I'm sad to learn of the imminent demise of one of my favourite authors, Iain Banks. He went to his doctors a couple of months ago complaining of a pain in his back. He assumed it was because of long stints at the computer but it turned out to be incurable cancer.
If you haven't read The Wasp Factory, now's the time.
If you're a Science Fiction fan, you'll already have read Consider Phlebas and all the other Culture novels. If you don't particularly like SF, these will convert you.
Iain is a very special writer, his imagination is matched only by his technical prowess and the lyrical quality of his prose. I'm going to miss him.
It brings home to me the importance of living as fully as I can today and not constantly putting things off for a better time, when I get chance, when I've more money, you know the feeling.
So, although the news is very sad, it's put a new spring in my step.
I'm just back from an amazing week at Freefall with Barbara Turner-Vesselago http://freefallwriting.com/ and have developed a new writing partnership with Jez Pike (not his real name) for a brilliantly funny novel about advertising agencies, big business, rock bands and organised crime. Jez and I are sharing the work to get the book done more quickly. He's doing the funny bits and I'll be writing the bits in between.
We've not agreed a title yet but it's probably going to be called Funky Junk.
Also I'm hellbent on finishing Limited Liability, the third Jenny Parker book. The first two have been amazingly well received, thanks for all your great feedback and reviews. More, please.
The paperback version of Due Diligence will be available from April 11th.