Monday, August 02, 2021

Market Forces

Howdy all - Douglas Skelton comin' at ya from the sunlit uplands of the UK, specifically Scotland.

Publication week is usually an exciting time for an author. I say usually because there may be some out there who no longer feel such a publication day thrill.

Me? I find the idea that something I have laboured, sweated, cursed over has escaped the confines of the publishing halfway house that is the space between me typing The End and finally breathing the air conditioned air of the bookstores.

Apologies for what seems like self promotion but as this isn't available in the USA yet, my conscience is clear. Well, clearish. 

I wrote A RATTLE OF BONES while we were still in the clenched teeth of lockdown here in the UK - last summer to be precise - and I've written two more since then. That makes it very difficult when discussing the imminent release because, frankly, I have trouble recalling with any degree of accuracy some elements - like character names - of what I wrote back then. Even when writing I have to note them down because it wouldn't be the first time I changed a character's name midway, leading to extreme perplexion at the editing stage. Who on earth is Mr X? And why does he seem to talk like Mr Y? 

Yes, I could have a read at it but there's nothing more spirit-sapping than revisiting my own work. I always feel I could have done better and it's too late to change it.


A new one is out there, free at last to run through the sunbeam-dappled forests of readers' imaginations.

Or something. Not sure where I'm going with all this imagery. I think the fine weather we've had here has addled me. In Scotland, fine weather means it hasn't rained.

Of course, the pandemic continues to throw a mask over most live events so there will be no bookshop launch or appearances, no library talks, and even festival events remain up in the air (though organisers are hopeful). I may, however, visit said bookstores, signing pen in hand to deface copies with any scribble. Some of them may even by my own!

I miss performing, which is strange because the real me is very much a solitary person. At social occasions I am the one in the corner doing his best to merge into the wallpaper.

And yet, some strange alchemy transforms me when I am asked to perform. Gone is the quiet, shy, self-effacing introvert and in his place is a wisecracking extrovert who has sung, danced and even donned wigs in pursuit of sales. It's like Jekyll and Hyde. And I'm not certain which is which.

I have recorded some interviews relating to the new book. I think I got away with them.

But the book is out there now, on shelves, hopefully flying from them so fast you can hear the Doppler effect. Come Thursday - the official publication date - it will drop into Kindles.

Will people like it? 

I hope so.

Will people be fooled by any narrative sleight-of-hand? 

I really hope so.

Will I remember my character names? 

What character names?


Tanya said...

Congrats on the new release!

Charlotte Hinger said...

I think we are soul-mates, Douglas

Douglas Skelton said...

Tanya - thank you (and apologies for the delay in replying)
Charlotte - there is a lot of us about! (Also, see above for apologies)