Sunday, 1 June 2008

3 for 2: choose well

The dilemma: the PoV is released this week in pocket paperback format and will be available in the '3 for 2' offer at Waterstones.

But if you get your mum and dad a copy each, what to do with the third one? Oh, the choice, I hear you cry through cyber-hell. Oh, the dilemma of variety. Oh, the onus of selection... whatever. Well, some ideas:

1) a sacred text as the basis for a polygamous cult in a Norfolk enclave
2) slip inside a Mills&Boon cover and give it to your gran
3) give to that guy in the tight trousers who smiles at you in the tube
4) a fire-lighter for a sacrificial pyre in your back-garden
5) grind down with extract of thyme and use as a cure for baldness
6) douse in petrol and hurl through a library window
7) reading

Any other suggestions, write them on the back of a copy of the book and send them to my enclave in Norfolk.

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Sunday, 20 May 2007

Sniffing pages

After a few months of final tweaking and editing of my book, I find myself sitting like a prospective father in the corridor of a birth-clinic, waiting for my off-spring to see the light of day. I'm not anywhere close to having any kids, so I guess my ersatz-child for a while will be called Egon Schiele and/or The Pornographer: admittedly, not much of a name for a young child, particularly if it were to be a girl, but it'll have to do.

Having received a first copy a few days ago , I found myself doing entirely ridicuous things like sniffing pages and rubbing the cover against the soft part of my cheek. When an onlooker sees a young bloke sticking his nose into the pages of a book emblazoned with PORNOGRAPHER it is not always a good thing.

And all this was in Swindon: the site of my first engagement. Great fun and very rewarding. While Swindon may not always have the greatest of reputations in southern England with its fickle prejudices towards certain towns (...there's got to be a word for that; something with 'urban' in it probably...socio-urbanism or some such nonsense), it has a sparkling literary festival with the likes of Julian Barnes, John Major, Claire Tomalin... and some bloke who sniffs pages.

By the way, they smell like a cross between a Finnish forest freshly sprinkled with spring rain and HOMEBASE.

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