Stay off the road

On Friday I had lunch around the corner from Random House, it wasn’t free though, what lunch is? For my pizza, two glasses of red and the delightful company of Clara the PR and Vicki the marketing kid (she is a a kid, she’s twelve and had her own corner office at RH already, I’m very lucky to have her working me as it were), I had to sit in front of a shelf full of my books and answer questions about my dead dad (the first of many when the book finally surfaces I assume), my favourite writers, the cinematic feel of my novel and then I had to read from the Holiday chapter. The latter was the most nerve wracking of all, contrary to popular belief I hate the sound of my own voice and I loathe how I look especially on screen. On the upside the power and invention of the passage shocked me, the words sang, I believed in the killer who spends his holidays murdering strangers, I stood with him on the beach as he watched his mother drown, I looked over his shoulder as he choked the life out of a young woman… I couldn’t get out of his hotel room, I couldn’t get out of his head, I took that as a good sign. ┬áIf you’re at all interested, and I must assume you are if you’ve showed up here, my little performance will be up on the new Jonathan Cape website at the end of the month. I also wore foundation for it, Nuala very kindly applied her own with real diligence so that I assumed a sort of golden glow as I left home.

The book’s published on the 25th February and the Independent on Sunday have said they’ll review it, this makes my skin crawl in ways I thought unimaginable. I love the fact that I’ve got a novel that’s being published by Jonathan Cape, but I’d be quite happy if they did one copy and let me keep it in a sealed box that i might take out and occasionally show to people. That’s not how it works. Waterstone’s are giving it quite the push, people have pre-ordered it online and someone’s already bought it on their Kindle. These tiny things sound like giant, crashing waves in my head and the current’s coming in. I’ve also got some more festivals lined-up, including a reading for the Litro people at the Camden Crawl. What skinny boys with angular haircuts might see in my book remains a mystery, but I’ll show up and scowl and hopefully sell another half dozen books or punch a Foals fan, it could go either way. I’m unstable at the best of times. We’re having a book launch too, which my editor Dan Franklin is attending. This is big news, Dan only leaves his office or home if someone’s waving a gun at him. He might even make a speech. Jupitus and I will try not to heckle. Happily, two of my oldest and dearest friends may be flying in to help me celebrate, one from Beruit the other from the wilds of Canada. It’ll do nothing to steady my nerves, but I’ll be delighted to see them both, they’ve both been around long enough to know how much realising this dream means to me. I’d invite you, but I know how busy you are.

I’m heading off into the London night now to meet one of Rush’s people (Peg as her sister calls her), I see her far too infrequently, she’s the size of a Munchkin and louder than war, I like her very much. That and she sometimes gets Atlantic Records to fly me to Toronto doesn’t hurt either. Recently I’ve very much enjoyed the Blur documentary – my one word quote is on the poster – and the Oil City Confidential film, which details the rise and fall of Dr Feelgood. And due to having moved house, I’m re-reading what Nuala rather archly refers to as “Wilding’s fucking library”. But in a nice way. What books there are! But more on that next time. Come join me on my Facebook CCMS page, you might win signed books or a very rare T-shirt, or even get to join me and Jupes on launch night. Or you can just simply enjoy watching my fear effervesce as the 25th looms…

Below is a photo of my cat Sylvain, she died a few months ago and I miss her more than I can actually articulate. It sounds sad and strange, but I really regret that she won’t get to see the book published. Let’s never speak of this again as I’m crying as I write. Next time then.

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