Rob introduced the first chapter of his new book for the group's scrutiny at this weeks SVA meeting. In The Blossom and the Bee, we see Rob writing in a completely different style to his previous novel The Spaniard's Wife. He shows enormous versatility in his move from the Glasgow tenements to a New York suburb. The first chapter is written in a very relaxed style that is easy to read and shows great promise, although at one point i thought i was reading War and Peace when every character seemed to have more than one name. The ideas that Rob has for the book are interesting and exciting, but i don't think this first chapter does them justice. I think that starting with an 'in your face' excerpt from Cabaret would be much more striking. It would have visual and emotional impact and set the scene for German/Jewish tension. Good luck Rob.
We also talked about competitions during the meeting and the recent competition run by Chapter One Promotions. I have read some very negative feedback on various websites about them. It seems they don't always let people know when they are winners and some winners do not receive their prize money. I will personally check out any future competitions more carefully.