November 27, 2012
Regular readers of this blog may be surprised to learn that as well as my regular cycling, gardening, ford-monitoring and general trouble-making activities, I am technically supposed to be a writer. Friends, family AND regular readers of the blog may be even more surprised to learn that I have actually finally written something AND found someone to publish it. No, not the long awaited Difficult Second Novel – honestly, who do you think I am, Thomas Pynchon? – but a short story which will be appearing in the forthcoming issue of the Edinburgh Review. Not only that, but I have decided to dig myself out of my rural isolation, pick the straw out of my hair and scrub the chain grease off my knuckles – I might even change out of my gardening trousers, if I remember – and go to the launch. Well, what can I say, there was a promise of free wine. Anyhoo, if you’re interested, I shall be here, and if you’re even more interested, you can buy a copy of it. I’m sure it’s packed with brilliance.
Oh, and if you’re reading this and going ‘I didn’t know she was a writer! Where can I buy her fabulous and acclaimed and likened-to-Barbara-Vine-no-less first novel?’ then can I direct your attention to the links on my sidebar.
Here endeth the plugging. As you were. Carry on. Nothing to see here, folks, move along…
September 1, 2010
There’s an interesting interview on the front of the Guardian today with someone who’s memoirs have recently been published … no, not Tony Blair, rehashing the tired old battles of the past. I mean Shaun Attwood, on the front of the Society Guardian, about his book detailing his experiences in ‘America’s Toughest Jail’ (copyright Sheriff Arpaio).
Why do I mention it? Because Shaun just happens to have been my mentee through the Koestler Trust (I am assured this is a real word although I’m suspicious) and I spent just over a year working with him on his book. He’s kind enough to suggest I worked some magic on it, although most of the time I was merely standing on the sidelines while Shaun taught himself to write, making the odd helpful comment rather in the manner of someone watching someone else remove a goat from a fence. But his book, Hard Time, (I preferred Shaun’s original title Green Baloney and Pink Boxers but what do I know about titles*) is out now. I don’t do much plugging of writerly stuff here, as you’ll know, but I’m making an exception in this case. Although having seen how much higher he is up the Amazon ranking than I am …
Anyway, Shaun is also a blogger – it’s how he got started and the reason why the Koestler Trust matched us up in the first place. His has been a fascinating story and I’ve been privileged to see it develop over the time that I’ve known him from a series of scattered and amusing anecdotes into a compelling story about someone who managed to drag himself out of the depths and not just survive but thrive. Go, and have a read.
Right, plug over. Normal service will resume tomorrow…
*especially as I managed to misremember even this one
May 10, 2010
OK, it’s not all been bike rides and somersaulting green beans and scenery up here – I’ve been doing some writing stuff too. No, not a new book yet, so don’t ask – ‘how’s the writing going’ is one of those great unanswerable questions like ‘who can stop the rain?’ or ‘have we got a government yet?’ – but I have been busy setting up this, which will be out at the end of the month. There will be a short story from me in it, and – when it’s printed and I’ve wrestled PayPal into submission – there will be a way to buy it on-line and have it posted to you, actually physically, in a proper envelope with a stamp on it and everything. This digital world is overrated, I’ve decided. We put it together with actual cut and pasting – scissors and glue – and it was the best fun I’ve had in a long time.
Hmmm. Maybe Paypal is the wrong approach after all. Does anybody still do postal orders these days do you think?
February 4, 2010
… the next book (you are eagerly awaiting it, aren’t you?) may be interested to hear that I have a new short story available FREE (for the Scots among you) at the Writers’ Hub, to keep you happy while you wait*.
Meanwhile, those of you with writerly ambitions of your own – and, after all, who wouldn’t want a career that leaves you impoverished, cold, sedentary, solitary and ever so slightly deranged – might want to check out the Hub itself, which is still finding its feet but shaping up to be a useful source of reviews, resources, poetry, fiction and the rest.
And for those of you hoping for another installment of this thrilling tale of country life: watch this space (‘you haven’t posted yet,’ complained the other half just now. ‘How could I, nothing happened today?’ I replied. ‘That’s never stopped you in the past…’)
*not, ahem, that it’s important at all, but I couldn’t help noticing that the other short story had a few more page views than mine…