The 2012 Kitschie Award Winner for Angelmaker, talks about his latest novel, Tigerman. Among many, many other things.
As soon as the interview was over, I was madly Googling to bookmark as many of Nick Harkaway’s references as I could. In our conversation about the designation “literary thriller,” he discussed the stories of Jorge Luis Borges and judging the Kitschie Awards. When I asked him how he chose “Harkaway” as his pen name, I learned about Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, (I’ve since ordered a copy for myself and several for friends I know will appreciate it) and he quoted “A Ship, an Isle, a Sickle Moon,” by James Elroy Flecker.
A ship, an isle, a sickle moon–
With few but with how splendid stars
The mirrors of the sea are strewn
Between their silver bars!
An isle beside an isle she lay,
The pale ship anchored in the bay,
While in the young moon’s port of gold
A star-ship–as the mirrors told–
Put forth its great and lonely light
to the unreflecting Ocean, Night.
And still, a ship upon her seas,
The isle and the island cypresses
Went sailing on without the gale:
And still there moved the moon so pale,
A crescent ship without a sail!
For those of you who are fans of Angelmaker, you probably know about the YouTube videos of the records Frankie left.
I forgot to ask one question: Tongue firmly in cheek, I emailed Nick to ask whether or not there were any marketing plans for Tigerman along the lines of an action figure or a graphic novel. Here is his reply:
No. Both of those feel like things you do after, though – otherwise rather than an advertising tool you’ve got something new you need to advertise.
I keep running across that: any time you make something to go with a book as a way of getting people interested, that thing either has to be more cool and interesting than the book (which obviously in a way you don’t want, because if it is, why did you write the book at all?) or more readily shareable (basically: digital or intangible, reproducible, free). Which is hard. So in the end you want people talking more than you want another product.Which is not to say I wouldn’t love either or both of those at some point. And a movie…
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