Posts

Showing posts from 2011

Happy New Year All!

Image
Yes, it's that time of the year when otherwise normal-seeming people everywhere cut loose, get wasted and scream like banshees between shots of Jägermeister (or heaves).

Thanks to all who follow my blog, visibly or otherwise, and for taking the time to read my posts. Next year I'll continue to update this place with news of my books and current writing projects, but I also plan to have a lot more random posts about anything that interests me (though whether they'll interest you remains to be seen :).

2011 has been a mixed bag for me. On the plus side, I began my ePublishing journey (inspired in no small part by the most lovely Helen Smith), and 9 months since I first went up on Amazon I can tell you I've learned so much. Sometimes the hard way, but sometimes that's the best way. So I enter 2012 with a lot more knowledge than I had at the beginning of the last, and a determination to get my work in front of as many people as I can. The adapting will continue, of cours…

A Number 1 Book!

Image
Yes, okay, it's a free download, but trust me, getting big downloads, even for free copies, can be quite a challenge.

Yesterday I decided to do a 2-day free promotion of my short story collection The Impressionists to see if I could get it some attention that it had been severely lacking. I consider the stories in that collection some of my best writing, and as proud as I am of them, it pained me to see them drift off into that vast sea of obscurity in Amazon's mega slush pile.

So imagine my surprise (not to mention happiness) when I saw that it had reached the #1 spot for short stories (free bestseller list) on Amazon US!

I just hope that when those who have downloaded it get around to pulling it out of their (probably massive, with all the free books that are available right now) TBR list, that they enjoy them. Meanwhile, I'm just enjoying having reached this little milestone.

Back later with my end of year final post!

The End of the World on Pixel of Ink!

Image
The End of the World is featured today on Pixel of Ink! Please head on over there and click its "like" button. If you do, I'm going to be sending you the largest package of good karma you've ever received!

I don't expect to sell Amanda Hocking or J.A. Konrath numbers, but hopefully it'll get a nice boost.

Many thanks and be sure to get lashings of good karma now!

The End of the World Book Trailer

Image
I've finally got around to doing something that I'd wanted to do for a while now, and that is to produce a book trailer for my contemporary fantasy novella The End of the World.

I hope you'll take a look. It's only a couple of minutes long, which in the big scheme of things is really just a nanosecond of your life.

And if you do, I hope you enjoy it!

Merry Christmas!

Image
I'd just like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas wherever you are in the world. And if you don't celebrate Christmas, then I wish you a joyful and peaceful holiday season and many good tidings.

Sadly it seems I'll be denied a white Christmas yet again this year. In fact, here in the Northeast it's going to be almost balmy, which is kind of barmy, but there's nothing we can do about the weather. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where it snows all the time you'll be fortunate enough to enjoy the wonders of a white Christmas. But then again, if it's snowy all the time, I wouldn't imagine it would feel that special.

But whatever the weather, this time of year is very special, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

At Last!

Image
Ah...as soon as I wrote that title, I of course thought of the great Etta James and the terrible news this week of her now terminal condition. In the news reports this week, they naturally mentioned a couple of her most popular songs, but in the reports I read, at least, not the one I'd consider my favourite of hers - "I'd Rather Go Blind." If you're not familiar with it, I'd strongly encourage you to check it out. Is there a more gut-wrenching lyric than "I'd rather go blind than see you walk away from me"?



And sadly today, we learned of the passing of Cesaria Evora. I got into her music back in the early 90s and it really sort of defined much of that time for me. Check out this song if you're not familiar with her. Such beautiful melancholy. Rest in peace, Cesaria, and thank you.



But the "At Last" in the title of this post refers to the fact that at last I have a cover for my upcoming short story A Stunning Confession. It's bee…

A Stunning Confession

Image
I realized I haven't blogged in a while, so I thought I'd give a quick update at this most wonderful (and busy) time of the year.

