‘Ere the month is out, I must blog. It is written. So, dear reader(s? – more than one? – that would be nice), I blog. (does “to blog” exist as a verb? – Ed.)

You must not think, dear reader(s?), that I blog for blogging’s sake. No, this month I have been busy on the book project. You must understand the context for use of this term “busy”, of course. I have been discussing with a chap who could turn out to be my agent, if things go well. He’s seen some of my stuff. He makes good points. There could be two, or even three books in it. It’s good, he likes it, but what needs to be considered is – would it sell? I give myself on the page the same voice that I use on the street, and cover the same ground. That is, within a few sentences I can flick from history to geography, to community, to literature, to film, to drug culture. It works on tour – see the rave reviews I’m getting. Does it work on the page?

Of course, to support the voice on the page there will be illustrations and maps. Without them the reader would be lost. But there’s more to it than that. The environment, that is Leith and its ghosts, needs to come alive, to be a living organism and a character itself. That can easily be the sort of arty-farty literary pseudo-talk that gets you nowhere. But other people get away with it – Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, that sort of writer. Far be it from me to over-state my claims by this sort of association, but ye ken whit ah mean. Eh? The Voice needs to carry its audience and its readers with it. I like my voice.

So I’m working away quietly in the background. The thing is, what with retiring from the day job in August, which certainly loosens up a bit of time, and having a wee bit of (nice) family business to attend to, the chap-who-could-be-my-agent-if-things-go-well and I will review what we’ve got in early September. The target date for publication is mid-2018, Trainspotting‘s Silver Jubilee. So we need to get a move-on.

Even blogging once a month takes time out of drafting up the book. But it’s worth it, for you, dear reader(s?). Bleib bei mich. Stay with me.