Well the new book, ‘For all is Vanity’ is out. Available on kindle and if not already, in the next few days on paperback. What could be finer?
I talked about where it was heading a few posts ago and it pretty much got there. My son asked what it was about.
“It’s about someone going off the deep end.”
“All your books are about someone going off the deep end.”
Maybe so, but this one’s about someone really going off the deep end. Starting with the premise suppose you lost everything, or more importantly, everyone you loved, how would that feel? How would you react? I basically wanted to get in someone’s head as he disintegrates and the best way to do that seemed to be a diary. What could be more intimate? Then, as he loses touch with reality, doesn’t know what’s real anymore, I switched format to a novel, i.e fiction, but with diary excerpts to maintain the intimacy. I also experimented with first, second and third person narrative, to add to the madness. The voices / characters in his head just evolved. I don’t plan anything. I’m in the wing it and see where it goes camp. At one point I thought about booking into a hotel for a fortnight and writing nonstop in full on wasted insomnia mode. Maybe once upon a time, but from the feedback I’ve had, my imagination and memory seem to have been enough.
Thankfully I seem to have achieved what I set out to do and had great feedback too. Cally Philips did a wonderful piece on it in her blog. Her phrase “A profound and profoundly disturbing book”, as well as being a great ad sound bite, summed up exactly what I wanted the book to be. You can read the whole thing here if you’re interested.
As I mentioned on a previous post, I didn’t expect anyone to like it as it is very dark. Turns out a lot of people like dark, so I also learned I know fuck all about what people like. It’s also reinforced my conviction that you write the book you feel compelled to write, because at the end of the day…see previous point.
Anyway I don’t want to bang on about my book forever. Makes me feel like a Jehovah’s Witness. If you are a Jehovah’s Witness you’re lost, and I sleep late on a Sunday morning. Anyhow, if you fancy it, you’ll get it here.
About six months ago I bumped into an old mate I hadn’t seen for years. Appropriately it was at a jam, as that is how I remember him best back in the day. A guitar in one hand a bottle of wine in the other and the stones on all our lips. Some things never change. It was great, and as always the wee man made a big impression. So much so that a couple of days later I wrote a short story inspired by the day. If you missed it first time round catch it here:
I met up with him again over the Xmas holidays at the Magic Roundabout Social Club in Bellshill. He’d heard about the story and to my relief loved it. He also told me he had a hundred stories he could tell me. A lot of people boast about ‘Ah the stories I could tell.’ In Gary’s case you knew he had more than a hundred, they would be better than anything I could make up…And they’d all be true. Sadly I’ll never get to chance to hear them as Wee Gary passed away today (15/4). The word legend is tossed around like confetti these days, but in Bellshill he certainly was that. I can just here Lemmy saying to him “For fuck sake Wee man, take it easy.”
Many in Bellshill who knew him better than me will be feeling it. Sad day. Great memories.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFIN – MARK WILSON
The latest offering from the most prolific writer on the indie scene isn’t a typical Mark Wilson book. But since there’s no such thing maybe it is. This is Wilson at his most experimental, pushing himself as a writer but most importantly taking the writer along too.
At its heart it’s the story of one man’s life, but quickly you realise that there’s no such thing. The narrative shifts between those who share his story, family and friends who’s own lives are profoundly affected by Wullies decisions, mistakes and failings. It’s a book of love, pain, forgiveness and redemption. An exploration of the human condition told in an intriguing way as Wilson plays with time, and first, second, third person narrative.
For me it’s Wilson’s most rewarding read yet.
SNAKE FARM – GARETH SPARK
Gareth Spark has a real talent for writing evocative, cinematic noir. I first came across him in the 12 mad men anthology and for me his piece ‘The wild hunt’, was the standout. It’s included here too.
Gritty and stripped down like Springsteen’s Nebraska come to England, each story is unique and original. A refreshing voice in the genre. Highly recommended.