Friday, 19 October 2012

Dinner by Hodder

I was one of few fortunate readers who was invited to attend a dinner hosted by Hodder. The guest of honour was none other than one of the hottest names in fantasy, Daniel Polansky. Anyone following my blog knows I am a big fan of Daniel Polansky's writing. With his first novel, The Straight Razor Cure, he showed he was a contender in the genre. With the second novel, Tomorrow the Killing, I consider him to be up there with the best. His take on dark, gritty fantasy with a streak of crime solving makes me want to put him in the company of Joe Abercrombie. No way I was going to miss out on a chance to meet him, and free food.

Hodder's choice of restaurant was exciting as well. I have often passed Kettner's in Soho, but never made it across their threshold. I just might have had a little peek at the menu and reviews, both of which looked promising. I am getting ahead of myself though. I joined Daniel Polansky and his Hodder minders in the Spice of Life for a swift beverage. One can only assume this was to introduce Mr Polansky to the old British tradition of getting pissed.

Upon exiting the pub we immediately lost Anne Perry, one of Daniel Polansky's editors, who is possibly the fastest walking person ever. Luckily, once we turned the corner we could see her again, and my dinner was safe. After safely arriving at Kettner's we were greeted warmly by Kerry, Daniel's publicist at Hodder, and my first glass of wine was in my hand before I had even taken off my coat. Introductions were made, food was ordered, and there was much rejoicing.

Turns out Daniel Polansky is a very laid back and friendly sort of a chap. I found out he lives a nomadic lifestyle, traveling most of the time, and has all his precious possessions in storage. This mostly seemed to be his books and vinyls. With a room full of writers and publishers it's hard to avoid talking about books. My contribution was expressing my surprise over the rise of Scandinavian crime fiction. I also pointed out the creme fraiche was missing from the smoked salmon, but that's not really related to fiction.

The food was great, especially so the starter and my beef casserole main, which had a posh sounding French name. The highlight of the evening, however, was hearing a couple of title ideas for Daniel Polansky's next book. Just in case it's secret I will keep it to myself, but let's just say it was definitely the kind of title you expect from him. I also learned the technical term for this kind of title is 'gnomic'. A release date was also discussed, and the chief big-wig editor present even promised to try and push it forward. Actually, lots of title ideas were thrown around, with 'A Tearful Bumming' being a clear favourite for best title of the evening.

Many thanks to Hodder for hosting this event. Daniel (we are on a first name basis now) is a great guy, so go forth and buy his books please.


  1. I can't believe you've raised the issue of CremeGate!