Thursday 26 January 2023


I see that I'm running out of January!

Rather than have a month go by without a blog post, how about I tell you what I'm up to today.

Yesterday I wrote 31 epigrams, and today I have another 25 or so to write.

In The Book That Would Burn (go mark it "to read" on Goodreads and I'll love you forever!) each chapter has as it's heading a short chunk of writing allegedly lifted from the pages of books in the eponymous library that sits at the heart of The Library Trilogy.

These are epigrams. An epigram doesn't have to be a snippet from a book (real or fictional) but these ones are.

Mine aren't poems, and they are generally a bit longer than this example from Wilde. Also less witty, but then again ... Oscar Wilde.

These weren't actually my idea but an addition suggested by Natasha Bardon, the boss of Voyager, my UK publisher. They worked really well and now I'm adding them to books 2 and 3 as well. Most of them have a loose association with some idea or event in the following chapter, but it's often quite tenuous.

I recall Stephen King doing this sort of thing a lot, generally with quotes from actual books, songs, politicians etc. I've enjoyed it in books I've read but it seems to have fallen out of favour in recent decades. I suppose also that it can be quite dating when it's from pop culture.

Anyway, here are a handful from The Book That Wouldn't Burn:

–similarly impermanent. All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written. The greatest story can reach the stars–

            From the first book of Irad.

Without guilt we would all be monsters. And memory is the ink with which we list our crimes.

           – notes from the trial of Edris Dean. 

Kindness is a language in and of itself. In order for it to be understood it requires that both the speaker and the listener be trained in its syntax.

            Linguistics: A study of the heart, by Kian Najmechi.

And here are some of the ones I wrote yesterday for Book #2, tentatively titled: The Lie That Broke The World.

There is, inside me, an unanswered ache, small but constant, caused by no particular trial or tribulation, simply by the burden of existence, the effort of holding aloft my own sky. Each of us is Atlas and why some are crushed and others effortless, is a mystery whose answer will not translate into my tongue.

Existential, by John Smith

When planning a reunion with an old friend it is important to choose a venue with many exits. Who knows what the missing years will have wrought with the clay of memory.

Hello Darkness, by Erasmus Young

Often it is more important that someone leads than that they are a good leader or possess even a basic sense of direction.

The Immoral Compass, by Marquee D. Sad

That's all for now! Over and out.