Why they kicked me out of Australia

Interesting conversation at work today, with a female colleague who started to tell me about the problems she'd been having with getting her car fixed and why the temporary replacement drive had been so much better. It was all going very well until she started getting all technical on me about specs and things like, I don't know, engine size, probably. That was the point at which I had to hold my hands up and admit that as far as I was concerned, all I cared about in a car was how quickly it could get me to the nearest comic shop. Obviously she'd assumed that because I'm a guy, I know about this kind of thing, and she was simply trying to speak to me in my native language of Laddish. Bless.

Once we'd got over that little bit of awkwardness we had a much more sensible and meaningful conversation about how badly Underworld 4 sucked. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure it does.

I get the same thing about sport too, all the time. Is it any wonder people ask me whether I'm really an Aussie?

Let the schmoozing begin

So I spent a good few hours on Sunday afternoon schlepping my rucksack full of promotional copies around the bookshops of metropolitan inner Birmingham - all three of them. Would have taken me all of half an hour if I hadn't succumbed to the lure of Muji's stationery section.

Waterstones on High Street and New Street were lovely, though I could see the fear come into the eyes of the poor sales staff as I wandered over trying to look all nonchalant and clutching a copy of my book with white knuckles. Oh shit, here comes another self-published loser looking for a bit of free PR. No, honestly, it's a real professional book, believe me. Look, it's got an ISBN and a quote from Adam Roberts on the front (yes, the actual one, not just some guy from down the pub with the same name), and it's got real proper punctuation and grammar and everything. The guy at Forbidden Planet even sounded like he'd actually heard of the book - which was sweet.

Got home and then parcelled up a load more to send off to various places. All I need now is a bank loan to pay for the postage.

By the way, I know that this sounds like the continuation of something I've been writing for a while, but it isn't. Sorry. This is the first proper blog post I've written about the process of getting The Narrows published. I haven't written anything about it before now because I figured a) anybody reading this who's already a writer probably knew the drill, and b) anybody trying to get published was probably just going to get all depressed. I also sort of think that I'm lucky enough getting some stories out there at all - why should I expect anybody to be reading this drivel? So hey, sorry you missed out on the roller coaster ride of me getting all paranoid about why it's been taking so long and oh my god I haven't heard anything from Snowbooks for a nanosecond and I know it's all going to go wrong whine whine whine.

You didn't really need to hear that shit. Believe me.

But you know, I'm writing another one so there's still time.