Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The Calm before the Calm

The past is another country and all that. Thing is - when you’re in that other country for the very last time, dawdling at the border, you don’t know it. Like the last time I rode a BMX. Or the last time I spent a whole day in a library just studying. Or the last time I went out, childless and fancy-free, to South for beer and dancing. I didn’t know these were the final times these things would ever happen. I didn’t lavish on them any fitting or reverential last rites; I just never did them again. It makes me wonder what it might have been like if my future self had been able to magically materialise and let me know. “Enjoy that” it would say to the kid version of me as I hauled the busted bike over the jumps. “It’ll be the last time you ever do it.”

There are other moments, though, when you know things are about to change and you’ve had fair warning. You have in fact been counting down the days. April 1st is one such day – The Poisonboy comes out – at least according to Amazon it does and, with a bit of good fortune and the wind behind me, I’m hoping life will never be quite the same again.

And yet, speaking to other published authors at the Big Breakfast, the excellent London launch that my publishers Chicken House put on, it became very obvious that this period is not the calm before the storm, but the calm before the calm. There are no fanfares, skywriting biplanes or tickertape parades, and lots of people have told me so in no uncertain terms. Nothing happens. You just get on with life. Start work on the next book.

Despite this, I’m hoping for something pseudo-supernatural to happen. A sign or symbol. A shift in the temperature of the universe. Anything which nudges me closer to the writing life will do; I’m not fussy.

And you’ll be gratified to know you can help. For just five English pounds, ladies and gents, you can make this miracle happen! I may not get a storm after all this calm, but a slight breeze wouldn’t go amiss, eh?


  1. Good luck! Being on the Chicken House short list myself this year, I shall be watching with interest! Actually I've been fairly terrified by the prospect of anything resembling a storm. The calm before the calm sounds quite reassuring.
    Can't wait to buy my copy of Poison Boy!

    1. Thanks for your comment Kelly. And good luck! Here's hoping you have an amazing year ahead of you!

  2. How exciting! Will definitely be buying a copy. Enjoy every minute of the calm and of your writing success.

  3. A great post. Yes, keep your expectations low but your lapels high, just in case. Anything can happen!

    Poison Boy sounds brilliant. I can't wait to read it.

    Thomas Taylor