My own worst enemy!

This past week has been a little testing on many levels. Not only have there been some long (and sometimes challenging) hours at work but first day off was spent at the funeral of a close family friend. All that aside however I have managed to put some finishing touches to my attempts at screenplay adaptations of BOTH – Origins Of The Magdon: Vercovicium (Book 1) and also Blue Light Christmas. These have translated, I think but am biased of course, very well into the screenplay format and allowed me to add a little more to each story in a very positive way.

As this is all a new affair for me I am dipping my toe into this market with some trepidation. Instagram has offered some loose connections with some people within the infamous “industry” taking note of pictures I have shared. I have submitted one screenplay to the Amazon Studio program and one for public opinion/annihilation on other forums. I have also placed a Script Pitch on ShootingPeople and am sitting back and seeing what happens.

When it comes to my projects I feel I am best focussing my attention on proliferating the market with one strong idea. I have made this The Magdon which I feel has a place in the world – in written, audio and one day, hopefully, visual form. I have had a sit down with some cleverer people than me and realised it is no use flitting between ideas and stories, bouncing from one concept to another as it doesn’t allow me to give enough legs, and do enough justice, to the story being told.

To that end I am finding new ways for The Magdon story to be accessed and just running with an eBook/paperbook is not enough. The Audiobooks reflect a lot of time and effort from my narrator Paul Weber who does an absolutely fantastic job. For now though I am struggling to get things noticed, to extend beyond the crowd of helpful other authors who are trying to make waves and impressions.

I have put feelers out towards PR companies and individuals but so far emails have either gone unanswered or lack any real response to the questions I have posed other than a few lines of regurgitated text and a can you call us reply. The fact I fear the ultimate cost of employing such a company if my query can’t be answered, or else the questions I ask remain unanswered in a reply email then I can’t really have confidence in them to listen and not just do a regurgitative process.

Of course, through research amongst the “indies” and the “self-published” community it is quite a minefield with some saying don’t bother and others saying go for it. I think realistically I lack the knowledge and expertise to advertise myself well enough. I think I take the word-of-mouth option over anything else so as not to compromise time with family and work.

But then I sit at home with the boys watching Harry Potter and other series stories and think “you know what, The Magdon could sit there”……so what’s stopping that?

Me? Money? Fear? Laziness?

Probably a little of all these things. You see, I have been here before and always erred on the sid of caution. Perhaps it is a fear of failing, of some snooty (or well experienced executive or agent) scoffing at my attempts to give something to the world. So should fear really rule my decisions whether to push further or not? I’d love to say no but I’m a simple kind of guy and probably stay in my comfort zone a little more than I should.

So clearing my head from a long and trying week, with the Sunday weather surprisingly clear I took to the Derbyshire Hills with my two sons for a mind-clearing walk. My youngest has been badgering for a walk on a “mountain” so we went the three of us to Mam Tor and climbed it with ease.

And I reflect on that – there he is, 6 years old and facing a giant hill to walk. Did he shy for the what-ifs, the perhaps-this….no he didn’t. Instead of inspiring them, well I did that too with some comic moments, my own sons inspired me a little.

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I just need to find the right match to help me push beyond the boundaries I have set. An opportunity that I hope/dream is waiting for The Magdon and see my aspirations realised.

Any help would be great!

I’ll shut up now as I’m sure I am boring you!

Origins Of The Magdon – Phase 2

Well how can I put this…there is nobody who will do anything for me. Everything for this needs to be done and motivated by me as without the “support” of a mainstream Agent or Publisher I’m going it alone. Does that necessarily mean bad things?

I personally think not.

I think it lets me remain in complete control of my project. I have pumped everything into The Magdon Series. It is so much a part of me that I would find it difficult to hand it over to another to put their mark.

Of course, though, having to go it alone puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage a I don’t have that massive public presence. That “be there be everywhere” approach but that doesn’t mean I can;t try to be there and be everywhere on my own.

Acting on a whim (as I normally do) I have spent the last week working on PR (to be featured blog interview), trailers for Book Three, last minute tweaks to the submission for print of Book Three, new images, new covers and lastly……….without any real proper input I wanted to turn the first book into a manuscript/screenplay.

Don’t get me wrong I know this is something for professionals (and I have been called worse things than amateur and wannabe) but I don’t hear Christopher Nolan or Hollywood knocking at my door to convert the story. So what does that mean?

Do I sit there and wait until the door knocks, or more likely doesn’t knock?

