Between the Covers 25/03/2012

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books
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The Independent Culture

Is Bret Easton Ellis working on a sequel to American Psycho, 21 years after his most famous novel was published? Well, you can't trust everything you read in a 1am Twitter feed, but Ellis's certainly suggests that he is. He recently tweeted: "1:00 AM in L.A. and sitting at my desk finishing a script and suddenly I'm making notes on where Patrick Bateman's now ..." Naturally, the suggestions poured in, resulting in an all-night brainstorming session by the author. "Patrick Bateman would post pics of murdered girls on Facebook and either no one would notice or post 'Fuck yeah'", he wrote. "Patrick would talk about Adele and Kanye and KATY PERRY because "Firework" is his favorite song ... and then he kills Katy Perry's trainer ... Patrick's iPad would start speaking to him ... Telling him Adele's cover of The Cure drove him to killing, well, just about everybody ... Patrick would go on a very long dissertation about Coldplay's oeuvre ... His favorite song being "Fix You"... Scene where Chris Martin and Patrick Bateman eat waffles ... and then Patrick slits his throat ... Patrick's favorite movie: The Help ... Patrick's obsession: Rihanna ... Yes, Sean Bateman is gay. Didn't anyone figure that out?" The conversation ended when Ellis tweeted: "Going to bed. Can't believe this happened. Am I really going to start doing this? PB says yes ..." Promisingly he still seemed keen the following morning. "Keeping what might be the new book under wraps for now after last night's inspiration," he concluded. "But am still interested in suggestions and advice ... Please keep sending me ideas ... You won't get credit ... But they help ..." Watch this space.

Hurray for Stella Duffy, the novelist, playwright, comedian and performer, who has recently turned out to be a political commentator to be reckoned with. Following her star performance on Newsnight recently ("It is not gay marriage; it is simply marriage ...") she has been blogging about the Budget. "According to the BBC's Budget Calculator," she writes, "me and the Mrs will be approx £260 BETTER OFF in the coming year. This is absurd. We are both earning, both working 50-60 hour weeks, we have each other, and neither of us has to support a child ... I would much rather the money George Osborne has gifted me (and many many people earning far more than we are) went to people who really need it, the low income earners, the elderly, the sick. I have therefore, just this morning, started a monthly direct debit to SOS Children's Villages, for whom I am an ambassador." Somebody put this woman in charge.

It's been a disturbing week for The IoS's ace reviewer Doug Johnstone, whose new novel, Hit & Run (Faber & Faber, £12.99) opens with the lead character running over and killing Edinburgh's most notorious crimelord on Salisbury Crags. In real life, Johnstone has discovered, human remains have been found on Salisbury Crags. "If it helps any," he says, "I swear I was washing my hair that night." But this has got Johnstone to thinking. "This is an example of that weird serendipity that happens when writing fiction. After Tombstoning came out, I remember, they found evidence of a guy living in the caves of Arbroath cliffs. Similarly, the first ever murder on Islay occurred about the time Smokeheads came out. Maybe I need to write that I win the lottery in the next book. That would do. In actual fact, the novel I've just finished contained two graphic depictions of burglaries. My own house was burgled three weeks ago, after I'd written the scenes. Ho hum. So yeah, more on these 'human' remains when I hear. If it turns out to be Edinburgh's biggest crime lord, I am gonna fucking freak."