Dear The Internet,
I learned a very valuable lesson this year, and it is this: don’t pick the first six months of your debut child’s life as the perfect time to write a new book.
My son is many things: cute as a button, utterly hilarious, filled with a variety of fluids, destined to rule this planet and so on, but he’s also proved remarkably time consuming. To be clear, this is something which people did mention to me before he turned up, and I correctly figured there’d probably be a steep learning curve that started literally the second he turned up, but I had a cavalier faith in my ability to manage my time and multitask because I am a fool.
However, the book is done – I just went through the final edits and was genuinely chuffed with how well it read. I’ll say this for writing 80k words in the throes of sleep deprivation: it meant I read the finished product with fresh eyes, since I had zero recollection of writing most of it.
I’ll be doing a revamp of this site once I have a release date and cover art and so on, but the short version is:
- It’s called The Long And Winding Way To The Top: 50 (or so) Songs That Made Australia
- As with my previous two books, it will be published by the good people of Allen & Unwin
- It’s the story of 50 (or so) songs that shaped Australian culture, either by capturing a moment in our history or by changing the national conversation in some way
- Almost all of the songs are brilliant, much loved favourites that are part of our shared cultural heritage
- At least one of the songs is genuinely, irredeemably ghastly
- I tried like hell to ram several of my favourite songs into it and failed because I have a noble dedication to critical objectivity, but I’m hoping that I’ll find some other way to go on and on and on about why Models are and were such a pivotal Australian band who have never gotten their due. Also the Hummingbirds. Also the Falling Joys. Also [goes on like this for some time]
- It’ll be out for Xmas and it’s exactly what you should buy your parents/colleagues/neighbours/sibling/other person you’re obliged to get something for if you can’t think of anything else to buy them
- At the very, very least it’ll make one hell of a playlist of great Australian tunes that will play in your head unbidden simply by reading the contents
- Every chapter is about a standard toilet visit long
- I’m obviously biased, but I’m really proud of it
Hopefully it’s something that a very casual music listener can flip through and still enjoy, and if you’re a fan of the artist in question you’ll still find something out that you didn’t know.
There’ll probably be events launching it around the place, about which I shall endeavour to post. But just a reminder: you’re welcome to follow me on Facebook and Twitter if you want to know what’s happening generally.
And now, to get back into normal day-to-day writing again. Say, anything interesting happened in politics lately?