... googling myself. To be fair, it's not so much myself as my book titles that I go a-googling.
Why do I do it? Because I'm a vain, self-obsessed ego-monster desperate not to miss out on his fifteen minutes of cyber-fame, of course. I can justify it to myself - just about - on the grounds that I'm doing it for professional reasons. You know, checking up on the internet buzz. It's a gauge of something, surely, if A GENTLE AXE has been acquired by the Penang Club Library. Not sure quite what, though.
Also, I'm interested to know which reviews present themselves in what order at any given time to anyone who goes looking for me. I like it when the good ones come first. Perhaps I can even manipulate this by clicking on the good ones obsessively, and totally ignoring the - uh, how can I put it? - less enthusiastic ones, hoping thereby to consign them to the very outer circles of cyber-hell.
I get forwarded review links and quotes from my publicity people (sounds a bit grand that, doesn't it?) and I'm more than happy to share them with all you good folk. But I have to accept that Maggie (Penguin) and Anna (Faber) are simply not as obsessed with me (or my book) as I am. And frankly, they never will be. If I don't google me, no one will.
So I go hunting just to see if someone somewhere has mentioned my book. Of course, sometimes, I find stuff that I wish I hadn't. Like the South African journalist who accused me of all manner of crimes.
But sometimes, you stumble across something that is so unexpected, and pleasing, that it makes the long hours of joyless trawling seem worthwhile. One such discovery was this mention in the Journal of the Police Association of South Australia. Somehow the idea of all these Ozzie coppers rushing out to buy a copy of my book just tickles me pink. Bonza, as they say.