for the limited edition of THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. The book will also be signed by both Anne and me.

The limited edition will also come with a set of the NIGHT MUSIC postcards (yes, I'm getting to that), and David ships worldwide, but given the small quantity involved, you'd be well advised to put your order in early.

The NIGHT MUSIC Art Contest

Thanks and congratulations to the four dozen artists who submitted entries for the NIGHT MUSIC art contest, which asked entrants to design a book jacket for a traditionally published work of horror or suspense. We were delighted by the quality of the entries, and the range of works chosen, and we convened a suitably august panel of judges to determine the winning designs: Neil Shawcross, one of the greatest artists currently working in these islands, and my particular favorite; Hodder & Stoughton art director Alasdair Oliver; my co-author Jennifer Ridyard; and Atria Books Art Director Albert Tang. The judges ranked at least half the entries among their individual favorites, but a consensus emerged around seven top choices:

Kara Brauen, THE WOMAN IN WHITE by Wilkie Collins
Paul Draper, CASTING THE RUNES by M.R. James
Joanne Forshaw Edwards, THE BIRDS by Daphne du Maurier
Jez Hill, JAWS by Peter Benchley
Cathy Hookey, THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE by Shirley Jackson
Isobel Hughes, THE RAVEN by Edgar Allan Poe
Anne Lambelet, DRACULA by Bram Stoker

You can see these and all the designs submitted for the contest here. The winning designs are being printed as part of a limited edition of postcards, signed by me, which I'll hand out at UK and Ireland events for NIGHT MUSIC (and yes, I'm getting to those), and at the US events for A SONG OF SHADOWS and NIGHT MUSIC. Copies of NIGHT MUSIC ordered from those stores, and Gutter, No Alibis, Hanna's and Goldsboro, will also include the cards.


I seem to remember saying last year that I would not be touring much in 2015. I'm going to say this again now about 2016, and I mean it. I always mean it. Nevertheless, should you like to say hello in person, you can do so at one of the following times and places over the next two months. This calendar, as always, is subject to change, and we do expect to add at least one more event for NIGHT MUSIC, in Dublin. We post changes to the Facebook page, and try to keep the Events page on my website as up-to-date as possible.

September 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Crime Night at Hodges Figgis
As part of the Hodges Figgis Book Festival, I will be discussing crime fiction with Karen Gillece & Paul Perry (aka the writing team Karen Perry), Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent, Sinéad Crowley and Jane Casey. This event is free and no booking is required.
56-58 Dawson Street
Dublin 2

September 24-September 26
Appearances at Sugarcon 2015
Including An Evening with John Connolly
Saturday, September 26 at 9:00 p.m.
In conversation with author and translator Edoardo Rialti
Caffé Pedrocchi
Via VIII Febbraio, 15
35122 Padova
This event is free, but booking is required. Click here for tickets.

Monday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m.
John Connolly will discuss and sign A SONG OF SHADOWS and NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
The Mysterious Bookshop
58 Warren Street
New York, NY
The Mysterious Bookshop will take orders for inscribed copies and will have signed copies to sell after the event. They ship worldwide.

Saturday, October 10 at 1:00 p.m.
John Connolly will discuss and sign A SONG OF SHADOWS and NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
430 Gorham Road
S. Portland, ME
Books-A-Million will have signed copies of both books to sell after this event. Call the store to ask about inscriptions and shipping arrangements.

Sunday, October 11 at 1:00 p.m.
The Toadstool Bookshop
Lorden Plaza
Milford, NH
Toadstool will take orders for inscribed copies and will have signed copies to sell after the event. They ship worldwide.

Thursday, October 22, time TBD
John Connolly discusses and signs NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
No Alibis Books will serve as host and bookseller for this event, at a site to be determined. This event is free, but booking is required by email to
83 Botanic Avenue
Belfast BT7 1JL
44 (0)28 9031 9601

October 23-25
FantasyCon 2015
John Connolly is one of this year's three Guests of Honor, with Jo Fletcher and Brandon Sanderson.
East Midlands Conference Centre and Orchard Hotel
University Park, Beeston Lane
Nottingham NG7 2RJ
Tickets are required and available online.

