Tag Archives: ABC Tales

Lily Poole by Jack O’Donnell

How much is too much to spend on a book? As with so much in life, George Orwell has already considered and quantified the answer for you. That said, I imagine the ideal price of a book is different for all of us and, while I love picking up the out-of-copyright classics and browsing through the 99p list on Amazon, for me – for a new-ish book I have a real hankering to read – the sweet spot is around a fiver. Perhaps it is a relic of all those book tokens I used to get for birthdays and Christmases.

So how much would you spend for a book that hasn’t been written or printed yet? Unbound is a concept akin to Kickstarter, for both established and new authors who are seeking funding for new works of fiction or non-fiction. They have already created a bit of a splash with their backing of Paul Kingsnorth’s Man Booker Prize-longlisted The Wake. For the readers, it is about becoming more than a consumer, being a talent-spotter perhaps, or paying it forward. You may even gain the opportunity to name a character…

And for the writers? As Miranda Ward writes in her Unbound-published and utterly brilliant book F**k The Radio, We’ve Got Apple Juice:

This whole idea is fundamentally about sustaining yourself, as a creative type, so that you can create more. Ultimately, it’s always about the creative output, and the act of creating, not about the money, the money is simply what allows that process of creation to occur unfettered.

Of course, to be successful at this you need to – let’s be real, here – milk your contacts list for all its worth. You need benefactors, patrons and preferably rich ones, as every Renaissance artist knew. Or you need your idea to resonate with many, many people, so that they see fit to bung you a tenner. In these straitened times, that’s no mean feat. But if anyone is worthy of a portion of your hard-earned, it’s ABCtales writer Jack O’Donnell.

Jack

His novel-to-be Lily Poole, ‘a ghost story without a ghost’, is currently at 47% with an array of different pledge rewards available. Here is the pitch:

Lily Poole breaks the mould of horror fiction to ask serious and urgent questions about society and psychology, and does it while telling a gripping story about murder and deception, about Scotland and mental health, and about love and family.

There’s also an excerpt from the book available on the pledging page and I am sure it will whet your appetite for more. Which will be forthcoming, if enough of us stick some cash in the hat. Articles on the future of books and publishing are often full of doom and gloom, and who knows where things will eventually end. I wouldn’t want to venture any predictions. Other than to say that Unbound offers an alternative, a chance to discover books from outside mainstream publishing – such as their recent ‘Women in Print’ initiative – and to follow them from idea to realisation. How could any book lover resist?

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Filed under Minitrue

You never forget your first time

image

Me, holding a copy of the first short story I have had published
Tokyo – 30 January 2012

It feels every bit as good as everything that led me to start writing promised it would.  Thanks to everyone who has read and offered advice on one of my stories, it means more than you will likely ever know.

If you would like a copy of your own, it is available here

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Filed under The Golden Country

Weekend reading

Taking advantage of the extra day off in Japan this week to work on something a little longer, so here are a couple of my short stories from writers’ site ABC Tales, What passes for romance and Let’s Start Again.  I hope you enjoy them.

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Filed under The Golden Country

A long way to travel

How happy these lads must have been when they were really miserable; they said to themselves: ‘What a bit of luck! A good line will be born!’

Jean-Paul Satre, Words

Writers are lucky because there is almost nothing that can’t be turned into a good story.  Very little remains unexamined, it all provides grist to the mill.

In that vein, I have written a short story for the ABC Tales competition, Let’s Start Again.

While my good friend, the 3 eyed boy, recounts:

One really great day; a day filled with the anxious thrill and aching

And there is a more scientific discussion of the whole phenomenon here, which concludes:

No doubt, trapeze artists must have complicated and compelling love lives

I would add writers too, even if the only trapeze ropes they swing from are metaphorical.  I hope you enjoy the results of our falling and leaping.

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Filed under The Golden Country