So, as Donald Trump might put it, time for a round up.
Since last we met I have, with the tireless efforts of Rodge Glass, completed the edit of my third novel. I’m waiting for confirmation from Freight that the manuscript and new title are both acceptable. Once that happens you, dear reader, will be let into the secret.
I think I’ve written on here before about the euphoria and creative outburst that come with the completion of a novel. All other projects are put on hold while my brain is consumed with that one story but the last few months have been editing, reading, re-reading, proofreading, which are all important and intellectually interesting in their way but are far less satisfyingly creative than a blank piece of paper and the outline of a story in your head. In the down time while Rodge was reading my redrafts and in the time since he uttered those longed-for words: ‘yep, we’re done’, projects long frozen have been defrosted, new ideas have gushed into my brain and some new challenges presented themselves.
I wrote a review of Comma Press’s The Book of Tokyo for the Japan Times, which you can read here. I was a bit disappointed by it – it didn’t really do what it said on the tin – but some of the stories are excellent and any new translations of Japanese literature are cause for celebration.
Simon Sylvester, author of The Visitors and contributor to In The Empty Places, has self-published his second collection of flash fiction, Dare. There is a limited print run (100 I think but don’t quote me on that) so get in before they all disappear. You can buy through his site here.
Talking of In The Empty Places, there are only five copies left of the first edition. Featuring stories by writers like Kirsty Logan, Tendai Huchu, Anneliese Mackintosh and Toni Davidson and artwork by Monica Metsers and Tomi Müller, all the money raised goes to the Bantuan Coffee Foundation to pay for safe houses and education scholarships for the victims of child prostitution in Indonesia. You can buy it here.
One writer I really wanted for In The Empty Places was Kirstin Innes, but logistics got in the way. Her debut novel Fishnet is up for the Guardian’s Not The Booker prize so, if you have the time, please lend her your support here.
On a less serious note I have been writing sketches for a comedy podcast. I’ve long been a fan of The Bugle podcast featuring Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver. The latter’s recent success with Last Week, Tonight on HBO has effectively killed off the satirical podcast, so some like-minded fans got together and made our own podcast – The Buglr – to fill the hole. The first episode is live now and the second in pre-production as I write. Check it out here.
I hope to have some news soon about my first poetry collection, once details are confirmed. Watch this space.