Saturday, 24 August 2013

Oak Seer trailer

Here's the promotional video on YouTube:

It lasts just over a minute, so nothing to get bogged down in, and I hope it gives a bit of a taste of the story. There are also some illustrations that were not used in the final book.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

"Promotion, promotion, promotion" didn't someone say?

Just as the promoting of one novel begins, the writing of the next must somehow be fitted in.

I have just included a countdown timer on the home page. This is to indicate the, as yet, not-so-impending release of my next book. As it's not written yet, does this make me rash, reckless even?

That might be the case if the story hadn't already been going through the mill, so to speak, on and off now since 2002. Or 2003 (don't remember). The overall story is there, albeit in screenplay format (2 x 60-minute television scripts), but it needs something else – something that only a novel can reveal about the characters.

This is because unless the screenwriter is present at rehearsals and/or during filming, and dares to offer his comments to what is usually a tight group of industry professionals, some of who don't take kindly to suggestions, then the writer's vision of the characters is pretty much left to the abilities and perceptions of the actors and director. So the script, being merely a blueprint, could be interpreted any way. Even the final editing can shift emphasis to an aspect that was not originally intended. Writing this story as a novel will enable me to accurately portray these people as I see them.

It is set during the First World War, and uses a backdrop that hasn't been used much before, if indeed at all.

But that countdown timer worries me... tick! tick! tick! relentlessly counting down like the doomsday clock in ITV's drama series Eternal Law. I will see it in my sleep. Better get writing.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Oak Seer – unleashed

That's it – my novel is finally out there. Oak Seer (originally titled Quercus Necromancer, but that's a bit of a mouthful) first came to me in 1988. I remember it well.

The first typescript (pre-computer) was sent around the literary agents before finally being accepted by one. And he actually found a publisher, whose books were regularly reviewed in the Spectator. And then it all seemed to turn a bit sour. That was 1994, and the last contact I had was when I said I'd get back to them about some point or other. But I never did. And now the publisher has sort of disappeared.

This doesn't mean that the present story (although it is set in 1994) is in any way out of date by today's standards. At the first writing it was contemporary, and I've chosen to retain the period because there are so many modern pieces of technology around these days that just didn't exist 20 years ago. Our lives have changed so much, whether we like it or not, and, despite the protagonist not having the benefit of a mobile phone (yes, I know there were mobiles back then, but they were cumbersome and expensive and frightening (well, the pricing plans would certainly cause nightmares)), ironically I felt a certain comfort in going back to those times. It's only 20 years or so, yet life was simpler.

I feel that the intervening years have benefitted the re-writing of this story, and I hope readers like it and the characters living in it. It's been good visiting these old friends.