Coulombeau / Coupland

A very quick post – with apologies to those who have already been subjected to my hysterical boastings all over Twitter and Facebook – to say that today something truly exciting happened. I received a picture-tweet-link-thing showing me a shelf in the York branch of Waterstones full of pristine, gorgeous copies of Rites. It is officially – in this store only, until June 25th – on sale.

For the first time, I don’t really have much to say in this blog post.  It’s been a very strange day. I’ve been trying to do work, failing, grinning like a lunatic, and pulling up again and again the amazing pictures that friends have sent me (thank you Stu, Ruth, Paul and Cat!)

It feels so strange having it out there in the world, just hanging out there nonchalantly on the shelf next to Douglas Coupland. Amazing, of course – I’m so proud that all the months of hard work has resulted in this gorgeous item being available in a shop I’ve always thought of as a kind of brain-temple, looking so great and also – thanks Waterstones! – clearly given such prominence. But then, of course – because I’m a writer, and we are neurotic and miserable – fear follows quickly on the heels of pride, and I pick up my own copy and see an awkward sentence or a tiny plot inconsistency and I think “Oh fucksticks, that’s awful, nobody will take me seriously now,” and have to sit down and drown my innards in apple tea til I calm down. And then – because I’m a writer, and we are self-punishing and never happy – I think, “Well, ok, that’s one down, what about the next one?” and I go back to the tiny but growing manuscript that is becoming my second novel, and I see the mountain that I just climbed, there to climb all over again. Only, no, it’s not the same mountain. This one is bigger. Bigger and more terrifying and populated by banditti of high expectations and chasms of historical inaccuracy. But off I go nonetheless. And then I grin and look at the pictures again, and become distracted, and it all starts over.

Enough now. Off to my friend Cat’s to eat her delicious food. Will post very soon about the second novel, about how to write Middles, and about a great conference in Newcastle.

Til next time!


4 thoughts on “Coulombeau / Coupland

  1. Awesomeness. While I obviously haven’t had a novel published, I can certainly relate to everything you say. The euphoria of creation, the self-criticism, the urge to move onto the next work. Permission to be pretentious? I love this quote: “No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.” – Martha Graham

    • Cheers! Really interesting to know there are certain factors in common with making films. I see and appreciate your Martha Graham, and I raise you this(slightly more pessimistic) George Orwell. “All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

  2. Sophie! This is Jim (from California, MA Renaissance Lit at York, etc.). I tried to order your novel at my local bookshop but was told it is not available in the US. Any plans for release across the pond? (I suppose I really should own an e-reader by now.)

    In any case, many congratulations! I’ll be sure to look you up next time I’m on your side of the world.

    • Hey Jim, great to hear from you! I don’t have a US publisher yet (though I certainly hope I will at some point…). It’s available on Amazon, although I take your point it would be better to support a local bookstore.

      Would love to see you and Katrina any time you’re over this way! Hope all’s well. x

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