Friday, January 16, 2009

Rich Tea with The Doors

I’ve bought a new computer, a very posh and shiny Apple Mac, so I spent most of last week transferring all the stuff on my rather battered lap top over to the new one and cursing when I lost things. That said it’s all on their now and, what’s more, it’s behaving itself.

Chapter one of ‘Hellfire’ (provisional name for the new book) is finished. Sarah is coming out as feisty but innocent, Terry is older, wiser and a caring father, Sarah’s mother doesn’t have a name yet, whilst Uncle Benjamin is quite creepy.
I’m trying to get a feel of 1960s London to the piece, and having to check things as I go such as, if they’re eating biscuits, which ones were around in the swinging sixties (answer Rich Tea). If my characters go to a famous gig that happened at the Roundhouse what day of the week did it happen on (The Doors only UK gig took place on a Friday). Had school holidays finished (no), what would a teenage girl wear when not at school...all sorts of things that have to be checked and confirmed.

Next weekend I’m in London to get a feel for the places around Camden and conduct research on the basin and the catacombs. I’ll report back with details.


I’ve mentioned ‘The Writer’s Tale’ previously. It’s Russell T. Davies diary via email conversations with Benjamin Cook of the last series of Doctor Who. It’s a brilliant book, with Davies coming off as part megalomanic, dictator and artist. He has a wonderful, damn it, brilliant mind, but he suffers from the same anxiety as the rest of us, screwing himself up and obsessing when he knows he should be creating. It’s also very good at conveying the art of writing (not just for TV but in all its forms), from thinking of that initial idea to getting it down on paper, revising it and then letting it out to a wider audience. Any budding author should read this, any artist should read this - it is inspiring.

Enigma is Vertigo at its strangest. The comic deals with Michael Smith, whilst going through a bad patch mentally his childhood hero, the super hero ‘The Enigma’ comes to life bringing with him his arch enemies who start murdering people. Smith sets out to find the character, ditching his girlfriend and life and teaming up with the drugged addled creator and changing his sexual preferences along the way. Strange but oddly compelling.

I’ve been reading other book on my phone. I’ve never been big on digital works but the iphone has a really good app called Stanza that makes it really easy to download work and reading from it clear and doesn’t seem to produce any headaches in me.

A Dangerous Man by Huston is the last in a series about an unfortunate killer, down on his luck and looking for a way out that won’t result in his parent being killed and trying to stay out of trouble. Needless to say, he doesn’t. Clever, with quick fire dialogue. I’ll definitely go back and read the first two books.

The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe (who is celebrating 200 years since his birth - which is odd because I thought he was dead), is a short story about a man’s hatred, how it manifests through alcohol, resulting in him becoming paranoid and eventually committing murder. It has a certain Hitchcockian feel to it and reads well for a story of that period.


Read this week:
The Writer’s Tale by Russell T. Davies
Enigma by Milligan and Fegredo
A Dangerous Man by Charlie Huston
The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe

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