Many moons ago, when Glass Houses was still a large Word document, the object of editorial battering, red pen exclamation marks showing my displeasure at the over-use of one of my over-used words, and loopy arrows to denote sentences still in the wrong place, my attention flipped over to Amazon. I caressed the blurb for Glass Houses, marvelling at the brilliance of my publisher to be able to capture the essence of the novel in one tiny paragraph. Scroll to the end and it suggests readers of the wonderful Liane Moriarty (she of The Husband's Secret fame, and many other wry but meaty page-turners), not to mention the great Marian Keyes and Kathryn Croft, might enjoy Glass Houses. I had a little chat with the screen - pretending here that this is uncommon - Oh, yes please, it would make my day, year, goddamnit, my lifetime if readers of those three authors enjoyed my novel just as much. I scrolled a little further, paused to smile at the book which-could-not-yet-be-bought languishing at about 3 billionth in the Amazon Bestsellers Rank (not so now it can be pre-ordered, my friends) to see the Product Details. And there was Glass Houses, squarely in the 'Thriller' category.
Glass Houses is a thriller? you ask, incredulously.
Yes, I hope it might induce a bit of a chill in the, 'Oh, but for the grace of God,' kind of way, but there's no staring in a mirror and seeing your name written in blood. I love a great thriller, but I'm far too much of a scaredy cat to ever sit alone at my desk writing something like that. I jump even if a member of my family walks into the room. No, Glass Houses is contemporary fiction or general fiction,more designed to disturb perhaps, to make you smile, gulp and even cry real tears, but not to scream.
The thriller category is waking me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat for all the wrong reasons. I seem much more worried about this than my wonderful publisher so I cross everything that my fears are little more than the workings of an over-active imagination. But I do have an unsettling image of a rack of 1* reviews appearing with the title, 'This is not a thriller' and going on to say that they've been more scared watching Rugrats. My publisher is on it, has been on it for a while, but the wheels of big companies turn slowly, it seems.
Meanwhile, I'm off to re-write Mansfield Park as a thriller, Atonement as chic lit, Bridget Jones as Bradley Johnson… now, there's an idea.