It's been a while since I wrote something, so here we are. It is now September 11th, and following a brief word regarding the significance of this date and a message I have posted, I thought I'd say a little about the new book 'City of Lies'.
The book was released last week - September 6th - and though I would have wished for fireworks and fanfares, for London bookstore opening parties, for readings and signings and splendid reviews in The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, this was - unfortuntately - not the case!
What I got instead was a disgruntled store assistant telling me that 'this book you're talking about...the City of Lies something-or-other that you say should be on display...well it isn't. We don't have any. What do you want me to do about it then?'
What I got was Amazon telling me that if I ordered 'City of Lies' it would take four to six weeks to arrive as they had none in stock.
What I got was a visit to four independent shops in Birmingham to discover that the book was nowhere to be seen!
These are, in all honesty, the real stories behind the stories. There's a wonderful book called 'Mortification' where a wealth of superb authors and poets have detailed brief moments of humiliation and horror from their careers. Appearing for a signing and no-one shows up; giving a live poetry reading while drunk, and then throwing up in the bathroom with a lapel mike still attached...
Such marvellous experiences as these.
My heart goes out to the bookstore owners and library attendants, standing there with a plate of digestives and a sympathetic expression, waiting as patiently as you for one...just one person to appear who doesn't say 'Oh sorry, I was looking for the toilet...'
These are the real realities of authorship I'm afraid. We all have them. Even the greatest authors in the world, the ones who sell hundreds of thousands of hardbacks, whose paperback releases top Number One in the Sunday Times Bestseller list three weeks before they're even available...even they have had such experiences...
We all start somewhere.
Anyway, not to be miserable...I got my fourth book published, and I know that at least two other people aside from myself think it's a great book. A really great book. Someone should make it into a movie, 'cause it'd make a great movie too!
Anyway, onward and upward. I'm a few days away from completing Book Number 6, and then I have my editorial notes to face for the changes to Number Five which will be released in August 2007.
It's a great game! Wouldn't, couldn't, don't ever want to do anything else...even if shop assistants do look at you the way only shops assistants can, and in a single sentence make you feel as if your many, many hours of hard work couldn't mean less...