First of all, thank you to all those who offered suggestions as to how I might retrieve the chapters of The Lovers that I accidentally overwrote last month. Unfortunately - or fortunately, depending upon how one looks at it - I only managed to retrieve two. Curiously, this was something of an anticlimax, as I'd already begun to rewrite the lost material, and part of me didn't want the older stuff back. It was gone, and I had resigned myself to it. It was a bit like keeping a bedside vigil on a terminally ill relative, and then finding that they hadn't died after all but insisted on clinging on to life, even after everyone else had progressed from worrying about them, to grieving for them, and, finally, to getting on with life.
In the process of attempting to retrieve the lost files, the programme that I used was obliged to dig up all sorts of stuff that I thought was long gone. As none of the files had a name, I had to open each one and examine the contents in order to discover if it contained the material that I was looking for. I found sections of old books, early drafts containing characters whose names subsequently changed, or who ultimately simply disappeared from the finished narrative. There were chapters-in-progress, false starts, even part of a chapter from a children's book that I started once and then never quite got around to finishing. Oddly, there were few deletions, a consequence of the way that I write, where each draft builds on the next in a slow accretion of detail. Still, it was, in a strange way, a kind of alternate history of the last ten years, a junkpile of might-have-beens.
I've spent a lot of the last two weeks dealing with the past of the novels, now that I think of it. File retrieval apart, I put together a 5,000 word piece on the origins of Parker and the novels, which may be published by Otto Penzler of the Mysterious Bookstore in New York as part of an ongoing series. It was appropriate to do it now, I think, as the publication of the tenth book approaches. Ten books. Ten years of being published. I'll be 40 next month. Lots of anniversaries with a zero at the end of them.
So, with that in mind, thanks to all of you who have supported my work over the past decade. I'm very grateful.
By the way, did I mention that I met Kevin Costner last week? Well, I did.
But that's another story . . .
This week John read
Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden
The Devil's Guide to Hollywood: The Screenwriter as God by Joe Eszterhaus
AIiens by Bryan Appleyard
and listened to
Oracular Spectacular by MGMT
It's a Shame About Ray (Collector's Edition) by The Lemonheads
Rosemarie by Thistletown