It's Alive! 11/25/2011
I have a book.
Well, I don’t, I mean, I haven’t seen the actual physical copy of Babylon Steel yet, I haven’t held it in my hands. But it exists. It’s a thing, in the world.
This is very strange. Because suddenly, it’s real.
It hasn’t been real in the same way before. It’s existed as an idea, then as a few scribbled words in random notebooks and as a lot more words on a screen – a bunch of, what, spots of arranged light, electronic thoughts in a silicon brain. And the time will come, I think, when most books are bought and read as electronic files; that will be their ultimate stage of reality.
I admit I’m very glad to have a book that exists as a solid physical object. That was the reality of books I grew up with, and is the reality of most of the books I own or buy, still. It was my ambition, and I feel immensely lucky that it’s been realised.
But then, is a book actually real before there are readers? Which sounds rather postmodern, perhaps, but I feel there’s still another level of reality to come – the point where it’s read by someone who isn’t a friend, a member of my critique group, my agent or my editor. That’s when it not only becomes real, it becomes separate. And either people like it or they don’t. Either they notice it…or they don’t.
Now I get to see if it can survive on its own, a real thing, in a reality outside my head. And that’s scary.
Tarting up 09/15/2011
Tart cards! The tart cards have arrived, and they’re fabulous.
Perhaps I should explain. This was an idea for publicity for Babylon Steel thrown away as an offhand comment by writer Gary Couzens at a T Party meeting. ‘You should have some cards like the ones working girls put in phone boxes,’ sez he, at which I go, ‘You know what…’ and inform my publishers of said idea. They, bless them, leap upon it with glee and the result is a set of cards with, on one side, a perfectly respectable copy of the book cover with some very nice remarks by the lovely Mike Carey. The other side...well, see below.
I suppose it’s possible that umbrage as well as eyebrows may be raised in some quarters – but frankly, I am writing about people who work in the sex industry, however fantastical the setting, and a little tongue-in-cheek homage to those who do it in the real world doesn’t seem out of place to me.
Brain to page 05/10/2011
I have what is very nearly the final cover for Babylon Steel - I'm waiting for the text. This is ridiculously exciting. The characters look so much the way I'd imagined them, I feel slightly disconcerted - it's as though the cover artist (the extraordinary Marek Okon) walked into my head.
If I go 'squee' any more often I think my co-workers may gag me.