I'm currently working feverishly at completing my next short story, A Stunning Confession, from my upcoming and as yet untitled short story anthology. This "untitled" business is currently the bane of my existence, as I'm very particular about titles and I can't seem to settle on one for this collection. It could be simple or it could be rather more thought out and crafted - it really doesn't matter as long as it feels right to me. But so far nothing has felt right. So I'll keep going back to that drawing board in my head until something clicks.

Don't forget, the first tale from this anthology, A Familiar Face, is now available from an Amazon or Nook store near you.

In the meantime, look out for the upcoming release of #2 of "Untitled" in the next few weeks, which fortunately does have a title - the aforement…

A Familiar Face - Out Now!

Image
My new book release, A Familiar Face, a new cozy mystery short story is available now on Amazon UK for just £0.86p and Amazon US for just $0.99c.

Here's a little bit about it:

Two elderly Cockney women, old friends, meet up in a London café shortly after one them, Dora, has been widowed. As Dora's grief and anger grow increasingly fervent, her good friend Eydie begins to suspect there may be more to her angst than the loss of a loved one. When Dora calmly removes from her shopping bag a large glass jar containing a human head, discussions over its mysterious identity and how it came to be lodged in the cupboard under her stairs lead to some startling revelations.

If you do pick it up, I hope you have as much fun spending time with these characters as I had writing them.

The End of the World!

Image
I'm pleased to say that The End of the World is featured in today's edition of Daily Cheap Reads UK. Each day the site lists cheap reads available for your Kindle (or brand spanking new Kindle Fire!) e-reader through Amazon, with the guarantee no book will be priced over £6.

It's a great resource for people to find reasonably priced quality books, and they're also very selective about what they'll put up on their site, so you can rest assured you won't be wading through piles of crap pabulum.

As their motto says, it's all about: The book, the whole book, and nothing but the book.

You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with daily postings and announcements.

And of course, if you're in the US, The End of the World is also available here!

A Familiar Face

Image
This is the cover for my upcoming new short story release A Familiar Face. It’s the first in a collection of short stories based around ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. I’ll be releasing another stand alone story from the collection early next year, with the entire collection following a little later.

Here’s a little about A Familiar Face:

Two elderly women, old friends, meet up in a London café shortly after one them – Dora – has been widowed. As Dora's grief and anger grows increasingly vehement, her good friend Eydie begins to suspect there may be more to her angst than the loss of a loved one. When Dora calmly removes from her shopping bag a large glass jar containing a human head, discussions over its mysterious identity and how it came to be lodged in the cupboard under her stairs lead to some startling revelations.

Nothing odd in that, right?

Hopefully it’ll be out in the next couple of weeks or so. In the meantime…don’t touch that dial!

Kindle Finds / Kindle Fire

Image
There’s a great new site to find books for your Kindle, named – rather aptly – Kindle Finds. The great thing about this site is that, just like listings and sponsorships at Pixel of Ink, a book needs to have a 4+ star average rating from at least 10 reviews, either on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads (that’s all from one of those sites, not a combination of the three), which helps readers know that the books they’re browsing have been screened for quality and popularity. So many more incredible books are now available due to the rapid growth of the eBook and self-publishing, but there’s also an awful lot of dross. I don’t mean that meanly, it’s just a fact – and an inevitable one (and that’s from all publishers, by the way, not just independents).

Now, allow me to say that I’m not simply recommending Kindle Finds because I have one of my own books on the site. That just wouldn’t be right. Then again…it wouldn’t be The End of the World, either.

Also, today is the day Amazon begi…

Tap, Tap, Tap...Testing, Testing...

Image
I've had two of my books (The End of the World and Schism) approved at ACX (and Amazon company) for production as audio books. I'm quite excited about this as I think audio books are a great way of hearing a story, whether it's simply because you just want to settle down somewhere comfortable and let the narrator pull you in (some childhood connection to bedtime stories there I shouldn't wonder), or for people on the go to listen in their cars or portable devices - not to mention the visually impaired.

