Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tips For a Book Proposal

This list applies to Non-Fiction and Fiction.

1 - What is your subject? Where would you find it on the bookstore shelf?

2 - What is the book's function? Entertain, inform?

3 - Which readers do you have in mind? Be specific and as narrow as you can be, such as 'men who work from home' or 'readers interested in the works of Stephen King'.

4 - Who are you? Experience, qualifications etc.

5 - What are the main alternatives? Why does your one differ?

6 - Would your book fit the agents/publishers list? Basic research should tell you the answer to that one.

7 - How would you support the marketing of the book? The cheaper the better.

8 - Who could endorse your book? David Beckham or your mother?

Other things to consider are:
- Does the book have enough energy to keep people turning the pages
- Is it focused on meeting its goals and its readers needs

Can you answer all, or some, of these questions as you write your story?

adapted from 'The Perfect Proposal' by Tony Collins in 'Christian Writer' Summer 2010. Tony Collins is publisher of Monarch Books

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The End of the World

2012, according to a reading of a Mayan prophecy, is the year the world ends. But which one?

When people talk about the end of the world, they assume that the world will die and all human life will cease to exist. But will it?

One definition of 'end of the world', is that a particular society comes to an end. Communism's world ended in 1991, but humanity wasn't wiped out.

In some cases the people were wiped out, as is the case with some Caribbean tribes when Europeans turned up.

In many cases, however, the end of the world is not the end of life, just a change of direction and the leaving behind of old ways and methods.

Humanity may be wiped out in 2012, or it may not.

Alternatively, nothing will happen at all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Weeks and Counting.

In just over two weeks we have the first night of the play.

I have my lines almost perfect, my positions on stage just about right and my costumes ready. The props are coming together as well as I've just built a cine camera...from cardboard.

We can also start storing props at the hall as the previous play has finished and the 'vault' is free for us to use.

Other people have got their parts organised, their lines learned (with only a few faults), and their movements planned. Given the sorry state the play was in a month ago, we've done well. It's looking like we will be putting on one of the best performances in a long time.

On the writing front I am getting published every week in Hub via book reviews, whilst I am getting more work in for my PC business. My house situation is also looking better.

The year is looking up.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gas Mask

Last night's rehearsal was great: and I wore a gas mask.

I didn't wear it to hide my lovely face, but to raise a laugh. I'd suggested the idea to one of the directors last week and she'd said that we ought to try it. Eventually, one of the cast members discovered one amongst her husband's junk (why do women always call men's nic nacs junk, but call their collections decorations?)

Towards of the end of the first act, the Artemis Players put on a performance of MacBeth in a pub. The witches scene calls for smoke and someone overdoes the smoke causing the cast, and the prompter (Reggie, who I'm playing) to cough. That's when I bring out the gas mask.

As it is set in 1940, someone having a gas mask to hand is quite believable.

When I put it on people laughed. When I lifted it up to do my prompting (by saying 'wrong') they laughed some more.

Seems like a good idea.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Video's Out

It is done.

The promotional video (created by me) for 'We Happy Few' is out on youtube.

Come and see it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We Happy Few

The play is entering the final rehearsal stage and we're ready to go.

We're almost word perfect now, which, with three weeks to go, is great. After all the problems we had at first, it's good to get near the end of the rehearsal schedule. The costumes are almost ready, as are the props.

The youtube video will be ready by the end of the week too and I'll post the link here when I'm done.

On the writing front, I am now part of the regular Dr Who review team for Hub Magazine, as well as doing my usual books.

I get the feeling that this year is going to end up being a good one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exciting Times

Has it been so long since I was here? Yep. Why? I'm glad you asked.

I have been writing a number of book and film reviews for Hub Magazine, and have now been commissioned to write weekly reviews, alongside others on a rota, about the latest series of Dr Who. The first one, on episode two, should be out this week.

I'm very pleased that not only was I asked, but that I also got the review in before the deadline...well, 10 minutes before the deadline anyway.

I'm can't wait to find out what will happen next.

On other news...there isn't any.