Beirut - An Explosive Thriller will be in UAE bookshops by December. With a little luck (and the permission of censors) it will go on sale in Lebanon some time in January. If there's a Lebanon left for it to go on sale in.
It's odd, watching history threaten to take away the setting of your book. I suppose few writers have that problem, but writing books framed by the backdrop of the Middle East makes it something of an occupational hazard. The odd thing is I have long feared Israeli action against Iran's nuclear programme would sideline the plot of Beirut, I hadn't reckoned on Syria collapsing and drawing Lebanon into its conflict.
I remain an optimist, though. Lebanon has been through a number of aftershocks since the 15-year earthquake that flattened Beirut and claimed 150,000 lives. It can muddle through this one, too. With many friends there, with a longstanding fondness for the city, I have to believe that.
Meanwhile, I've got my UAE permission to print, I just have to get my ISBN and finish formatting the manuscript for the book's prnted size- this one will be in a standard format for thrillers, smaller than Olives - A Violent Romance and chunkier, too.
I'd much rather have stayed with an online only edition, but there are too many hurdles for the majority of people in the UAE to jump - it's clear that, as with Olives, people want to buy from a local bookshop rather than go online and the majority still don't have e-readers or use their tablets as reading devices. Amazon, and Apple et al, still do not serve content to this region. And I have the strong feeling that the print edition of Olives generated much of the word of mouth that fuelled online sales (as of now, sales have been split pretty evenly between the Middle East and International editions).
I'm planning on a launch sometime in the first week of December - as things get finalised you will be the first to know. In the meantime, start saving up (cover price will be Dhs59) or if you can't wait, you can go here to buy Beirut in print, delivered to your doorstep FREE or as an ebook which is just as free for delivery and considerably faster.