From “How to Talk to Famous Authors” by Francis Plug at Booknotes today:
That’s why you’ll often see a famous author immediately reach for a glass of wine when a member of the public approaches.
“essentially a literary gossip column” – CK Stead, 18 April 2010
He took me over to his window, which looked out over Seattle’s downtown. Due largely to Amazon’s expansion, Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America. The size of the self-publishing program alone within Amazon is already so large that, because the company does not reveal any sales figures about self-publishing, some believe that statistics about book publishing in general can no longer be trusted. Some huge and growing part of the market is simply unaccounted for. Berman pointed at the dozens of yellow and red construction cranes that rose in spikes above Seattle all the way to the water. He made sure I was looking and said, “That’s all Amazon.”
Sensitive new-author guy James Allan tells how the response to his first book has made him a nicer, more caring person – but a more competitive one.
She came all the way from America
She had a blind date with destiny
And the sound of Te Awamutu
Had a truly sacred ring
Time to be ashamed
Gregor Ashby’s letter of November 8 has appeared appropriately in the edition that could also give an idea as to why Hamilton is now a ‘ghost town’!
Do many Hamilton city dwellers really appreciate living, and doing business under the dominant logo depicting ‘scum’, filth, and defilement, as does the title and image of ‘Riff-Raff' – as imposed upon them by those of twisted, rebellious hearts and minds?
These people, who like impudent, spoilt brats, appear to be given their heart’s desire in savouring whatever abased area of human depravity can be legally accepted and allowed under the freedom of newly enacted legislation that stands proudly, in perversion, against the righteous ways of many generations past!
Are we ashamed and offended under this banner of darkness, that is fluttering over our community? – We should be!
The ‘Time Warp’ mass dance ensuing will leave a nasty ‘taste in participant’s mouth, and the true location of the ‘Warp’ will be obvious to all. Be warned. (Abridged)
Price of Utopia
So it came to pass that an era of progressive leadership took control of the city and embarked on a plan of development and enhancement designed to encourage business growth, appease landlords and leave behind a memorable legacy of fame guaranteed to deliver civic acclaim, streets and parks named in their memory, even the possibilities of knighthoods and such like symbols of national gratitude.
As these new brooms, all flying on noticeably enlarged right wings contemporaneously made plans and enacted activities to ban the great unwashed from the city’s new enhancements, and garner further revenue by retiring any possibility of liability for the city’s ageing population.
And so a new utopian era is born. Gone forever are those of low economic value, whether unemployed or too aged or infirm to contribute to the new order of full employment, suddenly gone! zapped into non-existence!
Other cities and towns will hopefully pick up the unwanted dregs, the flotsam and jettison, meanwhile Hamilton. . . a young city, a clean city, a city without real heart or social conscious forges ahead, cold, clinical, in credit.
Don’t dare age, for if you are without wealth, employment or a home, flee, for there is no place for the likes of you here. (Abridged)
Friday, October 31
A car travelling along Watkins Rd had an egg thrown at it, damaging the paint work.
Saturday, November 1
At about 10pm, there was an assault near the intersection of Duke and Victoria Streets. Police would like to hear from the victim who was assaulted in the incident. As yet, they have not come forward.
A young boy was reported to have been bitten by a dog while at Cambridge skate park. Anyone with any information is urged to contact Waipa District Council’s dog control officer.
Saturday, November 1-Sunday, November 2
Overnight, four letterboxes on Moore St and one on Christy Brown Pl were stolen. Police are asking anyone who hears any letterboxes being stolen to contact them through the 111 system so the offenders can be held responsible.
Sunday, November 2
A car struck a power pole on Kaipaki Rd. The driver, who was disqualified from driving at the time of the accident, was intoxicated and a blood test was taken.
A home at Lauriston Park retirement village was burgled. A heat-pump unit and a microwave were taken.
Meanwhile 45 per cent of the ladies in Cambridge think guitar players are irresistible as they’re ‘good with their hands’.
Britons voted All Along the Watchtower as Hendrix’s most popular hit. The tune was also listed as number 3 of all time to serenade a loved one, while Oasis’ Wonderwall came first and Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven came second.
Theft of compost
Police are investigating reports of a burglary at St Kilda Cambridge subdivision over the weekend. As the Cambridge Edition went to print, early indications were that nothing had been stolen.
Monday, October 20
A car was found after a crash on SH1.
A car was broken into in Discombe Rd. A laptop was stolen.
An incident was reported to police where teenagers had removed shopping trolleys from The Warehouse and filled them with bags of compost. They dumped the trolleys in a garden and left.
Police attended a domestic incident in Wordsworth St.
Tuesday, October 21
Three men were found walking through Cambridge Park subdivision and taken home by police.
Police attended two domestic incidents in Cambridge.
A theft was reported by staff at Lochiel Golf Club. A laser distance measurer was stolen from the Pro Shop.
Police attended a car crash on King St.
Four saddle blankets were reported stolen from the Equidays event held at Mystery Creek.
Wednesday, October 22
Police attended a domestic incident in Luck at Last Road.
Thursday, October 23
There was a disorder incident outside Freshchoice in Leamington. A man was reported to have thrown and smashed a bottle, but he left the scene before police arrived and was not found.
Police attended a domestic incident.
Friday, October 23
An 18-year-old Cambridge teenager was caught drink driving with a reading of 52lmcg.
A Cambridge teenager was caught drink driving with a reading of 554mcg.
A 50-year-old Cambridge man was caught drink driving. He chose to have a blood test.
When I was a judge the year before last, they changed the timing of the award, so we were judging 18 months’ worth. It didn’t create a ripple […] I love the idea of the awards being incorporated into a festival, part of a week-long celebration for the readers as well as the writers, rather than one special and rather extravagant night for the writers.
[…] there’s much off-the-record muttering among the literary community, particularly outside Auckland.
Sam Leith recalls filing a vicious review of a David Lodge novel for the Spectator one morning and then being introduced to Lodge at a party that evening. “He was very pleasant,” Leith sighs. “I crawled away feeling I’d stabbed this nice old gent in the back.” Literary etiquette demands that you don’t review books by friends, but as Leith points out “you’re not meant to review enemies either”. The only solution is never to meet any authors at all.
Anxious and inexperienced, I began checking goodreads.com, a social reviewing site owned by Amazon. My publisher HarperTeen had sent advance copies of my book to bloggers and I wanted to see what they thought. Other authors warned me not to do this, but I didn’t listen. Soon, my daily visits tallied somewhere between “slightly-more-than-is-attractive-to-admit-here” and “infinity”.
For the most part, I found Goodreaders were awarding my novel one star or five stars, with nothing in between. “Well, it’s a weird book,” I reminded myself. “It’s about a girl with PTSD teaming up with a veteran to fight crime.” Mostly I was relieved they weren’t all one-star reviews.
One day, while deleting and rewriting the same tweet over and over (my editors had urged me to build a “web presence”), a tiny avatar popped up on my screen. She was young, tanned and attractive, with dark hair and a bright smile. Her Twitter profile said she was a book blogger who tweeted nonstop between 6pm and midnight, usually about the TV show Gossip Girl. According to her blogger profile, she was a 10th-grade teacher, wife and mother of two. Her name was Blythe Harris. She had tweeted me saying she had some ideas for my next book.