Wednesday, 24 April 2013

An incident that occurred in my shed this morning...

I record here verbatim an incident that occurred this morning as I was settling down to write.

My book: Back off, will you?
Me: Er, sorry, what..?
My book: I think you heard.
Me: Well, yes. Actually I did. And since you bring it up, I've been meaning, that is, I've been wanting to, er, have a word with you.
My book: A word?
Me: Yes.
Me: Look, it's always difficult to say this kind of thing. But we've been together long enough now and we ought to be able to speak freely. You know, we've got a deadline coming up, and...
Me: So, the thing is, I was just wondering, whether, I mean, that is I want to ask you if you could be a little bit less...tough. There, I've said it.
My book: Tough?
Me: Yes.
My book: Tough??
Me: Well, er, yes.
My book: What the xxxx do you mean by that?
Me: Now listen, I'm sure there's no need for that kind of language.
My book: Oh, you're sure about that, are you?
Me: I'd just be grateful if you could be a bit easier.
My book: Easier? Easier? You think this is easy?
Me: No, I don't! That's the point; it's hard enough as it is without you being really difficult.
My book: Difficult?
Me: Yes, difficult. To write.
My book: Oh here we go...
Me: You're just making things very hard.
My book: Yeah? Well it would help if you weren't such a pussy.
Me: I beg your pardon?
My book: You going deaf, or something? You are such a loser.
Me: Now just you...
My book: No! Don't do that to me. That's what you always do, isn't it? Always with the whining and the complaints. Why don't you just stop being so pathetic all the time, huh? Show some goddamn determination or something! Some backbone. Jeez! All I ever hear is "it's so hard" and "no one understands". Well try sitting here all day and listening to you bleating on. THAT'S hard, believe me, that's really hard. If writing me is so xxxxxxx hard then why don't you go and get a proper job?!
Me: A proper job.
My book: Yeah, like delivering the mail, or working the rigs. Or welding.
Me: Welding?
My book: Anything, just stop being so puny.
Me: Oh I see. You think I'm weak.
My book: Oh he sees. Oh he gets it. The light goddamn dawns. Well thank xxx for that. Yes! I think you're a xxxxxxxx xxxxx. I think you ought to just xxxx your xxxx and xxxx the xxx. See?
Me: Now just you stop that.
My book: Or you'll what? You gonna teach me a lesson, izzat it? Show me who's boss? You gonna take me out back and pop a cap in me? You gonna nail my xxx? Haw, haw, you make me wanna xxxx. You really do. You're nothing but a xxx. A xxxxxxx waste of a xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxx. I oughta xxxx your xxxx you xxx before I xxxxxxx xx xxxx and then xxx you xxxxx. Xxxx!

At that point I hit the delete key. But he knows as well as I do that I'll come crawling back. There's still that deadline, and he's still there, waiting for me, in the trash.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


Here's a blog that's short on words but with lots of pictures.

Ever since I started writing books I have always made some kind of diagram or map to help me do it. Writing a book is hard and I do everything I can to make it easier. Making maps is just one of those things.

I've kept them all and thought I'd post a few here. They are all slightly different, because every book is, but however they look, they help me get my thoughts straight before and during the time that I put fingertips to the keyboard.

I've posted them here in reverse order - newer books first...

These are various maps for a version of a book that I aborted several times. The book's finally coming out this October in the UK, and is now called She Is Not Invisible.
The simple map for Midwinterblood. That's raspberry juice at the bottom,  by the way :-)
The map for White Crow - note the working title; titles often change.
This is the map for Revolver, literally, for once, a map.
The three-pager for My Swordhand Is Singing
This is the first of three versions of a map for The Book of Dead Days

This is the third of three maps used for The Book of Dead Days

This is a sketch I did of 'The City' for The Book of Dead Days; I don't always do sketches but they sometimes help to bring the place to life in my head.

A couple of maps for Witch Hill
And a sketch of Alison, the accused girl in Witch Hill

Finally: a curiosity - the map for the fourth of the four books I wrote before I got my first title published.