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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Author: 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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