Here are a few bits and pieces which have cropped up in the post, in the press, or online. In no particular order.
Shameless Words is a newish blog by an apparently anonymous writer, a 37-year-old journalist living in France. Will he be accepted by Macmillan New Writing? Watch this space.
The Daily Bulletin
Jack Saunders writes about depression in writers, and/or in himself, on an unusual site called The Daily Bulletin. Now that I think about it, Jack has turned up here before.
Still going at 92
Publishers Lunch reports that Lilian Jackson Braun, 92, is still going strong with her The Cat Who... mystery series. The Wall Street Journal says (in an article available online only to subscribers) that the 28 titles published since 1966 have sold over 30 million copies worldwide. Braun is completing the twenty-ninth title, and 'installment 30 [is] a gleam in her eye.' The Journal also notes that 'the testimonials and sales figures are all the more impressive for an author who's always operated below the radar,' touring very little, and facing 'something of an industry bias' against her traditional, light-hearted approach to the crime-fiction genre.
I've never actually read a Cat Who book. Could never quite steel myself to do it. But lots of people have, apparently. Details of the lady and her books are on Fantastic Fiction, as usual.
Million Writers Award
Jason Sanford, of storySouth magazine, has posted the Notable Stories of 2005 list. This is a list of stories (published online) which have been nominated by readers worldwide. From these, a shortlist of 10 will be drawn up, and readers can then vote for the best. Even allowing for some mutual backscratching, there ought to be something worth reading among that lot.
Times Lit Supp dumbs down?
The People column in the Times reveals that the front cover of today's Times Literary Supplement has a (not very flattering) picture of Chantelle (winner of TV's Big Brother) on the front cover. Does this mean that the august journal is dumbing down? As I have not read the TLS for twenty years I cannot say. But I just thought that regular readers of same ought to be forewarned. Otherwise the shock might prove too much.
Val Landi gets paired off
As from 1 April, Val Landi's A Woman of Cairo will be paired on Amazon.com with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, currently the overall bestselling title after the Da Vinci thingy. I'm not quite sure how this works, or how Mr Landi wangled it, but it sounds impressive.
Murder Slim is an outfit which deals mainly with music: 'From toe-tapping rockabilly to vicious punk, true alternative to ballsy garage, we've got it all.' But they also run to a literary magazine, Savage Kick, and, if the names Dan Fante, John Fante, Charles Bukowski, L-F Celine, Jim Goad or Jim Thompson mean anything to you, you're in the right place. They also publish Mark SaFranko's novel Hating Olivia, which has attracted quite a number of admirers on the hard-edged side of things.
I don't know about you, but when I survey the above, I begin to think that all writers are a bit weird really. Apart from me, of course. And you. We're just fine.