An Irresistable Presence that Women will find Attractive, and Other Stories

Did I really just read this on a martial arts website?

Just imagine how you will feel when you’ve learned how to REALLY defend yourself. You won’t get bothered much anymore. The knowledge that you can kick anyone’s ass will give you an irresistable [sic] presence that women find incredibly attractive.

The stuff ones stumbles across when Googling high-speed death strikes doesn’t bear thinking about.

John Barlow’s blog

It appears that John Barlow, author of Eating Mammals and Intoxicated, has joined the cool cats of the blogging world. Check out what he has to say about writing, authors, and his hobbies (nothing), over at his site. John’s style is accessible and irreverent, so the blog should be one to watch.

Progress on Flashback

Most of this week has been swallowed by my work-in-progress, Flashback. I’ve entered the high-octane last scenes, and there has been a appreciable slowdown in the number of words on paper each day. This phenomenon is an odd one. I experienced it with my previous two novels. I think I’m almost reluctant to leave the universe I’ve created. There is a temptation to just keep writing, but, of course, the arc of the story means that it must end in short order (and Bristol fashion). A pity.

This warm glow will disappear when I return to the book for the editing process, to be replaced by the cold grip of nausea as I grow steadily sickened by the same scenes, over and over, until all the goodness fades and only the flaws remain. Can’t wait!

A couple of blog-induced thingies have happened over the past week. First, Jay Rayner, novelist, Observer food critic, and author of ‘Star Dust Falling’ – which is a factual account of the context and immediate aftermath of the 1947 ‘Star Dust’ crash, a central event in my current thriller – contacted me to ask for a synopsis. (If you go to my dedicated Flashback page, you’ll see that I offer to supply the synopsis on demand.) Naturally enough, I don’t have a synopsis. Oh no. That would be too easy. I will have one, I’m sure – just as soon as I’ve finished the book. So I sent Jay just the section that involves a flashback (geddit?) to Buenos Aires in 1947.

Jay returned my email with a dry comment that he couldn’t take a week off to read the extract, and could I please just send him the synopsis when I have it. At this point, I opened the attachment and checked the pages. One-hundred and forty-three. Ahem. Fair point. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that this novel is getting quite long for a thriller (see word count meter below), and just because an extract is a sliver of the whole doesn’t mean it ain’t a fair chunk o’words. Anyway, it will be very interesting to know what Jay thinks of the synopsis, since he’s an expert on the things I’ve only tried to imagine.

On a related note, I received a kind email from Stewart Waring, a pilot with Flightline – a leading charter airline – who had come across my site shortly after reading a book full of inaccuracies about aviation. He offered to fact-check some of my chapters so that I don’t make the same mistakes. Stewart has extensive experience with different aircraft, and has flown more than one hundred types, including the Spitfire. His input will be enormously valuable – I just hope he knows what he’s let himself in for. Only yesterday did I find out what an aileron is. God help Flashback.

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

2 thoughts on “An Irresistable Presence that Women will find Attractive, and Other Stories”

  1. Got my copy of Deja Vu on Saturday. I’m building up a bit of a pile of ‘to-read’ books, but I’m looking forward to getting to it – as soon as I can!

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