Friday, 1 May 2009

Feedback Friday :: The Proofs of the Pudding

Last night I finished going through the proofs of my book. And you know what? I really enjoyed it. It made me weep. Three times! Maybe it’s because I’m so close to it all. Other people might not weep so readily. I also loved the fact that there was lots of stuff that I couldn’t remember writing, so I kept surprising myself. Also, I wasn’t embarrassed by it. I have a mortal fear of embarrassment, so I was very pleased not to feel any.

I did get my first piece of totally objective feedback recently though, from a man called BP Perry. It went like this:


'Books made off of internet blogs are SHIT. Welcome to the bargain bucket, Stan.'


The good thing about this feedback is that it’s based on nothing more than one grim old turd’s gleeful cynicism - without having read the book - and therefore it’s completely worthless. The worrying thing about it, however, is that I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t read the book myself, I would almost certainly agree with him. Off the top of my head, I can think of six books based on blogs which I’ve attempted and in each case failed to get into. Because they weren’t very good. However, not all of them ended up in the bargain bucket. The two sexy ones, for example, which bored me non-stiff, did – I believe – do very well indeed.

Anyway, fuck it. All I wanted to say is that I’m happy with the book, and rather proud of myself. And in these dark, Satanic times, it’s just about the only thing that’s giving me hope.

But now the auto-fellatio must end and I must continue packing up my London life for the impending move north. Fucking hell, I hate the north. But needs must. I’ll explain the whys and wherefores next week when I’ve got a little more time. Now is rather hectic.

In a couple of hours, a bookshop owner is coming round with a van to take away the books I’ve been collecting for the last 15 years or so. There are about 700 of them, and he’s giving me £150 for them. I’m quite pleased because a) I would’ve accepted £50, and b) I have a feeling I’m going to feel much, much lighter when they’re all gone. It feels like losing weight.

My plan is to be out of here by Monday, sleep on couches for a few days and this time next Friday be on a train heading north.

So that’s that. A new era beckons. Fingers crossed it’s not a massive fucking mistake.

Bookscan answer below. Have a great weekend.

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33 comments:

Catofstripes said...

When do we get to see the book?

caroline said...

Good luck with all of it - the book, moving North, and everything inbetween.Please don't leave it too long before you tell us how all this upheaval came about, the curiosity is killing me already.

isabelle said...

well, good luck with the move , and hey the North isn't all bad you know, plus you'll be nearer keith, won't you?

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

Blimey, if you're going anywhere near Keith (which would be nice for you and Keith, so I hope that is indeed the case), you'll be in my neck of the woods. Would be happy to do coffee if you're up for it.

I have a friend who is a librarian who has almost no books in his house. He is a bibliophile. He LOVES books, and at first I thought it was rather weird. But then he explained that for years he had thousands of books, but they ended up weighing him down, most of them didn't get read more than once, all of them were available from libraries and he would rather pass them on and allow others to read them. All he keeps now are particular books-as-objects which have sentimental value.

I'm more and more thinking that I might do the same myself one day - get rid of all but the genuinely important ones, I mean - because it owuld be kind of liberating. But it would also be hard. I may not.

As for enjoying your own book, hurrah for that. It's definitely a good sign for us readers, and writers often find it so hard to view their own work positively that you are a lucky man. Hold onto that thought/feeling, and don't forget it.

As for not remembering having written chunks of it, that too can be a great feeling, although by the time a book reaches proof stage I usually find I've edited and rewritten it so many times I practically know every word off by heart... and am sick of all of them. It's not until a few years later that I can get that feeling. Not masses of years though - I have a rubbish memory.

AndrewM said...

Up North.

The beer's cheaper.

It rains more.

Hopefully these two facts are not connected. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

That book review is funny, eh? What a useless idiot he is. I didn't follow your link to him, but I just know he's a useless idiot.

I'd like to offer my own review of the Ugly Man Adventures;

This book is hilarious. It makes me feel all funny inside (in a way that shit blog books never do) and I haven't even read it yet.

Wellington

Kat said...

Don't go too far north, I'm in the Midlands, and missing London already.

Oh and the one blogger-book I've read (an attempt at a sexy one too) I was amazingly disappointed by - I have high hopes for yours though :)

notkeith said...

Hmm. My last comment appears to been lost. Or, you've moderated me. You've changed you have. Into China.

I'm a little saddened that Beleaguered Squirrel has never invited me out for a coffee. I think I must be sending out the wrong messages. I've been guaranteed STI-free for ages.

But anyway. Fuck the fuckwit commenter, it's going to be huge. And when I get my signed, special deluxe first edition with complimentary fruit basket, I'm sure I'll be moved to tears also.

Hope your weekend's all gravy. With roast potatoes.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

notkeith, you are notinvited to coffee. But Keith is (as long as he doesn't draw a picture of me with an elephant's trunk sprouting out of my elbow or anything) (then again, that sounds kind of intriguing).

Sorry about the oversight, Keith.

Lady Julia said...

I'd love to read your book. Any idea if Amazon will ship to the US?

Best of luck on the move and the big life changes, Stan.

Timorous Beastie said...

I love you Stan, and I'm very much looking forward to the book. I've only read 1 blog turned book and it wasn't bad, but I probably would have preferred to just read it in blog format, bit by bit.

Why do you hate the north? I'm moving up there soon too, so I'm curious about why people like/dislike it.

But anyway, good luck with the move.

Michael said...

Looking forward to reading it.

daisyfae said...

oh. just realized that by 'north' you mean the northern reaches of britain. not siberia. that would suck a lot harder, i suppose.

take care, good luck, and be well. and BP whatever the fuck can lick my sweaty ballsack. oh, wait. i'm a chick...

god, it's early...

lizziedripping said...

