It’s a hard life being a writer!

November 4th, 2003 • Posted in News |

It is. Honest! Just ask Iain Banks.

One of my very favourite writers – in both his incarnations – Banks has written some of the most striking fiction of the past twenty years. From The Wasp Factory to The Crow Road, Consider Phlebus to Feersum Endjinn, he’s one of those writers that makes me wonder just why I bother. His style is effortlessly brilliant, his plotting assured and striking. Reason enough to hate him, but my hatred goes deeper … I once saw him interviewed, and he was very casual about turning out a novel per year. To paraphrase: “I drive around Scotland for the bulk of the year, visiting friends, drinking whiskey, then when the nights start to draw in I think ‘Oh well, better write another novel.”

Talented git.

And then today, browsing a local bookshop, I saw a brand new hardcover by Iain Banks, called Raw Spirit. Not knowing he’d had a new novel published I picked it up for a browse. It’s not a novel. It’s something else.

Banks has been commissioned to travel around Scotland, meeting all sorts of interesting people, drinking single malt whiskey in the search for the perfect dram. In fact, that’s the book’s sub-heading: ‘The Search for the Perfect Dram’. Expenses paid.

Hate him yet?

And yes, damn right, I’ll be buying and reading this book.

It’s a hard life being a writer.

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