No, it’s not September the 19th yet, but as the good folks at HarperCollins have just launched the good ship Dark Blood on an unsuspecting population, I fell a bit of ‘Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Jim Lad, I can’t takes me greyhound backs to Glasgow…’* was in order.
So far (fingers crossed) it seems to be going down OK. Which is nice. Mind you, I haven’t checked that meeting place for the dispossessed and mentally squinky, Amazon, for hate reviews yet. So it’s entirely possible that I’m missing out on some great vitriol. When Blind Eye came out I found the crappiest review I could of Flesh House, and read that out whenever I did an event. This time I’ve abandoned reading any sort of thing connected to the actual book, in favour of a wee short story instead. Gosh, doesn’t that sound exciting?**
And, in the interests of stuff, things, and trying to ensure that there are actually some bums on the seats next week, may I direct your naughty eyes to the following paragraphs…
This Monday (17th) I’m going to be in Ullapool, doing another Murder, Mysteries, and Microscopes event with the Macaulay Institute. Well, three of them to be honest – two designed to traumatise the local school kids and one, in the evening, that’ll be of a more grown up nature. If you want to come along, we’re going to be in the MacPhail Centre at 18:30. Fun, frivolity, and forensics – what more could you ask for? Other than, maybe, crisps. There won’t be any, but you can always ask.
Next up, I’m off down to Blayden Library for an intimate evening of knob gags and not exposing myself*** on the 18th at 19:30. Be warned though – there will be singing.
And speaking of singing, I’m nipping down the road to the Lit and Phil in Newcastle on the 19th for a lunchtime event with that besequined, Sondheim-singing thesp and crime writer: Martyn Waites. Kickoff is at 12:30, and I understand the event’s being sponsored by a local brewery… So I’m hoping that means BEER! Or, slightly more dangerous, BEAR! But I’m hoping it’s the former, no one wants to be chased down the streets of Newcastle by a large carnivorous mammal. Well, maybe perverts, but normal people will definitely prefer the beer. Though excessive consumption may well result in waking up next to one.
Then that very evening, to cement my status as an international globe-trotting beardy thing, I’ll be at the Waterstone’s Piccadilly branch in London at 18:30. Last year I was pretty much expecting to be performing to an empty room – those wily Londoners being allegedly immune to the lure of a mid-list Scottish write-ist with a hairy chin and winsome smile. Fuckers. But in the end we got a nice wee crowd**** and it was groovier than Ann Widdecombe in a bacon bikini*****. Saucy minx that she is. This year… Well, I wouldn’t complain if you wanted to come along. And bring a friend. Or a cardboard cut out of the aforementioned Ms Widdecombe in her meaty bathing suit. Otherwise I fear it’ll just be me in there. Assuming I get on the right train from Newcastle. Then I’ll have to get Agent Phil to don a fake beard and do the gig in a faux-Scottish accent, with associated cries of ‘Hoots, mon!’
And then, as a final hurrah to the wee tour, I’ll be wheeching back up the country to Mussellburgh Library for an Ann-Widdecombe-free event****** involving singing, rude words, and the definition of the prison term ‘Bomb Patrol’. 20th May at 19:30.
After that, it’s just me and the cat, trying to get the new book written before the DEADLINE OF DOOM!!!
* Seriously, that’s how people who adopt rescue greyhounds talk (at least, they around here). I think they give them special courses at the vet.
** Probably not, but it does give me the excuse to shout the word ‘FUCK!’ in a high-pitched lisp, and you don’t get to do that very often.
*** Long story.
**** And one chap who we’ll be polite and merely describe as ‘A bit of a twat.’
***** Smoked back bacon, because streaky would just cross the line from ‘kinky’ into just plain perverse.
****** By which I mean that there won’t be any Ann Widdecombes, not that I’m handing out free Ann Widdecombes, or that if she turns up in a bacon bikini that she’s getting in for free. She’ll have to pay her £4.00 like anyone else. Honestly, who does she think she is?