Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Coming to a library or bar near you

And so I emerge, Legion of Fans (LOF), blinking in the unaccustomed glare of daylight, achingly straightening my back and flexing my tired fingers after the penultimate round of edits on my manuscript for the impressively-titled, 'Book 6'. One more run-through and that will be it.

Mrs Blog, Mother Blog and Mother-in-Law blog have all read it and given it the thumbs up, but the true test comes in a week or two when my incredibly talented, well-read, brainy, charming publisher, C, who happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to the young (alive) Grace Kelly returns from important business abroad and gets to read it.

This is always a time of mixed emotions for me, LOF - delicate, sensitive soul that I am. It's quite a nice sense of achievement to get to a stage in a manuscript where it's ready to be submitted (ie: to get rid of the bloody thing for a while); but it also marks the onset of long periods of nervousness, self-doubt, minor-league depression and bouts of moody introspection.

These somewhat dark emotions also usually coincide with my return to the land of the living and a resumption of my day job. My day job is writing stuff other than novels, for anyone who will pay me. Not having a major creative endeavour on the boil (ie an excuse not to do proper work) means that I have to get back to getting up early, putting on clothes, shaving, brushing my teeth and generally acting like a civilised human being.

But not this year.

No, LOF, I am hitting the hustings, pounding the pavements, riding the rails and clocking up those frequent flyer points for the next month or so on the inaugural Mr Blog SILENT PREDATOR promotional tour.

This brings more nerves and self doubt, though of a different kind to the symptoms I will inevitably suffer while I wait for attractive, witty, single C to deliver her verdict on Book 6 (don't you just love the catchy African title?).

Don't think I'm nervous about public speaking - far from it. I, LOF, could talk underwater about my favourite subjects (Africa, writing, me...). What remains slightly worrying, of course, is whether anyone will show up to listen to me.

If you're reading this and debating whether or not to attend your local library on a darkened night in the middle of winter to hear a virtual-unknown talk about Africa and himself let me say just two things to land you (since your are now wriggling on my virtual hook if you've got this far)...

1. Free booze, and

2. Luxury five-star all-expenses paid safari holiday to South Africa.

It's been my (limited) experience so far that talks by authors at libraries (even obscure writers like me) tend to be accompanied by free wine and nibblies. Budget a bit stressed this week? Buckling under the pressure of interest rate rises and ridiculous fuel prices? Well, get down to your local biblioteque and LOAD UP.

Re the luxury holiday - here's a tip for (cheapskate) young players. To enter the competition being run in conjunction with the Australian release of SILENT PREDATOR you need to read my book, but you don't, technically have to buy it. OK, skinflints, I would prefer you bought it, but if you borrow it from your local library you can still enter the competition.

I like libraries - particularly those that give me free alcohol and cheese and biscuits. The other reason I like them - and even you cheapster library junkies out there - is that the Australian Federal Government pays writers a royalty based on the estimated number of people who have borrowed their books. I won't say it's enough to retire on, but it's not to be sneezed at.

So, whether you're a battler or a silvertail (poor or rich for the foreigners among us), I hope to see you down at your local library or bookstore.

Remember, I have an African family that I sponsor (that's my Land Rover mechanic's family, by the way, who rely on me as their principal source of income) and I have a wife who would like to be the pampered, idle, bejewelled wife of a rich novellist. So, I need your attendance and I need you to get out your cash, plastic and library card.

Coming events...

To get the ball rolling if you live in Victoria you may wish to come and say hi to me at Wodonga Library at 11am on Tuesday, June 3. For residents of southern New South Wales you might prefer to report to Albury Library at 5.30pm on the same day.

Rest assured LOF that there are many more events on the horizon. (These are the only two I can remember off the top of my head as I don't have the full itinerary in front of me. I will post more once I get my act together. As a teaser, I will be in and around Melbourne and Brisbane from June 16-20 and in West Australia the following week. More to come.)


ali g said...

Having had the opportunity to read book 6's manuscript whilst fetching mother blog cups of tea which allowed me to hang about and snaffle pages as she finished with them must say that C [of whom we have had the pleasure of meeting and agree with your comparison of her with Miss Kelly] will hopefully be undoubtedly absolutely rapt as the new book is just brilliant, fast moving, action filled and in my humble opinion a masterpiece. ddddddddddddddddllllllllll'' that was Claude just did that..he thinks so too!

Herr Doktor said...

Just read "Silent Predator" over the weekend, great stuff! Can't wait for the next one...