Friday, 28 November 2014

The Petrified Fountain

The Day I Meet Mr Nicholson

We 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

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Best-laid Plans...

The latest meeting of the Severn Valley Authors was held at Annie's on the 28th October. We were treated to Battenberg cake, wine and not one, but two of Annie's original stories for children - The Bed-Head and The Flea's Sneeze.

Latest news

As Tony's unable to attend November's meetings due to work commitments and Izzie has a birthday bash to attend on the 11th, the original plans for November and December's meeting(s) have changed. 11th November's meeting is now being held at Rob's with Rob to submit and, on the 25th we're over at Izzie's with Izzie to submit. Special note for Annie... please remember to turn up as Tony will be away!

On 9th December Tony will be hosting, with Chris or Linda to submit. The 16th December is the only date that remains unchanged and members of the SVA will be out and about somewhere in Bewdley (venue to be confirmed) for their annual Christmas bash.

Rob announced a date for our diaries - March 13th 2015 as the official Bewdley launch date for Out of Such Darkness. This will be held at St George's Hall and it's rumoured that Rob has also offered to cater. 

Izzie continues to blog and has recently become a member of Post 40 Bloggers.

Linda is currently reading Chris's manuscript and taking baby steps towards submitting her own book.

Annie is planning a follow-up to Polly Poodle's Pamperina and is attending a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators where she will be doing a presentation on animation.

The Bed-Head

Linda wondered what the mischievous 'Bed-Head' character might look like and loved this highly original idea. Rob liked the concept of a creature visiting during the night and messing up hair while you sleep and as he's been reading a lot of children's stories recently, he announced that he'd happily share this tale with his granddaughter. Tony thought the idea was an amusing one and pictured the 'Bed-Head' as an imp-like character. He also thought that it contained some great couplets that worked well. Izzie hadn't read anything of a similar nature and thought the idea very amusing indeed.

The Flea's Sneeze

Linda thought the idea that two boys were going on an adventure and discovering lots of unusual things was a great concept. Rob liked the structure and loved that the disagreeable George got his comeuppance at the end. Tony liked the relationship between the two boys and thought that sarcasm might be the way to go to make George a more likeable character. He also suggested a great alternative ending. Izzie loved the idea of an outdoor adventure for the two boys, but much preferred Tony's ending. 

Until next time...