Now I'm waiting to hear back from any potential producers/narrators who are interested in either project. I could narrate it myself, of course, but I'm afraid I'm far too self-conscious to do that any more. I've done plenty of voice work in the past (commercials mainly), but my performer side has long since departed. You couldn't get me on a stage now for all the tea in China. I suppose I could feel comfortable enough narrating someone else's work,…

Robert Pattinson Wants My Number!

Image
Since The Craft is currently being turned into a short film by Emmy Award-winning editor and filmmaker Andy Lewis, I began to wonder who would play the title character, Horatio Higgins, if Schism was ever made into a movie.

Besides all of all the names of actors I thought would make a great Horatio, I also thought of those that seemed the least likely fit for the role, and on top of that list floated the name of Robert Pattinson. But then I thought about it a little more and realized that the idea wasn't as outlandish as I'd originally imagined. After all, take a look at this picture...

Now that's an image of someone who could conceivably be experiencing emotional problems, wouldn't you say? He certainly seems quite vexed in my opinion, even if the shot was intended to portray something more akin to glamorous angst or a James Dean-like pout. But then I came across this picture...


I think even the most generous and forgiving observer would have to admit that this is not th…

Release Day! Schism: A Psychological Thriller

Image
The day has finally arrived for the release of my new book Schism at the Amazon Kindle Store. It’s a dark, disturbing psychological thriller laced with plenty of dark humour. I do hope you’ll check it out.

You can find it at the U.S. Amazon Kindle Store here and at the U.K. Amazon Kindle Store here.

Description:

As a boy, Horatio Higgins was ignored by the other children, but that didn't stop him having lots of friends...friends only he could see and whom he'd regale with tales of his fantastical exploits. Eventually, though, his parents became concerned at the inordinate amount of time their son appeared to spend talking to himself and took him for treatment, which, in time, proved successful...almost. One friend remained. Unfortunately it was the spiteful one.

Years later, living alone in his tiny London flat, Horatio's loneliness is mitigated only by his acid-tongued friend and the company of what he affectionately refers to as "my wife". After losing his job, how…

Author Interview

Image
Today I’m interviewed on the All The Days Of blog, hosted by the wonderful Chrizette. I’ll also be doing a book giveaway for The End of the World. You can check it out here.

“They say you are a man of good… taste.”

Image
Today I have a guest post on the Sapphicscribe blog of bestselling author Saffina Desforges. It's part of a series of Halloween themed posts, and in mine I share my experiences of working with rats on the set of Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula".

You can head on over there and take a look by clicking here.

Stevie Smith

Image
I'm not terribly into poetry, I have to admit. I hope any poets or poetry aficionados will forgive me for saying this. But it's the truth.

However, since I was a teenager, I've been a huge admirer of the poems of Stevie Smith, so I thought I'd drop one in here from time to time, as I think they're magnificent.

I'll start with her most famous and probably my favourite poem...or in my top 5, at least. How could it not be?

Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

The Craft…The Movie?

Image
After its successful run at this year’s Off Cut Festival in London, it seems The Craft will now be turned into a short film. Andy Lewis is an award winning editor and filmmaker who happened to see The Craft at the festival last week. He contacted me to see if I would be interested in having a short film version of the play made, which naturally I thought was a terrific idea.

You can check out some of Andy's excellent work on Vimeo or on his website.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this progresses and of course when it's finished I'll let you know where you can see it.

Off Cut Festival Finals

Image
Well, The Craft made it through last weeks performances at Riverside Studios during the Off Cut Festival and garnered enough votes to make it to the finals this week, where it's playing every night until Saturday. Saturday's performance will be the final which will happen in front of an audience of industry luminaries, including Olivier Award nominated playwright Moira Buffini. Actress Patricia Hodge was also scheduled to be one of the judges but unfortunately had to pull out, which is very disappointing. I'm not sure yet who's stepping in to take her place.

My little play in such venerated company! It's quite humbling.

