Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Hyperventilating of Glasgow

Well, I'm sorry to be all me, me me, but it's a very exciting day for me today. Look what arrived in the post from the lovely people at John Blake/maXcrime. Isn't it gorgeous? I've been stroking them all day, in between cackling madly and shoving them in peoples' faces. I can't believe it's here, and I can't believe it's released next week. Hang on while I have a cackle and a stroke again. Oh...errrr...that didn't sound quite right, did it?

I rang my Mum and told her I was sending her a copy.

"That's nice, our Donna," she said. "I'll carry a copy around with me."

"Oh...does that mean you're going to read it after all?" (she gave up at Christmas after the first paragraph (I think it was the term hard-on that was the nail in the coffin)).

There was a horrified pause. "Oh, no, dear. But I'm going to carry it around with me and show everyone." Awwww, well she might not read it herself, but at least she doesn't mind other people seeing it. I was touched. Until she added. "I'm just not going to let anyone actually look inside."

As you can see, I have a little pile of loveliness here. I've given a couple away already - friends, family, colleagues, complete strangers who ran away screaming - but thought I would give a couple away on the blog. All you need to do is leave a comment here, or e-mail me if you would prefer, and tell me the first line or first paragraph of the book you are currently reading (which is one of my favourite ways of finding a new book to read, so you'll be doing me a favour). Two people (pulled out of one of my favourite shoes) will get a copy of OLD DOGS. Unless I only get one entry - in which case one unlucky person gets two copies. And if I don't get any entries, well, I'm sorry, but my Mum gets extra. And you wouldn't want that now, would you, dear reader?

I am very, very lucky and owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people.

And now, enough of me, and back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Here's an excellent list from booksfromscotland.com showing all the literary and book festivals in Scotland this year.

A report on a recent Ian Rankin event in Zurich, from a blogger who wants Ian to know that at least some of the audience were listening. Nice one.

Bookmunch on Louise Welsh's NAMING THE BONES. And here's one blogger's personal view on this and her other books. There might be a little too much detail on the new book so caveat lector if you haven't read it.

And, finally, an interesting article from the Globe and Mail about letting students choose the books they read.

A very happy Donna signing off.


  1. Great stuff. My copy's gone straight to the top of the TBR pile. Looking forward to reading.

  2. I can't wait to read it. Though I will have to wait until it is released here. :(

  3. Rob - I hope you enjoy it, but even if you don't thank you for reading it and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about it even if you loathe it.

    Kathy - no geographical restrictions - I'm happy to send a copy anywhere if you want to enter!

  4. Looks brilliant. A great jacket design and a great read - hope everyone has their copy on pre-order

  5. Very nice!

    Leave the cackling to me, please.

    I can't believe it's released next week either... I have it down for June!!??

  6. Chris - thanks, son :o)

    Bookwitch - can I join you in a cackle or two? April for the UK edition, June in the US.

  7. I'm not sure about being pulled out of a shoe ... but I would very much like to read the Old Dogs. I like the strap line "Beware Old Ladies". Yes indeed.

    "Lou Starr was in bed reading, covered to the waist by a sheet." [Trust Me, by Peter Leonard]

    You'd probably like this one Donna. Short punch sentences. The premise and main characters all set out in the first eight and a half pages.

    When Bobby and Lloyd decide to rob local restaurant owner Lou Starr's home in the night, they don't reckon on being propositioned about an even bigger scam by Lou's so-called girlfriend Karen.

  8. See - this is what I love :o) That looks brilliant Tim, and definitely going on this list. And you're in the shoe. It suits you...

  9. Excellent, excellent, excellent news ... although, being the utter snob that I am, I prefer my Busted Flush copy.

    First line of current read: "On a beach in Sidon a bull was aping a lover's coo." The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, by Roberto Calasso.

  10. Dec - thank you, dear sir. And how very mythical of you. That sounds a fascinating book (I looked it up - does it live up to expectations?)

  11. Hi Donna - It's the kind of terrific that takes you about two weeks to read, mainly because you stop reading every two paragraphs or so to stare out the window and belabour yourself about not being brilliant. Mind you, it'd help hugely if you were a geek for Greek mythology.

