Inspired—or at least nudged—by Barry Eisler’s recent move into the digital book world, I’m putting a story of mine, called “You Know What’s Going On,” on Amazon for sale (in the US, and in the UK) to Kindles and anyone with the Kindle software (iPads & iPhones, I’m looking at you). This is the start of a vague plan I have to, over the next year, publish two or three more titles in the same way, building up to the release of the final book of the Milo Weaver trilogy, and see what happens.
“You Know What’s Going On” was originally published last year in Otto Penzler’s stellar anthology, Agents of Treachery. It’s a story I’m really pleased with, and it’s a long one too (over 40 pages in the hardback of the anthology). I thought it might be a good piece to start the project with.
The story mixes some of my regular themes of betrayal, self-interest and, on occasion, operational stupidity, with Muslim extremism, which is something I’ve stayed away from previously. I’m not much at summarizing my own plots—suffice to say that it’s set in Geneva, Rome, and Kenya, and its characters are American spies, a Somali jihadist, and a Kenyan policeman.
In a few months, my plan is to collect three other previously published stories—“Hungarian Lessons,” “The Piss-Stained Czech,” and “Investment in Vevey” into a chapbook called Noir Travels. And later in the year—if time affords—I hope to write a Milo Weaver story in preparation for the next book. Given the amount of material that I leave out of my novels, I’m hoping something on the cutting room floor will prove the sturdy seed of a good tale.