North? Where is that? Do you mean north of England? To me that means Scotland. But wherever you go i wish you well.

Chrisy said...

I don't know you but...I feel proud of you! For finishing your book...for getting it out there! And to reread it and still be surprised and pleased with what you've done well who could ask for more...good luck up north...hope the airs not too thin up there...that can make people a bit strange...

La Bête said...

I'm all beautifully messed up after a mental weekend. I can't possibly say well the things I would like to say. Instead, I say this: soon, my peaches, soon. Mwah. Mwah. Mmmmmwah.

Pearl said...

Well, I love the north.

Pearl said...

Well, I love the north. The bit I live in, anyway. Hope the move goes well, and the couches are comfy. And I CAN'T WAIT for the book. I shall make an exception for you, normally all my poor beleaguered brain can manage is vintage detective fiction and the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Wotcha! I just had a bee colony stay for a long weekend in my gaff. Plus, just smoked the first camberwell carrot in a fortnight. But that's irrelevant.

Coz,I concur with them lot above. Them above who commented. Like.

I think you're fab and so is your book. You know it, we know it.
Doesn't really matter where you move to 'us lot' as we ain't going anywhere and will love you long time.

'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave it! ;-)

AnnAnon

EmmaK said...

Congratulations darling! And you thought there was no point to being ugly. Now you have the last laugh eh? Can't wait to get my grubby little hands on this.

The Coffee Lady said...

The north is quite big, you know. Which bits exactly do you have problems with?

Carnalis said...

good luck with your mysterious plans

BPP said...

Bloody hell, Stan, you don't half mull stuff over. How long ago did I write that?

And what's with the link to my site, eh? I said that comment to you on Watch With Mothers, not here! When have I had a go at you on ITTODBTBIA? Eh? EH?

This shabby pack of buggers you've got commenting on 'ere have taken my statement out of context, thanks to your cack-handed way of writing this post, y'bastard.

Set the record straight, you shithouse! Give 'em the lowdown on what dangerous territory you're entering when you leave a comment on WWM ... unless you went on there to get your arse licked? You didn't, did you?

You've turned me into the bad guy, Stan, damn you!

'Fuckwit', indeed! OUTRAGEOUS!

Bastards, the lot of you.

Swineshead said...

It goes against all blog etiquette to misquote someone with no mention of the jokey context.

Stan - grow up.

La Bête said...

CoS - Um... May 28th I guess. That's when it comes out.

Caroline - thank you. I'm here now, in the north, and just as soon as I've unpacked, I'm going to tell the story of how I came to be here.

Isabelle - yes, I'm sure it's not as bad as I previously thought. I don't know if I am nearer to Keith though, probably the same distance the other side.

Squirrel - a coffee at some stage might be just the ticket. Although I would prefer a chai latte. And yes, I recommend getting rid of the books.

AndrewM - but I like wine! And I don't think they drink wine in the North. Or at least the men don't. It marks them out as homosexuals, and that is still illegal up here.

Thanks, Wellington. You're a peach.

Thanks, Kat. I'm remaining positive about this North thing though. I reckon it could end up being a good thing.

Cheers, NK. Please don't mention fruit baskets again, or rough men will lynch you.

Lady Julia - I reckon so. They ship anywhere. And thanks.

TB, I'm just basing it on a weekend I spent here last year. Apart from that, I am determined to keep an open mind.

Cheers, Mikey!

Thanks, Daisy. No, not Siberia. But maybe a kind of Siberia. We shall see.

Lizzie, all will be explained very soon. And thanks.

Thanks, Chrisy. I know what you mean, and I agree, but I do hope for more. I hope for sales.

Hey, Pearl, I am honoured that you'll be putting the Bible to one side for little old me. And also pleased for you. (Because the Bible is evil. You know it.)

AnnAnon - ah, the power of the carrot to liven up any comment. Thank you so very much.

Thanks, Emma. Now wash your hands.

We'll see, Coffee Lady. Maybe none! Maybe all.

Thanks, Carny!

BPP, I think this might deserve a blog post in itself! Soon.

Swineshead - grow up? GROW UP? Seriously, go fuck yourself. You haven't got a clue.

BPP said...

Hmmm ... I have my suspicions this upcoming post of your's is only going to make me look worse. You've turned me into a monster, Stan. A MONSTER!

La Bête said...

BPP, who's the more monstrous - the monster or the monster who monsters him? Eh? Anyway, I've got nothing against you. I like a cynical old fuck with a vicious streak.

Beleaguered Squirrel said...

If you're on the other side from Keith then coffee may not be very practical. Unless you're in York. Just cos my parents live there.

Swineshead said...

How do I fuck myself?

*scans Bete's self-pleasuring blog for tips*

Let's make up and be friendly.

annie.sh said...

Just wading in late (and ignoring the squabbling) to say: the reason the sexy blog-based books did well is all down to basic premise; the reason you got a deal is because you write so very beautifully. I can't wait to read it (or re-read it, assuming that a lot will be the same as the blog). I really think you're the most wonderful writer.

Hope the move was all ok. The fact that people are so much more friendly in the North can make the day to day much nicer. Good luck

xa

La Bête said...

Suits me, Swine. Friendly is my middle name.

Annie, you are far too kind. Now stop it.

Swineshead said...

I wrote both comments while stoned and serious-minded. There's a lesson here somewhere.

*looks under chair*

BPP said...

Does that make me the monster, or the monstering monster? Ah dun failed mah gee see ess yees, Stan