The End of the World ~ Frugal Find of the Day

Image
The End of the World is today's Frugal Find of the Day over at The Frugal eReader site.

Are you prepared for what comes next?

Accustomed to a life of cosseted seclusion at home with his parents, Valentine is suddenly faced with making his own way in the world. His new life is quickly upended, however, when he's mugged at gunpoint. Finding shelter at a mysterious inn run by the dour Mrs. Anna, he soon encounters a Bosnian woman with a hole where her stomach used to be, an American entrepreneur with a scheme to implant televisions into people's foreheads, and a Catholic priest who attempts to lure him down inside a kitchen sink. Then things start getting strange...

In this story based loosely around the state of Bardo from The Tibetan Book of the Dead - an intermediate state where the dead arrive prior to rebirth - dying is the easy part. Getting out of Bardo and returning to the land of the living is a far more perilous proposition, and unless you know what you're doing..…

The Craft

Image
My short play The Craft just played its first performance last night at the Off Cut Festival at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, and was very well-received, according to Lydia, the play's director. She said there was much laughter and many compliments paid after the show, so I'm hoping the remaining performances do as well and hopefully garner it enough votes to move it into the finals next week.

If your in London with a free night (or afternoon) why not head over there and check it out? My play performs in its group again on Friday the 7th (7:30pm), Saturday the 8th (at 3:00pm), and Sunday the 9th (7:30pm).

Break legs, guys!

Cheeky!

Image
I received a lovely review for The End of the World this week, courtesy of Jessica Knauss, Famous Writer. Jessica had won a copy of my first person short story collection The Impressionists in a giveaway I'd held at LibraryThing, and had enjoyed it so much she decided to check out The End of the World and subsequently write a review of it on her blog.

It's a lovely, smart and insightful review, and I'm so glad she enjoyed it. It's also the first time the book's been described as "cheeky" which I must confess I find rather wonderful.

The New Book

Image
I'm currently hard at work on my next book, entitled "Schism." It's in equal parts humorous, unsettling and tragic, and could be described as a psychological thriller of a different breed. The main protagonist, Horatio Higgins, is, in my humble opinion, one of the most interesting and complex characters I've ever written and I hope to share him with you in the next month or two.

Which reminds me...back to work!

The Reader's Guide

Image
The End of the World is one of the featured books on today’s The Reader’s Guide. The site publishes information on quality reads and bargain ebooks for both Kindle and Nook. It’s a relatively young site, but one that seems certain to grow into a great resource for readers looking for high quality books at affordable prices. Please check it out here.

Ereader News Today!

Image
The End of the World is Ereader News Today's Book of the Day. You can check it out here.

Book of the Day!

Image
Kindle Nation Daily's Book of the Day today is The End of the World. You can check it out here.

Heideman Award Finalist

Image
Yesterday I was very pleased to learn that my short play A Rebel Among the Wretched has been selected as a finalist for the The Heideman Award. The finalist plays were chosen from over 1,300 entries to the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest. Finalist plays are considered for production at the theatre and as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

From Wikipedia: Humana Festival of New American Plays is an internationally renowned festival that celebrates the contemporary American playwright. Produced annually in Louisville, Kentucky by Actors Theatre of Louisville, this prestigious event showcases new theatrical works and draws producers, critics, playwrights and theatre lovers from around the world. The Humana Festival is made possible by the generosity of The Humana Foundation. The festival was founded in 1976 by Jon Jory, Actors Theatre Producing Director from 1969 to 2000.

Author Outbreak!

Image
The End of the World is today’s featured book on Author Outbreak, a great new site that connects readers with the best new Indie authors. I highly recommend taking a look around as well as bookmarking this site as I’m sure it’s going to prove to be a valuable resource for both readers and writers alike.

Off Cut Festival

Image
As we move closer to the autumn, I'm looking forward to seeing how my play The Craft fares at this year's Off Cut Festival at Riverside Studios, in London. Interestingly enough, the play is written by an Englishman living in the U.S. (yours truly) and is being directed by an American living in the U.K. What are the odds?

