I said I'd done posting about authonomy, the Harper Collins social networking slushpile writer's group peer-review website thingy. And I lied.
In about 10 days I'll get my very own crit from an HC editor, which will be nice. Not really expecting 'We love you, here's a contract' so much as 'Nice, tidy it up'. We'll see.
Meanwhile, this is the last 10 days of the current month at authonomy, and a number of smart, talented people are now hoping for their own 'top out' moment on the editor's desk. I'd like to recommend you pop over and take a read of these books then add them to your bookshelf so that they get the backing.
There's a lot of debate about this, but one of the things I find so neat about authonomy is the possibility of a new egalitarianism in literature: we're getting to choose the kinds of book we'd like to read from a sample of raw work. There are over 3500 books on authonomy and getting to the top of the pile is some achievement.
Some of you guys were kind enough to help me do it: take a look at these little marvels and see if you agree with me that they should be in bookshops!!!
The Voices of Angels is young adult fiction from Spain-based expat Hannah Davis. It's a magical wee book, about a girl called Lizzie who can see people 'marked' with their own imminent deaths. Her parents send her to stay with her grandmother in Andalucia where she discovers that the veil dividing this world and another, more infinite existence, is so thin that she can walk through into infinity.
Songs from the Other Side of the Wall is an amazing piece of literary fiction, a book whose author is able to paint with language, creating masterpieces of precise word-pictures, colours and wordscapes that have you reading for the sheer joy of consuming Dan Holloway's writing. It's the story of a girl whose lover is killed and who reconnects with her estranged parents, finding love and redemption as she rebuilds her life.
Carry Me Away by American journalist and editor Robb Grindstaff is the story of Carry, a 'GenX biracial military brat' who lives her life in the belief that she is going to die at 20. It's a remarkable portrayal of a young woman, brilliantly executed and deftly paced. It's a very 'American' book in its tone, dialogue and language. And it's eye-poppingly good.
Punchline by Paul Fenton will make you laugh. If it doesn't, you're dead.
Diary of a Small Fish is another very American book. Author Peter Morin has built a tense political thriller, with whip-crack dialogue and a nice cynicism that combines with, somewhere, just a little bit of heart. It's a damn good read, a sort of curl up by the fire with a glass of red sort of read.
Last, but not least, I have to mention Tybalt and Theo. Much beloved Dubai (and now Spanish) blogger Keith Williamson gives his own little spin to the financial crisis by building in a splendid time-shift and throwing in porridge-bowls of silliness. It's rushing the authonomy charts and currently sits at 25.
Did I say 'beloved'? Sorry meant malign hunchback misanthrope. Key got stuck or something...