Hell no! I’m not one for sitting back and spending my life in wishful thinking. Instead, I am going to put pen to paper and do my best to permeate Origins Of The Magdon into as many avenues as I can. That way surely I increase the chances of it getting somewhere rather than sticking with the sit and wait option.

 

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A work in progress! Onwards, upwards and outwards.

 

I have come across many opinions, both for and against self-publications and self-work. Some enrage me, some amuse me and some endear to me. But I know that we don’t get if we don’t try so sitting back doing nothing is not an option for me.

Not if I want to INSPIRE like I aim to.

So this weekend I am now working on the screenplay for Origins Of The Magdon: Vercovicium. I know the story better than anyone else (seeing as I made it up). I know that doesn;t mean I will write something spectacular but what I write will be my best effort, if it works then brilliant, if not…at least I can say I tried.

Heard of The Magdon?

Not YET…not…

YET!

Beyond the everyday, behind the scenes!

Well yet again work, family and gym have torn me away from blogging and much in the way of progress for the stories, however, I have managed to go around collating some ideas throughout my time this week.

I have had a full on week with work with two days for requalification and training flanked either side by normal shifts, the last two being night shifts. Last night as I was driving around I caught sight of an illuminated church in the middle of the night. The spotlights cast some very eerie shadows across one face of the spire and whilst it was a relatively modern church structure (more angular and boxy than your tradition English church with spiked spires and such) it still caught my attention.

Obviously sat staring for a second my mind played out some scene of The Magdon perched atop the roof staring down from the dark shadows, shimmering green eyes glaring down as if hunting, waiting to strike.

Yes! That is exactly what happens in my head. I can be just going about my normal day-to-day stuff and something pops into my head. As I have said before I am a very “visual” creator so for me if I can make my ideas into a watchable scene in my mind then I know I can build it into something real for the page. If I struggle to create the image then I know they idea is either ill-formed or simply not going to work.

I think that is why I enjoy writing.

For me, as my parents, family and (limited) friends will tell you I am a fan of films. I have always enjoyed watching them, playing them as a child, and re-watching them over again. When I write it always feels like I am making my own film and I really do sit there staring off into the abyss sometimes simply because I am playing out some scene or interaction for a story in my mind.

I suppose it is a form of creative escapism so really what happens to make it to the page really represents probably a third of what I actually saw in my head.

Whilst I haven’t had time to write down anything for Origins Of The Magdon or The Magdon: Generations I have managed to structure an interview to be kindly featured on Merryn Books at the end of January.

It was interesting answering the questions as I feared my life isn’t that interesting. I think deep down that is the defence mechanism of self-doubt. If I play down the face behind the stories then I have to defend less and lose less face if I fail in this world I suppose. I was quite surprised when my interviewer said I wasn’s as boring as I feared! Hopefully, the interview will give a little more fo a structured insight than my random rantings on my blog posts!

 

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The view at the end of my requalification day at work – who can fail to see inspiration in that view!?!

 

I will, of course, share the link to my interview when it goes live and until then I am continuing to build my presence a little on Social Media. I have mixed my fitness and author lives and am slowly but surely building my exposure.

At the moment I am relying on word of mouth and faith. I have this hope, however, silly it is, that someday someone with the right connections will happen across my stories and say “you know what there’s something in this” and the world will open up from there.

That isn’t to say I am not trying everything I can myself but I have, as you can tell, always been a bit of a dreamer. Other people come across this thing called a “lucky break” and you never know it could happen to me……one day………hopefully!

 

(WT) The Magdon Generations – juggling

A short input from me today considering the fact I have been firing off emails to Himalayan Trekking companies and running a lot of research for the Everest Base Camp Trek 2018 (see my other blog for those actions).

I have managed to sort out some more storylines for The Magdon Generations and trying to continue the story beyond Origins Of The Magdon.

The main thing, writing-wise, comes from a surprising package from school for my oldest son. He has managed to produce a poem that will be published in an anthology along with other school children. Of course, it isn’t a book by him but we won’t be ones to underplay his achievement. The fact he has written something off his own back and done a good job that will be published is something to be proud of.

#AspireToInspire seems to have worked enough to get his creative juices flowing so today the post isn’t about me shouting up about The Magdon Series or anything from me but instead my boy who has his first page in a book that was all his own creation……here’s hoping he can carry the mantle of my stories when I’m too old and incapable!

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(WT) The Magdon Generations – paradox

I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours appreciating my surroundings. One of the positives of my job is seeing the nighttime world. There is nothing quite as beautiful as city lights at night……that is until you see the lightless countryside with a blanket of stars shining high above.

