Wheels

I can’t remember the last time I was interviewed, I think it must have been when Phill and I were at 6 Music, someone came in to ask us why we were both Apple devotees or when we did an outside broadcast at a student radio station somewhere. It’s fuzzy and I imagine we did our usual thing; made seventeen different in-jokes until the interviewer got glassy eyed and sort of gave up on us. Quite rightly too. We’ll never be half as funny as we think we are when we’re showing off and we used to show off a lot. Anyway, the Booktrust gave the novel a very nice review (http://www.booktrust.org.uk/show/book/search/Cross-Country-Murder-Song) and then they asked if they could interview me. I said yes. Very nice it was too and they bought me a Marmite (I haven’t eaten Marmite since my cat died, long story) bagel and numerous coffees and asked me some pretty engaging questions, including what music I listened to when I wrote. I wasn’t even sure myself, but it’s Bill Evans in the main, some Herbie Hancock too, I can’t listen to lyrics when I write fiction, though I can when I’m working on my journalism, weirdly. I can’t read fiction when I’m writing fiction either (I’m inbred, what can I tell you?) so I’m currently reading The Journals Of John Cheever. His home life can best be described as complex. Like a Gordian Knot is complex. Its good though, what a brilliant voice he was.

Post-interview I had a date with Random House and booksellers from all over the country who were sizing up the autumn release schedules like a stag party appraising a stripper. I’m not on the schedule, the Vintage edition of CCMS will be with you in February 2011 – like you care. It was good to see everyone though, I scared Tom the editorial assistant by telling him that I’d had a dream about him, I think he actually took a step backwards at the news and all the authors present sized each other up with sideways glances and barely concealed contempt. I took solace in the fact that the wine was free and that if we all ended up in prison I would almost certainly be the Daddy in a roomful of men who looked like substitute teachers. Hell, some of them might even be substitute teachers. It’s such a solitary existence writing that you think we’d make more of a night out on Random House’s coin, but I left early and I certainly wasn’t the first out of the door. It was good to see Dan, Vicki and Clara though (Team Wilding as I call them in my head, if I said it out loud they’d lynch me), the last time we were in a room together was at my launch party and the less said about that the better.

Otherwise, it’s been the usual mix of interviews (me doing the interviews not the other way around), a birthday and a very boozy weekend in Brighton where we took on the whiskey list at the Great Eastern pub and lost quite convincingly. Musically, I’ve rediscovered Chris Cornell’s excellent Euphoria Morning album  – I’ve been writing about him – and tipping my hat to Big Star after the sad news of Alex Chilton’s untimely death. Hell, when is death ever timely? The new Jesse Malins album has a lot of heart (and some very good songs too) as does the Coheed album. And we’re thinking about buying a dog, I’ll need the company when Book 2 breaks my heart like a cheap vase. I want to call him Thursday, Nuala’s less keen… More on that sooner than I’d probably like.

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