But fear not, as I have a very special interview for you. I can't reveal the name of the mysterious interviewer because otherwise everyone will want to be interviewed by her/him, but suffice it to say that I am deeply honoured. So, grab a coffee and a chocolate brownie and settle down for the Big Publication Day Crabbit Interview.
Mysterious Interviewer: So, Nicola, if this book is based on the blog, presumably all you had to do was to copy and paste the best posts. Easy, yah?
MI: Well, relatively easy?
MI: Well, at least easier than if you'd been starting from scratch?
MI: OK, so it was a difficult book to write. I think we've established that. Perhaps you could tell us about the differences between blog and book?
NM: Well, you can find things in the book, for a start. This blog is now huge and unwieldy, with maybe a million words on it, buried in posts that are in a non-logical order, with some material repeated. But in the book everything is ordered nicely and logically, with clear headings in the amazingly detailed contents list so you can find exactly what you want. You could also read it in the bath. And throw it at the wall if you don't like the truth in it. If you were to read my blog in the bath or throw it at the wall you'd do serious damage to your computer.MI: So, you're going to stop blogging now, then?
MI: Seriously? You mean it's all over?
NM: Don't be silly! Do you think I could bear to stop haranguing everyone here? Where would the fun in my life be?MI: Once people have bought the book, though, why will they need to come back to the blog?
NM: No, sorry, I was just taking a break. In fact:
MI: They are chained to the blog?
NM: Oh yes, indeedily. By invisible and unbreakable chains, which they have willingly wound around themselves because they know that being harangued is absolutely the best way to become a stronger writer. They actually do enjoy being harangued. Trust me. And besides, even though the book aims to be all-encompassing, there may still be some small elements of haranguing that I've forgotten to put in. What if they were to miss those? Their whole literary future could be in jeopardy. So, I must continue haranguing them here, because the consequences of an insufficiency of haranguing are too awful to contemplate.MI: Yes, I think I can see that.
NM (cannot now be stopped and has mad look in eyes): So, they must come back here for more haranguing and rest assured that I will be here for them always, ready with my pointy haranguing boots and my crabbititude and my well known Withering Frown of Extreme Exasperation. Also, if they don't come here, I shall harangue them on their doorsteps and in Sainsbury's and at their places of so-called work and even from the highest mountains and deepest valleys shall I harangue them until, verily, the hills and all the citadels shall ring out with the trumpets and clarions of haranguing.MI: Are you OK?
NM: Yes, I am very fine, thank you.MI: Supposing anyone wished (or dared) to come and witness some actual live haranguing, such as you might offer in an event open to the unsuspecting public, where can they avail themselves of such an opportunity?
NM: Ah, yes. Since you ask, here is a little time-table:MI: Jolly good. But if all these events are free, does that mean you aren't being paid? (Please don't do that head-desk screaming thing again.)
- 2 June: Foyles bookshop, London, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE but ticketed. TOMORROW - HURRY, tortoises....
- 9 June: Edinburgh - private haranguing session, fully booked.
- 16 June: Blackwell's bookshop, Edinburgh, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE but ticketed. With WINE.
- 30 June: London Writers' Café panel.
- 25 August: Waterstone's bookshop, Edinburgh George St, 6.30-7.30 - booking not open yet; timing may change.
- ?? August: secret location in Edinburgh - I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you, which would defeat the object of my telling you. Details later. (About the event, not killing methods.)
- 15 October, Waterstone's Cambridge - details later.
- Elsewhere - UK tour currently in planning for autumn, once we've found a bus with a big enough fridge.
NM: No, I'm not being paid, but this is absolutely fine, for one or two reasons.MI: Tell us. Tell us both of them.
NM: First, because I feel I have failed aspiring writers: I have sweated blood for them for some years now and I regret to say that agents are telling me that my very clear advice to submit work while sober still isn't getting through. Second, I have this vague hope that if I do free events for them, they might buy the frigging book. Because if they don't, I'm stuffed, tbh.MI: You love your blog-readers, don't you?
NM: Absolutely adore them. No idea where I'd be without them.
MI: One more question. The cover of WTBP. That red stuff. We've all been wondering: blood or ink?
NM: Blood. Mine.
MI: Thank you, Nicola, for answering these piercing questions. May I suggest that you have a glass of wine or something?
NM: Thank you. I don't mind if I do. Seriously though, I'm very proud of this book and well I might be, since it was a complete and utter bugger to write. Luckily though, as you can see, I preserved my sanity and came nowhere near any kind of breakdown. I have witnesses for this.
Some big thank yous: fabulous publicity person and ace-brain, Corinne Gotch; equally fabulous assistant and wonder-brain, Becky Hearne; everyone who buys a book; and ALL of you, my lovely blog readers, without whom this blog would not have succeeded, and this book would not have been born.
One more thing. Lest I paint a falsely negative picture of my mood, I am in fact very, very proud of my new baby. It's had a wonderful reception from loads of you, including lovely Amazon reviews already, plus some trade response that's been fab, and I am very happy. Srsly.