So almost a year after completion and months of waiting I finally got the call from my editor on Monday. What, he wanted to know, ideas did I have for the cover of my first novel. Said novel – Cross Country Murder Song – comes out in hardback via the good folk at Jonathan Cape early next year, the paperback via Vintage later in 2010, in the autumn possibly. Black and white, I told him, preferably a photograph, a car moving towards the camera, something ominous. He, surprisingly, agreed almost instantly. He’s called Dan and he’s arguably the best book editor this country’s ever seen, certainly the sharpest one working today. Even though he’s late with the edit of my book I’m still terrifically happy to have him onside, he’s worked with the great and the good and now he’s working with me, sometimes I’m still not sure why.
When I first met him at Random House he sat behind a massive desk that could best be described as worn. It once belonged to Jonathan Cape, he told me, Hemingway sat where you’re sitting, Lawrence of Arabia too, he quoted chunks of my manuscript back at me (without a manuscript to hand), he made me coffee, he asked me if i could see myself signing with Random House, with Jonathan Cape. In truth, he had me at Hemingway. Right now, I’m meant to be working on Book 2 (working title; Resolution), but all I can think about is seeing a bound proof of my first one, I can’t remember the last time I read it, I hope I’m not appalled by it when I finally get to hold it in my hands, even though I know it cover to cover it still sometimes feels like I’m waiting for my exam results. God help me when it goes to the critics, that’s a Sunday morning when I’ll buy up all the broadsheets and not have the heart to open even one of them… Though, that’s a long way off yet.
Tomorrow I have to go on set to interview Andy Serkis about his upcoming role as Ian Dury for Empire magazine, I spent some time with him and the cast last week and out of the corner of your eye it looks like Dury’s slipped into the room and is waiting to slap you hard on the shoulder with a throaty chuckle. Dury’s son, Baxter was also on set and he said that Serkis’ portrayal of his late dad sometimes unnerved him too. I can’t wait to see him with his curls and his cane again.