Fletchski has a new site!

Greetings all you wonderful Lobsterites.

I’ve a lovely new blog over at http://fletchski.wordpress.com Why don’t you pop over and have a look at all the stuff I’ve been up to lately?

Cheers.

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Volume: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair

I just grabbed this straight from the Writing West Midlands newsletter. It looks like a great opportunity for independent book publishers. I know there are a lot of great books out there produced with love and care by independent publishers, but I’m sure I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. I think it would be great to see as many of them as possible, all under one roof, in the stunning new Birmingham Central Library.

If you are an independent publisher, or know one, get them to check this out, I’d love to see them there.

Opportunity for Publishers to exhibit at first Library of Birmingham Art, Book & Print Fair in December 2013
Stalls available at the first Volume fair: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair at the Library of Birmingham. 
December 5 – 7, 2013.
Writing West Midlands is helping to curate this wonderful weekend of panels, workshops and stalls focusing around publishing, printmaking and art and all points in between. This will be an event of international profile and ambition, including speakers, panel discussions, workshops and a fair, selling books, prints and artwork from an international selection of independent publishers, printworks, artists and organisations. The event aims to showcase and celebrate the very best in independent publishing, artist books and zines, whilst also interrogating issues central to publishing culture.
Stalls cost £60 for two days (Friday & Saturday) and are located in the stunning new Studio Theatre space within the Library of Birmingham. If you are interested in taking up a stall at the fair, email admin@capsule.org.uk.

Cuckoo

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I’ve only just stumbled across this. Cuckoo has been going for just over a year and is a literary magazine aimed at young writers, writers under 19. The magazine is looking for submissions in short fiction, poetry, screenplays, reviews, rants and they say if what you write isn’t listed send it along anyway as they may be interested in it.

I wish there’d been something around like this when I was under 19 (many centuries ago,) so if you are, or know a young writer send them this way and get them to share their work with the world.

To visit the Cuckoo website just click

10 to 1 Survival of the Lit(est)

Pigeon Park Press have set themselves a challenge: to produce a novel using ten authors over a year. Starting in May 2013 each of the ten authors will write a 1000 words on their character and each month a character will be voted off until only one is left.

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This sounds like a very interesting project indeed, Big Brother meets Pulp Fiction (the cheap fiction magazines of the early 20th century not the Tarantino movie,) something that could be great fun and quite manageable, at only a 1000 words a month, the trick will be not getting voted off. So its a popularity contest for writers? Maybe not writers but definitely for writing. I imagine who ever writes the most engaging prose, with the most intriguing character, will win, although organisers have said that ‘cliff-hanger’ endings, to get readers voting for the next instalment, will not be allowed.

pigeon Park Press tested the water with this idea when they produced Full Fathom Five another collaborative novel that should be out early this year.

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I think I’m going to throw my hat into the ring for this one, it sounds like fun and you never know I could be last writer standing?

Check out the Pigeon Park Press site for details and give it a go.

The Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing

The following ten questions (and my stab at answering them) form part of The Next Big Thing. If you don’t know what this is, it’s simply an opportunity to tell the world about your current writing project. And when you’ve finished answering the ten questions below you get to tag other people, who do the same.

Its my turn to answer and then tag three other writing friends – so advance apologies to Ryan Davis, Andy Winter and Yasmin Ali.

I was tagged by Richard Lakin. Richard is a tremendous writer with a love of pugilism and rail travel. You can check out Richard’s knock out work Richard Lakin

So, Garrie, what’s your next big thing?

I’m just putting the finishing touches to a short story I’m sending to the BBC’s Writers Room as part of their Opening Lines competition, it has to be in by Friday so I really shouldn’t be doing this now. Prior to that I sent a short story off to Cinnamon Press and another to the Stroke Association for their celebratory publication around the theme of 20 as they’ve been around for, yes, you guessed it, twenty years. I just had two poems published in the Offa’s Press anthology, ‘We’re All In This Together’ and I’ve another in the Earth Love anthology this Spring. Twisted between all this are bursts of keyboard activity as I try to finish my novel.

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1) What is the working title of your book?

