A friend of mine pointed out that I haven't updated the old blog for a while (it has both wet and dry rot, he said). It's true. I've been very busy. And not a great deal has happened.
A nice letter arrived from Bantam yesterday which included a photocopy of a page from Romantic Times magazine which had another good review for Scar Night:
"In this dark and vividly imagined novel, compelling and intriguing characters are brought together in an evocative and atmospheric take of gods and angels -- set in a stunningly realized city."
Did I just type all that in? I'm afraid I did. Ah, the joys of self promotion.
What else happened? Oh yeah... I switched on the blasted TV again.
I shouldn't do it. Every time I do this, it leads me to vent rabid spume and then anyone who reads this blog suffers.
It was Friday night, a week or so ago, and we watched Jools Holland, which was great. I like a bit of culture, me. Cracking music from the Chilli Peppers and the Be Good Tanyas and a stunning song from Thom Yorke (the only superstar I can truthfully say has done my dishes, but that's another story). But then we switched over to find a show called The World Music Awards. Fine, more music, I'll give it a shot. Paris Hilton's presence set alarm bells ringing. She got up in front of a surging mass of tens of thousands of people:
Here are the nominees for the Best Selling Artist of 2006
That threw me a little. Nominees for the best selling artist of the year? How does that work then? Isn't that like saying, here are the nominees for the number closest to, and including, 100?
The nominees are:
And the winner is...
Oddly enough, the winner was Madonna, who wasn't nominated. She didn't bother to turn up -- for which she gains a huge amount of kudos in my book. Good for you, Mads.
The only other thing worth mentioning (and it's a biggie - bigger even than a good review or a foreign sale) is this:
The new James Bond is better than Sean Connery.
I never thought I'd say that. Really, it's almost unimaginable. I am a huge fan of the Bond films. Most of the actors who've played 007 have been excellent, but none have come close to Mr Connery until now. Daniel Craig is superb.
I enjoyed Casino Royale, so much so that I can almost forgive the shameful product placement.
"Do you have a Rolex, Mr Bond?"
"No, I have a BRAND NAME HERE."
"Would you like a drink, Mr Bond? A Vodka Martini?"
"No, I'll have a BRAND NAME HERE with tonic and a slice of lemon."
Second character: "Hey, that sounds really good, I'll have a BRAND NAME HERE too."
Third character: "Yes, I'll have one of those too."
Four character: "Me too."
Fifth character, angrily: "Are we going to play poker or what?"
Sitting in the audience, I was beginning to wonder the same thing.
I like a game of poker myself. Tonight I went through to Edinburgh to play in a tournament. Great stuff. Grizzled men and women who look like they've smoked 60 a day for 40 years, tossing in stacks of chips as if they were crumbs for the birds. Raise, call, fold. There was even a guy in a huge black Texas cowboy hat, although he could easily have been from Glasgow. I played a tight game, and I don't think I made any mistakes (other than perhaps not playing a bit looser towards the end), but I had no cards to bet on all night. Well... I had two hands. My AK lost to an AQ when my opponent hit a straight on the river. And I folded my QQ after the flop came up AA7 and two players threw bets in before me (ironically, I would have won, but I don't care what you say -- you can't call with QQ when there's an ace in the flop and people are betting). Tough luck. That's the game though.
Except when it's at a 100 million dollar tournament in Montenegro, when everyone has a straight flush of a full house, and there's a sinister man who weeps blood under duress.