So, what have I been up to for months and months of not-so-bloody silence? Working on Goblin mostly (waaa! *Kermit flail*), and getting married in Venice to a beautiful creature I met twenty years ago in our high school library (so it seemed appropriate to have our reception in Looking Glass Books when we returned). My wedding ring is an eyeball and I joked that if I ever lost it I would get to dramatically shout “My eyeball! My eyeball!” This opportunity came about only a couple of hours after the wedding when a golden cherub on the side of a gondola plucked it from my finger and tossed it into the canal. There used to be a Venetian ritual where the Doge was taken out to the middle of the lagoon where he would throw a ring into the water to marry the sea and protect Venice. So when I lost my ring, really I was doing Venice a favour. I since left one in a Thai restaurant and snapped another in half. I’m on my fourth ring and it’s hasn’t even been a year yet. Fortunately it’s the relationship that matters and not the eyeballs you go through.
As well as writing like mad and getting married I also read many books. I had the absolute pleasure of reviewing The First True Lie, a stunning novel by Marina Mander (translated from the Italian by Stephen Twilley).
It forms my (un)holy trinity of bloody amazing books that have been published in the past couple of years which includes Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon and Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing (both are devastating and utterly brilliant. Girl in particular is the perfect example of the symbiotic relationship between style and content). And to mess up the trinity/triptych imagery, I’ll throw in A.M Homes’ wonderful May We Be Forgiven too.
I’m just as much of a film fan as I am book mad and my unholy trinity of recently released brilliant films has to be The Paperboy (my friend and fellow writer MrN describes it perfectly: “It’s deliciously over the top and it’s got a strange fierce tenderness in it.”), Stoker (Stunning – brilliantly directed, beautifully shot, perfect score and deliciously mannered acting) and Under the Skin (dark and disturbing, visually striking with an unnerving score that adds brilliantly to some really chilling moments. Scarlett is excellent).
And to mess with that trinity/triptych of delights I have to throw in That Guy Dick Miller, an absolute gem of a documentary about that guy, Dick Miller. I was brought up on 80s Joe Dante films (Gremlins, The Burbs) and in the early 90s the TV series Eerie Indiana, so that’s how I knew Dick. Despite being a big horror film fan, I haven’t seen much Roger Corman, so it was really interesting for me to see Dick in his early roles (and knowing him as this wonderful grizzled curmudgeonly old man, I was surprised at what a stunner he was in his youth). Not only did we have the treat of the film, but there was a surprise Q&A with that guy himself and his lovely wife, Lainie (you gotta love the Edinburgh International Film Festival). The audience went wild (again, you gotta love the film fest – the atmosphere was fantastic).
As well as finishing Goblin, I’ve been working on short stories and sending them out into the world. My sci-fi body horror, Wire, is in Songs of Other Places – New Writing Scotland 32 (you can buy it here) and my story Freud Is Dead will be appearing in the latest Gutter magazine.
Right now (when I’m not basking in the sunshine or attending the wonderful Edinburgh International Book Festival) I’m proofing and editing Goblin (with the assistance of three highly skilled friends) and plan to send it out into the big bad world by the end of September. I will then start work on my second novel, HellSans, which I’m very excited about – can’t wait!