The Drill VS The Hole

Drainland by Iain Ryan | Ep 9

I do whatever I want with this newsletter. There’s no template. No format. No central idea or topic. The platform is relatively open.

So this newsletter is just whatever I’m thinking about at the time I sit down to work on it.

At the moment, I’m scattered.

I have a new novel out to ‘submission’ (i.e. my agent is trying to sell it) so this is a time of great uncertainty. Will I or won’t I have a book out next year? Did I waste my time or not?

So this fortnight, all I can offer is a list because my head is everywhere and nowhere:


I saw Mission Impossible: Fallout and thought it was pornography but about other action films instead of sex. It’s all about the details, the granular inner workings, the vibration and movement. Nonetheless, I liked it.


I teach a bit of marketing at work and we tell the students, People buy a power drill because they want the hole, not the drill. And then: Permission Marketing guru Seth Godin’s podcast episode Hitsville connects this to creative products. His thesis: people buy bestsellers because they want community. End of story. You can’t manufacture products (books, songs, films) for this audience because the core product they’re looking for — the hole — is ‘joining in’ not your fucking page-turner.


The NOTHING record came out and I’m a little disappointed by it, if only that the best two songs on it are the previously released singles (here and here). Upside, they’re both great singles. NB: ‘I Hate Flowers’ is pretty good too.


Absolutely no one in my feed seems excited by this article on the late Peter Temple but it is — hands down — the best thing I’ve read about a crime writer this year. Peter Temple used to write to his editor Michael Heyward (Text) in character, as his own agent. Exhibit A:

My dear Michael, I trust you will not be offended if I say that my client is beginning to wonder if you have any staff left, and, more importantly, any money. Yours in disappointment, Orange

5 This trailer for Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood looks preeeeeety interesting. They really had me at the CGI-recreation of the hollywood ‘fuckpad’ (to use the parlance of James Ellroy) but damn, the guy who made this doco is a ex-journalist and he claims the more he investigated Scotty’s stories, the more they checked out. Wild.


I switched this newsletter to Substack. So far so good. TinyLetter RIP.

Keep on keeping on,