VIDEO: Things not to leave on a bus

Another Reminder: Do Not Read This Book if you are responsible for minors…

you have been warned!

As publication day looms, it seems only right and proper to start warning people about this dangerous book and the trouble it could cause.

The main minute long ad comprised of four stories about forgetfulness.  This particular story was shot entirely on location in the glamorous settings of Kings Mall, Hammersmth and on the number 19 bus edging up Sloane Street.

The lead (pictured) performed flawlessly every take without once getting upset or grouchy or falling asleep.  A star in the making.

Book cover voting results.

Over fifty people kindly looked through the selection of eight covers

that are currently being considered for my upcoming book.  George polled over thirty five of his friends on facebook, (for which, though slightly boy heavy and probably not my primary market, I am very grateful) and I nagged my more mature friends.  The results were very interesting.  Broadly, men tended to go for the fifties bold imagery looks, women were drawn to the girl with the scratched out face.  Slightly more men than women responded but even without weighing that bias out, the girl with the scratched out face very slightly pipped the blue at 22 to 18.  Possibly had I not offered the red one (below) too, the blue bold look one would have won, but the top two images were clear leaders, receiving by far the lion’s share of votes. So in reverse order the winners are.

Third Place

Second Place

First Place

Winner

All right.  I am quite chuffed that this one won, as I can reveal now that it was the one that I designed.  I’m also glad it appeals to women as they seem, on the whole, to be more interested in buying fiction than men… or at least most of the men that I know.  That said I doubt that any of these will be the final cover as I don’t detect much support for it within Transworld.  Which is why I will be submitting two covers for consideration.  The scratched out girl and a typographic surprise cover…

Thank you everybody.  And if you fancy helping some more you could click here and tell me which strapline you prefer.

Strapless?

This has not been selected as the cover - but it shows you what a strapline does.

Apparently – in deference to Hollywood – books now need a strapline.

Some sort of phrase that sums up the story or the feeling or intrigues because of course the picture and the title are not enough.
So having polled my friends on the sort of cover that appeals, I’m going to try my luck with the strapline.  These are my first thoughts and they’re pretty rough.  If you can think of anything funny or witty or something that will grab attention please leave it in a comment… I thank you.

 

[poll id=”2″]

Blurbs in Progress

 

And now I must start the mind-strangling exercise of trying to summarise my entire 120k words into one tiny, pithy, enticing back of book blurb. So here’s my first attempt:

Haunted by memories of a kid’s party that went disastrously wrong, magician Peter Ruchio has condemned himself to a life entertaining rest-home geriatrics. When he meets the beautiful con artist Kate Minola, she seems to offer the chance to forget his past just as she sees in him an opportunity to change her own fortune. But, as they become ever closer, just who is under whose illusion? Can two habitual deceivers ever really trust each other? And can the past ever be forgotten?

Improve Your Memory

(From the preface of: What The F*** Did I Do With My Keys – What our brains are really telling us when we forget things., London, 2009)

What about that memory of your Dad, when he used to tell you you were stupid and how worthless it made you feel  Years after the event you’re still feeling it and, in your lower moments, blaming it for holding you back from pursuing your dreams or actually believing that you deserve success.

What about the memory of your first great love when they waltzed off with someone better looking? Or the parent who walked out leaving you with the psycho one, and all the hurt that went with it?  Could that memory, that embedded fear, have anything to do with why, now, you seem to bugger up all your relationships before anyone gets a chance to get too close?

Or, what about those happy childhood memories of carefree roaming, endless summers and Enid Blyton?  What happened when you grew up and real life turned out not to be full of magic, adventure and cream teas but stress, monotony and utter shit?  Is there possibly some connection between your nostalgic memories and the disappointment, the resentment, that you won’t admit to but still drives you to infantalise yourself with Harry Potter, Friends Reunited or pretending that you’re ‘mates’ with your own kids?

Maybe you find yourself inexplicably clinging on to relationships long past their sell-by date or in terror of asking your boss for a raise or relying on the blissful oblivion of drink or drugs – but if you ever get the sensation that there is something irrational holding you back in life it is, usually, something from your past that is doing it.

But the past isn’t really there, it doesn’t exist, it’s not another country, it is just one thing: a memory.

It seems incredible that the current ‘brain training’ racket, which seems almost to solely exist to justify the sales of hand-held gaming consoles to adults who should know better, is based on such a trivial gain.  Being able to remember faces, or shopping lists, or the capital of Lithuania is, no doubt, helpful but it is nothing that the possession of a pen and piece of paper couldn’t do equally well.  On the other hand, we all have troubling and intangible things in our heads which, if we could only completely forget them, we could really improve the quality of our memories.

So many of us believe that we’ve buried our painful pasts but, with no knowledge of how to forget effectively, we’ve usually just stored their sleeping shadows in the deepest recesses of our minds, ready to surface again when they will be least helpful. –  The field of psychiatry is almost entirely based on the tyranny of inexpertly buried childhood memories rising from the grave, like zombies, to menace us in later life.

In this book I aim to give you the right spade and the best plot, so that you can bury your own, no longer relevant or needed, zombie memories – to forget them completely, effectively and once and for all.