There are a whopping 28 plays in the festival, and these are whittled down through audience voting as the festival progresses through its 3 week run, until a winner is declared at the end. Sort of like an American Idol of short plays. I hope I make to a respectable finish at least, and don't get chopped in the first week.

The Craft is from my play collection The Meta Plays, and revolves around two actors performing a scene from a play. However, the words you hear them speak aren't the words of the play they're acting in but rather their inner dialogues, which are comprised mostly of their mutual animosity towards each other.

Anyway, I'll update…

Schism

Image
I'm currently hard at work on my next book which has the working title "Schism" (and unlikely to change from that - but never say never, right?). You can pronounce that either with or without the "k" sound, but I pronounce it with. Also, I believe the non-k ("sism") pronunciation is more generally used when referring to religious matters, and this book has no religious themes in it at all.

It's a dark, psychological mystery thriller that centers around a very unique and troubled character named Horatio Higgins. It'll hopefully be both humorous and entertaining and down right disturbing, being, as it is, a product of my mind's blender of the witty and the warped.

Here's an early version of the blurb:

Horatio Higgins recently lost his job. He also lost his parents, so he claims, though the precise cause (and truth) of their demise remains something of an enigma. Living alone in his tiny flat, Horatio’s sense of isolation is mitigated on…

The Weight of Words

Image
There's a very interesting article in the Guardian book blog at the moment, discussing the pricing of ebooks compared to traditionally published books. It's very interesting and well worth checking out. I found the cost difference between publishing a paperback compared to a high quality hardcover to be extremely surprising. And of course, with the sea change in the way consumers have access to books now that epublishing has taken off exponentially, makes it all the more fascinating.

Because ebooks cost so little to produce and distribute than physical editions, should you pay considerably less for the electronic book? Or are you actually paying for the content - for the hours and hours of hard work and imagination that the writer put into their story?

Frankly, if it was just about production costs you'd have to virtually give all ebooks away. But that isn't the point, is it? It's the content you're really buying, just as with an MP3 that contains a musician…

I've Had a Facelift!

Image
Well, not me (not yet), but the blog has. You try to resist. You say to yourself that this was the way it was made, the way it started out, and if it's starting to show its age or look a little rough around the edges, well...it just adds character. So what if there's a lot of younger, prettier, high-tech blogs out there, shamelessly batting their eyelashes out into cyberspace. Readers will see through them. They might have the odd dalliance, but they'll always come back to me in the end, because I'm what they know. I'm familiar and comforting. I make my readers a home-cooked meal every single night and always tell them how much I love them. Who wants Ke$ha when you have Peggy Lee?

But then you recall that wretched but true old adage about familiarity breeding...well, if not contempt, at least indifference. So under the knife I went.

It's still very much a WIP (work in progress, in case you're not hip to internet speak - which I most definitely am not and have…

The Impressionists #6 - WYWH

Image
Here's sixth and final extract from my new short story collection The Impressionists. In this one, Eileen, a reclusive, middle-aged divorcee still haunted by the loss of her son, discovers a new life in the virtual world.

WYWH

I have presence…can you tell? Can’t you feel it oozing out of my every pore?

No, probably not. That’s because I don’t – not in that sense, in the charismatic sense. Never did, really; not in 55 years. Just ordinary, I suppose. Always have been. No one you’d notice…in particular. But, I do have a presence. A web presence, that is. There’s another me floating around out there in the cosmos. It’s a new and improved me that no one can see, they can only sense. It’s another life and it’s ever so much fun.

My name’s “Misti”…with an “I.” That’s to say, that’s my alternative me’s name, not the real me’s name – my name. I wanted something with a bit of mystery to it, a bit of the unknown. And a touch of the poetic – a bit more poetic than “Eileen,” at any rate.

