Monday, March 24, 2008

Nail on the head

I'm snowbound at the moment, the single track road leading up to our house is pretty much impassable. Officially, it being Easter, I'm on holiday today but in reality I'm at a loose end. So I stayed in and reviewed my writing career. It didn't take all that long.

A Half Life Of One still attracts readers. Someone called Paula emailed a couple of days ago to say, "Really enjoyed reading the book, found it a fascinating insight into how low a person can sink." Thanks, Paula, for taking the trouble to comment on the book: it means a lot to me. Means everything in fact. God, I love readers.

Then while I was in London the other week someone bought a copy of AHLOO on Amazon. Who on earth could it be and why? I guess I'll never know.

Perhaps I should go to the capital more often because while I was there Scott Pack of Me and My Big Mouth fame gave the book what he describes as a Quick Flick review. I'm not sure if he's actually read the whole book but his description certainly hits the nail on the head. Here's what he said:

"It’s not altogether comfortable reading a novel about a man whose business goes bust. Timely perhaps, but not easy reading at the moment. Bill Liversidge certainly manages to capture all the worry and emotion that comes with the situation and the unnerving way it seeps into other parts of your life.

There is nothing earth-shattering about this book so far, but that isn’t really the point. It is a small, self-published affair but it is a good, solid, no-frills domestic drama told, for once, from the male perspective. However, the Amazon reviews suggest it is all about to kick off if I read any further. It is tantalisingly poised.

The author has an entertaining blog and is doing his best to spread the word about his novel. I would certainly recommend checking out his online activities and if they tickle your fancy then A Half Life Of One may well appeal".

What's interesting here is that Mr Pack used to be the head buyer for Waterstone's and was once described as the most powerful man in British publishing, so he knows what he's talking about. His current venture, The Friday Project, is struggling at the moment so you can see why the book won't have been an easy read for him and why it's so impressive that he took the trouble to give the book some welcome publicity. I hope he survives okay - good people like him deserve a break.

I've said it before but it bears repeating. If it wasn't for the internet AHLOO would now be a yellowing manuscript languishing unread at the back of a drawer somewhere. As it is, it now has a life of its own. A modest life certainly, but hopefully a long one. And in such a dangerous and uncertain world where traditional publishers everywhere are struggling against the onslaught of new technology and general indifference who amongst us could ask for more?

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