. . .two come along in short order. Dear reader, how nice it is of you to pop along again after so brief a break.
If you have been reading my blog with the attention you surely have been paying to it, you will know that I have been slaving away on a new, apocalyptic novel, trying to beat the end of it all as threatened by practically everyone everywhere who has a grudge, and there are quite a few of those.
As I write, the Russians are bombing away in Syria hours before a ceasefire there. Whether they will stop is moot. The US Secretary of State, a man with hair that will go down in history as “muss-proof” if there is a history, says that if the Russians break their word – surely, they would never do that! – things will “get uglier”. How things can get uglier in that horrible war is hard to imagine, bu I guess they can.
Anyway I managed to complete my novel about the end of the human race before it actually self-destructed in five seconds like the tape in Mission Impossible,with Peter Graves*, and it is now available. Smashwords, the e-publisher, offers it for the generous price of US$2.99. The title is The Living End.
Reader, it would be great if you read this book. I don’t want to spoil your pleasure even a tiny bit, if pleasure is the right expression, and won’t tell you any more about it.
What I will say is that while good writing is always hard, this book was enjoyable to write. As my own worst critic, I think it is well-written too. There is more though – there are “technical aspects” that were difficult to work out but exciting in the end. My aim, apart from providing a good read, is as I set myself when I first started out – to fulfill a serious purpose in a frivolous genre.
Put another way, I’ve got some sneaky bits in there.
One of the books that has influenced my writing is Ted Hughes’ Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being. Among other arguments in that strange analysis of a cycle of Shakespeare’s plays, Hughes claims the great man wrote partly in a secret code, that there was a surface story that anyone could get, but that within that story were coded references to another, deeper theme, that were addressed to the members of an elect group. What’s more, this theme could even contradict the surface yarn. This idea is quite interesting and even inspirational, and with some of my books I have tried very hard to make this work, though the elect group in my case self-selects as readers who get it.
The Living End has that, or is meant to. Perhaps it’s too obvious, or so subtle no one can pick it. I wrote the thing so I can’t tell really.
Anyway give it a burl and see what you think. In your millions! It’s ok! I don’t mind – honest!
*Peter Graves was the bad guy in Stalag 17, the Oscar-winning prisoner of war drama. He was also the brother of James Arness, who starred in Gunsmoke and appeared in it over an astonishing length of time. Arness was very tall – 6’7″ in old style measurement if memory serves me right – so during the D-Day landing in WWII was given the task of jumping out of the landing craft to see how deep the water was. How Arness must have loved his commander! He was wounded and ended up back in the US having surgery, and was released from hospital in Iowa City, Iowa on the day I was born there. You read it here first!
Arness’ role as “Marshall Dillon” in Gunsmoke was mocked in another TV western, Maverick, starring James Garner. Garner went on to star in the prisoner of war film to beat them all, The Great Escape, slyly erasing Arness’ brother’s dubious claim to infamy. Conspiracy theorists – don those tinfoil hats!