And all …

The Impressionists #5 - Organ Failure

Image
This is an extract from the fifth story from The Impressionists. In this one, a woman in the viewing room of a funeral home addresses the body in the coffin before her. This is a very short one, hence the short extract. I hope you enjoy it.

Organ Failure

Well, well, just take a look at you…all scrubbed and polished and ready for inspection. I have to hand it to them, they really did a good job on you. Who could imagine seeing you now that such a short time ago you were lying in a pool of your own vomit, your organs finally having decided to give up on you…just like everyone else.

Except me.

What did they stuff in your cheeks? Cotton, is it? Or some synthetic stuff? No, I think it’s cotton…the look, the feel of cotton. Cotton mouth – how ironic. Well, whatever it is, it’s a good look for you. You were always so gaunt and drawn, but now you look…well, quite lively. What a shame. Still, it’ll make for a good send off. And like they say, you never get a second chance to make a last impression…

The Impressionists #4 - One Night Only

Image
Here's an extract from the fourth short story from The Impressionists. This one is entitled "One Night Only." In it, Denny, a prisoner on death row in an Alabama State Penitentiary spends his final moments reviewing his career as a serial killer in an interview with himself.

One Night Only

Hey!...Hey!...HEY!

I know you can hear me. You’re not so good at pretending, either…I saw ya flinch on the last one.

How thick d’ya figure that glass is then? Thick enough to stop me? Probably. Not so thick as to stop my voice gettin through, though, is it? Your little jump gave that away.

Come to think of it, this place is probably more miked and wired than a fuckin TV studio. Mike’s everywhere, right? I bet even your name’s Mike. No wonder you jumped. Bet my voice was really loud, eh? Mike?

How about if I whisper? Is this better? Can you hear me now?

How about that, eh? All this just for me. The lights, the microphones…my very own little stage on which to give the performance of a lifetime…

The Impressionists #3 - A Small Act of Vandalism

Image
And here is the third extract of my new short story collection, The Impressionists. This one is the most recently written and I'll just let the sample speak for itself:

A Small Act of Vandalism

Malcolm, a gentle, middle-aged soul with a troubled mind, keeps his mother's remains sealed in a small porcelain box. What he keeps hidden among his memories, however, isn't so easily contained.


That’s Mother, that is. Hard to credit, really, but that's her – all squeezed into that tiny little porcelain box.

Well…not her in the strict sense, I suppose…just the bits and pieces of her left over from the cremation, you know. Sort of a dried and granulated version of her, if you will. A bit like instant coffee, you might say, only without the flavour. Not that I’ve…you know…I mean…good heavens.

That’s Wedgewood, by the way. Very expensive. Very expensive indeed. But worth it – worth every penny – ‘cause Mother was worth it. Weren’t you, Mother? She was. Worth every penny.

It’s glued shut,…

The Impressionists #2 - The Replica

Image
Here's the second excerpt from my soon to be released (perhaps as soon as tomorrow) short story collection, The Impressionists. This is from The Replica and concerns spousal abuse. A number of years ago I received an email from a woman in the UK asking if I could send her a copy of my short play Degraded to read. Degraded was one of several plays I wrote at the time in response to the invasion of Iraq. I used the analogy of a former abused wife in a halfway home who receives a visit from the Department of Social Services, who then proceeds to abuse and rape her, all the while telling her that he's come to help her and that it's all for her betterment.

The woman who had written to me was a former abused wife and had read the sample of Degraded and was interested in reading the complete play. I sent it to her, of course, but I also l took a big risk and sent her a copy of The Replica also. This was not an analogy of anything - simply a character study of an abused wife. I was…

The Impressionists - Big Girl

Image
As I've mentioned before, I'm currently working on putting together a new collection of first person short stories, entitled "The Impressionists." Each story juxtaposes an individual's public face with their private turmoil. I thought it might be nice to preview each of the six stories here on my blog as I'm preparing it for publication, so I'm beginning today with a sample from "Big Girl." It's the thoughts of an overweight young woman, named Peggy, appraising her recently purchased self-help book, “The Bigger the Better.” This is a relatively long sample; others may be shorter.

