Admittedly they're coming along thick and fast due to my ineptness at meeting deadlines, rather than a hard hitting journalistic desire to hunt down and stalk authors but hey, what to do?
So for the next week it's all about An Ungodly Child, the debut novel by writer and poet Rachel Green.
An Ungodly Child follows Harold Waterman, an unlikely hero, and his summoned demonic familiar Jasfoup. When Harold is infected by an incurable disease when he meets Jedith, otherwise known as the Angel of Pestilence, he turns to the black arts to find a cure. Jasfoup is only too happy to help, as long as Harold can pay for his services. Meanwhile, the three angels of destruction are out to prove that there could be an antichrist, if only Harold would believe it. Gillian, Harold's vampire girlfriend, is not so sure.
Described by Amazon reviews as being "Intelligent, imaginative, and Very funny." and "warming, amusing and insightful. The use of imagination is inspired " this is a another must buy novel.
Luckily Rachel was able to take some time out from her (very) busy writing day to let me pester her.
Me and DK do another Wossy
1. At what point, or do you at all for that matter, begin thinking about yourself as 'a writer'?
I do think of myself as a writer, despite Nathan Bransford declaring it a reference to this somewhat controversial blog entry by Curtis Brown agent Nathan Bransford. Ever since I started being published regularly I have said: “I am a Writer.” It defines me. It's what I do. I used to be an Artist and to be truthful, I still make more money from painting than I do writing. "An Ungodly Child" has cost me around £400 in review copies and postage and publicity and freebies and the printing of postcards and the like.
People still look at me and say "but what's your real job?" A visitor to the house once said "Hi Rachel, are you writing something interesting, or just your book?" (To be fair, she also looked at my painting and said 'Is that some kind of art?') Now I answer them: Writing is a real job. Look: Here is my book. That’ll be £8.99 please.
2. If you're anything like me then completing that (hopefully) final draft was truly glorious. The process immediately after that, so often littered with rejections and hopelessness was not so fun. Can you talk us through how the process went for you?
It wasn’t easy. “An Ungodly Child” was my first novel and was truly rubbish. It was originally cobbled together from a series of connected short stories and had no arc and virtually no development. I sent it to a few places and had it rejected, then sent it to WordWise Edit in Sheffield for a professional opinion. Miranda gave it a glance through and sent me a few notes back. I completely re-wrote it, using the original as a series of plot points and surgically added a spine, a major plot and several subplots. Then I left it for six months, edited it again and sent it of to the Undiscovered Authors competition in 2006. It won the runner-up prize of publication plus £1000 after publication. It took another two years and several more edits, but appeared on Amazon in December and in a few bookshops in February. It didn’t get the publicity I was hoping for, however, and was never officially ‘launched’ by the publisher.
3. Your book, like much of my own work, seems to be about isolation. Isolation and a desire, a need perhaps, for acceptance. Is this a common theme for you too? And what came first? The theme or the story?
The theme, I think. My first novel (that I never count because I never finished it) was about an immortal woman searching for a home after hers is destroyed by the 5th legion of the Roman Army in 438AD. She was very much a loner. In some ways Harold’s childhood reflect my own (though my father wasn’t the Devil) in that I was something of an intelligent-but-lonely child too. I found acceptance and a huge extended family and so did Harold. I wish I had a Jasfoup, though. In all the books I write (and I’ve written four sequels) there is the element of a loner gaining acceptance (or a spectacular failure of it.)
I will also throw in 3 questions from my blogbuddy Disco Kettle. They will go like this:
In aviil psstngg. *chuckles* Ocibibibib narloop.
2.Fzzzt fzzzzzzzzt fzt wheeeeeeeeeeze?
Bloogning, Abibabin nawr, pssingssin drenooootish
3. Fzt gurglrgurglrgurgle click?
Ah! Earrlybip Greyinganizzt, os gringing babbbylizzt.
I also write a feckbucket of poetry. I start the day with a cinquain, a haiku, a tanka, a fib and a senryu on my Livejournal and at some point in the day I generally post a photograph and a poem to my dogsbite blog. I also write Jasfoup’s blog and a short vignette to Laverstone Tales . After lunch I work on the current novel, editing or whatever. Sometimes I take the afternoon off. I generally stop working at 6:00 PM
Plus another kick ass cool Competiton
Did I, or did I not say I was far too good too you? I think I did you know. And now look. Hot on the heels of one competition I now have a new, equally EditTastic competition for you.
In no more than 50 words (always fun I know) a flash story regarding someone needing or wanting or getting or being denied acceptance. Tough eh? I'm a mean bastard I know, but hey, it's something to play with. Physical and social acceptance like the example Rachel has had a go at or, you know, try something a bit different. Be a bit weird.
You know me, I like a bit Weird...
Harold dropped his coin in the slot and pushed against the barrier. It didn’t move. He rattled the release lever and tried again. Still no result.
“Why can’t I get in?” he asked the attendant of the Savoy Gentleman’s Conveniences.
The porter scowled. “I don’t like your faeces,” he said.