The Usual Suspects: Christopher, Landy, and a man so boring he’s not even boring.

Apols for the lack of author-stalking recently. First, I was off being a roller derby superstar again – we won our first bout and I was named ‘Best Jammer‘ for the first time; then, a week later we won our SECOND bout and I was named ‘Best Jammer’ for a SECOND time! Soz for the boast but it’s the best thing in the bloody world.

Second, I’m basically a completely lazy suckerface. No further explanation required.

So, The Authors. Pretty much EVERYTHING has been going on whilst I’ve been kicking some A on the track.

EINS! Everyone’s favourite female YPF author whose first and surnames ARE BOTH FIRST NAMES, Lucy Christopher, was awarded MY PhD. Go doctor-elect Lucy Christopher! I expect all her published work from now on to show her name in all its new doctory glory, though I wonder if Chicken House would have marketing concerns about that…?

ZWEI! An opportunity has arisen for me to engage in a little real-life author-stalking. I am HIGHLY excited by this prospect. Derek Landy (of Valkyrie Cain fame) is doing a little book signing tour and is coming t’Yorkshire! BY ‘ECK! Unfotunately he’s chosen to come on a Thursday, presumably having forgotten to check my schedule because I WORK on a Thursday, as do most failed failed authors. Silly, selfish, self-absorbed Derek Landy.

DREI! The Edinburgh Festival exists, is going on, and all The Authors are going. Likeable Patrick Ness (who I’ve never really heard of) is hooking up with Andy Stanton, Luddite (of Mr. Gum fame) at the Edinburgh festival to chat about WRITING and the [my imaginary] Guardian Children’s Fiction prize and about getting them pesky young people involved in “the whole exciting process”. Read that last bit in sarcasm-voice, please. Presumably Andy Stanton, Luddite, will be putting forward the idea that we DESTROY ALL VIDEO GAMES. Take their X-Boxes and Playstations and replace them with paper and chawk and bits of string like wot he had as a young’un. Oh Andy. Just give up and get on t’internet so I can stalk you from the (relative) safety of my own sofa.

VIER! I’m getting more and more fascinated by the tepid beige entity that is Jonathan Stroud. I don’t really understand what he is or why he exists. Initially I was dismissive, but the more I read his blog the more vaguely not-completely-bored I become. It doesn’t sound like much but actually it’s almost notable. The man is COMPLETELY, entirely, wholly, all-consumingly normal. He’s in this weird beige area between mildly-interesting (which would at least be mildly interesting) and just shy of completely-bland-and-dull. It’s clever: he’s not quite entirely bland-or-dull because being entirely bland-or-dull would be interesting in it’s own way. Reminds me of Yossarian’s liver pain in Catch-22. Let me give you an example:

Bartimaeus ‘Lost Chapter’ revealed!

Just back from an excellent weekend in Norfolk, where it was (unusually) warm enough to swim in the sea, and definitely nice enough to stroll along beside the quays, watching people crabbing and eating excellent fish and chips straight from the paper.

Now I’m back home, writing hard and enjoying it: 5 pages a day is my current aim. And my mood is made even better because the lovely Ring of Solomon UK paperback is out on Thursday. A large box of them has just been delivered to my door by a weak-legged postman, and they look fantastic.

Anyway, to celebrate, we’ve got something special planned. On Thursday, 9 a.m. UK time, I’ll be posting up a ‘lost chapter’ from The Ring of Solomon for everyone to see. To start with it’ll be exclusively on my Facebook Fan page (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/JonathanStroudAuthor), but it’ll be posted up on this Bart site later.

When writing a Bart book, there are always lots of scenes and sequences that don’t make the final cut, and Ring of Solomon was no different. This extract features Bart and Faquarl trying to kill their nasty master, and getting into a little spot of bother over it… So you can take a look at it from Thursday! Meanwhile, more surprises later in the week…  Stay tuned!

Jonathan Stroud introduces the revelation of a lost chapter in one of his books – which is presumably supposed to be an exciting marketing ploy – with a description of his weekend in NORFOLK! And then asks his readers to “stay tuned”, as if he’s done a brilliant job of building up suspension somehow! Oh Jonathan, you tease. Ridiculous. Love.

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