In 2020, the Faversham Eye on-line newspaper announced a competition. We had Covid going on, so they aptly entitled the entries, Life After Covid.
It was a dark time. I had plenty of time of my hands, my mind, and my imagination. So I entered, not thinking I'd get anywhere. I hadn't got anywhere in the other comps I'd entered over the years.
Following the country's mood, I decided to make it dark, very dark. I considered worst case scenarios, and as usual followed my instincts, not knowing where the story was leading me.
I didn't expect to win. I actually found out by mistake. A few weeks after the closure date, I decided to get the courage up to read the winning entries in their paper. I'd received no contact from the paper, so assumed someone else had won. I almost fell off my chair. I had to re-read it several times. I read the runners-up. They were okay, not emotional, not urgent like mine. More descriptive.
I was elated until I noticed they'd spelt my name wrong. I contacted them to tell the paper it was me who'd won and also request they amend my surname. They could do this on-line but not in hard copy because the print run was done. I wish I'd been their proof editor!
Its taken me some time to float down on my airy cloud after that. Nothing new has happened. I purchased several hard copies of the edition it was published in. I name dropped - a lot. It made me feel like a proper writer at last. Someone actually liked it. I like it too. I've had a number of folk ask me for the book, seeing this as the first chapter in a dystopian world - which it is.
Currently, I'm really busy with From Here to Hell which is going to need such a re-write no one is going to recognise it. Chicken Wizard is around the corner. Shea Pingle in in the wings (literally), and Mustard and Marmalade are poking their heads above the parapet. Had enough clichés?
My illustrator for CW is doing Shea Pingle too. Check out the blurry draft image on the Shea Pingle page here. I'm currently interviewing a 2nd illustrator for Mustard and Marmalade - no confirmed name yet.
The pop-up Bookshop in Broadstairs did quite well, I sold a few copies. Chris Horn plans to run another couple through the year. I ended up buying 4 books, and it was fascinating to meet all the writers and feel part of a 'tribe'. Yes I learnt some new words last night on a writers social. Just trying to keep you updated, we don't want to fall behind on the world social scene. Tribe describes, your social group these days. I also received an education on Gammon and Karen which left me speechless. In turn I shared my word, which a couple of folk didn't know, vivarium. Not on a par with the others but still I knew it, and they didn't, so I had a brief nano-second of smugness.
On a personal front, I'm likely to have some time to move the above novel onwards due to heading off for spinal surgery in the next four weeks. Yes I'm terrified, but if I wait any longer I'll be part owner of the companies who manufacture, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Codeine, Tramadol, Co-codamol, & Voltarol at this rate.
I'm more gutted about not being allowed to do Karate, street dance and yoga for a minimum of three months. No driving for 2 - 4 weeks and worse still probably no Harley out for eons. Sad face emoji.
Till next time.
Please give me a thumbs up if you like my words, sometimes I feel like I'm writing in a vacuum. Or should that be hoover? Feel free to comment.