Dear lord, it feels like I've been digging my way out of a pile of manure all year. Which isn't exactly accurate -- I've actually not been buried in tons of horse shit -- but that's what it feels like. Book Number The Fourth was a bastard to write and a bigger bastard to edit. Not because of my editorial love ninjas at HarperCollins, but because of me.

The last four months have been absolutely horrific. Like being trapped in a small office twelve hours a day with a bearded egomaniac shouting at me the whole time, "That's crap, do it again!" , "Why did you do that? It's GARBAGE!", "Again, only better this time!" and, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?"

There have been many, many occasions when I thought about giving HarperCollins their money back and retrain as a plumber. The hours are better for a start. And you don't have to work seven days a week.

But now that I've finished torturing myself and obsessing over every single word, I'm actually pretty happy with the result. Yes, FLESH HOUSE was the most difficult to write, but I think it's the one I like the most. Which is pretty usual for me.

I sent it off to my editors yesterday. And the HC email server vomited it straight back. Hopefully this isn't some sort of quality judgement on its part. But I sent it off again today, and the server seems to be keeping it down this time. Even if it is looking a bit peaky.

And as I've been editing, I've been barely online. I missed James's Iceland visit and subsequent credit card shenanigans. I missed Allan Guthrie shutting down Hard Man. I didn't poke fun at John Rickards. At all. Not even once. Well, maybe once, but he was asking for it.

I haven't been posting here, either -- leading to much complaining from She Who Must Have Something To Read With Her Morning Cup Of Coffee She Thinks I Don't Know About. There's a whole backlog of stuff I want to put up too, including my very first interview as the interviewer rather than the interviewee -- with the extremely talented Arian Hayland about his debut novel DIAMOND DOVE.

In order to make things up to She Who Must Watch Her Step If She Knows What's Good For Her, I stole a survey from Russel this morning:

None: You could easily get away with murder. You have the cold and calculating logic of a sociopath. For all our sakes, go hug someone.


And I give to you an exclusive preview from Book Number The Fourth:

The all new Aberdeen Angus McHandwich

To the woods!

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