For several years now I’ve been researching the life and work of William Scoresby Jr., an early nineteenth-century whaler and Arctic explorer who sailed from Whitby, and Liverpool. Of course this has on the whole been a spare time project, and one that is quite a departure from my academic background in American literature, and crime fiction. It has taken quite a while to reach the point where I feel confident about publishing on the subject. I’m working on a full-length book about Scoresby, but in the mean time I have written and self-published a short (~10,000 words) book-let on his once famous voyage of 1816, a voyage which could very easily have ended in tragedy and disaster.
This booklet is available as a print copy from Amazon and in due course as an ebook from all the usual outlets and in all the usual formats. In the mean time your one stop shop for the ebook in the right format for you is Smashwords. The cover image is by mixed media artist Caroline Hack, from an original illustration by Scoresby himself.
Also by Simon Nash in ebook, Dead of a Counterplot.
Literary critic and amateur detective Adam Ludlow reluctantly agrees to give a talk on Sheridan’s play The School for Scandal to an amateur dramatics society. But what he thought would be an easy, if rather tedious favour for a colleague, turns into a puzzling murder mystery that reunites him with his police detective friend Montero.
This is the second in a five-book series of Adam Ludlow murder mysteries, and was among the ninety crime and detective novels named by Jacques Barzun and Wendell Hertig Taylor in their influential Catalogue of Crime, in 1971. It was republished by Garland in 1983 as one of the ‘Fifty Classics of Crime Fiction 1960-75′.
For some time now one of the most popular essays on this site as been ‘Crime and Detective Literature for Young Readers’ so I have decided offer a Kindle version. The free web version is not going away, but you can buy it for your Kindle now from Amazon (UK store and the US store). If there is some demand for this, I’ll do the same for other essays, and add epub versions as well.
Also by Simon Nash in ebook, Killed by Scandal.
“When a student is found murdered at Mudge Hall, lecturer and literary critic Adam Ludlow pursues her killer around the seedy pubs, nightclubs, and boarding houses of early 1960s London. He meets small-time criminals, a communist cell, and a police inspector keen to show off his knowledge of English Literature. But to solve the mystery, Ludlow must discover the secret of an incriminating bracelet.”
For a while now I have been thinking about the future of publishing, and my role in it. I spend most of my time these days working for the University of Liverpool, so I’m not writing as much as I did a few years ago, but it is likely that in a year’s time I’ll be doing something else. I’ve been lucky enough, at the age of 42, never to have had a full-time job doing one thing, though I have always worked full-time on a portfolio of things: freelance writing, editing, university teaching, and a one day a week admin job. At the moment I don’t feel especially daunted by the prospect of being laid off (though ask me again in six months), even if I will miss the salary.
In the spirit of that portfolio career I have been working recently on setting up a way of publishing my work myself, and have established an imprint called Long Lane Press. For the time being there is no website to point you to, but the first publication will arrive later in the summer. I don’t expect never to publish with ‘traditional’ publishers again, though I like the control and flexibility offered by the self-publishing route, but I plan to make this at least part of my publishing output: paper books, photo books, and e-books, including essay-length pieces. It’s an experiment–it feels like an eyes-closed step off the high diving board–but I’m excited to see how it turns out.
A free preview e-book of Long Lane Press’s first publication, Fram: To the Ends of the Earth, is downloadable from here. It’s an account of the ship, Fram, which Roald Amundsen took on his successful expedition to the South Pole, one hundred years ago, in 1911. It includes loads of photographs, and looks great on an iPad or other tablet device, but is laid out in columns, so also works well on a smartphone, and of course anywhere else PDFs can be read. I’d be delighted to hear comments–positive or otherwise, so I can make it better. Buy the book from here.