12 days of winter

Stuart MacBride signs his life away

Cramp When I was about eleven, I spent some time working on my signature. It was during a particularly boring maths class (or it might have been physics, who knows? Not me, and I was there... I think) that I sat down and doodled my name into the fantastic stylish signature that would adorn the cover of platinum albums, or movie posters, or groupies’ boobs … something like that anyway. Because, let’s face it, who doesn’t think they’re going to set the world alight when they’re eleven? Before spots and puberty kick in to make sure you know just how ridiculous a creature you really are. So by the end of the lesson I had learned nothing about logarithmic functions (or transistors if it was physics), but was all set to meet my fans. When, or more likely if, I ever had any, I’d be able to whip out a pen and sign my name with the appropriate flourish for a rock/filmstar. Of course no one wanted me to sign anything. So my fancy new signature got put in a cupboard and forgotten about. Oh, I’d drag it out every now and then when I was old enough to have a cheque book, but other than that it was dead weight. It all changed when Cold Granite came out... Or, to be more precise, just before it came out, because in the run-up to publication I went on an all expenses paid trip to the HarperCollins Distribution Centre in sunny Bishopbriggs. Which is a canteen, a few offices, and a dirty big warehouse full of books. They sat me down in a large-ish office with a pack of pens and a stack of books to sign. Three thousand of the buggers. Given that my previous record for signing things was about once every six weeks, this presented something of a challenge. Read More