I sent Joey Lafaye out to a few people yesterday, what there is of the novel so far. On the up side, Sonya (sovay) says she loves it. On the down side, I won't hear what my agent thinks until next week. Others, I am still waiting to hear from. And I have this quote, something I wrote regarding the release of Daughter of Hounds back on January 1, 2007, and I suspect these sentiments are at the heart of much of my current displeasure with my work:
I think this "new book" thing would not continue to be so weird, and would not seem weirder each time it happens, if each new book did not seem to come and go with so little fanfare. Were I the sort of author lucky enough (and it is a matter of luck) that I enjoyed nationwide publisher-sponsored book tours, actual publicity, reviews in the New York Times Book Review, bestselling status, and so on — if these novels were, as they say, celebrated — I think it would not seem so odd. Because then a novel would be finished, after two or three years of diligent work on it, and there would be this period following publication where it was noticed for a time, before I had to sit down and begin another. Instead, they just come and go. They accumulate like dead leaves. With luck, they sell well for a month or two, get a few good reviews here and there, and then, for me (and most everyone else), they are forgotten. I have to quickly move along to the Next Thing. I have to find the Next Thing, because the Last Thing certainly won't be paying the bills. And so it just seems weird, that there is this book, again.
Better, if one has said a thing already, and one is happy with how that thing was said, to simply restate oneself then think up some new way of saying the same thing again.
Yesterday, Spooky and I finally saw Joe Wright's Atonement (based on a novel Ian McEwan). And I know that studies have actually demonstrated that readers tend to perceive those who write negative reviews as being brighter people than those who write positive reviews. But, on the one hand, we are extremely selective about the films we pay to see in the theatre, and on the other, it's not like I really give a shit. And, on the third hand (it's here, somewhere), the fact remains that Atonement is a supremely beautiful and well-crafted film. And it would be absurdly disingenuous of me to pick about for some little flaw or loose thread, so that readers would think I can write "critical" or "balanced" reviews. Atonement is one of the best treatments of tragedy I have ever seen, I think. I loved the unreliability of the narrator, and the nonlinear nature of the unreliable narration, and the fact that we finally come to understand the recurring clack of typewriter keys. I truly am pleased when a storyteller says "No, that's not what actually happened. This is what actually happened." I've only had the courage to do it a couple of times ("Riding the White Bull" comes to mind). Anyway, yes, I would call Atonement one of the three best films of 2007, of those I have seen.
The poll regarding Part One of "The Crimson Alphabet" is still going. Please vote, if you are a subscriber and if you have read Part One of "The Crimson Alphabet," but please vote only once. I'll post the poll for Part Two of "The Crimson Alphabet" later today.
That's enough for now.
Postscript (2:50 p.m. CaST) — It looks like Tales of Pain and Wonder may soon be sold out, and Subterranean Press has posted a notice regarding the 50+ page chapbook, Tails of Tales of Pain and Wonder, which is basically, buy now or miss out. Also, this is the first time the cover montage I did for the chapbook has been posted anywhere.