By Auriel Roe
A composite comic novel; thirteen interconnected stories that take place over forty years. Its setting is Blindefellows, a second rate public school in the West Country
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Welcome to my shed!
Thank you for your interest in my new book, A Blindefellows Chronicle, and welcome to my shed. (If you look closely, you'll see a fine aviary of budgerigars to the rear, slightly obscured by those soiled garden implements.) Sheds are good places for writers to be alone, largely due to them not being large enough for two people. A favourite writer of mine, George Bernard Shaw, had a writing shed in the garden of his house in Welwyn Garden City. You can still visit it. The whole thing rotated so he could nip out and turn it every now and then to keep the sunlight coming through the window as he wrote. He also had a clever ruse and told his housekeeper to tell any callers he was "out" when he went into the garden to write in his shed; (he was beset by unsolicitored callers who used to loiter by his garden gate).
I started writing A Blindefellows Chronicle last year and it's special to me as I've spent a long time thinking about it... possibly half my life. Writing was something I put off due to work and family commitments, including the numerous stray animals I've taken in over the years, but when I finally found I had some time, I wrote it in six months and was stunned how well I could write - a good lesson to all of us here...find time and unleash the hidden talents! My 250 page novel grew from one little thought...what if a prudish sixty-seven year old man suddenly finds himself falling victim to his first ever crush?
I'm really grateful to Unbound for giving me this opportunity. I had a couple of flutters of interest from literary agents, "you write very well" and "obvious quality" but comic literary fiction influenced by Waugh and Wodehouse isn't really riding with the trends at the moment and agents are driven by what has the potential to become the biggest sellers. It's understandable as they have to make a living. My novel wasn't about following trends, it was about writing the book I wanted to read - creating a situation comedy in a literary fashion, but with the essential poignancy too, as I care deeply about my characters.
I hope you enjoy my book and thank you for listening.