We had a very enjoyable SVA meeting at Annie's flat on the 7th February - in great part due to the excellent cake.
Rob read an extract from 'The Sting Inside'. He was interested to know how we felt about his new approach to tackling the rather complicated back-story of how the English family came to be living in America. He did this very efficiently by incorporating an article about the family in the 'Burford Buzz' (a local social gossip magazine) written shortly after their arrival. I thought this worked very well. The article was light and amusing and it highlighted the American curiosity about the English.
Annie felt that Rob had introduced the story and characters in an original way that would grab the interest of readers. Clive commented that this type of magazine produced the sort of stuff that he hangs on a nail behind the toilet door. Chris felt that Rob had devised an ingenious way of setting the scene, but asked if this should be the introduction or a prologue. Tony commented that the solution to the long-winded back-story was 'inspirational' and more believable than the writing competition line. We mostly agreed that the change of name from Jon Vidler to Jay Shapiro was a good thing.
Annie has entered the Reader's Digest 100 words competition. Good luck, Annie!
Rob has applied to Room 204:
'Room 204 is for emerging* writers living or working in the West Midlands who are looking for career development. It will support 15 -20 writers per year. We will offer each writer at least a year of support, including meetings and planning sessions in the first year, with follow up contact in subsequent years.'
I have looked at the website and it looks like a fantastic opportunity and it's free. Good luck, Rob. I hope they accept you.
Clive received a cheque for £25 for his Homity Pie recipe in 'Take A Break' and has had an article printed in 'Mensa' magazine. Splendid!
Chris gave a fabulous talk at the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster where tickets were sold out and he sold nineteen books. At Stroud's Cotswold Playhouse Theatre on 17th February he had an audience of sixty and sold sixteen books.
Last but not least, if our friends in Canada are following this blog, I would like to say to Lisa how much I enjoyed her father's story 'Fool's Paradise'. I promise to be more proactive about keeping in touch in the future!