December 13, 2013

Writerly stuff (much of it revisited)


I’ve just spent my blog-writing time hacking at an interview with which is reprinting Hellhound—which I will attempt to remember to link to when it comes on line.  Although all of you have OF COURSE already read Hellhound in Peter’s and my FIRE stories a few years ago . . . and the truth of the matter is that you’ll also have read everything I have to say in any possible interview some time in the last six years on this blog, in most cases several times, if you’re one of the stoics that have either been here from the beginning or, on insomniac nights, read back to the beginning.  But it might amuse you to reread some of it.  I think I’m getting harder to interview as I get older.  I HAVE NO CLUE WHERE MY INSPIRATION FOR A STORY COMES FROM.  I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY CLUE WHERE STORY INSPIRATION COMES FROM.  But the frantic desire to say something remotely responsive to some nice person who is paying you money* to reprint an old story may result in some rather strange non-answers.

And speaking of how totally hopeless I am as a self-publicist, and of links . . . the UK ebook of SHADOWS became available over a week ago.  Have I . . . erm . . . mentioned this?  Maybe I did and I’ve just forgotten.  I can’t give you a link—you’ll have to go strive with yourselves—first because I do not go near my own pages on amazon, Goodreads or any other site where readers congregate and talk about books and never will, unless someone holds a gun to my head, which I would be very, very grateful if they did not.  Secondly because I do use amazon, cautiously and guardedly, and I haven’t had any trouble with its denying my existence and cancelling my credit card lately and I would like this happy conjunction to continue.  It’s one of those oppressively clever sites that recognises you the minute you sign on however—so far as I can tell wherever you sign on from:  it took your virtual fingerprints with your name and address back in the day—so if I send you a link, I’ll be linking you to my account.  I don’t want to log out to do it because I guarantee we would go through the you-do-not-exist-your-password-does-not-exist-and-your-credit-card-is-a-hellterror-chewtoy experience when I tried to log back in again—I’ve been through this—and I would find this wearisome.  Just as I found it wearisome the last time it happened.

But the SHADOWS UK ebook came out on 5 December.  So any of you foolish enough to be waiting for me to tell you it’s there waiting for you—this is how I keep eating:  you would be forgiven for assuming I would tell you in an expeditious manner that a book of mine is available for purchase—IT’S WAITING FOR YOU.  Go and buy several copies.  Good Christmas present.**

And now for the piece de resistance:

Some splendid person on Twitter posted this and because I am a moron I forgot to write down who it was.  If it is someone who reads this blog THANK YOU SPLENDID PERSON.  I laughed and laughed and laughed . . . and then I went and punched a few holes in the wall because it is so true.  It is so true it’s almost not funny.

For example, there’s a variation to number two, where the person the author is talking to says, oh, have you read X?  You must read it!  It’s just like your book Y, ONLY BETTER!!!  —I still cannot begin to imagine what this person was thinking of.  Since it happened to me***, and the person who told me to read X because it was like my Y only better, was a bookseller in a bookstore.  Quite a large and famous bookstore in fact.  And . . . I have as a result never read ANY of the novels of the author of X.   Because I am a cow, and an easily traumatised, unfair-grudge-holding cow.  Mooo.†

Number four also includes that the person is going to offer to split with you sixty/forty if you write up their great idea because the idea is the important thing (which is why they’re retaining the sixty percent) and you already know how the writing thing works so they don’t have to bother.  There are advantages to living in a small unidentified town.††

And number seven:  ARRRGLE ARRRRRRRRRRGH ARRRRRRRRGLE.  Possibly my pet peeve of pet peeves:  readers that do your book down because it isn’t the book they wanted to read.

Number fourteen:  I came in from trying to answer an interview question about my writing process. . . .

* * *

* Sure it’s a modest sum.  The point is it’s any sum.

** There is a way to send ebooks as Christmas presents, right? ^

Oh.  Cool.  I might even be able to do this.

^ I have NO IDEA why this isn’t appearing within my account.  Amazon just likes yanking me around.  I knew that.

*** And this is one of those stories long-term blog readers have read before.  It haunts me.  Well it would.

† Also, you know, life is short and there are a lot of books I’m never going to read.  I judge books by their covers too.  Do I want to have to look at this cover in my house?  No?  Great.  Don’t buy it.  I have too many frelling books already.

†† And yes, it would take you about thirty seconds to break my alias, if you really wanted to.  But that I alias everything does suggest that I don’t want to be found, doesn’t it?^  So don’t bother to email me and suggest coffee.  No.  I don’t drink coffee anyway.

^ It’s also fun.  How else would I get to invent town names like Sagging Dormouse or Smedley-on-Cucumber?  They’d never let me put it in my fiction.


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