Today’s the shortest day of the year, which also makes it International Short Story day. It’s dark and rainy and only just hitting ten degrees in my chilly little South Australian town, so I’ve got the fire roaring and the blues playing and am working on promotional bits and pieces ahead of The Rest is Weight appearing in bookshops in eleven days. Yikes! Eleven days! (That’s the official date – you might see it in the wild a little sooner). It feels like this has come upon me very quickly, but really it’s been a long time since I decided to put the manuscript together back in the beginning of 2011, with the encouragement of my lovely publisher.
And in a few weeks, it will be officially launched at Gleebooks in Sydney by the marvellous Paddy O’Reilly, perhaps Australia’s finest, smartest and funniest crafter of short fiction. And yes, I do know how very lucky I am.
I’m happy to get back on the promotional/touring horse*, even if it almost overlaps with the last book (anything to get away from the novel, as usual). For Adelaide people, I will be at Adelaide Port Enfield Library, details below, next Thursday, hopefully with some sneaky advance copies for you all! (I’m not doing a bookshop launch because I only know about six people in Adelaide and one of them can’t read yet.)
It will be interesting to see if there’s much difference in peoples’ responses to the novels and the short story collection. I’ve already done my first interview on ABC RN – it was fun but I could have talked for about a week. It did make me wonder how often the conversation will be framed as a ‘how to.’ It bothers me a little, since it seems to argue that short fiction is only of use as a learning tool, and not as a literary form in itself. Patently untrue. Although I’m a novelist, I’m a writer first, and I dislike the ideology of the novel as primary literary form. I think it can actually be a very conservative form, with its neat narrative conclusions and soothing beginning-middle-endedness. Not necessarily, of course. But I’m all for a multiplicity of forms.
Interested to hear what other people think about this. It’s possible I don’t dislike the novel in general, just my work in progress in particular…
Please come along to one or the other event, and tell your friends. See you there!
*not stopping with the horse puns.