My first book, a collection of short stories, ‘Tiny Lies’, came out twenty-one years ago, in 1988.
How is this possible? I’m only twenty-nine years old!
‘The Mistress of Nothing’ comes out next month - I’ve started doing interviews and bits of publicity for it, and am gripped by pre-publication melancholy. What will happen to the book? Will it find its readers?
I’ve written seven novels and two collections of short stories - nine books. This figure doesn’t include books I’ve co-written (1), and books I’ve edited (7), and books I’ve contributed to (god knows how many). Then there are the foreign editions, plus the translations. A regular book mountain. The writing life is so peculiar - such a weird mix of isolation and exposure, hope and loss. With ‘The Mistress of Nothing’ this feels particularly acute - because that book took me so long to write, I’ve lived with it for a very long time, and now it is done. My work in the digital realm makes me see the world of books from a slight distance, and this adds to the dense mix of emotion. The whole thing is really most… vexing.
But still, the most important question for me right now is one I’ve already asked in this post: Will ‘The Mistress of Nothing’ find its readers?