Thursday, March 18, 2010

Falling trees

Do you think it’s unreasonable to want people to buy a book but not actually read it? I don’t think it’s too much to ask but my publishers just can’t get on board on this one. Simon & Schuster seem adamant that people reading the book is pretty much a mandatory part of the author-reader dynamic.

I’ve got to say that they are being unnecessarily difficult in this regard. I don’t see why people can’t just buy Random (available in all good bookshops from April 1) then leave it in a prominent place on their bookshelves with a mental note to read it one day because it is probably really good.

They could also tell their friends about it, on the understanding, of course, that they wouldn’t read it either. I’m thinking of it as a “must buy” book rather than a “must read”. It could be a whole new genre. Like trees falling in the forest without making a sound or whisky being bought by collectors who will never drink it.

Or else maybe I could just limit it to friends who could be trusted to say nice things about it even if they aren’t true. Hm, not sure my publishers would be happy with that option. And come to think of it, most of my friends will tell me if they think it is crap. That’s it settled, they aren’t getting to read it either.

As if things weren’t bad enough, I’ve now got to get out from behind my keyboard and go into the real world to meet real people. I’ve been told that there are five book signings lined up for the middle of April at various Waterstones stores. With my luck, some of those that the books are being signed for will want to read the thing. Can’t they just look at the signature? Some people are never happy.

Cold feet? Who, me? Nooooo.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First Things First

An introduction and an explanation.
My name is Craig Robertson and I am, variously, a journalist, a writer, a traveller, a drinker and a plumber. As of April 1, it seems I can add “author” to this list although until that actually happens then I am still working on the basis that this is all some kind of cruel trick. If my publishers jump out from behind the settee on the day after March 31, screaming “April Fool” then someone’s going to get a slap.
If it doesn’t turn out to have been some elaborate hoax then my first, and perhaps only, novel is due to be out soon and I’m a bit excited. It’s called Random but then if you are reading this then you probably already know that. This blog will detail the unfolding delights/horrors of that debut novel as well as the trials and tribulations of the difficult second book. The follow-up is called Snapshot and has to be completed by June 30. That is a date which is suddenly a whole lot closer than I’d like and I’m around 40,000 words short of finishing so be prepared to read quite a lot of panic between now and then.
Random is a serial killer thriller set in Glasgow and has already been described as “not for the faint hearted”, “this will repulse and sicken some people” and – my personal favourite – “this is the first time in all my years of reading that something has left me feeling actually physically sick”. I am probably prouder of that than I should be.
Those kind words will give some indication of the use of the word Blood in the title of this blog. The reason for the word Irony might also become apparent.
To be fair (to me) other reviewers have written nice things about Random without reference to sickening acts of violence and psychological disturbia. Come on, there are some jokes in there as well and the thing with the screwdriver wasn’t that bad really.
Snapshot is, or hopefully will be, another Glasgow-based thriller with its fair share of dead bodies and there will be more of that in the months to come. Either that or there will be a display of random letters as I batter my head against the keyboard. In the unlikely event that things go to plan, it will be out in April 2011 and will also be published by the wonderful people at Simon & Schuster.
Apart from ramblings about books past, present and future, and all that surrounds it, this blog will also contain thoughts on black pudding, plumbing, whisky and other stuff. That other stuff will almost certainly include politics, sport, beetroot and the blood spatter created by a Heckler and Koch G3A3 from a distance of 400 metres.
The blog exists to allow me to fill in the gaps between writing and the day job and to provide a bit more information in the off chance that someone has read Random and wants to know a bit more. It is a shameless attempt at self-promotion and a desperate effort to sell more books. You can’t blame a man for trying.