Sunday, 2 June 2013

Meeting at the Moles 

Another successful meeting of the Severn Valley Authors took place at the Moles’ (Chris and Linda) home yesterday evening. Rob couldn’t attend because he was sunning himself on a Spanish beach, Chris had to go to bed at 8.30 because of a very early start the next morning and Annie, looking extremely unwell, slept through most of the evening. We all hope she is feeling better now.

Jane: Jane was paid by Brit Mums for her holiday blogs and was featured as ‘blog of the day’. Well done Jane. She also told us about a blog called Rebel Mouse where she has volunteered to showcase SVA.
Annie: Annie reports that she has learned a lot about writing for children in her six week course at the Custard Factory. She has been inspired by her tutor’s picture book Don’t Panic Anneka.
Linda: Linda has entered her short story Telling the Bees for the Bridport prize and is awaiting feedback on her novel A Head Full of Budgerigars.
Chris: Chris has recently given two talks about his bicycle ride to China and has sold a record number of his book Why Don’t You Fly. William (Linda’s son) has filmed one of the talks with a view to posting it on YouTube. Progress on Karl Marx and Careful Driving is slow at the moment because of Chris’s heavy workload.
Tony: Tony has entered his short story The Idea of Marmalade for the Bridport Prize, so hopefully one of us will come somewhere. Tony also had the great news that he has been invited to Halifax, Nova Scotia to teach Family Therapy. No mother-in-law jokes, Tony – they don’t get it.

Eating the SVA cake

Reading: We were all excited to hear the first chapter of Tony’s novel – as yet unnamed. This was an experimental piece to gauge our reactions. As usual we were full of good advice! We were all a bit confused and Chris said it felt like solving a riddle. Annie said there were too many unexplained mysteries and rather too many characters introduced at one time. Jane felt the characters seemed rather naïve. Linda said that she was intrigued by the mystery and like everyone else wondered if it was set in the future. She also suggested there might be a sense of underlying menace, particularly with regard to the intelligencers.
Tony replied that it was all a mystery to him because the plot and characters were still undecided. However he did explain that the story wasn’t set in the future but in a parallel world where the Norman Conquest hadn’t happened and people were still Anglo-Saxon, under the rule of King Edgar IV, hence the Anglish language. He answered our questions about the intelligencers – they are government spies. This is a really original and interesting idea and we all look forward to reading more.

The intelligencers


  1. Sorry I couldn't be there. Tony's novel sounds innovative and challenging. There's been lots of if-Hitloer-had-won-the-war books but nothing on Harold not getting it in the eye and winning the Battle of Hastings. It's a long time for the parallel world to deviate from the one we recognise today - gives you lts of leeway, Tony.
    I can't imagine starting without a plan but plenty of published authors use this method. I'm looking forward to reading Ch 2.

  2. Thanks for the encouraging comments, Rob. I heard an interview with the great Edna O'Brien in which she said it takes her about three years to write a book. With a full-time job and other commitments, I imagine it could take me three decades, so don’t hold your breath for Chapter 2!
    I love the illustrations in the blog. Those intelligencers look pretty spooky.