I have finished reading The Dying Light and started another book. This one isn’t a novel. There was a time when I read almost nothing but technical stuff, mainly geology books and professional papers so I could keep up to date with the science. This book, Death of an Ocean, I am reading for pure pleasure. I was hooked on it as soon as I opened it. The authors have managed to produce a book that is both educational and interesting – no mean feat for a book that deals with the evolution and development of the geology of a large chunk of Britain. I’m almost embarassed to admit that the geology of the Scottish Borders is something I knew very little about. I’m sure that is about to change.
I am also starting John le Carré’s ‘Our Kind of Traitor’. The book has been given mixed reviews but one thing is certain, I am sure to encounter a few words I’ve never come across before.
I have spent time re-doing my other website, it is here. It still doesn’t compete with the best (far from it), but it has extracts of some of my as-yet-unpublished novels. I know it’s a competitive world out there, but I often wonder what you have to do these days to get your work into bookshops. A previous MD of Random House, one of the UK’s biggest publishers, did a ‘red-pen’ job on the first few chapters of one of my novels. He told me that I would, eventually, get published. I believed him. Ten years on, I still believe him.
What puzzles me is that for every five or so books I buy ‘at random’ from bookshop shelves, only one is any good. Two are just about readable, and two are rubbish. So who, in publishing, chooses the four turkeys? (This isn’t sour grapes, I have been around too long to bother with stuff like that – though I do regret wasting my money buying those turkeys, probably a good reason for me to stick with authors I like).
I have been told that even J K Rowling initially failed with agents and publishers, eventually succeeding by having her work shown by a friend to someone connected with publishing, though I don’t know how true that is (it could be a herd of bullocks). I’m no Rowling. I just write stuff that people, apparently, like to read.