Thursday, September 7, 2017

When the party's over ...

"Do you have a literary executor named in your will? What would you like to see happen to your books once you've shuffled off this mortal coil?" By Catriona

A word about that mortal coil, though. Shakespeare meant one day we will all shrug out of the earthly bodies that coil themselves around us while we're alive. Everyone knows that, right? But when I was a wee girl (and still now, a bit) I had a picture of human beings walking up (pessimists would have said down, I suppose) a coil, suspended in space, and then shuffling off the top.  I blame Escher.

Anyway, no - I don't have a literary executor named in my will.  The problem of what to do with my work goes to my husband, along with a lot of dresses that won't suit him. If he beats me out of here, our many nephews and nieces - sixteen and a bump, currently - will pass it around like a hot potato. I don't think it'll have occurred to any of them, but they're already moaning about what to do with my stuff when I die. And I quote: "you've got all those signed first editions, Auntie Catriona. We'll have to go through every single last book for like weeks on end." Pause. "Instead of just hoying them into a skip."

I should name a literary executor in my will.

As to what'll then happen to the rights to twenty books (if I slip away today, that is; could be more by the time it actually happens) . . . I quite like the idea of total obscurity, followed by a discovery in a dusty bookshop one day by a dedicated bibliophile, then the development of cult of devotees. I want to be Dorothy Whipple basically. At Persephone 2.0.

For now, life goes on.  And today is one of the good ones. I've got a new book out in the US and a launch party for it in Scotland.  Life doesn't have to make sense, thankfully.

Details and reviews here


Ann said...

I'd volunteer to be your literary executor except for the fact that I will shuffle off this mortal coil long before you do. So I shall entertain myself in the meantime with reading every book as it comes out and giving it a fair and objective review. For that you may read "good, better, best."

Susan C Shea said...

You got me at "hoying them into a skip." I'm ever more impressed by Scottish slang. And with your output by the time you climb the coil, I think you're just the kind of author who will be rediscovered and elevated to a literary pedestal. But don't disappear for a half dozen more decades, okay?

Unknown said...

I agree a cult of devotees would be a nice finale. Happy launch party!!

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