About Me

Tollesbury, Essex, United Kingdom
I was born in the Summer of 1969 in Dagenham, just on the border of East London. School was largely unproductive but enjoyable, setting me up for something of a wayward but interesting life! On leaving school I had various jobs including putting up stalls at Romford Market, working in a record shop, putting up ceilings, gardening and road sweeping. After resigning from an insurance company to play in a band, I found myself unemployed for two years. Then finally I got back on my feet and I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1997. I wrote A Cleansing of Souls when I was 22 years old and followed it up with Tollesbury Time Forever almost twenty years later. I started writing The Bird That Nobody Sees in September 2011 and it was released in July 2012. In terms of writing, my heroes are Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. I would also include Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits as literary influences. So that's me I guess - scruffy, happy and in love with literary fiction, music and life...

Monday, 31 October 2011

A washing-up opportunity...

Now life is stressful at the best of times. There's no denying it. There are bills to pay, obligations to meet and a continuing struggle for affirmation in this strange old world. So why on earth would anyone spend three years (generally between the hours of midnight and 4am) writing a novel and then attempt to get it published?

Lets take a step back. I started writing Tollesbury Time Forever because I had a story in my mind that seemed to match certain thoughts, views, feelings and delights that had long been with me. So I set one night, cidered up, to begin writing it. The novel evolved in so many ways that I couldn't have predicted. And by the August of 2011 I had something I was very happy with - 75,000 words of me (well Lennon and Mcartney helped a little...)

I gave the novel to a couple of people and their feedback was hugely encouraging. They had no vested interest, no reason not to be truthful about what they thought. In short, they loved it. So I decided to try and get it published, these words I had written night after night for three years, words that had led to bleary-eyed days and an aching liver, words that came from somewhere within my weird self. And so those words were sent in various formats to names and addresses of agents and publishers I found in books and on the internet - sent with a sense of hope and wonder and trepidation.

To date - a few simply worded (standard letter) rejections and silence. I have sat and pondered on the oddities of the publishing industry whereby the passionate scribblings of one stranger are judged by the cursory glances of another and dismissed in a swift email or a (far from) compliment slip. And I have wondered how anybody ever gets a bloody book published that doesn't really fit a recognised genre.

So I have begun to wonder why I am putting myself through this. Is it an ego thing, a lust for recognition, attention or is it some hint that I am dissatisfied with my life as it is? I don't think it is either of these. You know what, I think it's just that I've written a book that is undoubtedly strange, eccentric and perhaps unique and that the agents/publishers I have sent it to just haven't quite fell for it the way I have fallen for it. And that's it - it's not a reflection in the novel itself - it's just early days.

I read a book recently that spoke about savouring every tiny moment, every precious sensation. It talked about 'opportunities' for experiencing the absolute beauty of this world. It is a wonderful, wonderful book that has really shown me that this is indeed a truly amazing world and a truly amazing life. Obviously it would be better if someone would accept Tollesbury Time Forever for publication, but there you go.

Anyway, I sense a washing-up opportunity downstairs. Wouldn't want to miss it...

No comments: