I often think the world needs more books like a duck needs a motorcycle, yet here I am at the tail end of my first novel, convinced that I’ve given birth to something congenitally unfit to live. Yet there it is, blinking its milky eyes and mewling incoherently at number 34,275 on the crime fiction list. The Barrier, number one of three, is a crime/horror story set firmly and unapologetically in outback NSW right here in ‘straya. Writing what I know about — rule number one, yeah? There absolutely could have been another edit or two, but you get to the point where revision stops serving a purpose. A fresh set of eyes would have picked up the errors, but I was loathe to share it with anyone until I was ready to share it with everyone.
I have discovered a Pandora’s Box feel to the whole Kindle-self-publishing process — more comes out than you’d anticipated — so why do it? Especially with all the self-flagellation that’s involved. Why not keep the glittering, hundred-thousand word masterpiece in the sock drawer where it belongs? Why write at all? John Irving tells us he does it because to do anything else would be vaguely unsatisfying. I write to empty the bucket, and I’m tempted to say “it’s as simple as that” but in truth there’s nothing simple about it. I’ll explain later.
Right now I’m reading a lot by Alaskan horrormeister Laird Barron, but you won’t encounter anything remotely cthulhuesque in my writing because I don’t see an all-consuming evil behind it all. For me, evil is always mundane. That’s why its horrific. That said, my Australian horror library is a little on the skinny side, with ‘Wake in Fright’ as close as I’ve come so far. To make amends, I have a genre primer in Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray’s collection of spooky tales “Baby Teeth” on my Kindle reader, and Alan Baxter’s “Bound” on the coffee table (admittedly it’s SF) so am making amends. Also, my membership application to the Australian Horror Writers Association is before the committee — fingers crossed!
Anyway, I hope this is the first of many posts. If you stumble across this blog, please feel free to comment. And feel free to read my book! Best dollar and a bit you’ll spend today, I promise.