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One of those good days
You know one of those days when things you'd forgotten about come back, but in a good way. Well that happened today. Firstly I was sent an email by Judith Barrow, a lovely author friend of mine from West Wales. She asked me if I would be interested in doing an author talk and book-signing at the Tenby Book Fair in September 2014. Then I got an email from an audio publisher I'd been contacting and hoping would get back to me. In-Ear Entertainment messaged me and we set up a meeting in March to discuss a possible talking book project.
Then, and this project was way back last year and I'd totally thought it was dead and buried. South Wales Paranormal Research (SWPR) got in touch with me early last year and asked me if I wouldn't mind donating a short story. They were doing a charity ghost book for Cystic Fibrosis. How could I refuse. I wrote a short called: Chills on a knife edge, which is an account of something that happened to my wife and I in the early eighties. They are going to publish the book in September. There are a lot of celebrities involved and they've included me too.
Also I entered a piece of work for an online magazine called We are Cardiff. This was in 2013 too. They've contacted me and asked if I could have a photo done for the story. This kind of attention doesn't happen all the time.
If it all pans out?
At this precise moment in time I'm doing a number of projects. I'm hoping that Killian Spooks and the Ghosted Children is going to be published. But, it's Feb 12th 2014 and I'm still waiting for the contract for that particular book. I'm also trying to get House of Darke published with some other publisher's, and it's a waiting game there too. There's a collaboration taking place with another party and myself for a different project that could change things in a big way, so I'll let you know if that pans out.
Audio books has always been a passion of mine, it got me reading in the first place. I'm in the middle of trying to get my published books turned into talking books. On top of all this I've heard today that, I've a possibility of working overseas...wow! I'm still trying to digest all this.
If only a part of these projects take place then 2014 will be very different for me by the end of the year. Finger's crossed.
My latest project
Haven't done a blog in a while. Well here goes;
I have two manuscripts that are finished. House of Darke, which I've been banging on about for the best part of 2013. And, Killian Spooks and the Ghosted Children which I finished in early 2014. This is me dabbling in the supernatural. I think that the adventure came out OK, but I still haven't got an agent or publisher for either of them!
I have a new idea for a story now. It's in the infancy stage at the moment and I'm writing this on January 12th 2014. I've only just started writing it. I'm calling it, wait for it... Inside the mind of Alex Time, there I said it. It's exciting to me because, I haven't a clue what is inside the mind of Alex Time. That is the best part of writing for me, the not knowing. I have a couple of great ideas for the plotline though.
So, in the meantime, I have a lot of school workshops lined up this year so far with Authors Abroad. Lets hope that at least one of my stories becomes a reality and turns into a book. Or...both of them.
Bye for now and keep watching this blog.
Short story - The Oogalee
I was asked to write a short story by Gill Shutt, editor of The Repository of Imagination publishing website www.ataleofatale.com Tim C Taylor, publisher of The Repositoy, had already produced an ebook and paperback book of an anthology called; Alien Legends, with great success. This time though, they were looking for different stories for another anthology. This one is going to be called, Weird Legends.
I then put pen to paper or finger to keyboard and came up with, 'The Oogalee.' This is a creature of legend that comes out every few hundred years or so and rummages through waste, looking for food. The Oogalee is invisible and swift. The towns folk of Bailsforth hire an investigator to find the mythical creature. Weird Legends is being put together and edited.
I'll let you know when it's available.
We all make mistakes
Matt Haig, author of 'The Humans' and 'The Radleys' published by Canongate Books. He wrote this on Facebook, April 22nd 2013.
I hate all this grammar snobbery. I mainly hate it because I am always getting things wrong. Was and were. Past and passed. It is really embarrassing. I used to worry about it until I saw an email from my favourite writer that was riddled with spelling and grammatical mistakes. I remember at university having to do a module on English Language and nearly failing it. But then a bit later I learnt that Emily Dickinson's publisher always wanted to correct her punctuation and that Shakespeare's spellings were very inconsistent, and I realised grammar isn't everything. A lot of the time it's just a way for people to feel above market traders. Grammar is different to imagination, because it is about rules. And imagination has nothing to do with rules.
I'm always doing school workshops and presentations up and down the country. I'm also a fan of Matt Haig, a really great author. It was refreshing to see this on FB recently. I thought that most writers were good at grammar, but I'm not. So, it was nice to know that even the biggies aren't great at grammar. To me, as long as the kids enjoy the sessions thats fantastic. If the pupils imaginations are sparked by my workshops and the grammar isn't spot on, theres no need to worry. They're learning and building a story, the grammar can come later.
A write good future
In true welsh tradition, I made a phone call on March 1st 2013 - St Davids Day. That phone call was to change my life for ever. I rang 'Authors Abroad,' a company well versed in doing school talks and workshops the world over. They have big names with them too; Alan Gibbons, Ali Sparkes, Mark Robson...the list goes on. They accepted me in with the group of about a hundred writers.
Authors Abroad, book writers in schools for their; Able Writers, a pre SAT's programme. This helps them with punctuation, grammar and spelling, so they can create a short story with all three elements in place. There's also Presentations and small workshops too. So, I was thrilled and a little scared to join. But I knew this was the one chance I was looking for to acheive my dream of becoming a complete writer.
So, I handed in my notice at the factory where I worked and...hoped for the best. April 29th 2013 I officially started work as a self-employed writer. Here's hoping that the future is kind.