Happy New Year! It is 2012, the Year of the Dragon, the year of the Aztec apocalypse, the year of (dare I say it?) The Rook! The book is coming out in about ten days, and I have already received extremely exciting e-mails from various friends, advising that they have received e-mails from various quality-book purveyors, and that their copies are already on the way. So, copies of The Rook are actually in transit at this very moment, gliding their way through the system. They are out in the world. And soon they will be in people’s hands.

I, however, won’t at that point be seeing them in people’s hands, because on the fateful day, I shall be in Japan, attending a friend’s wedding and then touring about the country. And I have to admit, I very nearly wasn’t going to be. Two days ago, one week before I mount the silver bird, I realized that my passport was actually expired.

A few brisk nervous breakdowns ensued.

As one of my friends brightly remarked, “At least there’s no weekends or public holidays between now and th — Oh. Oh dear.” Once I’d been resuscitated, I was on the phone to the Passport Office (twenty minutes before they shut for a long weekend), making some frantic arrangements and apologizing profusely. Tuesday, I go in for my passport interview and pay the (idiot’s) fee for the expedited processing. I will pick up the renewed passport on either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. Friday evening, provided the gods of travel are looking upon me kindly, I shall be off to Japan.

Now, will I be posting blog entries from Japan? That rather depends on Japan, because I am one of the most computer-incompetent people you will ever encounter, and getting on the internet may prove too much for me. It may be completely simple. It may be impossible. But I shall do my darnedest. And I am leaving behind sufficient tweets to take the @RookFiles twitter feed up to the fateful day of the eleventh, and a trusted representative will be posting them.

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Chortling, and the Real Myfanwy

Something extremely cool happened this week. I received the rough cut of the trailer for The Rook, and I am just wandering about, chortling in glee. It’s very beautifully shot, and the editing is great (I have never paid any attention to editing in my life, but this editing really appeals to me), and the actress does a great job. I’ve watched it several times now, marveling the whole time. I have to say it’s a very odd sensation to see stuff that you’ve written actually being performed. It makes it more real, like it doesn’t just exist in my head. And what’s even better is that they’ve put in all these little bits that I never would have thought of, taking me completely by surprise.

At the moment the trailer team is fine-tuning it, doing mysterious alchemy with lighting and sound levels. They’ve asked if I have any feedback, and all I have is lavish praise. Soon, the trailer will be available for your viewing pleasure. Ah, you’re in for a treat, once it’s released.

Meanwhile, the twittering is proceeding right along. I’ve moaned before about how twittering in character offers unique challenges. The point of the character who’s tweeting (@RookFiles) is that she works for a secret government organization, and so she wouldn’t be retweeting things, or corresponding with people. But then people out in the twitterverse write replies, and they’re good replies, and I really want to write back, but that would be breaking character. It’s killing me softly.

And, as a fun aside, my friend Myfanwy Galloway has been recruited for the Honda women’s team (http://www.sbs.com.au/cyclingcentral/news/33777/galloway-s-pro-ride-the-product-of-persistence). She is a cyclist, and, of course, she lends her first name to the main character of The Rook, and I am supremely proud of her.

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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.

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