Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Heideman Award Finalist



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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Author Outbreak!



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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Off Cut Festival



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 more on this as events warrant.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Schism



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 only by a near-continual dialogue with himself and by the companionship of what he affectionately describes as “my wife.”

Things change, however, when he encounters a sweet, impressionable young woman named Nore. As their relationship lurches unsteadily forward, Horatio finds himself struggling against a riptide of conflicting realities that he is ill-equipped to cope with, until events at last overtake him and a new yet oddly familiar reality emerges.


I hope to have it completed and on sale sometime around October/November. I'll post more on that as things progress.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Weight of Words



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's artistry and songwriting skill.

Now, with so many indie (self) publishers selling their novels at $0.99 (and some of them becoming bestsellers) and the big houses charging ten times that and upwards in many cases, the dust has yet to settle on what people are willing to pay for a downloaded copy of a book. Personally, I think the price of the book should reflect the quality of the content (and the size of the work to some degree); the price of production is, to my mind, irrelevant.

I also think that in time (perhaps a short time) those big houses will be dropping some of their prices to a more competitive level - at least with books from lesser-known authors. But for those big name authors with huge fan bases, well...I think Stieg Larsson and Danielle Steel can sleep easy for quite some time to come.