And therein lies my paradox. I love the solitude of the countryside and the bright night lights of the city. But I like the city at night, when it’s eerily quiet and spookily alone (except for my colleague in the car) however I have always enjoyed seeing the city.

In truth, I always pictured the Michael Mann style city views of Miami Vice (yes I actually like that film) when I was thinking of how I wanted Footprints On The Other Side to look when I wrote it. As I’ve said before I am very much a visual writer, in so much that I like to see what I’m writing as it then lets me see what I’m writing and make sure it stays the right course.

I have learned however to also leave a little to the reader’s imagination. In Footprints On The Other Side it was my “debut” novel and I was very protective over the story. I gave you everything so you saw what I saw, experienced the descriptives as much as I could to make sure your imagery was the same and that wasn’t right. With The Magdon Series I adapted that, by condensing my overall length I forced myself to let the reader create from what I put.

It was different.

Which brings me back to the first point. Having spent all night in the bright lights of the city, awash with the glow of oranges, reds and whites I had a quick nap and then embarked on another walk with the children across the local fields and countryside. From that sterile built-up world not a few hours earlier I was now basking in the beauty of nature. Finding abandoned bridges in the middle of fields, long abandoned buildings and no longer used railway cuttings…..all that got me thinking.

I wrote Origins Of The Magdon very much in the past, I never wanted to feel the sterile city in the story but with Generations I want to mix the two. Bring an element of the then and now, the life and the isolation.

I can’t say how much the world influences my thinking. I spend so much time in the rush of life (the world passing by in shades of red and blue, whizzing by so fast I can;t see anything in detail) which is probably why I love writing. I can focus on that key moment, a face, a fact, an event or a moment and become it. I can make it my entire thought so nothing is missed until I write it.

I think that’s probably why I like writing! It’s funny I can have my pounding music in the gym then get into the car ad listen to rhythmic meditation music. One thing though…….I’ve always been that little bit withdrawn, away from people and focussed on my family….again perhaps another reason I create my false little worlds! But if it works.

But anyway here is some pictures from out and about, today and other days that have captured my imagination. I try and keep everything I do clean of stolen ideas but you know what, I can;t help but bastardise the world itself….there is so much that every person can see in the smallest detail that nobody can ever say the world is “just the same” or “nothing new”……look beyond that and see what’s behind the obvious.

(WT) The Magdon Generations – agents, publishers and independence 

Well today has been a mixed bag. It makes me smile how different the standards are for making approaches to Literary Agents and Publishing Houses. Most agree in a letter but then the quantity, length, detailed or brief synopsis differs massively between each of them. It becomes hard to meet the demands and as has been very thoroughly details “any deviation is an excuse to be put into the virtual bin.” 

Great as of the challenge wasn’t difficult enough I’ve got to write,  re-create and re-structure for each one. Don’t get me wrong I respect the trade and profession but can’t help but see an air of so many hurdles. I’ve gone for a different approach…..which sums me up quite well. 

Instead of conforming to the norms I’m being human with it all. I’ve already got enough knock backs, most of whom haven’t even asked for a sample but can obviously tell the story isn’t for them! And so my own game begins, give enough but not the whole and see if people really do take the time to read. 

And I n ow this annoys people, who am I to question what the professionals demand, I’m more than well aware in the published world being independently published and self published I am something of a creation of a more open manner of becoming seen. It doesn’t mean my stories are any less worth reading but I’m not one for just going with the flow……especially when I jump through every hoop for an approach and ironically either same almost personal sounding but generic rejection. 

Oh well! 

I think today I once again realised that hours spent pouring into approaches takes me away from what I should be doing, and that is writing the bloody story in the first place. 

Fame or support from the infamous big bears in the woods (agents or publishers) may or may not come and I can live with that. I have a job, a family and I’m lucky to have writing as my hobby that lets me do something a little different. 

So today is more of a rant I suppose, or else me trying to justify my non conformity but that’s what makes me….well….me.

As my old man dearly said once (and seems very true) I’m rather comparable to Marmite. Simply live or hate me!

So I will continue to send out approaches but they are not going to be my main focus. I won’t put my writing on hold spending hours of letters or adjusted this that or the other. The most important thing is to do what I really should be focussing on and that is writing. 

So I’ve managed another first draft chapter today and it’s nice to be back in my world. 

I know one day……some day…..people will know The Magdon as well as they know other more common stories. 

I refuse to believe otherwise!