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Liza Cody Newsletter February 2016

February 7, 2016

The new cover for DUPE.

It’s been a long time since I sent you one of these, but I only bother you when there is actual news.

This time it’s because my backlist has been given a kiss of life. My first seven novels: 6 Anna Lee mysteries, (Dupe, Bad Company, Stalker, Head Case, Under Contract and Backhand), the African-set novel (Rift), as well as the short story collection (Lucky Dip and other stories) have all been republished. They’re out now, both as print on demand paperbacks and on Kindle.

I expected them to be out a year ago and had no idea it would take this long or be so difficult. I wanted to design the covers myself. For the Anna Lee books l used one of my own photos of my daughter, silhouetted, and wearing my somewhat battered fedora hat. Very private eye, I thought. Her talented fiancé, Ant Howard, brought the series to life using his box of magic Photoshop tricks. As he did for Lucky Dip with my pencil drawing of a muscular, angry young woman. You can see it on my website. I ran out of ideas for Rift and used a stock photo.

In the middle of this, I managed to contract a rather nasty dose of shingles and retired to bed, wasting a few months.

After that, well, the rest of the delay was caused largely by my naivety and ignorance about scanning – the process of turning physical books into electronic ones. I thought that a scanned book would be an accurate representation of the book. But – shock horror – far from being so, the scan adds its own layer of typos, bloopers, goofs, idiocies and bizarre insertions to a well proof-read piece of work. Nor is a scan even consistent with its mistakes. For example, in one book it might read a lot of words beginning with the letters ‘cl’ as ‘d’ – clear and clearly became dear and dearly – but not every time and not in all the books. One book might have 30 or 40 paragraphing mistakes but another only 2. I simply didn’t know what to expect and had to proof-read with a magnifying glass.

But now it’s done, although I’m pretty sure I missed a lot. Maybe I should run a competition to be won by the reader who finds the most mistakes in one book.

Oddly though such close attention to 30-year-old work was like reading historical novels – telephone boxes but no mobile phones, parking spaces in central London, no internet or emails. etc. It’s amazing the changes the digital age has brought to everyday life

And now this example of primitive woman, for whom digital means ‘with the fingers’, must get back to finishing the follow-up to my latest novel, Lady Bag. Wish me luck. As I do you.

Very best wishes, Liza

Selected Works

Don't judge a book by its cover, or a bag lady by her appearance. "I didn't always look like this," she says. "Being barmy doesn't mean I'm stupid." Lady Bag does have her problems - her close relationship with cheap red wine, for example. When she gets hammered she talks to her dog. When she's extra-hammered her dog talks to her. Guess who makes better sense. She and her greyhound, Electra, wander through the streets of London, seeing a Dickensian side of the capital city that's only visible to the homeless. Together they accept the kindness or unkindness of strangers with the same wry patience. Until, on one dreadful day, they meet the Devil outside the National Portrait Gallery.
All Birdie Walker wants is some justice for her husband, Jack. But since Jack was a rock star and the justice has to come from the music business, Birdie absolutely has to take some extreme measures.Click on the title for more information.
Short stories
All my short stories up to 2003 are in this collection. It includes two written specially. Click on the title for a bit about how I came to write short stories and more information.
The Anna Lee series
I wrote six novels about Anna Lee. Click on the titles for more information.
The Bucket Nut Trilogy
Professional wrestler Eva Wylie appeared in three novels in the '90s. Click on the titles for more information.
Other stand-alone novels
RIFT is set in the Ethiopia of the 1970s. BALLAD is the story of a girl with a miraculous musical talent. MISS TERRY is the story of what happens to someone who looks different from her neighbours when a grisly discovery is made. Click on the titles for more information.
The story collections I co-edited for Britain's Crime Writers' Association.
In the early '90s I helped edit these three books - aiming them to be more annuals than anthologies. They include many things we're proud to have published. Click on the titles for more information.