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Welcome to new Blogsite!

Hello and welcome to the new blog on Livejournal.  My old site has been removed and archived for the time being so I get a fresh start!

Today I get to be on every table in Borders, USA.  Not literally, thank goodness, since I am 7 months' pregnant, in the middle of selling my house, getting a divorce and looking none too foxy in my 'get ready to wallpaper' gear.  America, you have got off lightly with a simple token of my affections for you: a few copies of Keeping It Real.  You also have the website
www.thenoshows.com where you can listen to the band from the book absolutely FREE! 

Book Two in the same series (Quantum Gravity: Selling Out) has just been made into bound proofs here in the UK, which gives me something to smile about as I try not to panic about the timescale for book 3.  My lovely therapist insists I take a proper maternity leave in April, meaning no work at all.  I've explained that writing isn't work, more like fun you get paid for, but she narrowed her sharp eyes and didn't seem to agree.  Sadly today is my last chat with her as I have been judged too sane to require her any more (sniff sob).  I considered staging a relapse but I have a feeling she'd see right through it.  I will miss talking to her a great deal as she was so incisive and supportive.  On the other hand, having finally faced my teenage crisis at the ripe old age of 38 I'd rather move on to adulthood at last.  I remember my own fateful words at the age of 12 - "I don't want to grow up" - oh, if only I'd realised what a bad idea that was.

So, these are some of the things that have been feeding the Quantum Gravity series; a set of books I started purely for my own fun, intending them to be SF/Fantasy/chicklit/action crossovers that satisfied all the bits of me that sorely needed entertaining after years and years of Serious Science Fiction.  Not that SSF isn't hugely great in its own ways, but you can have enough of it and enough of being mired down in the sheer self important weight of the more academic and literary ends of things.  Jenny Crusie wrote on her blog recently about a post by Maureen Dowd in the NYT, which was pretty scathing about chicklit; just a standard piece of artillery in the long war between people who have to build a career on being elitist and everyone they are forced to separate themselves from.  Jenny's reply was really restrained for someone that angry.   I love Jenny's blog.  So sane and life affirming :)  Not to mention her books.

The elite/entertainment divide is something that has always got my goat.  It sparked the Quantum Gravity novels:  In my early days I was an elitist, mostly because I was so insecure and thought that if I could join the hallowed ranks I'd have got somewhere good and my parents would be proud of me - see, Mom, I'm taken seriously by serious people!  Mmn, let's just not mention that I'm bored senseless and utterly miserable and nothing I read gives me much to enjoy.  I have a strange anger problem with Great Thinking Writers and Philosophers too - I want to hurl their books out the window.  Later I realise it's because I feel that to be a writer I have to be like them, or I'm not good enough.  I hate them, because they're what I have to be, and manifestly am not.  Of course, they don't say that exactly, but it's part of the implied outcomes of the Literary Rant Against Popular Culture.   What a silly mess and how daft of me to fall for such a load of old hokey.

Time to write a book about an elf, who's a rock star, and a girl who's half a robot and falls in love with him. Time to aspire to the heights of Bet Me.  Weirdly enough it turns out you can aspire to Bet Me and still retain your brains.  Who knew!!?? (irony).  But from that moment on when I wrote Keeping It Real i knew I'd found something more like my way.  Finding the title was the crux point.  I was at last content to take the mickey out of my earlier, very serious, self, who would no doubt have said that I was selling out big time.  And there was title 2! 

Title 3 is proving a bit trickier.  It's working header was Flip, Flop, Fly from the song, which I thought of years back, but the other day a new one presented itself and demanded to be acting replacement:  now it is called Champions of the Light.    I have a funny feeling that my age old 'issues' with fantasy heroes saving the world with the power of their justified good intentions  is about to get a trot out of the stable...  And I get to write about the faeries.  To be honest, that's what's scaring me.  You don't get away with writing wrongly about the faeries.  I'd sooner write about the angels, but they don't come into the story until later.  The best book on faeries I've come across so far is Brian Froud's.  He recently also issued an Oracle of the Faeries card deck with accompanying  book that is just  probably the most incisive book on card/any form of divination I read too.  

