Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Snagtooth Toasta

My novel is finished at last! When I say "at last" I actually mean "already"! The whole thing took about 50 days from beginning to end. Total wordcount is approximately 72,000 words. I just need to tidy up the manuscript, correct any discrepancies and paradoxes that weren't intended (every novel can benefit from some deliberately defective logic if it's applied carefully) and do other general editing duties. Then I'll be free to submit Twisthorn Bellow to a publisher. I have a Canadian publisher in mind for this. I'll give him first refusal and if he doesn't like it I'll pass TB onto my agent. The previous sentence might be considered medically inappropriate.

A few weeks ago the mighty writer Philip José Farmer died. He had reached the grand old age of 91. PJF was a major influence on Twisthorn Bellow and in fact he has a cameo role in every chapter of the book, even appearing at the climax in cowboy guise mounted on a giant hopping foot on his way to the lost city of Opar. While writing my novel I entertained a secret fantasy that PJF himself might get to read the finished product. Alas, that can't happen now... PJF was a literary genius. Clever, outrageous, hilarious, exuberant: his work was utterly original and yet firmly grounded in the most colourful pulp traditions.

Meanwhile, the monster in these pictures is the diabolical pitta bread cyclops known as Snagtooth Toasta. To make him I toasted him lightly in my new toaster and balanced him on a piece of driftwood and arranged him against a backdrop of silver foil. Only joking: he's a real monster! We see him in the company of Twisthorn Bellow but they don't really become friends. At the end of the novel, the French government succeed in their dastardly scheme of invading Britain by compressing all of France into a parcel and posting it across the English Channel. When the parcel is opened, France pops out and squashes Britain!

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