Tag Archives: chess

Chess nuts

After months of writing and weeks of wondering whether you’ve written a dog or a winner (or something in between that is going to cause you a lot of work and grief), it is unbelievably delightful to get an email from your publisher and editor with the words, ‘We love your chess novel’ in the subject line.  The novel is going to be published as a Puffin book in early 2010, and is going (at this point at least) to be called Chess Nuts.**

Chess Nuts is in some ways the opposite of Famous!, in that chess is a game that is played for the pleasure of the intellectual challenge of it.  It’s not a spectator sport, and, with the possible exception of chess teams in schools, it resists being made into anything more than a battle of wits between two players.  This does make its adherents a little prone to hero worship, as witnessed by the phenomenon of the remarkable Kasparov.  But chess lends itself to metaphor well, because the battles of chess are the battles of life writ small (or large, depending on your pov.)

I realise that none of this tells you anything about the actual book.  Another day.

In other news:

I’ve been reading the superlative Everything Beautiful, by the equally superlative Simmone Howell.

My friend The Food Pornographer had her brilliant food blog in the Sunday Times last weekend.

It’s Friday.  And not a day too soon.

** Multitudinous thanks to all my facebook friends who donated possible titles.

Audiences and applause

I was very pleased to have The Push reviewed by Ian Nichols in this weekend’s West Weekend Magazine.  There’s nothing like a review in your hometown, I have to say.  The review started, ‘a premier exploration of the vague boundary between young adult and adult novels’, which seems to be something I’ve been hearing a lot of. I can see the point of the argument – when is a book for teenagers not a book for teenagers? – but my teenaged readers seem to like it as much as older folk.  But my next ones will be much more firmly audience specific, I think (see the s*x in cars entry previously).  Watch this space.