The book has had a number of titles since I started it including, Here Come the Lobsters, (the very title of this blog) Spoon Squad and currently Going Underground. Going Underground was a reference to the classic Jam song but also a reference to a series of tunnels that had a prime position in the narrative. I’ve since filled in the tunnels so the title could change again.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came from me head! Like, straight out from between me ears and onto the page. Ugh, that sounds messy which is apt as it came from what can be a messy profession. In the early 90’s I was working in a care home in Northampton, my home town. It was a real eye opener. Not just because of the people that lived there, who were challenging, frightening and wonderful but also because of the people who worked with them. I worked in a number of places during the 90’s in Northampton and Birmingham but it was the thought of setting something in my home town that dealt with these people that live on the edges of society that really excited me.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

I’m not sure. Its dark with light touches of humour and very urban. Literary fiction sounds a bit pompous to me. It’s just a cracking tale of unrequited love, with psychotic Polish gangsters and large doses of piss stained laundry thrown in for good measure. I find genres quite hard to pin down sometimes and not altogether useful. I’ve just finished Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane, which is set in the near future in a fictional west coast Irish city. Now you might class it as science fiction but your average sci-fi enthusiast wouldn’t be best pleased if they took it home (no spaceships or gadgetry,) or you could call it speculative fiction, but it could just as easily be called historical fiction (this makes sense if you’ve read it.) I think I’d best get it finished first before I start worrying about genres.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There are three main characters: Miles who’s in his early twenties and struggling with being unemployable as a photographer despite four years of studying; Sophia, a gorgeous Polish volunteer trying to lay her grandfather’s ghost to rest and Vince a twisted mass of muscle and hatred trying to kill his past. Miles would be played by Robert Sheehan of Misfits and Red Riding fame as he has emotional depth, gobbyness and isn’t too pretty. I’d have Jelka van Houten play Sophia, she’s possibly not young enough but I thought she was marvellous in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. You’d need a very physical actor to play Vince, someone with a brutal physique ( or the ability to bulk up ) and commanding voice, with that in mind I’d go for Tom Hardy from this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, you’d never think he was the same guy who started out in Band of Brothers.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

High Fidelity meets Shallow Grave. No, that’s the elevator pitch. Let’s see. Spencer House is home to the broken souls that slip through the cracks; the troubled, the violent, but they shouldn’t worry you; the people who work there should.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I want to go down the traditional route with this. I want it to be good enough for someone to put their own backing behind it. That said I’ve seen some really good self published books out there so I wouldn’t discount it out of hand.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Too long.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Tough question. When I started writing it I was heavily influenced by David Peace’s Red Riding books but I’ve moved away from that and found a voice of my own. I’d like it to be comparable with a good Kevin Barry short story, but obviously longer, or Irvine Welsh with less drugs and Scottish accents.

9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?

When I worked in care I found that despite the residents, or service users as we now call them, unique range of disabilities, syndromes and behaviours that the people who worked with them were often more interesting and harder to understand. One person in particular stayed with me years after I’d left and I wondered what it was that lead him to work with such vulnerable people. So I took him as a starting point and then mutated it into a twisted story of unrequited love and Polish gangsters.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Ah but surely the promise of urine drenched bed sheets is enough? My book will offer an insight into the world of private care. The less than honourable dealings of some of the people that run these homes and the transient characters that work there. Its filled with romance, angst, brutal violence, a quest for the truth and a butt clenching climax. Nuff said.

It’s tag time:

I’m tagging three fellow writers: Ryan Davis, Andy Winter and Yasmin Ali. Three very different writers and very busy people, so I hope they don’t mind. Cheers in advance guys.

The Next Big Thing

Next Big Thing

The following ten questions (and my stab at answering them) form part of The Next Big Thing. If you don’t know what this is, it’s simply an opportunity to tell the world about your current writing project. And when you’ve finished answering the ten questions below you get to tag other people, who do the same.

Its my turn to answer and then tag three other writing friends – so advance apologies to Ryan Davis, Andy Winter and Yasmin Ali.

I was tagged by Richard Lakin. Richard is a tremendous writer with a love of pugilism and rail travel. You can check out Richard’s knock out work Richard Lakin

So, Garrie, what’s your next big thing?

