So here’s my morning so far. I walked to the post office to pick up a parcel which I eagerly anticipated was the cow hooves I’ve ordered from Texas. Whoa! I’m not importing animal parts. I’m not setting up a glue factory. These are foam hooves for a cow costume. Yes, the panto wheels are creaking into motion for January 2014. But anyway, the parcel wasn’t my hooves. It was somebody’s novel, sent to me by the publisher in the hope of an endorsement.
Let me tell you my position on endorsements. I have, in my time, received generous ones from other writers. When it’s in my power to reciprocate – and I’m really talking here about finding the time to read a book I hadn’t planned on reading – I’m happy to do it. However this particular author (and she’s not the first) had queered the pitch by inundating me, I mean bombarding me, with publication day messages.
I’ve been paddling in the social media shallows for about a year now and I’ve learned something. It is an effortlessly easy way to annoy people. I hope I haven’t annoyed anyone, but I’ve certainly been on the receiving end of saturation self-promotion. On one occasion, when I just couldn’t take it any more, I asked the author to stop. I was called ‘mean-spirited.’
I’m truly not. But there’s such a want of self-awareness and good manners on Facebook and Twitter, such ruthless pushing and shouting, I’d dearly love to leave. Only I’m not allowed. Funnily enough my publishers just sent me a reminder that they’re running a seminar on social networking this very week. I’ve sent my regrets. Got to get to work on those cow ears.
The read-through of Dress Circle went very well. It was conducted in a deeply brown upper room, with the hum and clink of a public bar percolating up through the floor. Some of my lines caused spontaneous laughter, some fell flat. That’s the way it goes. The actress threatened to lose weight before April. I begged her not to. I was informed that Tarquin Olivier and Dame Janet Suzman have hinted they’ll come to a performance. Ooooh- err. And I now have to address the very serious matter of which earrings to wear for the Author Q&A session. A writer’s life. I tell ya!