Monday, February 3, 2014

Bring On the Tigers.

My YA novel Tigers on the Beach is out today. So I’m getting ready for these handy comments and quips: I'm in bold. Naturally.

‘I haven’t seen it in the bookshops.’
Of course you haven’t. You won’t see anything in the bookshops. And please stop telling authors that.
At least the cover’s nice.
I like to think so. And by the way, you’re the eighteenth person today to tell me that.
Did you nick the tiger idea from Richard Parker in Pi?
No, but there’s no harm having a bestselling animal on the cover.
The teenagers in his book don’t seem to talk like teenagers. It’d like their IQ’s are about fifty notches too high. Doesn’t MacLeod bother to research the way they actually speak?
I’m never going to use the word ‘whatever’ or ‘I’m like …’ when it should be 'I said'.
Still, isn’t it stupid to have them swanning around, coming out with lines like Oscar Wilde characters.
Yes, which is why that doesn't happen. I borrow heavily from personal experience, because this dreadful history that I have in my head is really all I’ve got. And I lost a lot of it when I had the stroke.
I‘ve never written a novel before, but I’m sure I could write a better one than this.
You can’t.
But it'e easy, isn't it?
It's terribly, terribly hard. Don't even think about it unless you like getting up early and whacking down a hundred words before lunch. (Probably the wrong verb there.)
Does this novel have a serious message?
Shouldn’t it?
Hey, it’s my novel. Piss Off. And it actually does have a serious message. It's the usual one about acceptance and empathy, though it also strives to be a dissertation on comedy, which is the only subject I feel I can discuss with any depth. I'd love to be glamorous like former rock star Dr Brian Cox wafting around and explaining how the galaxy was made, but i got lumbered with comedy, a lifelong obsession.

The very clever and charismatic Dr Brian Cox, probably not worrying about why two tigers are funny, but more concerned about dark matter. I actually saw Dr Brian perform live with D:REAM. And if he's such a brilliant guy why did his band have such a bad name?

Is the reference to Dr Brian Cox just an excuse to have a photo of yet another handsome man on your blog?
He's not that handsome, he just has very cool hair. and hey, you got vintage nude women earlier so stop complaining.
Back to the book, isn’t this book the third time that MacLeod has used this plot?
Um, I was hoping you wouldn’t notice that. But yes, this is the third time I’ve written this novel
Is MacLeod really the miserable old sod he presents to the world?
He’s worse. Having a stroke brings out the worst in people.
Is it true that most of the stuff in this book actually happened?
Absolutely and regrettably true. Dad really did blow up our faces with gunpowder. But not deliberately. The mystical Chinese post is also real, and the bad speech at my grandfather's funeral did happen, though it wasn't made by any of my family members. Putting a book together means making the occasional exaggeration or, as my new friend Jack Heath puts it so eloquently, creating conflict when there really isn't any, because without conflict there are no stories. Thanks Jack. I can always rely on you. And you were right about Bladerunner. Now, what do we think of Oblivion?