Ye gods, it's here at last. After all these years of waiting (um, 5 to be precise, but it's a long, sad tale and you really don't want to hear it - trust me on that one ...), and well done to Flame (http://www.flamebooks.com) for making A Dangerous Man available in advance of the 16 February publication date. Anyway, you can find out all about Michael, the man trapped in my head here:
At only £8, he's cheap at the price. Believe me. And, at the very least, you'll love the cover art - courtesy of writing friend and artist, Nell Grey (under her artist's name of Penelope Cline - http://www.nellgrey.co.uk). Thanks hugely, Nell.
The blurb is:
"Michael Jones, a young gay artist and part-time prostitute will do anything to stage his first exhibition. When he falls in love with rich financier, Jack Hutchinson, he seems set to achieve his goal. But as Mikey becomes caught between the unforgiving territory of smoky-bar Hackney and the green-garden luxury of upper class London, we witness the intense mindscape of a man obsessed with his dreams as he attempts to free himself of his past. When a net of antagonistic relationships and inner battles encroaches upon him, the consequences of Mikey’s uncompromising pursuit emerge in thrilling tragedy, leaving him having to fight for all he holds dear, and in the only way he knows how.
Within a plot thick with the flesh of individual struggle, a backbone of page-turning tension carries Mikey’s plight through the charcoal grey London which rubs itself so close to his skin, entrapping him in a dark kaleidoscope of sex and crime. Pushing him to the full expression of his haunting richness, Brooke alerts us to the psychological discourse and emotional minefield of a troubled man struggling to establish a sense of self and place in urban England."
Hmm, a slight touch of publisher's purple prose syndrome, I think. And here was I imagining it was just an everyday tale of urban folk ... But what the hell, eh? I'm still thrilled!! And I rather like being "Brooke". Makes me sound almost like a real person. Perhaps all my names are gradually disappearing though, and one day I won't be there at all? The writer formerly known as ... Anyway, it's good to have Michael out of my mental closet at last, I have to say - though part of me feels sorry he's not just mine any more. Assuming anyone actually reads him, that is. Apart from my mother and Lord H, gawd bless 'em. And, speaking of my mother, I did wonder aloud earlier on how she would take it, and Lord H's comment was that, knowing her, she'd probably want me to have written more sex scenes. Argghh!! Will the woman never be satisfied??! It just goes to show that, really, one can never please one's mother.
So, last night and this morning, I've spent a lot of time attempting to do some more marketing, and drafting potential press releases for the Surrey Advertiser and Writers' News. Once Flame send me the actual cover, I can get that done, along with those flyers I was promising myself. It's a good job that, having been self-published three times, I'm used to doing my own small thoroughly localised (and only 20% successful, sadly ...) version of PR. I gather mainstream authors are up in arms about having to sell their own stuff - well, get real, guys, the rest of us have been attempting it for years. Welcome to the real world, eh ... But I have to admit that it's still much easier via the internet though - as then I don't have to actually speak to anyone, which is a thought too terrifying to bear. For both parties.
Other good news today is that the Ink, Sweat and Tears website (http://www.ink-sweat-and-tears.com) are going to publish my haibun (mixture of short prose and haikus), "A journey with my father" - many thanks for that, Charles. And what's really astonishing about it is that I had the acceptance only 20 minutes after I'd submitted it. Now that's the kind of reaction a lonely writer really warms to. Why can't more publishers be like that? Even if it's a "no", it's better to hear something than absolutely nothing. Hell, no wonder we're all in therapy. It's astonishing we're standing upright at all.
What else has happened in the midst of my self-obsessed, egotistical roll? Well, Lord H has taken to doing secret origami in the living room with his new kit while I'm reading; he'll suddenly hold up strange shapes and wait for me to guess them before we can both move on with our lives. I've done well so far with penguin, piano and coffin, but came a cropper with fox, which I thought was a dragon. So my Wife Points are on the cusp of fading away, I fear ... Marriage is so full of these charming little competitions just to prove that the other person is still awake and functioning - it's a rollercoaster of tension and excitement, don't y'know. Thank goodness for that essential lunchtime sherry to ease our delicate nerves.
And I've just finished Jessica Harman's poetry pamphlet, "My Journey as an Unharmonious Being". Um, well, I liked some of the lines, but they really didn't hang together for me. And I do get irritated by books which include drawings; I don't really understand that at all. Why not simply let the words speak as they're supposed to? I kept getting into a flow of sorts and then coming up slap-bang against some supposedly arty black and white lined thing, which then took me away from the poems. Sigh. It all became too much of an effort, to be honest.
This week's haiku (in honour of Lord H) is:
On your birthday
strange fireworks light up the sky:
Today's nice things:
1. A Dangerous Man is published
2. A Dangerous Man is published
3. Yes! You've guessed it - A Dangerous Man is published. God, I'm obsessively dull ...