Last week, hanging out at the Canongate offices, I spoke to the editors about my new book proposal. In this novel, Death of a Blogger, the protagonist murders himself in cold blood then blogs about the experience of being a dead person. His posts set the blogosphere alight. Twitter goes into meltdown with links. No one can take their eyes off these insightful but badly spelled posts about what it’s like to be a dead man blogging.
The editors raised a few logical questions, as they always do. How would readers know the blogger was truly dead? He’d post pictures of his decomposing corpse on Twitter, silly. Set up a special Flickr account with daily shots of his body as it wastes away. The uglier each picture became, the higher his fame would rise. What would make the posts so special? They would chart the physical and emotional sensations of being a dead person. How it feels in the skin and bones and, most importantly, in the heart.
Canongate love a book with movie tie-in potential. They want truckles of money in buckets, and they want it now, baby! So we struck a deal. Four million bottles of Evian for the first two hundred words. Deal! The book would be written in the first-person then switch to the disembodied third upon the protagonist’s death, because that sounds clever. In practice, it would make the narration rather odd, having a dead man talk about his former self in the third person, but these are tough times. If it ain’t fresh, it ain’t shit.
To research this novel, I have cut my throat. As I write this, blood is dribbling onto the keyboard, making it rather difficult to press down keys with all the gummed blood. The protagonist should shoot himself in the heart. Something with metaphor potential. I have started a separate blog for my posts and so far, no one has commented despite a viral marketing campaign: milking my death on FB, Twitter and YouTube. I might have to record a song or perform a public stunt to increase my heat. Perhaps I could suck the blood of small children while singing a Mariah Carey number. Whatever works.
Other problems have arisen: people I live with have gone insane at seeing a corpse walking around and conversing like a normal human being. The world of science and reason have collapsed to their knees at the discovery someone might slit their throat and carry on as normal, despite losing all his blood and severing his windpipe to prevent oxygen intake. This will all have to go in the book. I see an epic novel and film franchise on the horizon!
It’s not too bad being dead, really. It’s actually quite liberating. I don’t have to worry about council tax or anything. Hey . . . I now have three opening lines for the book! Some things just write themselves.
P.S. My story "A Disquisition of the Importance of Scottish Heather" is here in Barge Journal #1. Not free.
P.P.S. My story "Frankie & Johnny" is here in Duality 5. Also not free.