This is my sixth book and the excitement never lessens. If anything it increases with each book as the anxiety about “what comes next” decreases with experience. Not that there’s no anxiety, just that it’s tempered with understanding.
The cover was designed by Paul Docherty, one of the founders of Liminal Ink, and I absolutely love it. Simple lines, colours that stand out, one image capturing multiple meanings from the novella. I’ve been blessed in my career with cover designers who just get the book. As very non-visual artist, I tend to have no idea what I want in a cover other than a few strong disinclinations (I know it’s set in Japan but please, no cherry blossoms, no samurai, no geisha) and I know some writers have had hideous covers foisted upon them (the writer generally has no say in the process) but so far I’ve loved every single one.
We also have do gorgeous, generous quotes from two writers I admire greatly, Kirstin Innes and J. David Simons.
Kirstin, the author of Scabby Queen and Fishnet (another Freight survivor) said: “A beautiful, brutal meditation on love and death and the death of love. With these two compelling, tense, gorgeously-drawn and perfectly-paced character accounts, giving each side of an unhappy marriage, Iain Maloney has come into his own as a writer. From a Japanese mountainside, to the forced bonhomie between ex-pats in an Irish bar, to the angry intensity of feminist teenage punks in Tokyo in the late 80s, this seemingly slight novella travels worlds and light years in a few thousand words. Eri and Cormac, and all the things they say and leave unsaid, will stay with you for a long time.”
While David, whose brilliant novel The Responsibility of Love is coming out very soon said: “Maloney hits his stride here as he explores the tensions in a bicultural relationship straining under marital irritations and life’s disappointments, all while the tedium of the pandemic presses down on them like a long-suffering migraine. Follow Maloney’s experienced and knowing eye as he takes his readers back into a world that other writers about Japan don’t normally frequent – that of punk-rock Tokyo in the late 1980s – where drugged-up young women with electric blue hair and yellow Gibson guitars rant and rage against the system. A raw yet compassionate take on a couple trying to deal with their fears and frustrations, both with themselves and with each other, in the time of Covid.”
Which is just lovely of them both.
The first review has also dropped thanks to Metropolis Magazine in Tokyo. It always feels like an enormous weight has been lifted when the first review comes out and it’s a good one – and this is a good one. “Rashonomonian” is as good a description as I could have hoped for.
The book will be out on September 16th. You can either pre-order it from the publisher here or (and I’d love it if you did this) go into your local indie bookstore and order it there. Liminal Ink are a new small press and distribution is tricky in a crowded marketplace. If you go to your local indie and order it, it puts us on their radar, it gives them some money, and while they’re ordering your copy, they might add a couple more for their shelves while they’re at it. No one loses out apart from Jeff Bezos and one private rocket is one private rocket too many.