Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A Muchos Rock and Roll Wetherspoons Book Signing - Beer and Books. How Mint Is Me?

So, another book thingyjabob...

Back in the saddle after the Sunda Apathy session, and - to an extent - back on home turf.

The pub.

Yup. That's right.

I admit, it's odd. Yes - the opportunities for disaster are huuuuuuuuuje. But, ya knaa, at least this time if it goes wrong I can have a pint.

So, if anyone fancies buying a book/having one signed/buying me a pint/having me sign a pint and happen to be in the area:

Wetherspoons, Consett, CO. Durham.

6 - 8pm on the 1st April.

And no... It's not a joke.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Getting Beaten About The Head With A Real(ity)ly Big Stick And Not Even My "Award Winning" Sales Pitch Can Save Me

I am working on the basis that quantity equals quality here, at least as far as my post titles go. It is quite possible that I will be wrong. In fact, it's almost a given that I will be wrong, but I'm going with it anyway because it amuses me. I am also maintaining my "traditional" pre-post waffle, and, as it's lunchtime, a waffle would be much appreciated. A potato one, obviously, with beans. Maybe a fried egg or two. Some bacon.... A Cup of Coffee...

But, healthy eating aside a waffle is what you're getting while I try to figure out exactly why I'm in need of such comfort food.

Nothing has happened that I did not expect. At all. In fact, like all those proper writers I spend my time reading about, the weekend was - probably - perfectly normal. And also, I have to remind myself that people would kill (have killed, some of them. Actually, really) to be a published author and that I am very lucky. Very lucky. I am sure that many (well, some) people will have read my book now and thought "Yeah that's ok, I could do that." And they'd be right. Like I said. I am very lucky.

Or jammy - as my Gran would say. A Jammy Bastard to be precise. Bit like a dodger, but obviously not as tasty.

But, yeah, the weekend.

On Saturday I got a review. It wasn't a bad review, but it wasn't great. It's over there, on the right. Up a bit. Yeah - the Isolationist one.

It is a perfectly reasonable review, some good points, some not so good but well balanced and, I admit wholly fair. Now, this is the first review I've had that isn't a good one. Obviously this was bound to happen. I know I'm not a pioneering writer, nor am I a particularly literary writer. I write slightly odd stuff which I find entertaining. Or creepy. One of the two.

Ok, so, I didn't really agree with some points, I felt there was more happening in the book than it was given credit for, but - if the reader doesn't see these things then really, there is no one to blame but me. The reviewer didn't get me the way I wanted to be got, so to speak, but why should they? They see what they see, if they miss stuff then it's my fault for not presenting it better.

I was not annoyed with the review. At all. Honest. The review was perfectly reasonable, as I said. I was annoyed instead with my reaction to the review. I was annoyed that I couldn't just shrug it off.

And then the Lazy Sunday happened. Or at least Sunday happened. It was, well, a disaster? No, not really, no one was killed or maimed or robbed or starved to death in the queue at Starbucks, no child got scolded or bruised or lost.

It was just that no one. And I mean no one, was listening.

Had I possessed the sheer stubborn bravery of Sarah Shaw and actually stood up, as she did, and read to a crowded room full of people not even pretending to be interested I might have felt better.

She sat to tumultuous apathy from the surrounding tables. I waved my book in the air. Yelled out my best sales pitch:

"S'got Lesbian Nurses in..."

Nothing, not a flicker of interest.

"And a Zombie..."

The queue at the counter counted out the brownies.

"Premature ejaculation... Anyone?"

A nervous blush from the guy in the corner. Otherwise... Nothing.

I suppose this is one of those things. I've heard other writers telling these stories, of turning up and being the only one there and such like. I had been expecting it. I knew that rapt attention was unlikely.

But still.

It was, surprisingly, painful.

Luckily me and Vix had been Disco Kettling. Between the two of them I was ok. I'll be honest though, it was more Vix than DK. He was too busy dancing...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Lazy Sunday (Sorry DJ, but I didn't name it... I mean, I named the post, but not the event. Which, obviously, is Lazy Sunday)

Ah long waffling titles. Always fun. I like a title you could use to beat people with, and that one would be quite heavy I reckon, and sharp too with all those commas and parenthesises.

Anyway, the Event.

Note: Not MY Event. The Event. Cos it's not just me. Oh no. It's a foursome. So to speak. I mean, you know, they're all very attractive types but I don't think my PR guru would approve. Besides it would all be a bit public. And probly enough to put you off your Starbucks...

(one seamless link later...)

Starbucks, Borders Team Valley: Lazy Sunday.

"Tonto's Lazy Sunday
1:00 pm, Sun 29th March 2009

The fantastic four of Sarah Shaw, Roz Wyllie, Stephen Shieber and Nik Jones- otherwise known as the Tonto Press stable of fiction authors- will be in-store at Gateshead signing books and talking about their experiences as new authors. Come and join them for a coffee in Starbucks, pull up and seat and enjoy a lazy Sunday of an event."

I am, obviously, loving the "fantastic four" bit - I reckon I'd be a good human torch... Well, no actually, I think the Invisible Girl would be better for me actually, but I'm being positive and confident. As long as I'm not The Thing then I'll be happy...

So. Fancy a coffee and cake? Bit of a chat? Want to laugh at me having been up all night watching the Grand Prix?

C'mon... You know you want too...

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Putting Myself About A Bit

"Ah ha!" I hear you cry. "I know what's coming, a pretendy whinge about self promotion." And you will be shaking your head and thinking "He loves it. Who wouldn't?"

And you're mostly right.

It is about self promotion. But it's not a whinge.

Promotion terrifies me. Still. Always. But I'm getting better* at it. I'm having training and everything.

