Thank you for all the airline reading comments. I wanted to know because a critic once described one of my books as airline reading – which as they are likely to make you laugh, perhaps they aren’t. I think it was meant to sneer at the fact the book was entertaining but not ‘deep’. Possibly disposable. I was actually quite pleased with ‘entertaining’, and I suppose depth sometimes is more a measure of the reader than the author. For me, a good airline read does not make me weep. It’s a little embarrassing (I was reading the death of Svanhild and Erik’s despair from THIS ROUGH MAGIC, for homework on the flight). For those of you curious about the Zimbabwe visit click here.
It was interesting as a writer and social observer. It’s a society that drunkenly fell over the cliff, clung on to a daisy (the US dollar) and pulled up onto the crumbling edge again, and is now staggering along it. What tomorrow brings is an interesting question. It needs to sober up, accept the consequences and behave responsibly to survive by more than blind luck and the skin of its teeth, but it doesn’t show any signs of quitting the bottle yet.
I’ve returned with flu’ or a very bad cold, to the twin realities of a writer’s life, a royalty statement that is 4 months late, out by nearly an order of magnitude by my calculation with obvious issues, and a demand for proof reading and maps NOW… from the same source. Oh and a small check from Amazon -twice the size of the royalty check I was sent, for 1/4 the period. Small, but correct and on time. Somehow doing more for Amazon has some charm.
And here is the question. I’ve still got some books on contract. If I really pushed I could finish them this year – or in 16 months max. On the other hand, I was working on the stories I’ve thought of which I still want to write, which have been crowding my mind and not selling to traditional publishing. Like Cuttlefish this may happen once it is done – I conclude I write terrible proposals, or at least not ones that sell to most traditional publishers – but the books seems to be popular with readers. So as with Zimbabwe I find myself wobbling along the cliff-top, sipping the Amazon bottle. I can’t jump just yet. I must finish at least 1 and preferably 2 of the books I owe. But the twin realities do not make this easy to focus on. And when I focus I write well and fast.
Like a panster, I find myself trying to work out what the best compromise for this character will be.
No wonder I am a plotter!