I'm rather enjoying this being made redundant lark. In the last few days I have finished the screenplay I was writing (sent off to lovely agent Allan Guthrie. I'm sure it's crap, but I had great fun writing it and it was great experience), and I've written two short stories, with a third on the go.
I don't know why, but when I'm writing a short story, it generally starts off (at least) with a title that's a song. One of the stories is called What Do I Get? (the Buzzcocks) and another is called Bikini Girls With Machine Guns (the Cramps), although I'm contemplating changing that one to Hens (not a song title). The third one, which I have just started, and which is a sort of homage to NIGHTMARE ALLEY (one of my favourite noir books/films) is tentatively titled Depravity Lane (Alien Sex Fiend). None of the stories have anything to do with the content of the songs, by the way, it's just the titles. (And the story Bikini Girls With Machine Guns has neither girls in bikinis nor machine guns, incidentally.)
The title of this post is another song by The Cramps. It's also the name of a book by John Pleasant McCoy. When I found this in a used bookstore in America I snapped it up. How could I resist? I haven't read it yet, but the back cover blurb says 'SWING THE BIG-EYED RABBIT is a vivid novel filled with the lusty pleasures and primitive emotions of the backwoods people. Here they are in all their earthy splendor - from the hell-fire and damnation preacher to the lush and laughing girls. This is an unforgettable novel that has won high praise from critics for its zestful humor, Rabelasian characters and abounding vitality.'
I bought it at the same time as SWAMP BRAT by Allen O'Quinn. I found this one hard to resist because of the excerpt on the back cover:
'She stepped out from behind the tree trunk, her daddy's shotgun cradled in her arms.
"What are you doing here?" I said.
"Squirm, Eddie." All that black hair curtained her eyes, but she kept the gun slanted at my face.
"Look here, Rosamay, what you aim to do with that double barrel?"
"Maybe kill dogs, Eddie, maybe you. Look over my shoulder, Eddie. She's down there waiting for you, ain't she? All soft and pink and prettied up. Eddie, I swore up and down last night when you left me that I wouldn't let her have you in one piece. It ain't easy staying awake all night, Eddie, and when you do, you get dizzy in the head so you could do most anything. Eddie, I aim to kill you."
I am really rubbish at titles, but find it difficult to start writing without one. Is that just me? For the writers out there - how do you choose your titles? And for the readers - how important is a title to you?
Anyway, I digress. On to the Scottish crime fiction news.
Several prominent Scottish authors - including Ian Rankin and Karen Campbell - talk about books they are looking forward to reading this summer. Ian Rankin sends Allan Guthrie's kindle sales sky high with his praise. Excellent stuff.
Another list of books for the summer, including Morag Joss' AMONG THE MISSING. And the Herald chooses Karen Campbell's PROOF OF LIFE as one of theirs.
An excellent review of Doug Johnstone's THE OSSIANS over at Dear Scotland.
The Vancouver Sun calls Alexander McCall Smith "an old-fashioned writer plugged into today's world."
More on the mysterious Ian Rankin sculptures. And Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith are amongst authors backing Oxfam's Bookfest.
An interview with Kate Atkinson.
Thanks to Bill Crider for this website, which has some absolute crackers.
And, finally, it really took them over 8 hours? Not just Scotland's only theme park, but Scotland's slowest theme park. What on earth were they doing all that time?