The US edition of The Violent Century comes out on the 24th (next Tuesday!). It includes a couple of bonus items only available in this edition – an Author Q&A, and a new short story, “Aftermaths”, set in the world of The Violent Century a couple of years later.
I got asked on Facebook why that was, and why, therefore, you can only read “Aftermaths” in the US edition. Which is a pretty good question–
Back when I sold the novel to Hodder, they were quite keen on including something similar to this in the paperback edition. The problem was that by that time, I had spent far too long with the world of TVC – including a screenplay version, a comics version, and about a thousand drafts of the actual novel, not to mention edits, proofs, and so on – and, to be honest, I was sick to death of it. I just couldn’t do it.
I did produce a couple of other things, one of which I really liked – a fictional exchange between my editor and the British censor, regarding the book’s contravention of the Official Secrets Act – but it wasn’t quite right for publication in the end.
By the time the US edition came around, however, sufficient time had passed that I was a lot more relaxed about the whole thing. My editor at Thomas Dunne was keen on having some bonus material for this new edition, and I thought I could give it a try, at least. It also turned out that the character people seemed to like most in the book was Spit, who has a rather small role, and I have to admit I liked her too, so I wanted to see what she got up to after the book ended.
In the end, it fairly wrote itself, and it was surprisingly enjoyable for me to get back into that world, for just a little while. (I kind of think of it as the end title sequence in Four Weddings and a Funeral, and you might just spot a throwaway reference in there).
“Aftermaths” is about, well, what happens when stories end? It’s sort of a coda, I suppose – in a somewhat different way than The Last Osama was my coda for Osama – and I like it. What will happen to it after the US edition, I don’t really know. But it’s got a good home – and I hope people enjoy it.