Stardust

I recorded my first ever podcast yesterday. It was for Thank Book For, which is a book-related initiative created by some old colleagues of mine. The idea is that we have a fairly informal and fun interview about our connections to literature and libraries, and our current projects. This may sound like I was doing some old friends a favour, but we all get something positive from it - I get publicity and some of my work and ideas out there, and they get some great content for their project, which even at this early stage has made real headway.

I can't say I wasn't nervous about the prospect of recording. I was worried that I was going to take it all far too seriously, and in wanting to say everything I'd end up saying nothing. I don't want to spoil the podcast, which is slated to appear in the forthcoming days, but Tom and Gemma came to conduct the interview and it was great fun. It was like any good interview, by which I mean they asked questions, let the subject provide an answer and only interjected to get me back on topic, rather than wanting to get their own opinions in and given equal weight. That's probably why their current podcasts are so entertaining.

Over the course of two hours (which will be cut down to around forty-five minutes), I got to say pretty much all I wanted to say about what I'm working on. My main project is a novel called The Sad Club, which is a story about four men who as children were bullied mercilessly, chiefly by a kid called Paul Tiler. They made a vow that if they could get away with it, they would kill Tiler, but as they drifted apart that vow was forgotten. Now, as successful adults, they have the chance to follow through with their pact, but will they?

The project is about three-quarters done at this stage, and will need redrafting, certainly. But the podcast has come along at the right time for me creatively, because it's given me a platform to advertise myself and an impetus to finish and perfect a huge task. In addition to the podcast, Thank Book For have very kindly indulged me and let me record two works as additional material, so fans, agents and publishers have instant access to the work that I do and what I can offer. These too will be available this week.

What I've got from the whole experience is an increased pride in my worth as a writer and also the knowledge that you're allowed to be the talent from time to time. In ten years of writing I can count on the fingers of one hand the amount of times when I thought it was a worthwhile pursuit for me, but Tom and Gemma didn't make me feel like it's a pipe dream. They seemed to think it was a matter of time and a consistent amount of work, and I'll get there.

So, over the course of this week and the different and sustained ways of looking at my writing, I've come to think that although I'm in for a long stretch of work making The Sad Club saleable, it is a story that needs to be out there, and I'm not just floundering in the deep end without water wings.

Before I go, there's more work added to the archive. Some of it I really like, so take a look.

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