…my first actual, real life, not all imaginary, non-fantasy related payment as an author. And I got to see my words being performed in front of a paying audience. Let me explain.
Just before Christmas, at the urging of my creative writing tutor Pat, I entered a competition for new playwrights to submit a one-act monologue for this year’s Bury St Edmunds literary festival. The competition was organised by the Quirkhouse Theatre Company. The prize, to be part of the QuirkHouse 5 theatre crawl; five monologues performed in five venues around Bury St Edmunds in April 2019. Oh and fifty quid.
So, as you can see above, my play “Thack” was one of the five selected by Andrew and Jackie to be presented this year. Last night was the dress rehearsal and I went along to see mine and all the other pieces being performed. Well, they did a fantastic job, and I can’t tell you what a buzz it is to see and hear your words being professionally performed to an audience with no vested interest in you or what you have written, other than it should entertain them. So thank you, Andrew, for bringing “Thack” to life, and good luck with the rest of the performances.
So, what else has been happening? Well nothing and rather a lot, actually. As you may recall, “The Differences”, the first part of the “Steam” trilogy was formally submitted to publishers at the beginning of January. Those eagle-eyed amongst you will have correctly surmised that as yet, no one has said yes. But what have they said….
“……..enjoyed the story and the historical setup but found the storytelling slow in places and ultimately didn’t feel strongly enough to take it forward.”
“…….have passed as they don’t feel they have sufficient expertise in the steampunk/sci-fi genre that the book is pitching at.”
“……… have also passed – they were very complimentary, calling it a unique and interesting proposition with tons of character, but they felt that the unclassifiable nature of the book was going to be a problem for them positioning-wise.”
“We have had a pass from ………… who admired the writing but didn’t think it would fit well enough into their heavily sci-fi orientated list. We knew this may be a problem due to the hybrid nature of the plot.”
All the above are direct quotes from my agent. The names of the publishers have been redacted so as to remove any future embarrassment :). So, it appears it’s original, well written, but not for us, as we don’t have a clue how to position it. So much for trying to be original eh!
The question is now what next? Well as far as “The Differences” is concerned, keep plugging away. There are plenty more publishers out there and the publishing world is littered with tales of authors who got passed over numerous times. I’m in good company there. However, one must also face the possibility that it won’t get picked up and as it’s the first part of a trilogy it begs the question, do I continue writing it for no good reason other than personal satisfaction and sheer bloody-mindedness? Good question, so what is plan B?
Well, plan B has emerged from one of Pat’s writing exercise prompts and the first draft is currently at around 30k. It’s written as a series of episodes that potentially could be published in instalments via a platform such as Amazon Kindle. The title? “Rose and Thorne – Lifeblood”. The genre? An urban fantasy, crime thriller. The subject, London a few years from now. Someone is flooding the streets with cheap medical grade fentanyl and draining the blood of the city’s down and outs. You want to know more? Me too, that’s why I’m writing it to see what happens next. It’s great fun to write, fast, furious, funny and very violent. I’ll let you know how it goes.
See you out there.