I know I haven't been around much lately. I'd like to say I've been working and maybe I have. I can't honestly say I've started writing the new book yet. Perhaps I'm mired in research. But every book I read leads me to another.
However, I think that what has really kept me quiet is a strange fear of blogging - blogophobia - that I seem to have developed. I can't explain it. I keep thinking of ideas for posts, but I haven't been able to carry them through to fruition. I admit to feeling apprehensive and anxious right now as I type this.
Perhaps I really am reading too much Dostoevsky, especially the early stories. One of the things that draws me to Dostoevsky is his skill in writing dreams. This is a subject that I really want to blog about - there are many examples that I could cite, including the magnificent Svidrigailov dream sequence towards the end of Crime and Punishment, as well as all of Raskolnikov's disordered dreams. Then there are the stories that have very strong dream content, and in which the lines between reality and unreality are blurred. It's such a great subject, but I don't feel that I could do it justice, not without a great deal of further thought and re-reading, tracking down all the great dreams in his work.
But I can't possibly devote any time to such a project, because I am supposed to be getting on with a new novel.
So I became paralysed, at least with respect to the blog.
What has drawn me back is the fact that today is the publication day for the US trade paperback of The Gentle Axe. I felt this was an event that needed marking here in some way. It's a strange, dreamlike event for me, as I am so distant from any bookshops, or bookstores as they are known in America, that stock the US paperback. I've been told that the publication will be promoted with an ad in The New Yorker, and others in Mystery Scene Magazine and Strand Magazine. There will also be radio advertising.
Of course, the best advertising is word of mouth, and the modern form of word of mouth is the internet. So I was delighted to get a notification for this wonderful review from RJ's 3rs reading den.
A spell-binding novel that will definitely keep you up late…reading! And you’ll want to share this one with friends and coworkers –it’s really that good!
I asked my US publicist if there was anything I could do to help promote the book (I promise I wasn't angling for a ticket to New York, honest). The word came back that they would love another 'Writer's Life' video. You have been warned.