Guest Posts

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There’s a very upbeat review of The Edinburgh Dead over on The Bookshelf Chronicles.  ( ‘2011 is drawing to a close and I think I just found my favourite read of the year’ !)

Nice little exchange with the author of that same to review in the comments here, in which it turns out we both very much like one specific line in The Edinburgh Dead.  And that line is … wait for it … wait for it …:

‘I’m not wanting any butter.’

Does that strike you as … I don’t know … a bit anti-climactic?  It points up one thing that I’m sure isn’t particular to me.  Lots of writers must have the same thing.  That thing is that the pleasure of writing, the satisfaction that the finished text can give you as its creator, is sometimes as much about the small things – the small victories – as it is the big picture stuff.  That tiny little line of dialogue gave me pleasure when I wrote it – you’ll just have to take make my word for the fact that it’s just the right length, tone and rhythm for its context – and it’s nice that someone else liked it.

(And in case that sounds too self-congratulatory, I’ll just note in passing that the small defeats can be just as frustrating as the small victories are satisfying.  Witness: I can’t spell the word ‘rhythm’.  Never have been able to, probably never will.  Every single time I write the cursed word – including in the last sentence of the previous paragraph – I have to check its spelling.  Pathetic.  I’m already starting to fret it still doesn’t look right … maybe I should just have a quick double-check …)

Over at the Writers Read blog, I’ve got a guest post reporting on what I was reading in November.  It includes Fascist dictators, etchings and horses.

And a very nice giveaway is open for the holidays – for those of you living in the UK and the US, at least.  Over at the Orbit blog you can enter a draw to win one of five sets of five jolly good books.  Including The Edinburgh Dead.  There’s two or three there I’d really like to read myself, but somehow I doubt I’m eligible …

Page 69

I’ve contributed a piece on The Edinburgh Dead to the Page 69 blog, wherein authors consider page 69 of their own book and talk about it.  Nice idea for a blog, don’t you think?

I mention it here not so much because you might want to read the little post I contributed (though you might, of course, and here it is), but because the blog as a whole is kind of fun to browse through.  Every kind of fiction is represented there, so it’s an amusing way to discover new authors and books.  Go have a scroll.


Wobbly’s being polite, in fact. Had several days of unintended isolation from the Web, and despite having apparently fixed the problem through tediously extended fiddling about with settings, cables etc., still have no clue what the cause was.  So, if you are one of the various people expecting me to send you something via the virtual tubes, apologies for the delay: now that I’m connected again, I’ll get to it as soon as I can.  As far as I can tell, I haven’t actually missed any e-mails or anything, so it’s only a matter of time before yours reaches the top of the To Do pile.

In the meantime, some pointers to The Edinburgh Dead‘s step by step spread around the Web, which evidently continued even while I was twiddling my thumbs over the last few days.

The book’s launch is marked in generous style over at the Orbit Books blog, and you can also read an extract there.

Over at Tynga’s Reviews, you can enjoy the spectacle of me trying to recast the fable of Red Riding Hood with characters from The Edinburgh Dead.  (One of the accompanying photos seems to suggest that Tynga thinks Gerard Butler is the man to play my main character, Adam Quire, in the movie version – which is a clever call, although I’ve tended to visualise Daniel Craig in the role, myself).

And last, but by no means least, there’s a review of The Edinburgh Dead for you to peruse over at the Sci-Fi Bulletin website, which includes the smart (and to my mind, jolly complimentary) suggestion that parts of it read like John Buchan writing from a story idea by Sam Raimi.  I didn’t know it at the time, but in hindsight, that’s kind of exactly what I was trying for when I was writing certain sections … ah, the wisdom of reviewers!