“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Normal Service Will Probably Not Be Resumed
I’m very wary of the rewrite, because at the moment I’m thinking that it won’t take a lot of work, more of a spit-and-polish job, and whenever I find myself thinking that way I tend to be very disappointed indeed, and up to my oxters in pulling the story apart and stapling it back together again. So there’s that.
The whole new book, of course, is a terrifying prospect. It’s at times like this that I find myself glancing to the right of the desk, where a little shelf holds my previously published novels, and telling myself, ‘Well, you’ve obviously managed to write a book before. Just do what you did the last time.’ Except you forget what you did the last time. I think it’s a similar process to how the body has no physical memory of pain. Or maybe it’s because no two books are written the same way. It might help my case if I was writing a similar kind of book to the last one, or the one before that, but this book is something new for me (it’s a spy novel, of sorts). Matters aren’t helped by the fact that I haven’t written any fiction for about six months, so it feels like I’m emerging from hibernation - sluggish, stiff, yawning. And on top of all that, I have an either-or decision to make about the main character which will have huge ramifications on how the story is told, and I’m reluctant to dive into telling it in case I realise, 30,000 words later, that the other option would have been the better choice.
And yes, I do appreciate how much that all sounds like procrastination. But due to other commitments, it does look like this new book will have to be written between the hours of 5am and 7am, as was the last, and I really don’t know if I have the physical stamina for that kind of regime.
The flip side to that, of course, is that if I don’t do some proper writing in the very near future, I’ll end up a basket case and an absolute bear to live with. And that ain’t good, either.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at, and why the service has been so slack. I’m off for most of this week, travelling to do the IWC Peregrine Readings in Waterford and Cork, but hopefully things will return to normal when I get back. If you don’t hear from me, just presume that I finally made that crucial decision and started the new book, and that the writing is going incredibly well. Or that I finally tumbled into the Pit of Despair. Bonne chance, mes braves …