This is certainly a book for the bonus years, because it’s about two people turning 50, one rather flamboyantly, one more tentatively. Ivan the narcissistic artist prefers disasters to happiness, and the more the merrier. He believes that happiness after 50 is impossible by definition, and that he is the only person in the world distinguished by the malady of aging. Boring old Jane chips away at problems, saves a colony of native snails and surprises everyone, especially herself.
I am pretty sure that you will recognise one or more of these characters. Humming was written 14 years ago but people still tell me they “know” one of the characters. And dreamy idyllic beautiful remote places still attract strange and brilliant characters, rare creatures, and mysterious noises that only some can hear.
Why authors don’t murder for reviews
Please let me know what you think of Humming — preferably as a little review on the Amazon page. Authors are hungry for reviews. We need reviews. We would eat rats’ kidneys for reviews.
In the old days, we might discreetly murder the author of a bad review. Not me, you realise: I’m a vicar’s daughter and I was raised on Thou Shalt Not Kill (Human Beings). But other writers, especially crime writers, had no such scruples. No more,, my lips are sealed.
Today, the reviewer’s life is safe—it’s sacrosanct. Today, when you hear a writer screaming “Look! This guy hated my book!” it’s not a scream of rage. It’s a scream of triumph. “One person actually read my book and typed some words about it! Hallelujah!”
When Humming was first published, every major newspaper and magazine in the country published a review. (The country being New Zealand.) Publishing has changed dramatically as you know. Fewer publishers — most have merged or gone bust. Fewer books — a monthly catalogue of new books has shrunk to one or two pages. And fewer reviews.
Like most writers I have drifted to Kindle. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s social, it’s empowering.
As long as I get some reviews… Pretty please?