  12. Ahhhh...pure joy! Seeing your book and it is quite passionately gorgeous! You stroke and cackle all you wish...errr....go ahead! :-)

    First sentence in book I am currently reading:
    An orange Sainsbury's plastic bag in full sail floated along the dark pavement. STILL MIDNIGHT by Denise Mina. Woo woo--two Glasgow authors in one day! :-)

    Huge congratulations, Donna Moore!

  13. Congrats, our Donna, I'm going to buy a copy so you get the numbers. Hope you sell gazillions!

    FYI, just finished Michael Harvey's The Third Rail. First line? "Robles had been on the platform for less than twenty seconds." Which is probably the least interesting line in the book. Great stuff. I read it in a day. An excellent thriller with flashes of cool prose - he compares the teeth on a bad guy to a row of dirty elbows. Nice.

  14. Can't wait to read the book. Maybe I'll even win a copy.

    From Do They Know I'm Running?, by David Corbett: "It was daybreak and the rancher, standing at his kitchen window, watched two silhouettes stagger forward through the desert scrub."

  15. Michael - love that dirty elbows thing - that's gone on my list. And thank you :o)

    Vince - I love David Corbett's writing. This one's definitely on my list. And you're in the shoe!

  16. Dec - a Greek geek?

    Bobbie - good choice on the Mina! And thank you m'dear :o)

  17. But I looked inside, and I´ll post a review next week. Congratulations!

    I have read several great Scottish novels recently - is it something in the air?

  18. Love the cover!

    From Johan Theorin The Darkest Room, chapter 1 (not prologue):

    A high voice called through the dark rooms.

  19. Congratulations! If it was me, I probably wouldn't have stopped at stroking the books but would have kissed them too.
    The book I'm reading at the moment is not a novel, it's a sort of motivational book book to help you achieve your goals. It's Taming Tigers by Jim Lawless:

    "You are writing the story of your life. You must be, mustn't you? Who else can be holding the pen?"

    If it's fiction you're after, I just finished Billy Liar:

    "Lying in bed, I abandoned the facts again and was back in Ambrosia."

  20. I am delighted for you, Lady Donna. This is a happy day. Now, the first line of my current book:

    It is hard, despicable even, to avert your eyes from those of a man who is bleeding to death; but it is even harder to hold his gaze while trying to delve into the maelstrom of confused passions and deathbed secrets racing across his retinas.

    That's from The Tempest by Juan Manuel de Prada, and it is very fine stuff. Won the Planeta Prize in Spain, whence it comes.

  21. Dorte - mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah :o)

    Karen - thank you! And that first line sends a shiver down my spine.

    Helen - well, let's just say that whoever wins copies will have to wipe the slavvers off first. Did the motivational book work?

    Sir Philip - I give you extra points for 'whence' :o)

  22. '... I think it was the term hard-on that was the nail in the coffin...'
    Haha! :D

    Congratulations Donna!

    At the moment I'm reading Beyond Lies the Wub: Volume One of the Collected Stories (of Philip K. Dick). This is the first sentence of the first story called 'Stability':
    'Robert Benton slowly spread his wings, flapped them several times and sailed majestically off the roof and into the darkness.'

  23. Thanks Nicolai :o) Very Kafka-esque. Great first sentence.

  24. I'm glad you liked it. It's getting kind of crowded here in your shoe...

    By the way, what a cool quote you have on the cover. Now that sounds like a book I would love to read! :)

  25. LOL - thank you. Well, you ARE in the shoe, so who knows :o)

  26. I hope you are still enjoying yourself with your stroking and cackling - I don't blame you a bit. And your mother sounds delightfully proud in the best motherly tradition - mine is very similar. I have the kind of civil service job that is quite important to other civil servants but irrelevant to the rest of the world but my mum carries extra copies of my business card and foists them onto everyone she meets and makes sure they understand how important I am. Bless her (and yours)

    Now, to join the others in the shoe

    "The neon hammer and sickle buzzed and flickered to life over the night club of the Lan Xang Hotel." (THIRTY THREE TEETH, Colin Cotterill)

  27. Bernadette - the stroking and cackling may continue for some time. Laughing at the business card. That does sound like my mum. I know whenever I get post from her because the letter is addressed to "Donna Moore BA (Hons, 1st class) FCII" I'm sure she would add "Author, My Daughter, Can Be Annoying" if there was room on the envelope. I love Colin Cotterill's books (I have that one on Mt TBR). You're in the shoe!

