The Day I Meet Mr NicholsonWe found ourselves at Annie's once again, after a quick change of venue, to hear Rob read the fourth chapter of The Petrified Fountain. The Day I Meet Mr Nicholson builds on the intrigue in the first three chapters and increases our sense of unease around the character of Mr Cross, the story's protagonist. The meeting between Cross and Nicholson, a private detective hired to investigate Cross's true parentage, has echoes of Raymond Chandler, the mastermind of that great detective Sam Spade. We all felt that Rob had created a wonderfully creepy character in a very show and not tell way. Cross's obsessive behaviour is demonstrated beautifully when the detective enters his office and places his bowler hat on Cross's desk: 'The symmetry between the unblemished blotting pad in front of me, the Trimphone in reach of my left hand and the set of company-crested coasters to my right is broken. The dome of his hat squats as if it's hiding something.'
We all agreed that the pace was a little bit slow but excellent for a first draft. I look forward to hearing more of this story.
We were a very small group because Tony, Izzie and Chris were unable to attend.
Annie has recently attended the SCBWI Conference where she made some good contacts and received positive feedback regarding her rhyming story books for children. She also gained some useful tips from an established children's writer after winning two critiques of her manuscripts.
Rob recovered manfully from a dose of the flu to give a presentation to the Mistley Book Lovers Dining Club where he sold copies of 'No Mean Affair'.
Linda has (since the meeting) received news from the agent who had shown some interest in her novel 'A Head Full of Budgerigars' that 7 months later she was no longer interested.
December 9th at Rob's - Chris to submit
December 16th at Pomodoros
January 13th at Tony's - Linda to submit