My current projects….Actually, there are no current projects. I have just finished dealing with the copy editor’s last few queries relating to SLAM, a novel that is about and hopefully for teenagers; the nth draft of the screenplay I’ve been working on for the last couple of years, an adaptation of Lynn Barber’s autobiographical essay AN EDUCATION, is out in the world looking for a director. Martin Amis once said that you should never talk about a film you’re connected to until you can rent it from your local Blockbuster. I don’t mind talking about it, but you must understand that anything I say is likely to look like preposterous bullshit in a couple of months, maybe even in a couple of hours. A few weeks ago, AN EDUCATION had a director, but no cast and no money; now it has a pretty good cast, it’s just about financed, and our director has gone. This is what happens in independent cinema, and it makes you yearn for the comfortable and gentlepersonly reassurances of publishing. If I write a book that I’m happy with and my editor is happy with, then it will get published. If I write a screenplay that I’m happy with and the producers are happy with, there’s probably a ten per cent chance that the film will get made. So now I’m making up my mind what I want to do next. Penguin is planning a series of illustrated novellas, and I’m pretty sure I’d like to have a go at one of those – there’s something I’ve been thinking about that my work in this form. And I have an idea for an original screenplay. If I start on both now, then one might see the light of day next spring, and the other in four years’ time, if it even lives that long. Meanwhile, it’s hot, and there are books to be read, films to be seen, bets to be made….
Update: Penguin’s plans for an illustrated series have collapsed. And the film business is insane. And I’ve temporarily given up betting, because I know nothing about summer sports. There are still books to be read, though.