Eek, I must go stick wallpaper to things/call carpet fitters/do other mundane tasks.  Until later in the week - bye for now.


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 6th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
I try not to pay too much attention to elite/entertainment debates (including those inside my head) because I think ultimately, they're moot: you're going to write what you need to write. If you are a thoughtful person and you're tapping into something that moves you, the "fun" book you write will have depth. If you are trying too hard to sound like someone else's idea of a Great Thinker, the "serious" book you write will ultimately feel hollow. In any case, I believe that writing to uplift the spirit is noble work.

Welcome to livejournal, and congratulations/good luck on all your transitions! I'm psyched to read your latest.
Mar. 6th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC)
Hey, Justina - welcome to LJ! All the best people hang out here...
Mar. 6th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
All you can do is write what you want to write -- and remember Groucho Marx's comment on clubs ("I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have me").

Good luck with the move. Did it myself just three months ago and I've barely recovered ...

(NB: autopope == Charlie Stross)
Mar. 7th, 2007 08:21 am (UTC)
Charlie, you look just like Chip Delaney in this picture! Nice to see you:P
Mar. 6th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Good luck with the move! -she said with feeling. 18 months down the line and half the books are still in boxes (not my books, though - those of the man whose house I moved into. Sneaky, or what?)

This is Liz Williams, BTW.
Mar. 7th, 2007 08:18 am (UTC)
Fangs for the Friends :)
I think I have to buy you a very worthwhile drink next time we meet, Liz, as so many people have come to the blog thanks to yours! I hope your life is going well, as well as your books, which I'm always happy to see popping up on the shelves at regular intervals.

Ugh, moving the books/winnowing the books, packing up all your worldly stuff and realising most of it is pretty useless...a strange combination of liberating and humbling that I'm putting off until the last minute (my key strategy in life).

It's lovely to see you here - I had no idea so many people were about. I've kept my head firmly down for the last year or so and it's really exciting to pop up at last and find so much going on.

Very glad to see all you others too - please note this as a collective return Hi :)
Re: Fangs for the Friends :) - mevennen - Mar. 7th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 6th, 2007 03:20 pm (UTC)
Wow, you sound neat. I don't know you, but mevennen pointed you out... I shall have to read you. :)

Welcome to LJ!
Mar. 6th, 2007 03:28 pm (UTC)
Welcome to LJ - this is Roz Kaveney btw
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
What? Pregnant? Divorce? Huh?
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
Just checkin' in as I don't know you, but friended you: I headed here from Liz Williams' blog and liked what you had to say!
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Welcome, Justina. You're preggers? Congrats on both books and baby.

Mar. 6th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
Welcome. Hope you enjoy the new digs. mevennen announced you were in the neighborhood.
Mar. 6th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
HI! It's good to see you back in blog circulation - I've been wondering how you are. I wasn't expecting the answer to be *all* of pregnant, moving, and getting divorced!

Congratulations on the Philip K Dick Award nomination for Living Next Door to the God of Love. Great book.

Mar. 6th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
I also am here via Liz Williams' LJ. Natural History is one of my favourite books, and I'm really glad to see you here. Very best of luck with your writing until your forced leave of absence. ;)

Mar. 6th, 2007 05:02 pm (UTC)
Welcome to LJ! I came upon you via Liz Williams' blog (mevennen) and it's certainly nice to have you aboard. I've devoured all of your novels, especially Natural History, which has lately begun to exert a fairly powerful influence on my own work. I'll admit, I blatantly and unrepentantly stole the concept of the Heavy Angels...but I at least went so far as to change their names!

I'm actually guest-lecturing on transhumanist-oriented fiction at a sci-fi class at the university where I teach (Waynesburg College/soon-to-be-University [http://www.waynesburg.edu]) next week, and I've got Natural History and Silver Screen on the docket for discussion.
Mar. 6th, 2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
Justina!! Soooo glad to see you here.

Take it easy on the wallpapering, kid. Hope you are feeling well--into the home stretch now eh?

HUGE love and hugs

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( 46 comments — Leave a comment )