Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This Author Wants You!

I have finished one of the five projects mentioned in my last blog entry. The Truth Spinner is done at last and will be on its way to my agent later this week. The final part, 'The Thousand and One Pints', puts paid to Castor Jenkins: he now has eighteen linked exploits. I believe that this book is one of my best, but who am I to make that judgement? I ought to say nothing more along those lines. Nonetheless I am deeply satisfied.

So now I can devote myself to The Coandă Effect. I was amazed that so few people worked out the clue of the box of chocolates and the Toledo blade. 'Cut' in Spanish = Corto. And 'Maltesers' with the last two letters obliterated? Yes, I am writing a CORTO MALTESE adventure! There will be magic, science, mystery and mayhem, as the enigmatic "sailor without a ship" plumbs the delirious depths of a fiendish plot to convert the souls of the dead into pure energy!

Corto Maltese is less well-known in the English-speaking world than he ought to be. I was a typical latecomer to the character. Back in 2004 my Lebanese friend and translator into Portuguese, Safaa Dib, compared me to Corto: I had to seek him out to learn the true meaning of this far-fetched compliment! In fact he reminds me more of some other great fictional characters: Oswald Bastable in Moorcock's Nomad of Time trilogy, for instance, or Maqroll el Gaviero, eponymous hero of Alvaro Mutis' novella sequence, The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. I highly recommend both those works too!

Already I know much of what will happen in my tale. It will be set in Romania in the year 1913; Jack London and Franz Kafka may put in brief appearances. But... I am lacking a villain! Do you want to be the main villain of The Coandă Effect? Have you ever thought of yourself as a dastardly rogue living in a time when magic and adventure were more commonplace than now? If so, email me and I'll drop your name into a hat. Already twelve people have offered themselves as candidates. At the end of this week I'll let destiny decide and select a name at random. That's what destiny is for, isn't it? Kismet!

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