Thursday, 11 June 2009

My virtual book launch

Since you can’t bribe, bully or blackmail people into reading your books (unfortunately – I’ve tried all three and none of them work), God created book publicity. I’ve had a very scary, frazzly few days talking about my new book, On Roads. This doesn’t come naturally to me but I will put up with almost any agony if it means deferring membership of the Society for Unread Authors (see my post for 8 April). In fact, having negotiated the Simon Mayo show, BBC Breakfast TV and the Today programme and just about got away with them all, I think I deserve a double gold star, which I haven’t had since I wrote a long poem about a giant jam butty at primary school. And now I need to go and lie down in a darkened room for a bit, if you don’t mind.

But first, to reward myself I am holding a virtual book launch, on my blog – right here right now – to which everyone is cordially invited. Please help yourself to the virtual canapés and the virtual premier cru at the imaginary free bar. Thank you all for coming, too many people to thank etc. etc. Since I can’t do the reading that I believe is customary on these occasions, this is a little reworked extract from my book:

For some reason, the one thing almost all my interviewers asked about was the fact that the M6 toll road is made up of two and a half million copies of old Mills and Boon novels. I hope this isn’t a prophetic anticipation of my own book’s future as part of the M1 widening project. Being shredded up into bitumen modifier is the modern equivalent of writing your words on sand and having them washed away by the tide. But enough of the miserableness already. This is just a roundabout way of saying that, if by any chance you are not just here for the free virtual canapés and have actually read my book or are planning to, I really am more touched and grateful than words can say. And any feedback is gratefully received …

If you want to listen to my interview on the Simon Mayo show (I think it’s about an hour and 50 minutes in), it’s at:

And this is the link to my interview on Today (lots of cool points from my nephew for being on with James May from Top Gear). It should be about 2 hours and 25 minutes in:

BBC Breakfast TV isn’t available on iPlayer – which is probably just as well because, as someone kindly pointed out to me last week, I look better on the radio.

A nice review in the Sunday Times:

Mundane quote for the day:

Last night in London Airport
I saw a wooden bin
So I wrote a poem
and popped it in.

- Christopher Logue


  1. Congratulations on your book Joe! I shall definitely be buying it, as I have all your others (with no bribing, bullying or blackmailing required.) Congratulations too, on all the fantastic publicity you've been doing, that's really excellent. I recall about 10 - 13 yrs ago, participating in a 'Celebrity' university module that you were running, and we covered amongst other things 'reclusive' authors....glad to see you don't fit into this category. I'm quite certain your books shall never become road-filling. All the best. Emma.

  2. Congratulations Joe, way to go! Never mind virtual fizz, I raise a real whiskey in your honour.
    Now, I looked at your ‘followers’, up there on the right, and notice a curious thing, many of them look quite similar... grey folk, in shadow... how cool is that… The Hitchcock mob. I would look like them if I were a follower... the term seems to imply uniform-ity I guess...'cept I'd have a glass of whiskey to hand. Cheers and congratulations again. Jayne Joso

  3. I don't eat canapes as I am working class and as for the Grand Cru give me a pint of Summer Lightning any time.
    I have already got the book and it is fascinating but think I will give walking under Spaghetti Junction a miss.
    I watched the BBC Breakfast TV and thought that you were not given a fair crack of the whip with regard to the time allocated to your spot. The nation's obsession with celebrities and food meant that you were given short shrift and the celebrity chefs etc got more than their fair share of the programme.

  4. The premier cru and canapes were all very well but the real celebration was for your fine reviews this week. Looking forward to what the Guardian/Observer has to say. Lied very much the serious consideration given by the New Statesman. You are now ahead of Harry Potter on the Amazon 'Movers and Shakers'.

  5. Thank you for all the kind comments at this rather intimate gathering!

  6. christopher logue...Red Bird...the memories *sigh*

    thank you!!!

    jonah "stranger in a strange land" jones