By Patrick Kincaid
A comic love story in which the discovery of a long-lost version of a cult movie sheds light on a 45-year-old love affair between a Hollywood filmmaker and a real-life Loch Ness monster hunter
Saturday, 4 November 2017
Of dumbfounded detectives and lovable monsters
The release of The Continuity Girl seems to have been just about to happen for quite a while now. That must be doubly the case when you aren't receiving updates from the publisher.... Rest assured, there will be definite news about a release date in the next couple of weeks. I've been in discussions about the cover with designer Mark Ecob and with Xander Cansell at Unbound, and hope to have that finalised soon. While not at liberty to show you the choices that Mark came up with, I can show you this gem, produced by one of my A level students when they should have been analysing Act 4 Scene 7 of Hamlet...
I really like this (and the two others produced by likewise disobedient students). It includes some essential elements of the novel: Nessie, of course, a pretty good representation of Drumnadrochit, where much of it is set, and the perforations at top and bottom signifying cinema. It's also vibrant and fun. Interesting to see that there was no room here for the author's name...
Elsewhere, elements of the novel have been making the news. Last week, Eureka! Entertainment announced a new Blu-ray and DVD transfer of Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, with a plethora of extra features, some unavailable till now in the UK, some new everywhere. It's not essential to have seen the film before you read The Continuity Girl, but it's a film you should see anyway. And after you've read The Continuity Girl, I hope you'll consider it essential viewing. It's set for release in January. See the trailer above.
Also last week, The Scotsman carried a story about the enduring popularity of the Loch Ness Monster. Apparently, Nessie remains the United Kingdom's favourite supernatural mystery. This reminded me of something I read last summer that had resonated with me. In his brilliant book of nature writing, Raptor: A Journey Through Birds, James Macdonald Lockhart writes that cryptozoology - the study of creatures that probably don't exist - is 'a depository of metaphors' for 'the questing after absence'. That works for me.
Finally, I'd like to mention that I have now set up an author's website. You can find it here, and I encourage you to subscribe. Although the first blog is a guide to my updates here, I hope in future to do what The Beatles did, when they tried to keep material on their LPs and singles from overlapping (in the UK, at any rate).
Hope to have more substantial news for you very soon.