So … the Booker Longlist is out and it includes four first novels which can only be good news for those of us with books which have cleared the finding-a-publisher-for-the-first-novel hurdle.
I looked in vain for Speaking of Love, knowing that it wouldn’t be there but hoping, fantastically against the odds, that it would be. (Me and all the other first novel-makers among the 97 books that didn’t make the longlist.) In my yoga class yesterday afternoon, which I went to to cure the RSI that my obsessive clicking on the Man Booker site had provoked, I even managed a Jimmy Rabbitte-(of-The-Commitments)-type interview with Germaine Greer (not sure why her …) when I was supposed to be meditating on a clear lake with no ripples. (Roddy Doyle won the Booker with Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha in 1993.)
But what the fact that there are four first novels on the longlist really does is remind me that the cure for the MATs is simply to write the next part of the next story. When Natalie Goldberg is asked how writers write she simply holds up a pad and a pen. She doesn’t say a word.