It was a great honour to me that Mr. Jim Meredith asked me to take part in a writers’ Blog Hop called The Next Big Thing, in which a writer answers ten questions on their current work in progress, and then tags other writers to do the same. I had to go through my drawers to find something about which I was neither embarrassed to nor disbarred from talking about; I failed.
1) What is the working title of your next book/play?
Untitled Woody Allen Fall Project. It makes me feel important and culturally relevant… in the seventies.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book/play?
The working title does not belie the gravity of the piece.
It is really the story of my grandfather’s failure to meet his own expectations. He wanted more than anything to be an artist and he came perilously close: he was a painter and decorator.
In this line, he contracted cancer when painting the cooling towers in the newly-opened Sellafield nuclear plant. At that time – 1955 – my grandmother was in hospital with TB and my young aunt and uncle were in a convent. This is the dark mid-point in a tale of redemption. I recently found the letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother over her year in confinement. That’s where the idea came from, if you must know.
The description does not belie the levity of the piece.
Does this mean I am a bad writer?
3) What genre does your book/play fall under?
English language, with creative swearing.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The writer has no say in who is cast. Nor should they.
If the question is ‘Who should play my grandfather?’, the answer is, sadly, Max Wall.
5) What is a one sentence synopsis of your book/play?
Not so much a next book/play as a life’s work coming soon – not my life’s work though.
6) Will your book/play be self-published or represented by an agency?
My previous books, Brittaine & Molloy Volumes 1-3, have all been hand-made. I hope to continue in this vein for as long as I have hands.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Honestly, I am still contemplating the first sentence; it will probably contain the word tooth.
VIII) What other books/plays would you compare this story to within your genre?
I could compare it unfavourably to the King James Bible.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book/play?
My wonderful girlfriend is continually reminding me to write this book, when I could be writing more populist and marketable things. It embarrasses me to procrastinate so much about it, but this blog hop will act as a reminder. Thank you, blog hop, you are an inspiration to me!
10) What else about the book/play might pique the reader’s interest?
I may draw pictures, like my grandfather would have wanted.
A more appropriate working title is The Coathanger Horse, a surreal image in my mind from the tens of trips I took with my grandfather to the School of Dentistry, a place where he learned nothing new. The Coathanger Horse was as “beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella!” as the man said.
In my turn, I will nominate the talented Mr. Robert Wringham.
Robert Wringham is a humourist, performer and the editor of New
Escapologist magazine. His first book is called You Are Nothing.