Please excuse the line breaks. Since tabs aren't an option here (that I know of) it seemed the best alternative.

I hope you'll enjoy it.

PEGGY

I weigh 276 pounds and I love every single God-given one of them!

I don’t, actually. Not if I were being honest. But that’s what you’re supposed to repeat, according to the instructions in the book.

It’s called, “The…

The One-Eyed Guru - Live!

Image
My mystery novelette The One-Eyed Guru is now live and on sale in Amazon's Kindle store in both the US and the UK (and Germany, should you happen to reside there), as well as Barnes & Noble's Nook Books.

I'm hoping it does well and that people will enjoy reading it. It's around 30 printed pages (were it made from dead trees) so I think it could be a great quick summer read for the beach or relaxing in the garden. I'm doing a giveaway for it on LibraryThing, which is a great way to get a book out there, as well as test reader interest in what you're offering. My only concern is that the cover doesn't scare people off - I've been told it looks kind of creepy - which I guess it is. But I like the artwork and I think it certainly gets your attention, which is half the battle in marketing. And anyway, there is a creepy element to the story, so it's not out of place in that sense.

Next up is my collection of first person short stories entitled The Impre…

“The Craft” at Riverside Studios, London

Image
I was happily surprised to receive a call from one of the Artistic Directors at In Company Theatre in London, letting me know that my short play “The Craft” has been selected for this year’s Off Cut festival at Riverside Studios. A total of 28 short plays will be performed during a three week run at the end of September and beginning of October. For the first two weeks the audience gets to vote on their favourite of the evening, and all of the finalists are voted on again during the third week. At the final performance, a panel of industry professionals, chaired by the National Theatre’s Writer-in-Residence, Moira Buffini, will choose the winners of the Playwright, Director and Company of Actors Awards.

This is a very popular event (formerly held at The Old Red Lion, where the 2009 and 2010 festivals were its most successful productions ever) and great exposure for all involved.

And since Hammersmith is a former stomping ground of mine, it’ll sort of feel like a homecoming.

Nice!

Coming Soon!

Image
My new mystery novelette The One-Eyed Guru is finally ready for primetime. I was originally going to label it a short story. However, I've since learned that a work the length of The One-Eyed Guru is technically a novelette. At first I was hesitant to call it that, as I imagined many readers wouldn't be familiar with the term. But I've decided that even if they aren't, anything using the suffix "ette" denotes something that is diminutive, so there shouldn't be a problem. I was also wary of calling it a short story because these can be as short as 1,000 words, and I didn't want someone dismissing looking into the book further if they thought it was really short and not worth spending a buck on. (Guru is around 8,000 words, by the way.)

So a novelette it is. A mystery novelette. It should go live on Amazon in the next day or two. Sales for The End of the World have been picking up lately, so I'm hoping that if The One-Eyed Guru does well, it'll g…

Curtains

Image
Today, sadly, is the last night of "Suburban Redux" in St. Paul, in its U.S. premiere by those lovely people at Gadfly Productions. I can honestly say, I've never had such a wonderful relationship with a theatre company as I've had with Immanuel and Cassandra at Gadfly...and all of it online.

They are such good-hearted, driven people with a passion and love for that dying, yet ever-lasting art known as theatre. I am so grateful that our paths crossed. I hope they know how special they are.

From all accounts, it's been a great run, a terrific response to the play, and a very good time had by all. What more could you ask for?

So to all my friends at Gadfly Productions - Peace, Love, and Equality.

Andrew

And They're Off!

Image
Tonight is the official opening night of the U.S. premiere of Suburban Redux and I just hope that everyone breaks legs and has a thoroughly good time. As my very clever and talented friends at Gadfly Theatre Productions so eloquently put it, "Get Ready for Throwbacks to Wildean Humor, Confused Mid-Twenty Somethings, and Mrs. Pennington South."

