I’ve been a bit quiet of late on here, but of course I’ve been busy away from this blog…because I’ve been writing NORTH OF PORTER, another future weird YA classic. I had a meeting with the fabulous folks of Strident last week, and it went really well. They love the book, which is good, because if they didn’t I’d be gutted, weeping tears of woe into my cup of Muffin Break tea. I really love the book too. It’s a story of a boy who takes on the forces of evil armed only with his sharp wit…and his expensive designer handbag. No, seriously, that is the actual concept.
Designer handbags, punk rock, Catcher In The Rye, The X-Files, the time I watched my drunk sister chase her boyfriend down the street naked with a rolling pin, Bratmobile, DONNA NOBLE, Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Ricki Lake Show, Weird Science, Doctor Who, and pop art.
What I Got Up To
I also attended the launches of Bloody Scotland (this year has the best line-up of any year so far) and the Edinburgh Book Festival. I went to the EIBF lauch with Alex Nye, my fabulous friend who is also the author of some really brillant ghost stories, and unlike the launch of the EIBF Schools Programme…we didn’t lock ourselves out of the actual venue. That was mortifying! Everyone turning around and seeing us pressed against the window trying to get back inside the building! Let me tell you that this launch had proper canapes, which were definitely NOT from the local branch of Iceland. I met up with some authors pals like Keith Gray (he’s still working on his new novel, and if you’ve read Ostrich Boys, you’ll know that genius cannot be rushed) and I also found Linda Strachan. I was dressed in my brightly coloured 80s ghetto fabulous shirt and X-Men sunglasses. Alex is working on her new book, her first in a few years, for Fledgling Press. DARKER ENDS will of course be as brilliant as Chill and Shiver.
I don’t tend to talk about these things in public but last week was the first anniversary of my sister’s death. Isn’t it remarkable how fast time flies? The actual day itself was quiet, which was nice, and I let off some balloons for my sister, in her honour, and they twinkled in the clouds as they floated away until, until, until…
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I wrote ENDLESS EMPRESS in the midst of that confusion and horror, which reflects in the actual book itself. I didn’t realise that though, not at the time. In fact I was told that I’d won the Catalyst Book Award the day after she died. So I re-read ENDLESS EMPRESS a few weeks ago and though I love it passionately and I’m very proud of it, in reality it’s a strange form of therapy. I often wonder if writers subconsciously deal with things in their lives through their work, and though I would probably disagree and say that isn’t the case, it IS something I find very interesting.
I will be updating the NORTH OF PORTER page this week but until then, here are a few quotes from the book. The summer of the alien is almost upon us…
- “This place looks like a warzone, only it lost the war.”
- Porter was six years old when he took his first nervous breakdown, though he refuses to this day to call it a breakdown, preferring the term Existential Crisis.
- “I look like a debt collector when I wear uniform, any uniform whatsoever.”
- “Please miss, someone stole my Dolce & Gabbana bag!”
- “Don’t be square,” she sang, “be floppy!”
The cover art for NORTH OF PORTER is being worked on as we speak and – oooh how exciting – CONJURING THE INFINITE is getting a new cover as well, to bring it in line with the other books. They’re being created by Ida Henrich, who is wonderful and didn’t burn down the Glasgow School of Art.
I have to go and finish off some rewrites I have for something I’m working on right now, but I’ll return very soon.