Monday, April 14, 2008

Flashbacks

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

6 comments:

pamela said...

Awwww, come on, John, you GOTTA tell us what Kevin's like!!!

TomH said...

Flashback, an interesting word with so many meanings. Your journey must at times seem never ending and at other times, as though the blink of an eye. And that's how it is. As for forty years... its not that bad, especially when considering the alternative.

TomH said...

The Unquiet: A Thriller,

New York Times Best Sellers list for Mass Market Paperback Fiction.

Congratulations John.

ksuicide said...

Hey John,

I still have those photos of the book on the McMurdo base sign. Send an email to defenestration4you@gmail.com so I know where to send those photos to. They are not the best because the weather was fairly snarky the entire rest of season, but it is a start.

Hope all is well.

~cheers

pamela said...

andrea1960WHEN ARE YOU GONA TELL US ABOUT MEETING KEVIN COSTNER??!! Puuweeeze?? LOL! Thanks and really looking forward to see the New Daughter on the big screen, sir. Your a God!

hoodie said...

Well done to you Mr C .Great night thanks for the chat etc.
Blue Nile playing Somerset House 13th July. What a great 24hours.
Hope to see you soon, Douglas Hood