I’m writing this whilst some wedding of well-to-do horsey types plays out on the television. This gives me an excuse to ignore it whilst keeping an eye out for the very rich ‘commoner’ and her choice of outfit. I’m guessing ‘white dress’, but perhaps she’ll shrug off tradition and go with a leather and tartan number with a disturbingly low plunging neck line and matching ‘decency tassels’.
I’m reaching the middle point of ‘Waters Deep.’ I know this because I’ve now fully introduced the ‘bad.’ I’m not saying what it is, as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Let’s just say the ‘bad’ is very bad and somewhat scary. I’m a big believer in not showing all you have upfront (if you’ll excuse the blatant imagery of that statement), and using a drip effect. This helps to heighten and exaggerate the tension, drawing it out for a big reveal. I’ve always preferred the Hitchcock approach to horror, rather than the current trend for blood and gore porn.
I’ve just checked - she turned up in the white dress - boring traditionalist!
My agent is taking ‘Juvie’ to BookExpo America in New York later in May, so hopefully (fingers and everything else crossed) something might happen with it.
Now back from Australia and New Zealand and I have a little over a week before I return to the UK for three weeks. I’ll be doing a stint in Edinburgh, Nottingham and down in London. I’ll try and get as much writing as is possible during this time, but I have Secret Societies to attend and the Doctor to meet, so time is short.
The photo above is one I took from the Great Ocean Road. The scenery in quite dramatic.
Book review time...
City of Saints and Madmen By Jeff Vandermeer
Similar to ‘House of Leaves’ which I reviewed several weeks ago, CofS&M is meta-fiction, in so much it’s a collection of works about the city of Ambergris, a place that may or may not exist. Explored through fiction, ancient histories, letters, art work and a glossary, Ambergris is a mysterious city with a long and notorious history. Founded by pirates as a new world escape, the original occupants are demonised and retreat underground. These creatures called Grey Caps are half animal, half fungus, and so exist in the twilight underground of the city, waiting to take it back.
The author has written several work sent in the same space. In each Ambergris goes through many transformation, much like a real city does through history. It is an organic, shifting place full of adventure. In one section, it seems that a someone from the real world has hallucinations about the magical city, only to be told that Ambergris is real and instead they are hallucinating the made up America.
Vandermeer is a great writer, able to capture immense detail, and yet keep the world he has created alive with wit and charm. I look forward to reading the other works.
McSweeney’s Quaterly Concern Issue 13
This is the comic book issue. A bit of a disappointment if I’m honest. The book is beautifully produced like all McSweeney’s, with a fold out cover that becomes a large newspaper size comic plus several comic inserts, but the content is mildly diverting at best.
There are comics from Charles Burns, but these are excerpts from other books (Black Hole) and some nice work by Adrian Tomine, but most of the other comics are quite weak with poor writing. Nice to look at.