Today I’m going to revisit the earlier questions in my If I Never competition and give you the final two questions. Once you have your answers email them to me by clicking here and, once I’ve sorted them, I’ll send those with the correct answers over to my publisher who will then randomly draw the winner out of a hat — or something suitably hat-like. Competition closing date is Friday the 11th of September. Good luck!
1) Which (living and working) American author frequently uses the following motifs in many of his novels: prostitutes, bears and absent parents?
2) Which Joseph Heller novel features the travails of the first-ever Jewish Secretary of State?
3) Which 1962 novel, set in an asylum, explores the possibilities and effects of subtly coercive discipline and the emasculation of men in society?
4) “I was looking for a quiet place to die. Someone recommended Brooklyn, and so the next morning I travelled down there from Westchester to scope out the terrain.” The opening sentence of which 2005 postmodernist novel?
5) A black, chemical cloud and a professor in Hitler’s Studies. Which National Book Award (US) winning novel and author?
Today I took an afternoon away from the computer, telephone etc and escaped to the country. A pleasant if tenebrous afternoon — with low, dark clouds, rain and, you know, atmosphere. Felt myself winding down with every second. Just what the doctor ordered. So to speak.
Returning home, the afternoon was rounded off quite perfectly with news that the first review of If I Never was in. You can read the review by clicking here.
Also, it seems that many of you are now receiving your copies of If I Never. And, as promised, I plan on posting a few photographs of readers/friends with their copies. If you want to be included, just send me a photo or a link.
To get the ball rolling, here’s Franny with her copy of If I Never. They look like they were meant for each other, don’t you think?
Since many of you were away or busy over the Bank Holiday weekend in England, I thought I’d just take a few minutes to reprise “the events” of the past few days — in bullet points, to prevent me from waffling on too much!
Saturday. If I Never launched and promptly sold out on Amazon.co.uk.
Many people turned up on Twitter, letting me know where they were getting their books from, who had had theirs dispatched and who, even, had already received theirs!
As Amazon was sold out, started directing people over to Book Depository. Said site promptly crashed (not sure if we were actually responsible, but I claimed it anyway!)
A few days ago I asked for questions relating to my writing and, more specifically, If I Never. A number of you kindly contributed questions and here is my response to the first of those. The recording is a little naff in places (I’m just getting the hang of these podcast things!), but I hope you nevertheless enjoy it.
Launch week has kicked off to a really incredible start. Amazon.co.uk has already sold out and if you’re desperate to order If I Never online I’d currently recommend The Book Depository. Amazon.co.uk will no doubt be restocked very, very quickly, however. And, of course, I’m available (or my book is!) in good High Street bookstores etc.
As part of launch week I am, as promised, running in conjunction with my publisher, Legend Press, a competition to win Legend Press books. Over the next week or so there will be a number of questions — all inspired by my writing influences — and out of those with the correct answers a winner will be randomly selected by the ladies and gentleman at Legend.
I have been told that the questions are rather difficult and was going to make them easier. However, I tested them on my father and he came back with the correct answers very quickly. He Googled them. Fairly safe to say that many of you will do the same so they’re remaining difficult!
Question number one…
Which (living and working) American author frequently uses the following motifs in many of his novels: prostitutes, bears and absent parents?
Keep watching this space for further questions! Details of where to send your answers will be provided later this week.
Yesterday I hit 67,000 words with Children of the Resolutionso — since my target is 70,000 by the end of the month, a target I’ll easily hit — I took the day off and, this afternoon, we headed out over Helmsley way, coming back through Hutton-le-Hole, Castleton and Commondale. I briefly entertained the notion of going in search of the stone circle on the moors surrounding Commondale (which I mentioned here), but decided against it; I don’t do hiking, with or without the need for a map and compass (and in this case, that’s a with.) Instead, we drove around the strolling grouse (which were probably partridges… or pheasants, I never can tell the difference) and generally kept our fingers crossed that the fog didn’t get any thicker.
This morning, I again contacted S, my teacher from way back when I was ten. She’d told me while I was researching Children of the Resolutionthat she’d be willing to read it, so I’ve finally remembered and sent some over. I’m now more nervous than I am when I submit my work to agents and publishers! I hope it doesn’t earn me lines or a detention.
This news story also grabbed my attention: Elvis Presley’s Secret Visit to England. I can’t help wondering what he and Tommy got up to while he was over here… I know, how about a competition? I’ll give a signed copy of Children of the Resolution (once it’s published) to the person who can come up with the most entertaining (work/child-safe) story.