Editor’s note: I am home sick today because I seem to have caught some of that winter that has been going around. If anyone from work is reading this, I am genuinely sick and am writing this with a tissue planted up either nostril and the kettle on permanent rolling boil. Please excuse any incoherent sentences as most of my brain seems to be congested amongst my sinuses at present.
As part of promotion for The Bit In Between Pan Macmillan have organised a blog tour. Initially, to me, this sounded as if I would be sucked into my computer screen in the manner of an eighties teen movie and then forced to spend eternity traipsing from one blog to the next in search of an exit route back to the world of the living. Turns out it is actually a series of reviews, Q&A’s and guest posts hosted by the very kind people of the blogosphere.
My blog tour kicks off (posts off?) at the start of August so I’ve been working on the guest posts early in order to not explode from the brain outwards come end o’ July. This has made me discover something very intriguing about myself: I have two very distinct blogging voices. The first – for blogs that ask about myself, my background, my story etc – that voice is gleefully playful, happy to self-deprecate and drop borderline crap puns with ease and abandon. But for those that ask about my writing and the book itself, I seem to suddenly transform into a well-tenured humanities professor who has long ago lost touch with the flesh-and-blood world and uses phrases like ‘affording each literary character dignity’ and ‘respecting the process as much as the outcome’.
I’ve been trying to think on why this is (not today. Today I’ve just been trying to breathe without sneezing). I’ve come to the vague conclusion that whilst I am happy to throw myself on the flippant altar of humour, my characters and the underlying themes of my writing are serious messages masquerading beneath the Trojan horse of comedy. For a long time I’ve appreciated the strategy of Terry Pratchett, Caitlin Moran and Cosmo from Singin’ in the Rain, which is if people are laughing they might not notice the serious socio-political commentary you are scattering amongst their literary bickies and cheese. And in that way I don’t feel it is fair to laugh at or tease my characters because they are really trying to do so much within my little stories.
So perhaps this is it. Regardless, you can all see for yourselves from August 1 in the Claire Varley Bit In Between Blog Tour ’15: coming to an internet near you!