Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Loveable brogues

This week, I have been mostly enjoying my new shoes. I bought them to wear while having coffee with my agent, although she didn't appear to notice them during our meeting (because they were under the table). So, as we were leaving the coffee shop, I had to stop her and say, "Can I just draw your attention to my new shoes?"
And she said, "Oh, yes - never mind the book, those shoes are definitely what clinch it for me." Albeit with a very wry look.

After that, I put them back in their box to wait for the next important meeting. Because I didn't want them to get scratched or anything. Then, after another day or two, I realised my next important meeting might not happen for another eight years and there was no point having shiny new shoes if I wasn't going to wear them. So, in the manner of a four year old girl with a new Princess Barbie tiara, I immediately started wearing them everywhere.
And people have noticed them - even though they're not toweringly high-heeled or covered in spangles - they have a definite look-at-me-ness. "Ooh, I like your shiny shoes!" people have said (People of sound fashion judgement, obviously. People without it, have been asking me if I'm a tap dancer.)

Last week, Lauren Laverne posted this picture on Twitter of her new holographic brogues! Oooh - shiny shoes with rainbows! Want! Want!
I think it was also a tweet from Lauren Laverne that directed me to the en brogue site where I found endless photos of beautiful shoe-candy. Which means I now have to get a book deal so I can purchase thirty different-coloured pairs of brogues. Because - yes - I am that much of a wastrel.

All the busyness of my last post seems to be easing up now, which is fine by me because I'm not one of nature's organised, dynamic types. I am the opposite type - the type who is naturally-lazy, easily-bewildered and whimpery.
And I have sent off the THIRD draft of my book to my agent. Which feels great.
At first.
Because in three weeks from now, I will have convinced myself that my agent HATES all the changes I made and is wondering how to break it to me that she doesn't want anything more to do with my book. Which feels not-great.
In the meantime, I've started trying to sort out the tangled plot of my second book and come up with a synopsis that won't make me cringe if/when my agent wants it.
Added to that, I've also found the exact definition of the kind of writer I really want to be...
"Writer of modern gothic novels that mix contemporary
 suspense and romance with historical adventure."
Trouble is, I found this description under the name of someone else - damn, damn, damn!
It describes New York Times Bestselling Author Susanna Kearsley, who has already written and published more than a dozen books - and would probably frown upon me pinching her Author-blurb.
I'm too frightened to read her books now (although they sound fab from the quote above) - in case they make me feel I can't compete. I'm not quite sure how it works, but there are definitely books that make me want to read, books that make me want to write and books that make me wonder why I'm bothering!
Over the last week or two, I've been reading lots of Young Adult books (since this is where my agent intends to place mine) - especially those with hints of magic and mystery - because this is the direction I'm planning to take with book number two. I've read...

Strange and Norrell was my favourite, although I thought the writing in Chime was beautiful. But none of them made me ache to be a writer of magical YA stories like the books by Laini Taylor or Erin Morgenstern have recently.  
So, I'd love to know which books are the ones that really inspire other writers to actually - you know - get writing?
My favourite writer is probably F Scott Fitzgerald, but his writing is too far removed from anything I can do myself, to be inspiring. It makes me feel a bit small and pointless and sort of overawed at such stylishness.
So...off the top of my head, my list would include...
1. Neil Gaiman, who makes me want to write something funny or quirky - and laugh at my own stupid jokes. He makes me feel as if writing can be huge fun!
2. Agatha Christie, who makes me want to devise fiendishly twisty plots that miraculously make sense in the end. She's truly brilliant at this - so it's a pity my admiration is always abruptly shut down by her sudden bursts of racism. The only way I can read (and learn from) Agatha Christie is by reading each book as a sort of historical document.  
3. Daphne du Maurier, who made me want to be a writer when I was about thirteen.  After reading Rebecca, Norman Collins (a senior editor at Gollancz) said, "I don't know another author who imagines so hard all the time." And that's exactly how I felt - I still remember it - I'd never read anything that was so fiercely imagined before.
Bet if I searched hard enough I could find a photo of Daphne in some really cool brogues too! 


  1. How awesome are those holographic brogues!! Definitely you should wear your lucky shoes all the time. Books that inspired my writing - has to be C.S. Lewis, Narnia Chronicles. I just love all that magic and strange new worlds.

  2. You're in good company there - Neil Gaiman and Phillip Pullman were hugely influenced by the Narnia stories...and I think JK Rowling loved them too!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.