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Thursday, October 18, 2007


I know it's not Halloween yet...

But I'm feeling down, and want to cheer up. So here: an incredible gallery of pumpkins! Go have a look.

I dunno if this will cheer you up but there's another kit whitfield who wrote this book:


at least I'm assuming its a different one. Certainly it would be weird if it was you who wrote it. And your wikipedia entry doesn't mention you writing it (though it did have a nice link to your top ten genre defying novels published in the guardian - well done!)

I always wonder about people sharing names. I work in a library so I often come across authors who share the names of other authors, and both write completely the opposite sort of books. Some one will be looking for a thriller and its author will share the name with someone who writes PC manuals or whatever.

As a writer myself its always worried me, since I know of at least two authors who have my name, one of whom writes critical works on the theatre. Since I write or at least have written for the theatre the potential for mix ups always seemed pertinent with that one.

As far as I know writers names are not like actors who must choose different names if another one is already an equity member. Maybe it should work like that to avoid confusion. Or maybe names are keys to identity and to have to use a different name basically means being pushed into a false identity, loosing something important to yourself...

It's hard to say really. I shorten my first name because its more my identity in that way, which has the added bonus of distinguishing me from the other writers using my name (in the case of me getting published and this becoming a problem!!)

And then again there's the whole death of the author angle (you took offense a little when I mentioned this once, but please understand I am not talking literal death and as a fellow author I'm suggesting we are both zombies). In the literary theory that talks of the death of the author both Barthes and Focault talk of all aspects of the author becoming just additional tissues of quotation with which the Reader creates meaning from the art.

So the name of the author becomes an important factor. Would James Ellroy books or Elmore Leonard books have the same feel to them, create the same meanings, if they were written by Cuthbert Hughes and Roland Mandrake?

But then often our given names do not represent who we are anyway. We are names when we are born, our parents cannot know who we will be. Sometimes our names may shape us, other times they may become shaped by us, but all of us have met someone from time to time who "looks like a Frank" but is called Bill or who we wouldn't have expected to be called Helen.

Taking a pseudonym might be seen as a little like the way some tribes get a new name when they come of age, a name which describes who they are like light-bringer or deer-stalker.

But then taking a "fake" name can be seen as being less honest. If your work is about honesty then this may detract from its meaning...

anyway, thats a bit of a ramble I'm afraid. I'm killing some time while some files that I have to send upload onto YouSend it. Sorry to have come along and added a big rambling comment on your blog. I like to come and read here sometimes and on the way here my google search to find it through up the other version of you.

And then I noted you weren't feeling too great and thought I'd share it with you... and the next thing you know I've practically written a blog as a comment on your blog.

Blogs are strange things, reading them gives you the illusion of knowing their author, and in a way you do, but in a way you really don't.

Either way thanks for your time and good luck with the movie deal and future books.

I think I told you once before that I'd read your book, it's really good, I've recommended it to a few people and I can see how it'll make a good film.

The reason I'm uploading things late at night is that I'm sending a series of recorded short stories submitted by various people to a podcast station called rethinkdaily where they'll be broadcast from in a couple of weeks. It's a really great station and a few things I wrote are available to be downloaded there (I wrote the drama series Numbers and co-write comedy with The Trailing Edge). Check it out if you want to. I figured I might as well give it a little plug since I've got this far.


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