Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq book cover
I’m at an exciting place in my writerly life just at the moment, so I hope you will all excuse my gushing for a few moments (for those that cannot possible tolerate a little light cheeriness, skip to the fourth paragraph, you loveable grumps). So, what’s exciting you ask? Well, firstly I am nigh on being finished with the first draft of my second novel and, despite being 70,000 words in and not having actually included my plot yet, I’m really chuffed. It’s taken me less than half the time it did to write my first novel and although it needs a lot more work, just reaching the first target of getting it all down feels great.

Oh, and about my first novel, after decent sales I’m pleased to announce that it is coming out in hardback on 22nd May. I’m really pleased with this as there is nothing nicer than holding a hardback in your hands. I’m a sucker for a good dustjacket too, even if it does have my mopey mug on it. Although most of my sales will continue to be in the e-book market, I’m sure, I am really chuffed with this next step forward on my path to being an almost legitimate writer (did I mention, on this tact, that the library where I work now has two copies of my book? – if that doesn’t scream legitimacy, I don’t know what does!)

Lastly on the good news front (yes, I’m almost done), it is my blogiversary this coming month. (If you ever hear me use the word blogiversary again you have my permission to slap me.) It will have been four whole years since I started this blog on 3rd May – I can hardly believe I’ve been putting you all through this for that long! Looking back at my early posts (which in painfully navel-gazing style I did the other day) I can’t believe how cringe worthy some of them are: I seem to have been possessed by a cheese-ridden DJ recommending pop tunes to cynical teeny-boppers half the time rather than the, ahem, morally serious writer I am now. Thank goodness I’ve improve a little, although I suspect in four years’ time I’ll be ready to lay the literary smackdown on my current offering. So, bless you all for not pointing out my inadequacies over the years – at times, silence can truly be golden (did you feel the cheese-ridden DJ begin to creep back in there? Crafty bugger.) I’m hoping to run a competition to win a pre-release copy of my hardback to mark the occasion, so stay tuned over the next week or so.

Welcome back grumpy paragraph skippers – glad you could join the rest of us and don’t worry, you only missed three bits of extremely exciting news. Yes, go on then, skip back and check them out, I’ll wait… ready? … ok, now we’re all back in the loop, to this month’s reading. I will, I must, read Mansfield Park this month (apologies, Di, it’s been teetering at the top of my TBR pile for ages now). But I also have a few other things on the horizon. Firstly, I’m reading Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq. If you haven’t heard of this, think Kafka’s Metamorphosis but with a sexy pig-lady. And then go and read a proper blurb that does the book justice. This fell into my hands, as so many good books do, accidentally when I was reshelving returned items at the library where I work. I have a vague recollection of hearing that this was rather a scandalous book, or got people (feminists, possibly) hot under the collar. I haven’t looked anything up about it yet as I don’t like to while I’m reading a book, so that might be a bunch of misinformation, but I’m finding it interesting so far. It reminds me of Knut Hamsun, although that might just be because he’s the only literary reference in the book as yet.

The next book I’m going to be reading is Man (Dis)connected by Philip Zimbardo, the psychologist who ran the infamous Stanford prison experiment. I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to this book: it is all about how technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be a young man in this world, and what effect that is having on this (my) generation. For anyone who has read my novel, you will know that this is pretty much bang on what it is about and I’m really looking forward to reading about the issues from a scientific point of view.

I’ll leave it there for now as that should keep me busy for the next few weeks. Do come back and celebrate my blogiversary (ok, slap me now) with me over the next few weeks, and enjoy May whatever you are up to. Four more years, four more years.

Notable Posts from March
Review: The Restoration of Otto Laird by Nigel Packer
Review: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Review: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark