Thursday, June 29, 2006

WYRDWOOD: Next chapter up...

For those of you who are following BADABLINGTHING's sister site, WYRDWOOD, the next chapter of The Skinny Twig Man has been posted on there. If you've missed the first chapter, don't worry, it's early days, and even the most numptified of readers should be able to follow the rather sinister gothic tale. In this chapter we're introduced to the leads in the book, Emily and Casper, two well-meaning kids who can't help but attract trouble (like all the best leads should). Thanks to all of you who've already posted your thoughts on the WYRDWOOD site and even mailed me your comments- it's hugely appreciated.

The version of the story that I'm publishing on the blog is very close to the finished edit, with the odd typo alas I notice, but nothing that should detract from the story. Anyway, am going to shut up now. Hope you all like!

Bada Bling!


paulhd said...

Early/later edits? Does Wyrdwood (almost wrote wormwood there) have a publisher?
I was talking to a friend of mine and telling him about your blog, turns out he loves your picture books, he's one of the folk responsible for picking what children's titles Waterstone's carry so he's a good person to have on your side.
Better read the new chapter tomorrow, it's bedtime and I don't want to be too scared to sleep!
PS Ta for the link!

Jo Bling said...

OK, situation with edits is that I must have done about four or five drafts. What you're seeing on the blog is one of the later edits (as supervised by my literary agent, Laura Cecil) but with having packed up the house for showing and hopefully sale I don't know where all my definitive drafts are. I know. Disorganised much?

I'd certainly be interested in talking to your friend who works with Waterstones. We showed the manuscript to a publisher a while back but didn't pursue things. I'd obviously love to get it out there but, as ever, am juggling lots of things at once.

INJun suggested trying to get it published at Cafe Press, which is certainly a thought.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

There's also not just CafePress, but if you want the whole barcode part and package there's (you really need to get yourself a barcode and listings at Amazon for your book). Quick google up how you go about getting your number and then check out the deals Amazon have for listing your book (they do like yearly charges...something like that).

I don't know what the whole score is with CafePress (not being a user, just mentioned them because you use them for merchandise and I noticed they also print), I'm sure they're great, but it's just an example of how you could reach print demands.

Shop around. In this day and age of accessability, self publish is not something that's confused with the 'vanity publishing' of yesteryear.

"Word of Mouth" is the new agent for the new era. We live more and more in a world where we don't let want the individual at a publishing house deciding what we read and don't read.

And if the public picks up any of your Wyrdwood books, and they tell a friend about the books, and so on and so forth, then they'd be a very wise public indeed.

paulhd said...

My own children's book (first chapter at end of shameless plug) went through 5 drafts, it must be the magic number!
I'll pass the link for Wyrdwood to my friend, as you can imagine he gets an awful lot of stuff to read but that's where the blog use comes in very handy - nice easy to digest instalments - and, as I say, he likes your picture books.
INJ has a good point about word of mouth and the internet. I saw a pretty good zombie novel online (can't remember the address or the book title now though, doh!) that got picked up by a publisher after a lot of fan feedback.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Also, Penny Arcade did incredibly well for Dark Horse. A lot of that was down to the fact that it had a huge online following.

The power of the internet. A field of dreams. If you build it ... they will come. And all that nonsense.

justinpatrickparpan said...

“Closer inspection revealed a thin, scratchy figure leaping across the page. An innocent stick man?”

This passage is brilliant, as was the rest of the chapter sir. As an average American Joe, I’m really loving the unique charm of that singular British dialogue. It’s what attracts me to the works of chaps like Neil Gaiman, and it’s one of the main appeals I find in your own style.

Keep up the inspring work Mr. Bling. Cant wait to dive into the next chapter.

Jo Bling said...

Paul- was the online zombie novel ZOMBIE CHRONICLES? I saw that blog on blogspot the other day, didn't have time to read it (being a novel and all) but was intrigued to see a blogger had put it up. Thanks for passing the link on to your friend, I'd certainly love to hear his thoughts too. As for 5 being the magic number, it takes quite a strong stomach to have to edit one's work when you're told your 100,000 word novel is 30,000 words too long, as was my case. Managed to cut it down and then the next three drafts were all tinkering with the story, language and character directives. Shall check out your novel blog, squire, forthwith.

INJun- the internet is indeed a mighty ally to get one's story/book/project off the ground, especially in the right hands. Hope it'll be the case here. That said, if you want to crack it in publishing you can't beat a literary agent at the end of the day. Think it'll be a while until anything else can compete with a competent agent.

Justin- you're a sweetheart, sir! Does the story sound especially British to you, then? I guess it's set in the British Isles, although exactly when is kept as vague as possible throughout the tale.

My inspiration quite simply comes from horror. As a kid I was always fascinated to the "n"th degree by things that kept me up at night, scared me, chilled me, frightened me. I could never resist watching horror films, werewolves being my favourite horror big bad, although vampires, zombies and other macabre beasties have always got my blood up. Although I want to write kids books they never move too far away from that original inspiration.


paulhd said...

Oh I'm all about the werewolves! Zombies come a close second though.
Not Zombie Chronicles but I had a quick blunder round and found it
Lucky for me my novel was a short one aimed at younger readers (6-9 I guess) so the word count's nowhere near as big, still, it felt like I was gnawing limbs off everytime I edited down.

Jo Bling said...

Paul- Talking of all things zomboriffic, I've just been mailed by a nice chap called Nik Holmes who has his own zombie site up and running which I have to say looks fab. Think he might be interested in featuring FRANKS CAT on there in some way shape or form. Can I suggest you all check out ZOMBIEDOLLARS:

Nice chap with a website to match!

You're not wrong on the gnawing off of limbs- it can be quite painful to self-edit, but at least you can then say that they're all YOUR cuts rather than someone else's.

paulhd said...

Zombies Dollars is looking good, thanks for the heads up.
Hope you'll be checking out Bob Fingerman's 'Recess Pieces' when it comes out, some good looking zombies in there.

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