THE WRITER’S LIFE
I’ve never really got the hang of Mondays, so I often use them as transitory days, to clear a few things out of the way before moving on to the next thing or week. This is one such Monday. Sometimes though, when every day is almost the same, any day can be Monday. Everything’s good, but for the constant nagging knowledge that there’s bad news on the way in the post, even when there isn’t any.
My latest book (Cyrus Song) is at a bit of a limbo stage, being as it’s only recently published. It’s sold a few copies and now I have to be as patient as I was with test readers, waiting for people to finish it. If they then feel moved to review the book, or even just talk about it, then others might read it too and do the same. I’m still confident the book will market itself, organically, with the odd bit of spam here and there from me. There was an early review on Amazon, from a test reader who read the final book as well:
I just finished this, after three days of solid reading. It is a very clever book.
I loved the central characters: The chemistry was one of the most complex and believable relationships I’ve seen in a long time, only mired slightly in our protagonist’s mind by the main supporting character: A reluctant marriage of convenience and amusing tension.
It’s a story which develops slowly, but with varied pace moving the narrative along. It was only part way in that I realised there are so many tributes to people, living and dead, in the many passing characters of the people and animals passing through Doctor Hannah Jones’ animal hospital. There are some fascinating animal and nature facts sprinkled through the book and told in a QI style: It’s informative.
This book is deep. It has sad moments but it’s funny. It ends in a way as original as the rest of the story: Somewhat unusual, not entirely unexpected and very satisfying. It’s a book which doesn’t take itself, nor life, the universe and everything, too seriously.
It’s an engrossing and entertaining read. And a special mention must go to Charles (the rabbit) and Captain Mamba. (5/5 stars).
I also got an email from someone else who’s just finished the book, including this:
Even at microscopic size, Captain Mamba is the most irritable, sarcastic, venomous anti-hero I’ve ever fallen in love with.
I am proud of that character. I’m proud of the whole book but as characters go, Captain Mamba certainly is one. Just as Douglas Adams wrote a companion story to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Young Zaphod Plays it Safe), I may do the same with my captain. Certainly, there will be a sequel novel, if the first one does well enough.
Meanwhile, I’ve started plotting and researching my next book, Quietly Through the Garden of England (on the Book shelf page of this blog). It’s taking the shape of a part-fiction / part-fact (‘factional’?) local history book: Two characters, based on real people, moving through historical settings, each with their own stories and with lots of factual information therein. And all tied up into a ‘story’, only insomuch as the book has a narrator to guide visitors through that story: Me, the writer.
There was a rather nice review posted just recently on Amazon, for The Perpetuity of Memory. My anthology already had one five star review, which are always nice to receive. But to get a four star review from someone who clearly knows their subject, is just as gratifying, especially when I’m compared to peers whom I admire:
… endings (perhaps it’s a genre/age/technology thing) but I have enjoyed the writing style very much.
I cannot pretend to understand all the endings (perhaps it’s a genre/age/technology thing) but I have enjoyed the writing style very much. Do I detect the influence of H.P Lovecraft, Kafka, Stephen King and of course…Edgar Allen Poe? Would certainly recommend ‘The Perpetuity of Memory’. Steve Laker is a writer to watch out for. (4/5 stars).
I’m four stories (of 17) into writing my second collection of shorts, more of which should start appearing soon while I work on the next book in the background. So that’s this week sorted, and probably every week between now and Christmas.
Every day is good. It’s been like that since I was first brave enough to call myself a writer. But depression and anxiety make other days feel like Monday. And every Monday, I have to get the hang of it all over again.