|Zombies - good! Ancient, not so much...|
‘Dear Mr Coleridge, or may I call you Sam,
We have read with pleasure and interest your new epic poem, The Rime (sic) of the Ancient Mariner. It has much to recommend it - a strong horror theme, vividly described, and lots of supernatural stuff, which is very now. Zombies too, cracking! Add to that travel and adventure on the high seas, and I think we’d be cooking with gas here. We also like the inherent environmental motif - don’t shoot albatrosses, is a message we’re happy to pass on. People like birds.
|Think Tom Cruise meets Zooey Deschanel instead|
|Now we're talking! Hello, Sailor!|
Oh, just one more thing. Poetry doesn’t sell, unless you’re poet laureate, so a few minor tweaks to shake that out please. ‘The Rhyme of the Young Mariner’ is a bit clunky anyway, so drop the rhyme (that’s how you spell it btw), how about ‘Hello, Sailor!’The cover pic will show what kind of sailor we’re talking about here. I hope you’ll agree we’re onto a winner with this one.
Over to you Samuel T, oh and keep off the poppy juice, we need to get Disney on board for the film rights.
Yours ever in admiration, Etc etc.’
THE PHYSIC GARDEN is just out. She was told that a story narrated by an old man is a no-no in the traditional publishing world. This made me dig around in a dusty old trunk in an imaginary attic, and lo and behold, I came upon the publisher’s letter above, rather like the one Catherine ‘found’ on the subject of Wuthering Heights (read it here) and its ruthless disregard of commercial viability. Luckily a man from Porlock arrived before Samuel T Coleridge could act upon his letter and he forgot all about it due to his ‘medication’.
Ageism is something I abhor, especially now after spending some years working with older people as part of my Residency at an Institute for Ageing and Health, and I wrote CHANGING AGE, CHANGING MINDS, published by Newcastle University, challenging stereotypes about ageing. I’d like to put it out as an ebook but the formatting would be a bit of a nightmare with pictures and all kinds of different texts. It has some great stories in it though. Like many indie ebooks, it’s a mix of genres: part polemic, part poetry, part prose, part reminiscence, part protest, multi viewpoint.
The ‘boomers’ generation is the sandwiched generation, getting older, our parents lurching from health crisis to disaster, our children, though grown, still dependent to some extent in these bad times for employment. We are lively, educated, used to relative affluence and a decent welfare state, but will work till we drop, as all this is taken from us and our hard-earned dosh subsidises companies kind enough to employ our children unpaid as ‘interns’. We shouldn’t put up with any crap from publishers, booksellers, advertisers or politicians.
Now some advice PLEASE folks! My comedy novel LYDIA BENNET’S BLOG is not strictly ‘boomer lit’ as the protagonist is young, but she’s recognisable to those of us who have been through the teen years of offspring or students. How to get this across to this readership, is another matter, and how to also reach youngsters who are forced to study Austen for exams before they are ready to enjoy her, another potential readership for the book (according to Lydia fan and education expert Dennis Hamley). The generations can bridge gaps, something publishers should realise.
So, Lydia’s cover. If the current one looks like a child’s book or is too amateur, I’m thinking of a typical ‘drawing’ style pic of a Regency girl/young woman, but she’s holding an iphone and keying in her blog entry. Of course there are no modern inventions in the book, but do people feel this will get across the ‘timeslip’ aspect, and make clear it’s not Darcy fanfic? Thanks!
Also THE ROTTING SPOT