Friday, 7 October 2016
From Twitter Tale To Novel
It's been a long summer and I've been quietly working behind the scenes. You'll be pleased to know that my collection has been edited, with immensely helpful input from Unbound, and is as a result a much better book. It also has a new title. Gone is the over long full Warhol quote; the book will now be published as Fifteen Minutes. The editing was an interesting process. A lot of the stories had already been professionally edited but, in my experience, things can always be improved on. The copy of my first novel that I take to readings has writing all over it where I've added or cut things from the printed text and that was published five years ago! A book is never finished but hopefully this collection is now at its best. I am very happy with the editorial decisions made so far. Sometimes I kept things the way there were, simply out of gut instinct, anyway between us we've come up with something I am extremely proud of. I can't wait for you to read it. People keep asking me when and the answer is 'soon'. The book has been sent for copy editing, which I am told takes about 3 weeks and then - who knows? But it will be soon and I will keep every step of the way.
In the meantime, one of the stories has been published in a much redjuced form in a beautiful little book called Tales On Tweet. This is the origin of the story Ruby of the Desert. The full story has also been shortlisted for Huddersfield University's Grist competition and will appear in their anthology early next year. I've also been working on the idea of turning it into a novel. Tales On Tweet is a Twitter account by Indian writer Manoj Pandey. A couple of years ago they asked for 140 character stories, this year they chose a bookfull to be illustrated and published by Harper Collins India. There are stories by Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Teju Cole and lesser mortals like me. It was quite hard to get hold of a copy, the first one didn't arrive and I had to turn to Amazon Marketplace to get one. The book is gorgeous and wise and each tale is illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, a Japanese Illustrator based in New York. I love my page (even though, or perhaps because, they spelled my name wrong!) I love how it sums up the tale by creating the heat of a diner kitchen and the passage of time through the sheer number of teabags. Does the waitress win the lottery? I think you answer to that says more about your personality than mine.