Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bouncer Bertagna (Writing Muse)

This should have been attached to last post but image wouldn't upload - for all you people who seem as interested in the rabbit as the new book!

The Ideal Writing Companion

As the leaves blaze and fall into knee-high piles outside my door, I am turning over a new leaf here: two posts in two days. Rebel & Co (see below) must surely be impressed. Am beginning to see why blogging is so very popular, especially among writers. What a great distraction from the thing you are supposed to be writing. Yet you can kid yourself you are still working - well, you are researching and writing, aren't you? You could easily spend hours every day looking up interesting Sparky Stuff to post, and barely write another thing. Much better than tidying out the wardrobe/ desk/ rabbit hutch to avoid the burn-out that seems to hit around page 157 of every book.

By chance, just after introducing Rabbit in the last post I found this on (another fantastic distraction-site) : a Pet Personality Quiz for Writers. Apparently, if you have a small animal as a 'writing companion':

'Nobody needs a pick-up line to get you to cuddle. Deep down, you want take the lead, but your playful nature hides this desire from the world. You tend to like to write longhand -- something about the paper that really turns you on. A little disciplined time and space for writing would help you to meet deadlines. While others are racing ahead, you’re content to eat the nuts and seeds in your trail mix.'

Absolutely no comment.

Neither would I dare comment on the accuracy of the profile of a writer who finds inspiration with an exotic bird, of the feathered kind, on their shoulder (

A rabbit is the perfect writing companion. He needs no walkies when you are lost in that hard-won mysterious 'zone' when the hours fly by and writing is a dream. Cast a few carrot chunks about the room and he will amuse himself quietly all afternoon by foraging in corners. Rabbits don't bark or twitter, just make sweet gruntings and look impossibly cute when they want something. They are the ultimate muse: when you read a bit of the book you are working on, they never look bored or less than impressed. And they are the best foot warmer in winter, as you sit at your desk.

What more could a writer want?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bunnies and Baby Goths

Rebel & Co, my Teen Advisory Board (aka my 13 year old daughter & friends; that's Rebel with the fringe, not the ears) keep me right on all things 'awesome' and 'eeew'. Well, they've decided I just don't cut it as a blogger. I need to do better. They are right. I will try to be more sparky, more often. Just write about Stuff, they say.

So I was thinking about Stuff to write about the other night as I stood with Rebel & Co, waiting for the mighty Avenged Sevenfold ( to take the stage and blast us all away at what was deemed The Best Gig In The Universe, Ever. It was a fantastic small gig of just 400 'best friends.' The great thing about having a teenager in the house is that you find out about all kinds of Stuff that would never be on your radar otherwise. (Though it can be bewildering trying to work out why the top you've pulled on that morning is suddenly 'eeew' when it didn't offend anyone last week...)

And so I came to be in a black-dark Goth cavern that was swarming with sweet little baby Goths, enjoying some screaming hi-energy punk-Goth-metal-with-soul, for the first time in many moons. I remember when I saw The Ramones, just along the road at the Apollo, I said, casually trying to impress Rebel & Co. And I did. 'You saw The Ramones? THE Ramones!' Uhuh. I basked in a fleeting moment of awesomeliness. Don't get so many of them these days. But then Rebel never took me to see Avenged Sevenfold when she was seven. If I want uncomplicated awe and devotion there's always Rabbit, and as you can see he is a pretty cute guy. (That's him with the ears.)

'I've just remembered. This is a historic site. You know who played a legendary last gig here?' Rebel's dad declared, as Rebel & Co emerged from the scary gothpit, gasping for Irn Bru, looking as if they'd survived a monsoon.

'Me', he said wistfully. 'My band. If it hadn't been for those, um, musical differences we could have had the world....'

But he's got Rebel instead, with his rock genes. She disappears back to the baby gothpit, eyeliner streaming beneath her Goth fringe (above) that I cut and dyed, as payment for her setting up Myspace pages for Mara and Fox - with Tuck, Pandora and others to follow, in time.

And that's really the Stuff that this blog is about. That Mara and Fox will be on Myspace soon. I'll post here and on the main website when we've got things up and running and I hope you'll drop in and befriend them.

Some news:

A definite spring release date (April) for EXODUS in the US.

ZENITH paperback is released in UK February, with a competition prize so amazing I wish I could win it myself. More on this soon. ZENITH will be Waterstone's Book of the Month for February.

Lots of adaptations and productions of the books are in progress, and lots of green projects all over the country, which are using Exodus and Zenith to bring the facts to life. I'll put up details on a special GREEN PAGE. Coming soon...