Editing Update

A quick note before I collapse in a pile, but quite a lot to fill you in on!

Firstly, things are happening apace with publicity. The official announcements etc will take place around Frankfurt, along with cover reveal etc! I’ve seen the mood board for the cover and it is S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G.

Secondly title will be changing. There are various reasons, not least that there is a wealth of ‘The…Daughter’ titles and we don’t want Isabella to be defined by her father. This feels like an important moment for the book – I’ve been working on it for a year and it’s a chance to give it a name that works for what it is now. When we’ve decided what it is, I will of course share!

And finally, today I FINISHED my last major edit. My wonderful editor Rachel has brought the manuscript on so far, and I feel incredibly excited about where it’s gone. It’s far more taut, more exciting, and more emotionally connective. So all good things. I’m going to send it to Rachel and Barry tomorrow for final comments, but most of the work is done (apart from copy-edits, proofs etc etc. So not really THAT done.)

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Right, I’m off to the pub to celebrate. Have a lovely week in the sunshine!

Saboteur Awards

I had the best Sunday EVER!

To start, I have to go back a week to the Sunday before. etch theatre approached me to write one of their Daily Plays. The concept was SIX writers, SIX days, SIX plays. Each writer is given a day, a paper, and twelve hours to write a play inspired by an article in the paper. I got Sunday and the Daily Mail.

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It was the morning after Eurovision so I started a bit late, and also bought a massive pack of loo roll to hide the paper! Flicking through was a chore in itself, but then I found this gem:

The Dalai Lama has announced that he wants to return as a ‘mischievous blonde woman’, as his official reincarnation looms (he is 80 in July).

Mail on Sunday, pg. 31

And that sparked my play INCARNATE. Six hours later, I sent the script to actor Meghan Treadway and director Bella Loudon. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it down from Oxford to see the rehearsals on Monday, but on Sunday I was lucky enough to catch the dress rehearsal. I was incredibly nervous – this is only my second play, and the first I’ve seen performed – but within a couple of lines I relaxed. Bella and Meghan had done an incredible job. I actually really, really enjoyed it and it’s given me a lot of confidence in my playwriting. Here are a couple of pictures from the dress:

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Then Tom and I had to dash off to the Saboteur Awards. As I’ve been incredibly lax in my blogging, you won’t know that the magazine run by my poetry publisher, Lighthouse, was shortlisted for Best Literary Magazine, OE was shortlisted for Best One-Off Event, and The Charnel House and Furies were shortlisted for Best Anthology. The event itself was held at Vout-O-Reenees, an amazing basement bar that did a mean Old Fashioned.

It was lovely to meet up with friends, and also put actual faces to Facebook friends and twitter handles. And even more wonderously, Lighthouse won its category, OE came first runner-up to the phenomenal 52 Project, Furies was runner-up in best anthology and The Charnel House WON!

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I am beyond proud to have been involved in all these events/publications, and especially proud of Tom de Freston, who is the most innovative person I know, as well as talented and so supportive of art in all its forms. If you haven’t read the (award-winning!) The Charnel House, click here.

The rest of Sunday was spent trying to steal Tom’s champagne, and drinking celebratory martinis with my parents. I’ve come down with a stinking cold (my body shuts down if I have too much fun), but it was utterly worth it. Full list of winners here: http://www.saboteurawards.org/

Sabotage Reviews (which runs the Saboteur Awards and was founded by the glorious Claire) is a web-based platform that seeks to give innovative/unusual poetry/ poetry formats, short stories and novellas etc a space to shine. Basically everything that doesn’t ‘fit’ in mainstream media criticism. It’s one of the most exciting places on the internet and I fully recommend it.