Posts Tagged ‘New York Comic Con’

I am Pestilent

Blurgh, don’t come too close, and don’t lick your monitor, because I have the plague. It’s manifested itself in the form of an incredibly sore throat, and very itchy ears, and a sort of mucous-based hostile takeover of my skull. And on the weekend, no less. There really is no justice. I have spent the day in bed, dosing myself with cups of mint tea and water and Codral Day & Night, and making pathetic bugling sounds. I have to be well enough tomorrow to go to work, so that I can flex the next day off and go down to Sydney to have lunch with a friend who’s visiting from the States.

The upside, however, is that I’ve gotten a fair amount of fiction down on the page, working through the list of ideas that I came up with earlier in the week.

One of the things about really getting into the writing of a novel (I’ve found) is that the novel tends to squat in the back of your mind on a near-constant basis, colouring all your perceptions. As a result, when asked in a seminar “what can you do with a manager who is unpleasant to his subordinates?”, I unthinkingly replied “Kill him”, which earned me a few nervous titters and sidelong looks. Sorry, kids, but I’m working on an assassin novel.

On the other hand, everything you see and learn seems like something you could possibly put into the novel. The lessons I was learning in my project management course really do lend themselves quite well to planning and executing assassinations: Laying out the scope of the project, Consulting with Experts, Execution (as it were), Reviewing Results and Lessons Learned. It’s all as applicable to paid murder as it is to Public Service tasks.

Now, as a bonus, if I can figure out how the internet works, there should be a photo here featuring what a temporary Rook tattoo from New York Comic Con looks like when it is applied to my corpse-white wrist. And may I say that it is supremely difficult to take photos of a tattoo with white bits on a white wrist with a right-handed camera when you’re left-handed, and trying to cover the flash with your finger, because you can’t figure out how to turn it off? Because it is.

The Metafictional Implications of Twittering

So, here in Canberra, we are enjoying yet ANOTHER long weekend. It is Family and Community Day, which I am celebrating by not spending any time with my family or my community. Instead, I am lounging on the couch, writing this blog (obviously) and writing fiction about assassins. I feel quite certain this is what the founders of Family and Community Day had in mind. And, fortunately, it is ideal weather for staying indoors and writing. It’s cold out, and grey, and the puppy is of a mind to snuggle up against me on the couch, thus preventing me from getting up and doing anything else.

Now, you may already have noticed this, but there are now two whole extra chapters of The Rook available for you to download from this site and read! Chapter 1-4 are right there for you! This is in celebration of the fact that New York Comic Con is being held from October 13 – 16, and while I cannot be there, there ARE going to be little Rook-related bits of paraphernalia floating around. Representatives of Little, Brown & Co (my publisher) will be present, handing out postcards (which will hopefully guide new readers to this site) and temporary tattoos of the crest which adorns this very website! I lust after one of these tattoos, and am making plaintive email sounds so that they send me some.

Meanwhile, I have been twittering along. I was extremely wary of twitter, especially because I am not a 140-character person at all. I need several paragraphs just to say hello. So, for me the twitter experiences consists of much painful pruning. You may notice that there are, in fact, TWO twitter feeds that this website will link you to. The first (@DenimAlley) is to my own feed, which presents trenchant observations on the world and society. ‘DenimAlley’ was picked for two reasons – the first being that every possible permutation of ‘Daniel O’Malley’ was already taken, and the second because, at my day job, when I answer the phone, people will sometimes be thrown by my quaint accent, and believe that my name is actually Denim Alley. “Oh, hi, Denim. I just had a few questions…” And usually I feel awkward about the whole thing and don’t correct them. Whereupon, my colleagues have sometimes received follow-up phone calls asking for Denim. Which leads to much confusion.

Anyway, the second twitter feed (@RookFiles) is for the main character from The Rook. Yes, I have become one of those men who pretends to be a woman on the internet. This second twitter feed is really keeping me on my toes, since I can’t just mention whatever ridiculous thing occurred to me that day, and also because, well, I really am endeavoring to keep it in character. Which means no retweeting – not even of my own stuff. Myfanwy Thomas wouldn’t retweet stuff. In fact, when I wondered if I should mention the new, dandified form of this website on the RookFiles twitterfeed, my friends and associates were quite vehement that I should not do so. They felt that it would break the flow of the whole thing, and destroy the fourth wall. Or acknowledge it. Or something. Which means that a twitter feed intended to bring people’s attention to my book and website cannot actually mention the book or website at all. They’ll probably pillory me for even mentioning this dilemma on the web at all, but I think about it, and turn it over in my mind, and then I get one of those MC Escher-style headaches.

Okay, time to get back to the assassins.