The tickets are booked. We’re almost set. In a couple of weeks’ time I’ll be back in Japan.
I’ve had a lovely time in London – launching O, catching up with friends and family, doing fun stuff – but as the day of my return to Tokyo gets closer I can’t help but get very, very excited. My first trip to Japan left me fascinated, rabid to discover more. But as well as new experiences to look forward to, there are people I met there and things I saw that I can hardly wait to see again. Like these dudes…
The twinkling lights of the city spread out below me, as far as I can see. Between the lights are great black shadows where the buildings are. Inside the buildings I imagine the people – eight million humans, most of them asleep.
Do you ever get the feeling that your life isn’t your own? Do you ever feel like everything you do, or everything you ever can do, has been chosen for you already? That it was all planned out before you were born, so all you can do is go along with it? Have you felt that way?
I have news for you. It’s true.
I work for the people who mapped out your life for you. They rule you and they rule me too. Every second of my life has belonged to them. But that will end tonight – one way or another.
My name is O. Not zero. It’s O like the letter that comes after N in the alphabet. My parents are called M and K. We were bred for our… talents.
Our masters call us the Blanks. We spy, steal, kill – whatever our masters need us to do. Apart from our masters (and now, I guess, you) no one knows we exist.
We are trained to have no identity – to be nothing, a void. We are like clay, for our masters to shape as they wish. That’s the lesson I was to learn.
But they failed to teach me it.
Alone, in secret, I learned the hardest skill of all: to make myself. I built a personality, a me, from whatever scraps I could snatch when no one was looking.
My name is O. Not zero: O. I am not nothing. I am fabulous and spectacular. And tonight, at last, is when I get to prove it.
As you might be able to guess, Louise Bourgeois’ viscerally sinister oeuvre was a massive influence on Crawlers, which I’d just begun writing at the time. So with the Crawlers News Page soon to come to an end and the My Name Is Oone about to begin, the timing of my second meeting with Maman was eerily perfect.
I wasn’t totally convinced by her current setting in Roppongi. Surrounded by trees and skyscrapers and Christmas trappings I felt that Maman didn’t look quite as imposing as she should.
…But the angles were there if you looked for them.
Note: What follows below first appeared on my previous blog, just a couple of days ago. My feelings haven’t changed. 😉
…Ahem, sorry, rather excited. What I mean is, these are finished copies of my new novella for Barrington Stoke, MY NAME IS O.I knew about the stickers, which (NB) are fully removable and come off without leaving a mark. What I didn’t know was how the mirror effect on the cover was going to turn out. The answer is, very nicely indeed.
Signed copies of MY NAME IS O (and my other books!) are available to order from The Big Green Bookshop (here’s their website). The book’s cover price is £6.99. Samurai booksellers Simon and Tim will gladly arrange delivery to anywhere in the world, and postage inside the UK is free.
Now another pic. Look at the middle one, so shiny that in the right light / right angle almost everything disappears except the O…