For book/ebook authors, publishers, & self-publishers
Well, the local library has been re-opened following extensive renovation. I had a quick call in the other day, and took them a gift of a potted gerbera plant, and a card because they have been intregral with the launches of my novels. I checked out the Young Adult shelf and found my novel 'Abernethy' there, and smiled a twee smile. This novel is about a 14 year old boy who meets a beagle who, by virtue of having worked as a witch's familiar, can communicate with him. The beagle becomes a Jiminy Cricket type figure for the boy and helps him cope with his father's incarceration, and the bullying at his new school. It's not a witchcraft-and-wizards type thing. I just made 'Abernethy' a former witch's familiar as a feasible plot device to explain his power of speech. Just beside 'Abernethy' was my other novel, 'Calumny while reading Irvine Welsh'. Now this was a gross misfiling. I took it from the shelf and said discreetly to the staff member, a young lass I hadn't seen before, no doubt a fledgling, 'This is not a young adult novel. It has the C-word in it.' She exclaimed and took it to the front desk for re-cataloguing, and I couldn't help but feel a frisson of smugness as I saw her checking out the author photo on the back of the book, and then looking back at me. Well, you guys would all know a little recognition feels might fine, doesn't it? Oh, I know J D Salinger had cred, but cred won't get my bills paid and my children fed. 'Calumny...' is adult satire about a young woman whose life becomes an absolute media circus and shmozzle when she is arrested for a crime she may or may not have committed. I was interested in how her apathetic family would cope, rather than writing a courtroom potboiler. I have an extensive legal background, which came in very handy when writing it. As well as the C-word (which only appears four times by my count), there is a character who smokes bongs all the time, a peripheral lawyer character who does more cocaine than his clients, and a sex scene. The sex scene is very prosaic, but it's a root nonethless, and include the removal of a condom. Root, by the way, is an Australian colloquialism for the sex act.
So I went there again today, my two young sons and the ten year old boy from up the road in tow. They 'wow-ed' when they saw Mum's book on the shelf. Theyalso played on the Wii the new library has installed. They played some dance game and all looked like little Napoleon Dynamites. They danced to 'Pump Up The Jam', some techno-funk number I used to dance to in gay bars in Sydney. I looked around, half expecting to see buff, good looking guys in white singlets passing around jars of amyl nitrate, but there was none of that in my local library, an institution of good repute!
The first chapters of my books can be read online at the publishers, if anyone is interested. It's Zeus Publications, http://www.zeus-publications.com. They can also be purchased there. The thud you heard was the hint I just dropped.