And I'm branching out a little bit. And I'm inviting other people to come play too (more later, once I'm organised.)

But mostly, and most importantly, back to the self promotion. Cos, see, I've done - and am still doing - bookshoppy type stuff. Borders are being really very nice to me and letting me wander about thrusting copies of me book into unwilling hands, plus putting me on the 3 for 2 piles. Oh yes - buy two proper authors, get me for free! etc etc... Only, you know, I've never approached an author who is at a signing table. Ever. It's a very British thing that - if you talk to them you have to buy the book. It's only polite. So I'm trying something new...

I'm doing a Wetherspoons signing.

Oh yes.

A Bar.

With drinks.

And me.

With books.

Wetherspoons are even offering a free coffee to everyone who buys a book. 9987, a coffee and a comfy chair in a pub. What more could you want? I mean really?

Plus I have a "Lazy Sunday" coming up soon with Sarah Shaw, Rosalind Wyllie and Stephen Shieber. Also with coffee, in the Starbucks at Team Valley on the last Sunday of March. It'll be worth it, Starbucks do nice cake...

And finally, for those of you, like DJ, with nothing better to do try clicking here and scrolling down ever so slightly...

Gotta love those boys at Byker Books, they're proper mint. How.

*Have not recently danced/fallen over in public. But continue to accidentally say "chuffed to bits" when asked my opinion. On anything...

Monday, 16 March 2009

In Which I Originally Forget To Title My Post

Monday again, this I'm sure you know.

But fear not oh you peeps you - I'm down with the kids me... Very hip. Daddio - I'm not having a Monday morning whinge today.

For reasons that make-a no sense I'm in a stranglely positive mood today. Maybe it's simply time the pendulous weighting of mood lifted, maybe my head juices are simply acknowledging it's about time they squeltched. I dunno. And I don't care. I'm just going with it.

Course, I say that, but I've been running through the weekend trying to pin point a reason for this. But I can't. I know there doesn't have to be one, my moods do this, a week or so waaaaaaaaaaaay down there then a climb then a few days, like now, where I am, truely and indisputably, mint. How. And, possibly, a little commacrazy...


I've been writing. Sort of. Which could account for my mood. Not proper writing you understand, more writing about my writing type stuff. Another Uni assignment due in, more thoughts on my ability, or not, to scribble down a series of mostly cohertent sentences.

And I did it wearing my Magic Dressing Gown and with Disco Kettle Fzzzting nicely nearby. And, best of all, the lovely Vix Fzzzting just as nicely on the settee next to me.

I've discovered that this writing about writing thing, other than being a bit self indulgent and slightly dirty feeling, is actually helping me to focus.

I had to write a quick (200 word quick) synopsis of My New Novel. Which wa sa bit of a bastard actually. But. Having done that (ish) I've discovered a few things I hadn't realized.

Firstly it appears that I have at least two stroylines wrapping themselve about each other and doing the naughties between chapters. This is.. well... It's a bit unexpected, but I'll go with it, see where they end up.

Secondly it is also becoming apparent that I seem to be dealing with contempory issues (sort of) rather than dealing in cheap sex jokes and twistedness. Which makes an interesting change. And I'm not sure how to deal with it now, except to ignore it, continue on with writing it the way I was and to see how it comes out. See if the colour runs in the wash.

Lastly and most bizarrely it appears that the main character in my crime novel is stil not, actually, doing any investigating... Now I know what you're thinking. 30,000 words in and he's spoken one line, and investigated... well... nowt. This is a bad thing.

But I'm not so sure...

We'll see.

Anyway. Classes arrving, coffee alarm is ringing and at some point I need to plan todays lessons...

Monday, 9 March 2009

Preperation # 2

Clunk clunk clunk


Gurgle gurgle gurgle wheeeeeze




Drip drip drip

"Is it clean enough you think?"


"True, but the magic..."


"Well, you don't think it's washed out do you?"



(Getting stuff ready...)

Thursday, 5 March 2009











(S'almost time to start up properly again...)

Monday, 2 March 2009

ReLaunchyness and The Spreading Of My Fame

Right, sorry, bit short notice this - but is anyone free on Tuesday (that's tomorrow, yes) and happen to be in the general North East area?

Only I'm getting Relaunched see.

Not that the last one wasn't wonderful, it was, as they say "most properly and prosperously mint, how".

I can only assume it was the blatent mintyness of the last one which has so inspired this.

Borders Team Valley is hosting a Murder March month, a month celebrating crime writing. Not a month encouraging killing sprees, at least, not as far as I know. I'm not saying there may not be an alternative message which could run through procedings, but for my part, I'll be concentrating on the fiction.

Oh, and the wine. Which has been promised me. Stu. Wine. You promised...

Anyway, the Relaunch:

Borders love me soooooo much they want me to come and launch 9987 all over again, with my geet talented actor, and wine, and coffee in the Team Valley store. Tomorrow. If you fancy it.

Tonight Borders plays host to "Shelia Quigley and to Bykerbooks, a local publisher who are set to release the second RADGEPACKETS collection of short stories in February. Including stories by Roz Southey, Ray Banks, Danny King, Darrell Irving and of course Sheila herself."

And tomrrow:

"The second Murder March night will be devoted to the launch of Nik Jones' fantastic debut novel 9987, as well as Sandra Rowell's Orange-nominated novella MICHAEL. Nik and Sandra, both local authors, will be in-store signing copies of their books as well as talking about their experiences as new crime authors."

See that? Pretty cool eh?

I'm afraid I won't be able to bring DK though. The event is in the Starbucks you see... I don't think he'd cope withthe pressure. Besides, we had a nasty and fairly messy 'incident' with a self heating Nescafe can the other day... It's not safe for him to be out and about at the moment....