Last night I went to Paperchase, and, rather than wandering around lusting over their stationary and stroking beautiful embroidered notebooks, I walked in, picked up what I needed, paid, and left. You could even accuse me of shopping like a man, but the truth of the matter is I had already seen what I wanted and was just returning with my lovely 20% off voucher from Red magazine. I was buying a cover for my fabulous new Kindle.
Yes, it is true. I have gone over to the digital side. Whilst I will no doubt still be reading “proper” books, I just know that it is going to revolutionise my commute – and save my back in the process. So far I’ve just downloaded Wuthering Heights, but already have a wish list of other potential reads. And, yesterday, a friend told me how I can load my own writing onto it – and see my words in print. Sweet...
Which brings me on to a little bit of novel news. I have officially been rejected by 6 publishers. To be fair (or rather to make me feel a bit better about it all), one of them is no longer accepting submissions directly from writers, and two took the time to tell me how much they liked my work, but sadly it was not for them. The other three didn’t say a lot – in fact, one of them was a self-confessed standard issue blurb and another had got my address completely wrong on the top of the letter. Thank God I sent in an SAE. But, I have not given up hope. I shall now move on to plan B (get an agent) before doing an E.L. James and publishing on-line as my first step to world domination.
Which leads me on to a confession. I’ve have just finished listening to an audiobook version of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve been listening to it on and off since the end of August – which I guess will give you an idea of how much I enjoyed it. No disrespect to the author – fair play to her, she’s done rather well for herself – but I’ve never read (or listened) to a book so full of clichés and in such desperate need for a thorough going over with a thesaurus. Not to mention the fact that the main character has got to be one of the most irritating people ever to grace a page – and Mr Grey does for S&M what Jimmy Saville has done for the BBC. Don’t get me wrong, as far as I am concerned people should be able to get their sexual kicks however they want – as long as all involved are in agreement and happy to do so. This does not include enforcing what your partner eats, what she wears and how often she exercises. And it certainly doesn’t mean hitting her with a belt when she clearly doesn’t want you too.
Anyway, feminist rant over. Let’s move on – to Mr Bill Bryson. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill at a friend’s graduation ceremony at Durham University – and I’ve just finished reading his book Troublesome Words. I recommend this to anyone who writes and certainly to all you grammar geeks out there. Not only is it a really useful reference, it is also a very amusing read. Ms James would certainly benefit from it (although I don’t think Bill covers her constant misuse of the word “unconscious”). Having said that, I’d also love my mate Bill to read her first novel and write his own critique...
So, there you have it. I have a Kindle, I’ve not got a publisher and I’ve just read two books at opposite ends of the spectrum. In short, I’ve been taking the literary rough with the smooth – and learning quite a bit in the process. Long may it continue.
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...