I’d kind of forgotten that I’d done this interview. After all, me talking about myself could just as easily have been done in a moment of weakness at a London bus stop waiting for a night-time double decker to carry me home as on an actual, proper website. But for once it wasn’t just the incoherent ramblings of a random nutter on the street, it was the slightly coherent ramblings of a random nutter on the internet – one who’s written a couple of books.
My belated thanks to Ten Minute Interviews for asking me to spout some profound wisdom for them and you can read the interview I did here.
Another day another obligatory plug for the splendiferous ‘Laikanist Times’ – enlightenment in novella form and still available for free here.
Laikanist Times was an odd one. Written in fits and starts through times of excess, confusion and random travelling which bordered on self abuse it came out as the apple of my eye. Not to everyone’s taste, I’ve since discovered, as is often the case at the strange and surreal end of things, but still something I’m proud of.
It’s long since broken through the 1,000 download mark, which I always thought was quite an impressive number and by now it should be closing in on 2,000 although I make a duty of not checking how well anything I’ve written is doing for fear of actually finding out. And rough and ready though it remains it’ll always have a little corner of my heart trapped in its doggy jaws. For something that came out so strange and disjointed it’s still probably the most immediate and ‘easy’ thing I’ve ever written, fuelled as it was by nothing more abstract than my own desire to sit down and flood words on to the screen.
Anyway, download it.
And I don’t mean the shit faux-Punk band whose leading turn made a tit of himself on Nevermind The Buzzcocks. Although ‘about as Punk as Enya’ remains one of the best put downs I’ve heard.
Just something I came across on Twitter – made by @thisismikehall
I rarely like poetry. Too much of it, even among the pieces held up as worthy by those supposedly in the know, is far too self indulgent. Writing might have therapeutic side effects, but it still isn’t therapy. Anyway, here’s one of the exceptions…
I shot a man yesterday
And much to my surprise,
The strangest thing happened to me
I began to cry.
He was so young, so very young
And Fear was in his eyes,
He had left his home in Germany
And came to Holland to die.
And what about his Family
were they not praying for him?
Thank God they couldn’t see their son
And the man that had murdered him.
I knelt beside him
And held his hand–
I begged his forgiveness
Did he understand?
It was the War
And he was the enemy
If I hadn’t shot him
He would have shot me.
I saw he was dying
And I called him “Brother”
But he gasped out one word
And that word was “Mother.”
I shot a man yesterday
And much to surprise
A part of me died with Him
When Death came to close
By James Lenihan
The honey moon is over, the bloom has gone off, the love has left and now there’s just a life time’s worth of grinding monotony to look forward to. Crashed America has been out for (just about) a month now and I’m glad to say the reception has been fairly good. Still waiting for that boat buyin’ money to come rolling in but on the plus side I haven’t been driven to the point of self-immolation as crowds of detractors cheer me on to the great beyond. So that’s definitely a plus.
Now though it’s time to get over my self-congratulatory fug and do what writers do, by which I mean writing, not drinking and complaining about other writers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been playing with a few ideas, going over some old drafts and mulling things over in a manner that suggests, to the ignorant, that I’m not actually doing anything at all. And now decisions have been reached. From the long list of ideas I’ve got lurking around I’ve picked one to push on with and started work on the first draft of a new novel.
At this point I’m not going to say much about it, if only because it’s (probably) bad luck to start sharing before something’s actually written. What I will say though is that this new book is very, well, new. If you liked Crashed America it should work for you but the plan is to make it a big step forward in a lot of ways. Where CA was daunting for being my first complete effort for public consumption this one is daunting for being a generally bigger story. There’s a lot more world building going on and while my love of irrealist chaos hasn’t faded there’s a more grounded sensibility this time round.
That said however it’s too early for any of that to be set in stone because when you start writing you can never be entirely sure where it will take you.
Rest assured that I’ll be keeping y’all updated through the process though and when the time’s right I’ll be throwing out some sample chapters. As well as looking for some beta readers to have a look at the first readable draft.
Until there’s more though – have a song.