Well, it’s that time, again. Blink and you miss a whole year. It whizzes by and before you know it you’re in the middle of yet another Big Freeze (surely by now we should be thinking in terms of Bigger Freeze), people are fighting in the aisles for the last turkey, G.O.L.D.’s showing The Vicar of Dibley Easter special and the rather suspicious bloke in the red suit with a predilection for chimneys and illegal entry can’t get into the country because Heathrow’s closed and Rudolph flat refuses to stick his dipsomaniacal nose out in weather like this.
Yes, as Noddy Holder so eloquently put it, though with rather more enthusiasm than I can summon, it’s Christmas.
I always have somewhat mixed feelings at this time of year. I’m not really the miserable old fart I often like to pretend (no, really). However much of a “rationalist” I like to think myself, I still have the capacity to get a buzz out of the sense of magic that can still sometimes be found lurking beneath a pile of wrapping paper and quite useless presents. But, so often, I can’t help feeling that it’s all developing a hollow ring. It’s all becoming too commercial and too readily fostering our already well developed need to consume…
… and when this thought occurs to me, a little smile starts to grow. Too commercial. When you have something to sell, isn’t that a bit like saying “too rich” or “too loving”. Isn’t this a situation where excess should be appreciated, celebrated, rolled around in and completely and utterly exploited? With an appropriately shameless and quite wicked glint in her eye? Abso-bloody-lutely!
So how best to cash in on – I mean participate in – the Christmas spirit? I asked myself. Books make fantastic stocking fillers, and I’ve done pretty well over the past couple of weeks, flogging them like words were going out of style. People have been very generous and extremely wise in their choices. But what of that hithertofore unavailable market? The new Kindle user!
Many people in the UK will be waking up on Christmas morning to find one of these rather special devices sitting beneath the Christmas tree. But what is it, really? A lump of plastic and silicon, lifeless, inert, quite pointless… unless it has a decent read downloaded onto it. (You can see where I’m going with this, right?)
What all these people need, obviously, is an electronic version of If I Never (and, yes, I do mean all). By all means, try before you buy, but trust me; a Kindle is no present at all without If I Never sitting in its virtual library. It’s like Kerplunk without the marbles! Or Buckaroo without the saddlebags!
So, go on. Realise the full potential of that rather slick and snazzy device you’re holding (no, not that one!) Do it now. Before something distracts you and you end up downloading Barbara Cartland, Dan Brown or Jeremy Bloody Clarkson instead. During those long, hazy post-Christmas days it will be the perfect antidote to fractious kids and moaning relatives. I guarantee it. (Though, just to qualify that, this would not, of course, be a guarantee of the money-back variety.)
Well, that’s my writerly duty done. I can now with good conscience hang up my promotional hat for a few days and focus on vegetating in front of the TV. But before I do, I would like to say to all my regular followers, readers and friends – whether you’ve bought my book or not – thank you once again for all the support you’ve shown over the past year. The laughs have made it all worthwhile.
Have a wonderful holiday however you celebrate it (or don’t!) Keep safe, keep warm – and if that strange fellow with the big white beard comes down the chimney, please don’t shoot him; it might be me, checking to see if If I Never has been preloaded on your Kindle.
Two sample chapters of If I Never can be read here.
To buy your copy of If I Never, please click here.
© 2010 Gary William Murning