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...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Copyright is just copywrong! (though I forgive it obviously...)

The final chapter of Tollesbury Time Forever has lyrics from an Elvis song and from Here, There and Everywhere by The Beatles. When I wrote the scenes in the final chapter, I was really pleased as the combining of music and words is just what was required. But - DISASTER!

I have since found that even quoting one line from a song can cost hundreds of pounds! And I have about twenty lines! It's this whole copyright thing where people (which are usually not the artists themselves) make money out of owning the rights. When I learned this, several things went through my mind:

  • Keep the chapter as it is and hope no-one notices if the book gets published
  • Write the lyrics in French (a wine fuelled notion I have to admit!)
  • Have the main character influenced by Keats instead of The Beatles as quoting from poems is much more acceptable and less stringently monitored
  • Rewrite the relevant scenes so as not to include the lyrics
 I am in the process of re-editing Tollesbury Time Forever so have decided to rewrite the final chapter. Perhaps it is one of those things that you learn at just the right moment - the final chapter may even be better for it.

Anyway, no more news on submission responses so far although I have submitted to a publishers called Snowbooks. I have though bought the new Tom Waits album. It is fantastic! Now I wonder if I should use some of his lyrics in the fourth chapter, translated into german and written in lemon juice like I used to do when I was a boy spy.....

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