Well, ’tis the first day of September and summer’s been pretty relentless here in Tokyo – a series of char-broiling days with very little rain, but some wild mood-swings in humidity. I climbed most of Mt. Fuji (never a plan – I let a mate persuade me) and reached 3,000 metres but gave up on the remaining 776.24. I was zonked. Nice sunrise, tho’.
I did finish the first draft of novel #3, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? – see previous entry for more insight into same – only to cotton on that it’s going to need a lot more love in terms of editing, tweaking and expansion, as well as a firm idea of what parts play homage and which others need me to stretch myself. An interesting exercise, and I’m loving it.
For this baby I’ve been rethinking and brushing up on Marvel Comics from the silver age in the ’60s, along with golden age ’40s comics from all the different publishers in the US. I’m also swinging through British, Australian, and Belgian comics. Since the “period” drifts between the 1930s~70s, the research hat has come on re: fashions/cars/architecture/gadgets/etc.
There’s also a fair chunk of influence channeled through from Chandler and Hammett, Isabel Allende’s Zorro, Colin Harrison’s Manhattan Nocturne, Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Nicholas Christopher’s Veronica, Angela Carter’s Nights at the Circus, Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, and Robert M. Eversz’s Shooting Elvis, Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as rejigged by Disney, and Melbourne’s superb old W-class trams.
Another novel project (The Mercury Drinkers) is percolating away on the back-burner, but hardly forgotten – I’m jotting down notes and ideas as they arise.
Otherwise, I’ve been working on short stories, most noir/horror-related – the theme in the Pulp Ink 2 anthology out last month – as well as one World War One Biggles-style romp that involves a dirigible and a deity. 😉
Next month (October) is going to be wayward fun for me as my second novel One Hundred Years of Vicissitude will be published via Perfect Edge Books. This novel owes a truckload to the past eleven years I’ve spent living in Tokyo – I love this city and the people, along with the culture, and in some ways One Hundred Years… is my celebration of that affection. More or less.
I’m also fairly heavily indebted to the cinematic work of Satoshi Kon, Akira Kurosawa and Seijun Suzuki, actors Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura, and the wunderbar 1940s boogie woogie of Shizuko Kasagi. A real-life story of identical twin Japanese centenarians served as the initial spark. Add in Sean Connery’s take on James Bond in Tokyo, the 1929 visit to this city by the Graf Zeppelin, a 1945 fire-bombing, an eight-headed dragon, the crazy antics of the Japanese Red Army, etc, etc, and you may get the gist.
Also October will see the publication of Crime Factory‘s anthology of short Australian crime fiction, titled Crime Factory: Hard Labour, and I have a new story in there that reunites Floyd and Laurel from Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat – but there are a lot of other far cooler Aussie scribes involved. Stay tuned for more news.
Speaking of my first novel, the noir/dystopic Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, it’s still available in trade paperback direct from my US publishers for $4.74 plus postage – or you can download the epub/pdf versions FREE here @ Another Sky Press.
Next up is the Tobacco-Stained Sky anthology, to be published in 2013. And hopefully some marginally cooler weather…