Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tomb Raider Struggle / Book Signing

I've been engaged in a life and death struggle with the new Tomb Raider Game. Some parts of it are so hard. The ascent of the great pyramid in Atlantis is particularly difficult. The jumps are awkward, but the main problem is there's so little time to do them. Lara Croft has to attach her grapple to a series of metal rings to swing over the gaps, and the rings retract after only a few seconds, sending Lara plummeting to a grim death below.

So stuck did I become on this that I was forced to seek internet assistance. I actually found a video on of someone doing the jump I was stuck on, using a slightly different technique to the one I was using.

After four days - yes four days - of trying, I finally succeeded, and am heading rapidly towards the final conflict. Ha. It's terrific game-playing for a man of my age.

My reading/signing in Crystal Palace is on Friday the 29th. Come along. Buy books. Or, if you have some feeble excuse for not coming along, like for instance you live in a different country, you can buy Lonely Werewolf Girl over the internet from my website. My internet book sales are going quite well, better than I've ever managed before.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Russian Books

I received these two books in the post this week, from the Russian publisher Eskmo: recently-published Russian copies of my novels Suzy, Led Zeppelin and Me, and The Good Fairies of New York. I was pleased to get them, particularly as they arrived in nice parcels of brown paper wrapped up with string, which you don't see so often these days, in the era of the padded envelope. Really, they sent me too many, which publishers sometimes do. I'm not sure what to do with six copies of each book in Russian.

I have some Russian copies of Thraxas too, and a Russian Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation. So I've sold quite a few books to Russia, over the years.

Yesterday a photographer arrived to take pictures for a piece in The Sunday Telegraph. I did an interview about Lonely Werewolf Girl which will run on the 8th July. That should help things along. The photo session was quite long, but stress-free. The photographer was a pleasant woman. I used to worry about being photographed, in case the pictures didn't look good. These days I'm fatalistic about it. I realise I'll never like any photographs of me, so I might as well just accept it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pictures From My Launch / Crumble Anxiety

I'm undergoing some extensive dentistry at the moment. Sigh. I'm still paying the price for the dreadful Scottish dentistry when I was at school. Adding to my woes, the dental visit necessitated calling in a strange supermarket on the way home - Somerfield, possibly, though I wouldn't swear to it - and buying an unfamiliar rhubarb crumble. It looked like a reasonable pie, but on arriving home I was distressed to find that the ingredients included a potentially lethal E-number chemical additive.

Careful internet investigation revealed the substance to be a naturally occurring substance, for flavouring, so they claim. Hmmm. Probably manufactured in some dubious eastern European factory. I chanced it anyway. As a rhubarb crumble it wasn't bad, but I remain dubious about potential harmful additives. The full lethal effects may not show for a few days yet.

Really, there should be more pure, additive-free food, for people like me who don't like eating strange chemicals, but who are also too lazy and incompetent to cook for themselves.

Here are a few pictures from my book launch last week, taken by my friend Trish -

Reading at the launch

Side view of Angus, Crissi and Peter, in audience

With book and notebook,wondering what to read next

Close-up of aging features

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Book Launch

My book launch for Lonely Werewolf Girl went well though it wasn't the great event I was hoping for. I saw many friends who I hadn't seen for a while and that was good. However, it was a very long trek for people from South London, and there were people I was expecting to see who didn't make it. I'm grateful to everyone who made the journey. The Boogaloo is a nice bar but perhaps I should have held the launch somewhere closer to home.

Also, I don't think I'd prepared enough, and didn't do my readings all that well. In the end I sold quite a lot of books so I suppose that means it was successful. But it could have been better, and afterwards I feel a little let down.

On the positive side, my brother gave me a lift there and back. Though it was a long journey I didn't suffer from agoraphobic panic as I feared I might.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

World's Last T-Rex

Lonely Werewolf Girl should be in bookshops now. I'm very pleased with the way the book looks. I've been sending out internet orders myself, so I can sign them. This has gone OK, except I couldn't get my computer to print labels properly and consequently had to address all the envelopes by hand. But apart from this it went smoothly enough. I've now sent out all orders received up till yesterday

Here's a piece about the book in the UK SF Book News.

I was exhausted after addressing envelopes. I planned to lie on the couch watching TV to recover, maybe for several days. However the Tomb Raider Anniversary Edition arrived in the post so I had to get down to playing it right away. The past few days have seen some fine gameplay on my part, as Lara Croft fights her way through Peru, wiping out the world's last remaining T-Rex in the process. There's no denying it, Lara Croft does have a genocidal approach to wildlife. But if these gorillas and tigers keep attacking her, you cant really blame her for mowing them down.

And talking of T Rex. They will play a prominent part in the soundtrack for my book-launch at the Boogaloo in Archway Road, next Tuesday, along with many more of my 70s favourites. I'm looking forward to it, but may regret having to tear myself away from Tomb Raider.

Lara and her undefeatable chest