06 April 2005

Much Faffing in the Study

I'm easily distracted at the moment.

I spent large amounts of yesterday and today doing web updates and forum posting in an attempt to bring Peculiar Lives to people's attention. So far there's not been an awful lot of interest, except for divided opinions here on the merits of the cover, and one reader complaining that his web-browser seemed to be broken.

Since I had to waste Sunday proving to the Government that I still know how to ride the scooter I use more or less every day, this week has been a bit of a waste of time so far as far as writing goes. This is annoying, as I'll be back at work a week today, and need to make the most of the time available.

What I'm trying to do at present is put together some proposals for Actual Proper Books Which Will, You Know, Be Available In Waterstones, as this seems to be the criterion by which my family, friends, in-laws and pretty much everybody else outside the fan community proposes to gauge my success in my chosen career. Getting an agent or publisher to show interest in any of these will constitute a sizeable challenge, of course, but I'm starting from a position of being already published (and by more than one publisher to boot), and not too ghettoised as yet by the whole spin-off series aspect of things. At least I hope so.

The plan is to send off proposals for a wholly original S.F. novel, a mainstream novel and something excitingly slipstreamy, to demonstrate my depth of thinking and breadth of talent. Ideally no more than one of these should feature each of the following:
  • historical characters and settings,
  • posthuman evolution,
  • God-machines,
  • Gods,
  • authors and academics as characters,
  • technologically duplicated characters,
  • flawed utopias,
  • dazzling cityscapes, or
  • lavish and gorgeously-worldbuilt settings in which virtually nothing happens.
According to Mark Gatiss, "Alan Bennett once said that we all have only a few beans in the tin to rattle", and these would appear so far to be the ones I've been given. I don't want to seem like any variety of monomaniac.

Of course, none of this careful planning avails me in the slightest if I don't manage to actually write anything. So I really need to knuckle down, stop checking my email and reading my favourite online forums, place Anno Dracula and Fortean Times firmly in another room, delete Hardball and Minehunt from my palmtop, and just get on with it.

Let's see, how am I doing?


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