Monday, October 26 at 12:30 p.m.
Signing NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
26 The Arcade, Meadowhall
Sheffield S91EL
01142 568495

Monday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m.
John Connolly discusses and signs NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
Sponsored by Lindum Books
The Collection
1 Danes Terrace
Lincoln LN2 1LP
Tickets £4 from Lindum Books or The Collection box office

Tuesday, October 27 at 12:30 p.m.
Signing NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
93 Albion Street
Leeds LS1 5AP
+44 113 244 4588

Tuesday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m.
John Connolly discusses and signs NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
York Library
Library Square
York YO1 7DS
01904 552828

Wednesday, October 28 at 1:00 p.m.
Signing NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
Waterstones Emerson Chambers
Blackett Street
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
+44 1919 261 7757

Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.
Blackwell's presents John Connolly, discussing and signing NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
Quaker Meeting House
7 Victoria Street
Edinburgh 2
Tickets available from Blackwells, 0131 622 8222

Thursday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m.
John Connolly discusses and signs NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes 2
174 Argyle Street
Glasgow G2 8BT
+44 141 248 4814

Saturday, October 31 (time to be determined)
John Connolly in conversation with David Mitchell
Waterstones Piccadilly
203/206 Piccadilly
London W1J 9HD
020 7851 2400
We expect this to be a ticketed event, and should have details shortly.

November 15 at 1:00 p.m.
Dublin Book Festival: Writing for Young Adults and Children
Aoife Murray moderates a panel discussion among Eoin Colfer, John Connolly and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Smock Alley Theatre
6/7 Exchange Street Lower
Dublin 8

Signed U.S. copies of A SONG OF SHADOWS with the companion CD, "Shadows," will also be available for order from these independent bookstores. PLEASE NOTE that the books will not be signed until October 5, so your signed book will not arrive until at least a week after that date.

Book Carnival
348 S. Tustin Street
Orange, CA 92866

Murder by the Book
2342 Bassinet
Houston, TX 77005

The Poisoned Pen
4014 N. Goldwater Boulevard #101
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Seattle Mystery Books
117 Cherry Street
Seattle, WA 98104

VJ Books
P.O. Box 3131
Tualatin, OR 97062

And in other news . . .

ONCE UPON A PLACE Once Upon a Place

Eoin Colfer, in his capacity as Ireland's Children's Laureate, has compiled an anthology called ONCE UPON A PLACE, which goes on sale October 15. The book includes stories by Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy, Siobhan Parkinson and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, among others. My contribution is called "The Bear," and includes some truly magical illustrations by P.J. Lynch. It's a lovely book in a very good cause: royalties will go to the Laureate na nÓg project, which seeks to raise the profile of children's literature in Ireland and internationally and to introduce high quality children's books to new audiences. I will be part of the formal launch for ONCE UPON A PLACE in Dublin, sometime the week of October 19; we'll share details once we have them.

Once Upon a Place A SONG OF SHADOWS Set To Music

The brilliant Mark Kozelek is to release a new EP entitled Down in the Willow Garden on October 7. It will include a track called "Chapter 8 of John Connolly's A Song of Shadows," which is that particular chapter set to music, as the events described felt to Mark like a self-contained story with which he could work. I haven't heard the result yet, but I'm hugely touched and flattered that Mark would experiment with my work in this way.

Down in the Willow Garden will be free with any purchase from Mark's label, Caldo Verde Records, from October 7 on. You can read more about it here.

ABC to XTC in New Timeslot Shock!

And ABC to XTC, my weekly Internet radio show on RTÉ 2XM, has a new timeslot: Sundays at 1:00 pm Dublin time. You can always listen back to the last four weeks of shows via the RTÉ Player, which is not only available online but is also a handy application for your mobile device. So wherever you go, a few clicks will bring you my voice and some quality tunes from the 1980s.

All of which brings us to the end for now. We'll update you on events in a second newsletter at the end of this month, but for now Bilek is complaining that his fingers are tired. He'll be demanding that I pay him next.

The cheek.

Best wishes,


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