Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The End of the World Reviews

I’ve received a very nice review for The End of the World from the terrific folks at the Literary R and R blog, and a five star review on Amazon from the immensely gifted, award-winning British writer Helen Smith, along with a wonderful piece about the book on her blog.

It’s quite nerve-wracking to open your work up for critique, and even after all these years of having my plays produced and reviewed, it still doesn’t get much easier. But this was very welcome news and I’m quite thrilled by the response so far.

It’s also a rather odd feeling presenting myself as the writer of a book. I feel like something of an interloper. I’ve written so many plays over the last decade and have been fortunate enough to have had almost all of them produced at some point, but the literary world is a very different place, and I’m a newbie in that arena. Actually, I kind of like it. Just as I liked adapting the play into a book. It’s a new challenge that takes me out of my comfort zone, which is always healthy.

I have another play of mine that I’m also considering adapting. It’s a one-act and would translate into a short story, but I’ve a feeling it could work. This one’s far more naturalistic in style than The End of the World.

And then the big question – do I attempt to write a novel from scratch? Gulp!

Anyway, do check out Helen’s books at her blog – she’s an amazingly talented writer. I’ve only read Alison Wonderland to date, but it’s a must read that more than deserves all of the acclaim its received. The others are next on my must read list. She’s also made some free podcasts, which are also available on her blog. If you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes peek into the process of writing a book you have to check them out.

P.S: Talking of reviews, if you’ve been following the Jacqueline Howett saga, you may interested (horrified) that it’s even made The Guardian Book Blog today. Blimey!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The End of the World Report

Sales for the Kindle edition of ‘The End of the World’ have gone through the roof, so I’ve decided to capitalize on this phenomenal response by creating a hard copy version of the book. Okay, maybe my sales figures are exaggerated a little (read: lot), but it’ll take time to get it moving, so I’m not too concerned, and I already have two literary blogs that have agreed to review the book, so if the response is good that should help a little.

Meanwhile I’ve been busy with Amazon’s Create Space company, fine tuning the hard copy. It’s with them now, pending their review process. It’s been a lot of work (much more than the Kindle version) but hopefully it’ll be worth it. I’ll let you know!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The End of the World Is Here!

Yes, that’s right. After a few not entirely unexpected formatting problems in the conversion process, I have now published the Kindle edition of my new short novel The End of the World, adapted from my play of the same name. It’s now live on the Amazon site, ready to download to your Kindle device or app, by clicking here in the U.S. or here in the U.K.

It’s about 27,000 words in length (the equivalent of around 104 pages if translated into paperback book form) and costs a paltry 99 cents (about 62 pence), so it’s a very inexpensive and (hopefully) entertaining read.

By yours now while stocks last! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Treachery of Images

I was very pleased to discover that my full-length play ‘The Treachery of Images’ has been selected as one of three winners in Heiress Productions’ 2010 Playwriting Competition. As a result, the play will receive a staged reading in New York in May or June this year (exact date to be confirmed).

This is very gratifying, as this play was one of the most difficult plays I’ve written. The subject matter (a husband and wife dealing with aftermath of the rape and murder of their daughter) meant that I had to immerse myself in a very dark, painful place every time I went to work on it. There’s a lot of emotional sweat equity of mine in that play – if that makes sense?

The other gratifying aspect to this is that Heiress Productions is a truly unique and eminently admirable company. A not-for-profit theatre production company that raises awareness and funds for cancer organizations, they partner with one cancer organization for each production and donate a portion of the proceeds to their charitable cause.

It feels good to have had ‘The Treachery of Images’ chosen as a winner in their competition, but all the more rewarding for having it involved with such a worthy organization.

I’m looking forward to the reading, though I know I’ll probably be nervous wreck on the actual night.

In other news, don’t forget – the End of the World is almost upon us!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The End of the World is Nigh!

Yes it is. My so-called ‘secret writing project’ is just about complete. The reason I’ve been keeping it under wraps from almost everyone I know is because I wasn’t sure it would work. But I think it has and it’s now time for me to push it out into the world.

I have written my first novel. A short novel (about 27,000 words). More precisely – and this is why I thought it a little tricky – I have adapted one of my plays into a novel. Yes, strange indeed, as it’s the wrong way around. Novels are adapted into plays, but virtually never the reverse. However, I had strong feeling several months ago that this particular play could possibly work quite well as a novel. Encouraged by my e-friend, the excellent writer Helen Smith, I took the plunge and went to work.

This was like learning a whole new language for me, as the mediums are very different in their execution. However, after a lot of research and a leap of faith I began the process. And I have to say I enjoyed it greatly. I do like writing prose (as evidenced in the number of lengthy stand-alone monologues I’ve written for the stage) and having the freedom to delve into the corners of the story in ways that you simply can’t in a play was wonderful. I suppose the next step would be to write a novel from scratch, but that still intimidates me at the moment, if I were being completely honest.

Anyway, as I said it’s just about ready for primetime and I will be publishing it as a Kindle edition in the next day or two (providing I don’t get derailed by formatting issues).

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the title. It’s called ‘The End of the World’ (based on my play of the same name).

I’ll be pricing it at a whopping 99 cents, so start saving your pennies now!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Brief Overview

I was very pleased to learn this week that my one-act play ‘Carbon-Based Life Form Seeks Similar’ had been selected for this year’s Notes From The Underground festival, produced by New York’s Curan Repertory Company.

I had another play of mine (‘Public Relations’) in the same festival a couple of years ago, and everyone at Curan Rep, especially Artistic Director Ken Terrell, was great to work with. ‘Carbon-Based Life Form Seeks Similar’ is essentially a brief meditation on the question of whether it’s still possible to be loved for who you are, or if ‘being yourself’ has become something of a liability in the digital age.

On a related note, there are many days I need reminding that I’m actually made of skin cells, not pixels. I’m convinced it won’t be long before official forms ask you to fill out your age, height, weight, and dpi.

(I'm 72 dpi on a good day, by the way, though after Christmas and times like that...forget about it!)

I was also happy to learn this week that my one-act play ‘The Skewed Picture’ was selected by the Hovey Players, in Waltham, Massachusetts, for their Summer Shorts Play Festival. This little play seems to be taking on a life of its own, and would appear to bode well for the longtime prospects of my one-act anthology ‘The Meta Plays’, from which it is taken.

All good news, and especially welcome coming on the heels, as it did, of my being laid low with a quick but nasty bout of the flu last weekend. So much for this year’s flu shot. I got a dose of it after I got the shot, and now this episode. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if my shot wasn’t watered down in some black market conspiracy, à la Orson Welles in ‘The Third Man’.

Which brings me back full circle, as if I were viewed from the top of a Ferris wheel, I would indeed be one of those dots he speaks of.