  28. Mum hasn't got her copy yet. Nothing in the post this AM.
    My current book is Doors Open by Ian Rankin.
    First lines are--Mike saw it happen.There were two doors next to one another.

  29. Dad - are you sure she didn't just chuck it in the bin when she saw what it was? And good - you can do me a review of the Ian Rankin then, it's been AGES since you've done a review for me.

  30. Nope!!! we'll think about it

  31. I'm about half way through the motivational book and it seems to be working. The real test will be if I'm still taking "bold actions" one month from now.
    I did something bold on Monday (pitched an article), another bold thing on Tuesday (pitched another article), but today I'm running out of bold things to do. I mean, how many article ideas can one person come up with?

  32. We have to wait until June? Not fair!


  33. OK, you can cackle a little, Donna.

    Tim - if it's Donna's shoe it can't be too bad. You'll be shoed in style.

  34. Helen - that sounds like quite enough boldness for one week - good on you!

    Dave - well, tell me the first para of what you are reading and you might get a copy before June :o)

    Bookwitch - then I will cackle with impunity :o)And they will be lovely shoes. These are my new favourites, in red:

  35. Hey Donna looks good. Your mum is so proud and I am sure your mum will read it and possible tick you off for the swearing. Will it be available through Book Depositary?

  36. It has just come, unsigned, and the dedication was to the two grandmothers. I only hope they were not the inspiration for the two "Old Dogs"

  37. Yay!! Congrats Donna. You deserve to be proud - cackle and stroke away! (Sadly, that is not the first time I've said that to someone.)

    First line from THE SERIALIST by David Gordon:
    "The first sentence of a novel is the most important, except for maybe the last, which can stay with you after you've shut the book, the way the echo of a closing door follows you down the hall."

    Much more representative of the book is the last line in the first (2-page) chapter: "It all began the morning when, dressed like my dead mother and accompanied by my fifteen-year old schoolgirl business partner, I opened the letter from death row and discovered that a serial killer was my biggest fan."

  38. Sally - thank you me dear! And yes it will :o)

    Dad - no, father dearest. They were lovely, funny, strong, feisty, caring ladies who I loved very much.

    Tania - LOL - don't make a habit of telling people to cackle and stroke! That book sounds intriguing - I've never heard of it or the author. My list is getting ever longer :o)

  39. What do I have to do to win the shoes?

  40. But seriously, congratulations on the new one Donna.

  41. Gina - thank you. And I jealously guard my lovely red shoes.

  42. "I'm not sure where one should expect to find the bereaved daughter of a wealthy Malibu suicide in need of a trauma cleaner long after midnight, but safe to say a trucker motel down the 405 industrial corridor in Carson was not on my list of likely locales." (The Mystic Art of Erasing All Signs of Death, Charlie Huston)

    Congratulations on the book!

    Jerry House

  43. Jerry - I love Charlie Huston. And thanks for your congratulations!

  44. “Chief Inspector Chen Cao was in no mood to speak at the political studies meeting of the Shanghai Police Bureau’s Party Committee.”

    That’s the opening of The Mao Case by Qiu Xiaolong.

    More representative, perhaps, or at least more colorful, is this, from a bit later in the chapter:

    ”So you are a newcomer here, young man. I would like to give you a word or two of advice. Life is short, sixty or seventy years, no point worrying away your days till your hair turns white. Heartbroken for a woman? Come on. … Think about Mao. Such a man, and yet he, too, was ruined by his woman—or women. He fucked his brains out in the end.”

    I hope you pull out my name when you reach into your shoe.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    "Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

  45. Peter - love that colourful addition! You're in the boot.