I’m just putting the finishing touches to a short story I’m sending to the BBC’s Writers Room as part of their Opening Lines competition, it has to be in by Friday so I really shouldn’t be doing this now. Prior to that I sent a short story off to Cinnamon Press and another to the Stroke Association for their celebratory publication around the theme of 20 as they’ve been around for, yes, you guessed it, twenty years. I just had two poems published in the Offa’s Press anthology, ‘We’re All In This Together’ and I’ve another in the Earth Love anthology this Spring. Twisted between all this are bursts of keyboard activity as I try to finish my novel.

20121214-161656.jpg

1) What is the working title of your book?

The book has had a number of titles since I started it including, Here Come the Lobsters, (the very title of this blog) Spoon Squad and currently Going Underground. Going Underground was a reference to the classic Jam song but also a reference to a series of tunnels that had a prime position in the narrative. I’ve since filled in the tunnels so the title could change again.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It came from me head! Like, straight out from between me ears and onto the page. Ugh, that sounds messy which is apt as it came from what can be a messy profession. In the early 90’s I was working in a care home in Northampton, my home town. It was a real eye opener. Not just because of the people that lived there, who were challenging, frightening and wonderful but also because of the people who worked with them. I worked in a number of places during the 90’s in Northampton and Birmingham but it was the thought of setting something in my home town that dealt with these people that live on the edges of society that really excited me.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

I’m not sure. Its dark with light touches of humour and very urban. Literary fiction sounds a bit pompous to me. It’s just a cracking tale of unrequited love, with psychotic Polish gangsters and large doses of piss stained laundry thrown in for good measure. I find genres quite hard to pin down sometimes and not altogether useful. I’ve just finished Kevin Barry’s City of Bohane, which is set in the near future in a fictional west coast Irish city. Now you might class it as science fiction but your average sci-fi enthusiast wouldn’t be best pleased if they took it home (no spaceships or gadgetry,) or you could call it speculative fiction, but it could just as easily be called historical fiction (this makes sense if you’ve read it.) I think I’d best get it finished first before I start worrying about genres.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There are three main characters: Miles who’s in his early twenties and struggling with being unemployable as a photographer despite four years of studying; Sophia, a gorgeous Polish volunteer trying to lay her grandfather’s ghost to rest and Vince a twisted mass of muscle and hatred trying to kill his past. Miles would be played by Robert Sheehan of Misfits and Red Riding fame as he has emotional depth, gobbyness and isn’t too pretty. I’d have Jelka van Houten play Sophia, she’s possibly not young enough but I thought she was marvellous in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat. You’d need a very physical actor to play Vince, someone with a brutal physique ( or the ability to bulk up ) and commanding voice, with that in mind I’d go for Tom Hardy from this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, you’d never think he was the same guy who started out in Band of Brothers.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

High Fidelity meets Shallow Grave. No, that’s the elevator pitch. Let’s see. Spencer House is home to the broken souls that slip through the cracks; the troubled, the violent, but they shouldn’t worry you; the people who work there should.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I want to go down the traditional route with this. I want it to be good enough for someone to put their own backing behind it. That said I’ve seen some really good self published books out there so I wouldn’t discount it out of hand.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Too long.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Tough question. When I started writing it I was heavily influenced by David Peace’s Red Riding books but I’ve moved away from that and found a voice of my own. I’d like it to be comparable with a good Kevin Barry short story, but obviously longer, or Irvine Welsh with less drugs and Scottish accents.

9) Who or What inspired you to write this book?

When I worked in care I found that despite the residents, or service users as we now call them, unique range of disabilities, syndromes and behaviours that the people who worked with them were often more interesting and harder to understand. One person in particular stayed with me years after I’d left and I wondered what it was that lead him to work with such vulnerable people. So I took him as a starting point and then mutated it into a twisted story of unrequited love and Polish gangsters.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Ah but surely the promise of urine drenched bed sheets is enough? My book will offer an insight into the world of private care. The less than honourable dealings of some of the people that run these homes and the transient characters that work there. Its filled with romance, angst, brutal violence, a quest for the truth and a but clenching climax. Nuff said.

It’s tag time:

I’m tagging three fellow writers: Ryan Davis, Andy Winter and Yasmin Ali. Three very different writers and very busy people, so I hope they don’t mind. Cheers in advance guys.