1. Lists are great. If you don't believe me, then check out all the great reasons listed right here. See? I told you.
2. I promised Heath Lowrance I'd mention how great The Bastard Hand is, on account of this post here. But you don't really need me to tell you that, do you? I mean, you have been paying attention haven't you? It's bloody brilliant, is what it is.
3. Not that I really need another copy of the book (I'm not one for hoarding much these days), but I love the subject of noir music, or music to listen to while reading noir, which is not quite the same thing. It does, however bring up the age-old question: how do we define noir? An interesting attempt is underway at Noirboiled Notes. It starts here, and continues here and here, with more to come.
4. Speaking of number 2 and number 3, Heath promised (in these very pages, no less) that he would be updating his history of noir and hardboiled literature. Well, part 1 is here, covering the early days, and part 2 of a promised 9 moves onto the early giants - Hammet, Chandler and Cain, as well as a few others who aren't quite so well-remembered. I just hope this isn't keeping him from his next novel.
5. In other news, a London publisher says "I am confident you will be published by a respected publisher, but do not think this is the book that will prove to be your breakthrough. We would be keen to see any future manuscripts... as we think you definitely have potential." They were the last of the places I queried to still be considering it.
I long ago came to the same conclusion about my first book - it's very definitely a 'first book'. I'm proud of it but I learned a lot and have improved a lot as a writer. In other words... The Debut Novel is Dead, Long Live the Debut Novel.
6. The new debut novel is, of course, the very one that I am avoiding writing a query letter and synopsis for by writing this blog post and reading Heath Lowrance's blog and Noirboiled Notes etc etc. I am a writer, ergo, I procrastinate.