Who can say what the night might bring? Mummy tucking you up with Teddy and a cup of Ovaltine? Fireworks and frivolity? A party? Music? Dancing? Or you could be reading in bed, between clean linen sheets before falling into deep and restful sleep and sweet dreams. And who knows; the night might bring romance, or love, or sex, if you play your cards right. Or you might be working; millions of people work at night. If nobody worked at night, Britain would cease to function. Or the night might be cold, haunted, inhuman and wild. When you look up into the night sky, you see that you are nothing. An insignificant mote of dust. Or the night could be all too human. Hen parties in skimpy dresses and fairy wings being slammed into the back of a police van; girls working on street corners in the part of town where the lights don't come on; businessmen going to lap-dancing clubs to forget what waits at home. Or you could die. Most people do die at night. Or you could just lie awake and wait for the dawn. Set over the course of an intoxicated night in a house up a mountain in West Cork, Ian Marchant offers a darkly funny account of what people get up to at night, explores his own experience of a life of night times, and shows us how we all have something of the night about us.
Ian Marchant wasn't born in Newhaven in East Sussex in 1958, but he often claims that he was because of his deep embarrasment about his real place of birth.
But he really did grow up there, and went to school there, and he still sees it as home, even though it quite clearly isn't, given that he lives 250 miles away in Mid-Wales.
He didn't make a living singing in bands in the late 1970's and early 1980's; nor did he become a civil engineer in the late 1980's, as he didn't have any facility for the maths. He was surprised to learn recently that he didn't graduate in the History and Philosophy of Science with a Creative Writing Minor from Lancaster University in 1992. He really did live in a caravan for many years, but he didn't share it with a chicken called Ginger, who was rather an occasional visitor.
He put his career as a novelist on hold when his second novel 'The Battle for Dole Acre',(whose title he can't pronounce),didn't really sell. He didn't know much about railways or pubs when he started writing his acclaimed travel memoirs 'Parallel Lines' and 'The Longest Crawl',(though he does now). He did stay awake for countless nights to write his latest book 'Something of the Night'. He's now not writing a new book (provisional title 'A Hero for High Times') because he's writing this instead.
He does, however, teach Creative Writing at Birmingham City University, support Brighton and Hove Albion and sing in a cheesy cabaret duo called 'Your Dad', even though he's not really your dad, unless he is.
You can read his blog, which he doesn't update enough, via his website, www.ianmarchant.com