Who Put My Light Under This Bushel?

(And what the hell is a bushel?*)

Dear me.  Look at the dust in this place .  I can’t remember how long ago I first encountered the term ‘cobwebsite’ but I rather think it fits this one.  Time to take down the old yellowing posters and nail up some fresh ones…  Crusher was up for an 2013 Edgar award in New York, need to bang the drum about that.  (It didn’t actually win, but that minor detail can go in the small print.) And what about a link to Kebabbed, that jolly short story I did at Christmas for Random House’s Dead Good series?  Let’s stick that up somewhere.  In the spirit of ecological soundness I could recycle some of the newspaper articles I wrote last year about living with a famous author (who isn’t me.) As for that movie I scripted… maybe we should wait till it looks like coming out before we boast about it.

My last blog post, Social Notworking, was a rant about how writers today are expected to market themselves by tweeting about their work and endlessly updating their Facebook status.  I do tweet (as @Noghar) but more about my dog than my work; I believe a novel should speak for itself.  Novels, like movies, rely on the conceit that they are real.  The reader lets himself or herself believe the story the author is telling you actually happened; movie watchers let themselves believe the handsome couple robbing a bank onscreen aren’t really being filmed by a massive team of technicians just out of sight.  Talking too much about a work before the audience has seen it is the equivalent of screening a behind-the-scenes featurette before the movie’s even been released; it dissipates the thrill and spoils the illusion.

That said, it is a busy and competitive market out there, and it’s all very well being pure in motive and above the demeaning bustle of mere commerce; but a novelist without an audience isn’t a novelist, merely a person with a self-indulgent hobby.  If you don’t love your story and want it to be widely read you shouldn’t have let it get published, and if you do, you mustn’t be shy about saying so, to as many people as possible. Especially if it helps those lovely people at your publishers get back some of the money they spent buying you dinner, getting you drunk and telling you how talented you are.

So, to bring everyone up to date, the paperback of Crusher is coming out in July 2013.  It has a new cover, soon to be proudly displayed on the home page (Hoot! Where’s that new cover?)  The Mystery Writers of America nominated it for an Edgar Award, which was a great honour (the prize went to Code Name Verity, a book I am extremely keen to read) and the International Thriller Writers organisation have also lined it up for an award, which sounds like a great excuse for a beano in New York.

The manuscript of Crusher Part Two – Incinerator – is with those aforementioned lovely publishing people at Random House, who as I write this are doubtless weeping over its countless typos and continuity errors. It should be appearing in bookshops towards the end of this year (unless the typos really are countless.)

Part Three is… in development.  Watch this space. Just don’t stand over there, we’re going to be shifting furniture.

*A bushel is a bowl or a basket, depending on what translation you read.  In the same way  ‘thou shalt not kill’ has also been translated as ‘thou shalt not murder’, which  some people consider a loophole.  But that’s enough about Northern Ireland.



One Response to 'Who Put My Light Under This Bushel?'

  1. hoot says:

    The new Crusher cover is up! (Sorry!)

    Incinerator… can’t wait!

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