Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Man With No Shame

By Jay "The Nature Boy" Stringer

Something a bit different this week. I'm here to talk about the glory of me.

Only Joking. But no, really.

I've actually been pretty light on the self promotion since we started this here site. Truth is I'm not very good at it. The quickest way to get me to shut up at a party is to ask me about my writing. For some reason, I just can't do it. I am the king of one or two word answers, which probably gives off the impression that I'm a lousy writer. What do you write about? "Oh, I dunno, crime, stuff." Oh, I like crime, is it like Martina Cole? "No." And that's about my lot.

Truth is, the more I've become a writer, the less I've wanted to talk about it. Part of it it the writing process, I think. A wit will think of a funny thing to say on the spot. A writer will think of the perfect thing to say an hour later. And then talk to himself about it.

I cant be pretentious and put it all down to being a 'writer' though, because there are plenty of fine writers out there who are good at the hustle. In fact in the modern world a writer needs to have that about them. They need to be their own campaign manager in an election race. They need to be a rainmaker as much as a page turner.

And I have a lot of respect for the writers who can do that, because each time I try, I fail. My greatest concern about my own career, whatever that is, rests with the fact that I'm most comfortable being allowed to sit and work on my stories. The hustle side of things is a struggle for me, and my attempts to develop it never go well.

How about you guys? Lets hear about how you learned the hustle, or how difficult you find it. What are the best examples of writers who've found the right balance in the modern day?

And now back to the glory of me. I have a few news tidbits to throw out there, so here goes.

Firstly, as of April next year you will be able to plonk down some of your hard earned cash on a book that has by name in it. One of my shorts is being collected in The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8. I'm very proud to be published in the anthology alongside writers like Ian Rankin, Ray Banks, Al Guthrie and Stuart MacBride.

If you check out the full list, you'll also see a few names regular to the comments here at DSD and on 'the circuit,' like Nigel Bird and Paul D. Brazil. It's great to be alongside them. Thanks go to Maxim Jakubowski for putting it all together, and to the tartan ninja for the push.

How to follow that up?

Well, with another one I guess. Coming very soon from Untreed Reads is the ebook anthology Discount Noir. I get to share a billing with more of my favourite writers. Hell, that's McFet over there. And Weddle. And that shifty Bryon Q fella. Looking at the list of contributors really is something, over the next few years that's going to become a who's who of great crime writers.

Thanks on that one go to Patti Abbott and Weddle for their hard work, to Untreed Reads for joining in on the heist, and to worlds best agent Stacia Decker for making it all work.

Yes, that's right, we're taking over.

And one final plug. The good folks over at Matinee Idles let me sit in on another show, this one focusing on Chris Nolan's first film Following. It was a lot of fun, and I think we covered a lot of ground. Give it a listen, and check out the website. You might see a familiar writer on there. Cough. Cough.

And this one's not really self promotion. Mr Banks put me onto some good music and, against my best snobbish instincts, I'm going to share. Going to see C.W.Stoneking live was an absolute blast, it felt somehow like being in the middle of an episode of Treme. So check him out if you haven't already.


Dana King said...

Kudos squared. That's pretty fast company you're keeping.

As for talking about writing, I'm with you, more or less. I don;t much like to talk about it to civilians; I'll talk about it to other writers for hours, though, as with you, my promotional self-puffery extends about as far as "It doesn't suck. Much. I think."

Anonymous said...

I think the best thing you could do to promote yourself is to take that offensive in your face gesture down from your blogsite. Doesn't make me want to buy anything in support of you.

Steve Weddle said...

Nice work. Good that the rest of the world is getting to see more of your writing.

Unknown said...

I just wanted to say that we're very honored to be publishing such terrific material by a great group of established and emerging authors. You folks have a lot to be proud of, and we're looking forward to unleashing the final product on the world ('cept Antarctica, probably).

Jay Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing

Paul D Brazill said...

Good on ye,r cobber!

Anonymous said...

I think the best thing the anonymous poster can do is take ownership of his or her vapid comment and sign their name to it.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for changing your photo. I look forward to reading your work.