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Sunday, 4 October 2015

An Author's Bits. With pictures.

This week I have found myself thinking about authors' bits.

Not like Neil Gaiman's dangly parts or J K Rowling's sit-upon, because that would be strange, and what possible reason could I have for such musings other than a strange sexual preoccupation, which I quite clearly don't have and no I don't need any more approaches from men on Facebook, thank you very much.

Anyway.  No.  The authors' bits that I was thinking about, are the bits that go in the back of books (or sometimes the front), where you get that heading that says 'About The Author'.  This is where the author (or, if they are a rich and successful author, their 'people') try to make up something that makes the author in question sound approachable and fun, yet wacky and interesting enough to have come up with a book that you might want to read.
Yes, it's a wetsuit.  For 'weekend pursuits'.
I'd guess, if you're the sort of author who has 'people', that you'd need to be quite nice to those 'people', just in case you suddenly find your books out there on the shelves bearing an 'About the Author' that says something like 'Blah is an author of inadequate comprehension, who spends his/her weekend at Interational Bitchathons and is regularly to be found naked and drunk in local gutters.'  Of course, since nobody reads the Authors' Bits, it's quite possible that my books already have this in, but I like to think that someone would have told me by now.

Right.  So my Author's Bits, mostly mention my animals, so I thought, what with 'I Don't Want to Talk About It' being on 99p Kindle Monthly Deal and my Christmas Novella coming soon, you may want a little insider peek at my bits.
Teal, the puppy, Cal, the stripey cat, and Zach the black and white one

Quentin, Helga and Helga...
Ignore the 'author in her slippers'.  Corvo the black and white cat, Abraxus the black cat, Big Dog Dylan, and yes, Teal the puppy again. She's photogenic, what can I say?
Tiggy, the terrier of such unmitigated scruffiness and grump that she rarely features in family photos. From her expression you can tell that she knows this.

So, there you have it. My bits.  And next time you pick up one of my books and read 'Jane has four cats, three hens and three dogs', now you know what they look like.  I'll be asking questions later, so I'll leave you to memorise these...

Oh, and anyone who came here for pictures of an author' know...bits... I'll see you later. Just have the money in used readies....

Sunday, 27 September 2015

So, you could write a book, could you? Better stock up on noodles...

I had another one the other day.  All writers have had them, sometimes you get a lot of them and sometimes you are lucky and get away with only the odd one or two, but writers with a few books published tend to attract them in a similar way to the way that a horse attracts flies...

People who say 'I could write a book.'

Well, of course they could.  Anyone with a  working knowledge of words, and the ability to put them together one after the other into sentences could.

But let me tell you something about writing a book.  In fact, I shan't tell you, for, in the spirit of 'show don't tell' (one of the first Principles of Writing), I shall illustrate it for you.  Only I'll illustrate it in words, if that's all right with you, because my drawing skills are whatever a lack of skill is called.

Writing a book is like this:

Doing a jigsaw puzzle, in the dark, with only a tiny little torch that you got in a Christmas cracker.  A cat is sitting on the box lid, you very much suspect that the dog has eaten one of the corner pieces, and, very often, you are wearing boxing gloves.

The inside of a writer's brain
Someone will pay you for the completed jigsaw, which needs to be finished to a deadline, and the telephone rings every fifteen minutes - when you answer it, a very angry man wants to talk to 'Roger'. Who doesn't live there.

And all the time you are doing this, your well meaning friends and relatives will tell you how lucky you are to be living the life of a writer, how relaxing it must be to be at home all day and how they are sure they could never write a book, except that they've had a really interesting life and one day they will write it down and get it published.

In the meantime, you get letters about unpaid bills, your family complains about the number of meals you cook that consist entirely of noodles and the cat that isn't sitting on the puzzle lid has left home and only comes back occasionally to stare through the window at you in an accusatory manner.

Still want to write a book?  I'll lend you a dog that's already eaten several of my pieces...

In your own time...

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Christmas Novella News, Doctor Who and walking on stubble

This week I've mostly been writing.  Well, I say mostly, I did do some other stuff too, although most of it was quite dull and there was a lot of hoovering.  But several things enlightened my week.

1) Novella News!  I am just in the editing process for my Christmas Novella, which has been retitled to make it more 'christmassy' and is now called (drumroll please).... The Art of Christmas!!  And it's got a cover and everything! Hopefully it will be out as a natty little e-book just in time for you to sit down with a festive eggnog and forty five mince pies and get into the spirit of the season, but since I know you start doing that in October, it might not be.

There! Isn't it lovely!  It's about an artist who runs a graphic novel and Sci Fi shop, his dog Frodo, and a lovely lady who's lost rather a lot in her life... and it's a bit sad, and a bit funny and features a mis-shapen Christmas tree, lots of snow, a mysterious child and dog wee.

2)  The Doctor is back!  Lovely lovely Peter Capaldi, being all Rock God and then scaredy and then fabulous.
Everyone needs a bit of suspension of disbelief, and I sat on the edge of my sofa, with a dog (not sure which one, it was dark, but there was definitely a dog. Or a furry ghost) watching.  I was agog, I tell you. A Gog.  Handmines...

3)  Fabulous weather, during which I wandered out for walks with the dogs.  It's that wonderful time of year when there are stubble fields everywhere, which nobody much minds you walking around on. 
I'm very very lucky to live in such a lovely part of the world, where I can let two mad terriers run about without having to worry, and the big dog can lope along behind if he is so inclined (he has a wobbly back end.  I'm sure, after a late Saturday night, we can all sympathise).

4)  I started my new job today.  Lots to learn, and I may never get properly to grips with the lemons, and I'm not allowed to sell alcohol or cigarettes yet and have to get someone else to come and authorise them.  I think my till thinks I'm 12 or something.  But, hey, it will stave off the worst of the bills, although I don't think I'm going to be able to afford a pair of Manolo Blahniks just yet.  However, plimsolls are not out of the equation, so it's all good. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, Tony will be on soon, it's Time Crashers night, and I have to go and make myself beautiful in order to watch him.  He's a God, you know.  A veritable God.
True fact.