Ah, Australia, land of sun, surf, and bad soap operas. You have always been missing something, haven’t you? As a country. A landmass. An entity. And now, for twelve whole days, you finally HAVE what you’ve been missing. You have ME.
It’s hot here, down at the Gold Coast, but not overly hot. Not oppressively hot. It’s a kind of heat that will melt you if given the chance, but with a judicious use of shade and breeze and air conditioning, you can hold off the melting and walk around with a smile and sunglasses, thinking you’re the coolest creature who ever strolled. And I am.
I arrived at the Somerset Literary Festival on Wednesday morning- pulled up to an actual red carpet with around one thousand cheering Skulduggery readers, just waiting for a glimpse of their golden god (me). I stepped out of a 1928 Chevy and stood there, grinning, arms outstretched, basking in thoroughly deserved and long overdue adulation. Men wept. Women swooned. It was a good day to be a golden god.
Escorted around campus by the ever-vigilant Laurence, I was taken to the Great Hall, where I was magnificent in front of 700 students. Oh, they laughed. Oh, they cried. Oh, they adored. I was truly brilliant. In those moments, I reached a level of perfection few have glimpsed, yet alone achieved. I was so good, so moving, that one student, a beautiful girl called Mya- or, possibly, Mia- asked me if I would marry her. I said yes. We are to be married, ladies and gentlemen. It is a happy, happy day.
Mya/Mia, all I need is your second name or, indeed, the correct spelling of your first name, and then I feel that our love can truly blossom. I’m not altogether sure you were expecting me to say yes, however. Now that I think about it, I realise there is a possibility that you may not have been entirely serious when you asked. In fact, you probably weren’t. Which means I am NOT engaged.
That’s okay. I didn’t even want to get married. I’m happy being single. I don’t need you, Mia/Mya. You OR your confusing name.
Nobody else asked me to marry them. I’ve done four events over the past two days, signed as much as I could, had a laugh and met some truly frightening readers, but no one else asked. Which is okay. That’s fine. I don’t, like… it’s not important, basically. That’s not why I’m here. I’m here for the BOOKS. They’re all that matters. Was I flattered by the proposal? Of course. Who wouldn’t be? Was I looking forward to settling down? Yes, I suppose I was. But that was a pipe dream. I was a fool to think I could be happy. Mia/Mya probably proposes to every writer she meets. What made me think that I was so special?
I’m better now. I don’t need your pity. SAVE YOUR PITY! SAVE IT FOR MY ENEMIES!
Tomorrow, Friday, I go to Brisbane, where I do more stuff and sign more things. And then on Saturday, it’s off to Sydney, where I can see the famous Opera House… hopefully from my hotel window, because I really don’t wanna leave my air-conditioned room.
Just had a text from my friend Laura, who is minding my house while I’m away. The dogs have torn the stuffing from their bed, apparently, and the blind on the living room window attacked her when she tried to close it. It leaped onto her head and then clattered heroically to the ground, where it lay, moaning occasionally after she kicked it. She is breaking my house. Dear lord, she is breaking my house.