Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith has signed a deal with The Scotsman to write a “daily novel” appearing five days a week in the paper from January.
McCall Smith, left, is author of the successful Botswana Ladies Detective Agency novels, which have sold 1.5 million copies in the US in the past 12 months. In Britain sales of books in the series are running at one million copies.
Iain Martin, editor of The Scotsman, said: “Alexander McCall Smith is a fantastic writer and I am delighted that he has signed such an innovative deal with The Scotsman. This has not been attempted on a daily basis in British newspapers to date.”
Although serialised fiction was common in the 19th century – it is how many first read Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina and much of Dickens’ work – serialised fiction in daily newspapers is rare.
McCall Smith said: “Writing in a newspaper is more immediate, so a novelist who has the chance to publish fiction as it is being written is being given an exciting opportunity. And there is always the possibility of being influenced by one’s readers. If the readers of The Scotsman have views on how the plot should develop, I shall be more than willing to listen.”
The serial will run in the paper for six months. Each daily chapter will be 850 words long.