Notebook

Pinned to the stars, your father’s face among the heavens…

Friday morning, I can hear the sound of the shower in the next room. Bob Dylan's on the radio and someone's just asked me to write about an Australian vacuum cleaner for cash and I'm thinking about it. It's been a strange week (not to get too Garrison Keillor about it), Danny Baker's Show on BBC London on Monday and Tuesday where the great man let me plug my book with aplomb while still paying me to act as his sidekick, like Danny needs a...

Stay off the road

On Friday I had lunch around the corner from Random House, it wasn't free though, what lunch is? For my pizza, two glasses of red and the delightful company of Clara the PR and Vicki the marketing kid (she is a a kid, she's twelve and had her own corner office at RH already, I'm very lucky to have her working me as it were), I had to sit in front of a shelf full of my books and answer questions about my dead dad...

Heavy words so lightly thrown, etc.

Good Morning, It's hot tea inside, gunship grey outside, winter's snapping and the ludicrous Parka I brought back from a freezing Chicago now doesn't seem quite so stupid. I actually got coat envy on my local train platform the other morning, as the masses (including the tiniest member of the Random House staff who's a neighbour) huddled under the awning by the ticket office I strode past with Eye Of The Tiger ("It's the thrill of the fight...

Death of a Creationist

With the weather now at almost Biblical levels I've been sitting indoors and staring at my second novel, it has the working title of Resolution. Though, that's a misnomer as it's not really working at all at the moment. I look at it and it looks back at me like a peeved cat might. I thought I'd wrestled one new chapter to the floor, but it sprang back up at me like Jackie Chan and punched me in the throat. That paragraph, I thought as...

No blogs for months and then two in a week, the agent will be pleased…

I'm currently on deadline, consequently, I'm doing anything but meeting them. It's been a busy week or so, I've signed off on the final book proof and never want to see another copy of CCMS as long as I live (or early January when I get finished copies). Things came to a pleasant head - sounds dirty, isn't - last Thursday when I went to Random House to pick up thirty copies of the advanced bound proof. I'd always wanted one ever since I was...

Can you feel the love tonight?

Sorry about the heading, I'm just trying to catch some passing Elton John traffic, he's not well you know? Where were we? Cross Country Murder Song continues apace, we've signed off on the artwork, the proof (well, very nearly), the blurb for the press release and my author photo. I've finally met my publicist (Clara, she admitted that after she'd read the manuscript she was wary about meeting me, but after a pastry and coffee and getting her in a chokehold we were fine. I'm...

Random House on the hill

So on Friday I finally signed off on the book artwork, Matt, the in-house art guy at Random House had come up with three remarkable covers all of which satisfied the 'contemporary noir' brief Dan (my Ed) and I had given him. I posted all three on Facebook and invited people to vote on them, but I think my heart knew that we'd go with number two (see below, how could you not?). I was pleased that most of the people that knew me well...

The Perfect Ten, Random House and the end of Jackson

The end of last week piled up like cars careering out of control in a Michael Bay flick. Thursday, or it might have been Wednesday, saw Phill and I back in the basement of USP recording a Perfect Ten (our podcast that is very much all about adults themes and situations) that will go up in a week or so when Phill's hopefully lounging on a beach somewhere. I showed off my complete misunderstanding of basic mathematics, but we got through somehow, we might even...

Got my Mojo working, everyone else made that gag so why not me?

With perhaps the exception of the Empire awards, the Mojos might well be my favourite time of year. For chaperoning a pop star or similar around (last year my chum Phill Jupitus, this, my chums the Manic Street Preachers) you then get access to the free bar and earwig on and occasionally get involved in conversations like the one I had with Jeff Beck and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Jeff still has the most startling hair in the west, while Billy sported what can only...

Cross Country Murder Song

So almost a year after completion and months of waiting I finally got the call from my editor on Monday. What, he wanted to know, ideas did I have for the cover of my first novel. Said novel - Cross Country Murder Song - comes out in hardback via the good folk at Jonathan Cape early next year, the paperback via Vintage later in 2010, in the autumn possibly. Black and white, I told him, preferably a photograph, a car moving towards the camera, something...