And most of all, I hope the audience has a fantastic time. After all, that's who all of us involved are doing it for.

Break a leg, everyone!

Coming Soon...

Image
Well, soon-ish. The end is finally in sight for the completion of my short story The One-Eyed Guru. To be honest, it's been a lot more work than I imagined when I began it, but I think it will have all paid off in the end. Talking of ends, I'm now just tweaking and toying with the ending. As always, endings are so critical. Someone can read something you've written and thoroughly enjoy it all the way to the last few pages, but if you blow the denouement then they walk away less than satisfied.

On a separate and entirely unrelated note, I was horrified to learn yesterday of Denmark's plan to ban Marmite - apparently because it's fortified with added vitamins! Who doesn't love added vitamins? I can't get enough of them to help prop up my generally poor intake of all that's good for me. And if you're not familiar with Marmite, it's a yeast extract spread that people tend to either love or hate, but if you love it, having some spread on hot buttered…

Suburban Redux

Image
Gadfly Theatre Productions in Minneapolis-St. Paul, is presenting the U.S. premiere of my comedy of mores and manners, Suburban Redux, beginning May 26th at the Lowry Lab Theater in St. Paul. Gadfly Theatre Productions is a professional, non-profit theatre and arts organization promoting socioeconomic justice, individuality, and equality for all. Suburban Redux will complete the young company's inaugural season. The play will run until June 5th and details can be found here.

Gadfly are a terrific group of people and you can check out production photos, outtakes and more (along with their very witty introductions to all of the play’s characters) on their Facebook page here.

Please note: If indeed the world does come to an end on Saturday, as many have predicted, the play’s U.S. premiere will be delayed until further notice.

The Treachery of Images

Image
I am very happy to report back that the reading of "The Treachery of Images" in New York went better than I could have hoped for. The actors, Randy Noojin and Amanda Ladd, under the sensitive direction of Marisa Viola, gave brave, fearless performances in a play that asks much of them emotionally. Their willingness to give such raw, emotionally honest performances was quite humbling and I am so grateful to them. The audience seemed very absorbed and moved by the play, and their comments in the Q&A after the reading were all very positive and insightful. Though the play is quite harsh and emotionally raw, the word I heard used most frequently afterwards was "cathartic" - just as I'd hoped.

My other concern for this play was its length. On paper it comes in at just over 50 pages, which concerned me, as it doesn't seem like a full evening of theatre by that count. But the nature of the play necessitates quite a number of silences and pauses, and I was hopin…

Comma Gain?

Image
I posted this a while back, but it just came back to my attention again, and I love it so much, so I thought it was worth re-posting in this increasingly comma-less world:

Unresolved ambiguity

The Times once published an unintentionally humorous description of a Peter Ustinov documentary, noting that "highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector".
Hope that brightened your day!

Meanwhile, Back in Theatreland...

Image
All of the work I've been putting into publishing and marketing The End of the World these last few weeks has taken my focus off of my plays, which have been quite active of late. This week my one-act Carbon-Based Life Form Seeks Similar opened in New York as part of the Curan Repertory Company's Notes From The Underground festival. I received a lovely email from the director this week, telling my what a fantastic experience it's been for her and the actors to work on the play, which was very gratifying to hear. I wanted to get up there and see it myself, but at such short notice (the run ends today) it just hasn't been feasible, which is a great shame.

I will be in New York this coming Thursday, however, for the reading of my full-length play The Treachery of Images. It's being given a reading by Heiress Productions, a great company that donates money from all of their productions to various cancer charities. The play was selected by Heiress as a winner in their 20…

Guest Interview

Image
This coming Saturday, April 23rd, I will be a guest on Babs World of Book Reviews, so if you're interested, head on over to her terrific book review blog and take a look. And in case you need an additional incentive (but why on earth would you?), I'll also be doing a book giveaway of The End of the World.

Babs gave The End of the World a lovely review on her site last week and it's been a real pleasure getting to know her a little, as she's a terrific person who truly loves books.