During the week he could think of nothing else but her black eye. Had it happened in that car she had climbed out of? He had only seen the shadow of the driver, was this the villain? Or had she wandered into some dark place like some caped crusader and dished out as much as she had received, leaving her attacker broken on the floor, exiting the scene as police sirens howled warning of their coming? It was not long before he too had been there, in the scene, and, once the blow had been planted on her, he shot into action and broke the hand of her assailant before splintering his legs to leave him begging for mercy, which he was not prepared to give, and it was she who stopped him from landing the killer blow for she was a creature of clemency.
May 29th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
May 22nd, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I am appearing on the GZone Radio show on Tuesday 24th 9am EST. Do not fear if you miss it as you will be able to download the podcast – well forever. You got it a digital copy will be available in perpetuity! Ah the joys of technology, what did humanity do without it? You will be able to find this and all the past shows here. Do check it out.
May 13th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
It was the Royal Free Hospital. Down in the bowels, past the AIDS test room. My wife and I walked past a couple awaiting results. They were chatting quite pleasantly. I don’t suppose there is anything else to do there. It was a small cut out square in the corridor. There were no windows just a lot of yellow ill air.
Before I go on, we were walking towards the abortion room. It’s tucked away in a place without light. I kid you not.
May 9th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
It’s been a tough old day, lots of looking at my screen wishing that I could produce something new and fresh and exciting. I looked over works in progress that I haven’t touched since I started to prepare Heaven Sent for publishing. I looked but I was unable to focus – actually I wanted to destroy what I had written. I guess I still feel quite drained from finishing Heaven Sent, I am certainly reeling a bit from the first stages of marketing the book. It is amazing how you can spend so long writing a piece, arrive at the end, feel that rush of euphoria and pride, forget the torment of creation – but then you start back trying to write, and you find yourself feeling worthless again, wracked with self doubt.
There is this wonderful passage from Solzenitsyn’s The First Circle which beautifully expresses how I feel.
“There is a law that governs all artistic creation, of which Kondrashove had long been aware, which he tried to resist but to which time after time he freely submitted. This law said that no previous work of his carried any weight, that it could not be counted to the artist’s credit. The focal point of all his past experience was always the canvas on which he was working at the time; for him the work in hand was the ultimate expression of his intellect and skill, the first real test of his gifts. But he was so often disappointed. All of his previous works had disappointed him but each time he forgot the despair, so here he was working on something else, and it was again his first work – only now was he really finding how to paint! And again he was in despair, convinced that it was a failure, that his whole life had been wasted and that he was totally devoid of talent.”
And then, just as I was about to turn in, switch off my computer, caste the day aside, try to forget it – I get an email saying did you know your book is on a wish list – Freda’s Voice 2011 Wish List to be precise. It might seem fickle but I shall now go to bed happy.
May 6th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
This is a piece that I wrote for The Write To Make A Living and is republished here with Stacey’s kind permission.
May 3rd, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
I wrote this originally as a guest post for the blog vvb32 reads. When you get a mo you should out Velvet’s blog, its really great. But for now, I shall hand you over to Daisy Byatt.
DAIZEE: Orright Mistur Writers, I got you’s owt ere ta tawk a bit abowt dis ere book you’s az written, an I ziz in.
XAVIER: That’s right Daizee.
DAIZEE: Ets nice ere ain’t et, looken owt over dat sea. You’s don’t mind climben up dis tower, et woz a bit of a wey up?
XAVIER: I don’t mind at all Daizee.
DAIZEE: Dat moon, Mistur Writers, etz like a jewel in some tart’s ear, an dem stars ez like flicked up gizzum.
XAVIER: Well I guess that’s one way of describing it.
DAIZEE: I’m fucken wiv ya Mistur Writers. So whir’s dis book come from den?
XAVIER: I began it about six years ago.
DAIZEE: Woz I en et bak den?
XAVIER: Yes. You and Carlo. I began it with Carlo and you appeared pretty quickly. When you appeared I knew what the book was going to be about.
DAIZEE: Ev you’s new wot et woz abowt, why de fuck did et take you’s so long ta write et?
XAVIER: To begin with I wrote pages of prose without dialogue. I tried to change the tone of the prose to fit either your voice or that of Carlo’s. I was floundering really, wanting to describe what was in your head and his, whilst also trying to create a story. I kept getting stuck. And I had other things that needed to be written. I wrote a couple of plays, directed a couple of plays and wrote and directed two movies. There was two or three years when I didn’t touch the book. It was always there though, on the back of mind. There was a couple of times when I wanted to give up entirely.
DAIZEE: Why didn’t you’s?
XAVIER: You wouldn’t let me. You were always there. Everyday of that six years you spoke to me.
DAIZEE: I knowz et.
XAVIER: You needed your story to be told and I wanted to tell it. I wanted to tell the world that you’re not a lost cause that whatever happens you are someone worth fighting for. That so often kids like you are thrown on the scrap heap. My mother once worked in this secure unit and she told me this story of a girl who’s dad sold her to sailors from out the back of his van when she was just three years old.
DAIZEE: Dat be I.
XAVIER: Yes, that be you. Well the model for you. I don’t know what happened to that girl, but I’ve always worried about her.
DAIZEE: So who’s Carlo den?
XAVIER: Carlo is the kid that I never was. I never had the guts that he has, to do what he does, for you. Like him I had a very religious background and like him I fought against it. I still do. I might be an atheist but I still battle with many of the questions that Carlo battles with. I can’t get over the way the world is.
DAIZEE: How fucked up et ez?
XAVIER: The way people are.
DAIZEE: I knows et.
XAVIER: Yeah, you do.
DAIZEE: So why’s you got I to tawk like you’s as – I mean like dis funnee spellin an dat.
XAVIER: It’s your accent Daizee. You’re from Bristol and Bristolian is like another language and I really wanted to capture that. I didn’t always write you like this, but I always heard you like this. I love the way it looks on the page, too. It makes you stand out. I know it is hard for the reader to read, certainly at first, I suspect that it makes the reader judge you too – like the other characters in the book. It makes your journey with the reader all the more real and in turn all the more powerful. And I hope transformative.
DAIZEE: Carlo doesn’t see me like that.
XAVIER: Carlo loves you.
DAIZEE: Yah tis troo.
XAVIER: Yes, Daizee, it is true.
DAIZEE: Dat moon.
XAVIER: What about it?
DAIZEE: Et ain’t wot I sed et woz.
DAIZEE: Etz like your eye wotchen over I, when I’s wiv Carlo.
XAVIER: Is it?
DAIZEE: Yah, tis troo.
May 1st, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink
Other news includes a story of mine has been selected for this years MIR8 collection. It will be coming out in September. I’m very pleased to have once again been selected and that my work will appear alongside that of some extraordinary up and coming talent.
Got to run as I am taking the kids for a picnic, by a brook, where I have promised them there is a troll.