Thursday, March 31, 2011

He's All Talk....

Oh dear god, do I really sound like that?

This is a question I find myself asking every Saturday around noon. Because I'm now on the radio.

Internet Radio, to be precise. As of about three weeks ago (first show was on Paddy's Day), I am hosting a half-hour Writing Magazine show on The show, aptly called Paul The Writer Talks To Himself, broadcasts to the internet-airwaves every Saturday.

The idea is fairly straight-forward - to provide a informative (and hopefully entertaining) resource for writers, celebrate all-thing-writing and to give advice (and not just from me, I hasten to add) on the practicalities such as getting an agent, writing for Film and TV and the pros and cons of Self-Publishing.

This week's show, going out on 2nd April at twelve o'clock, is about Writing For Film and I will be talking to Mark O'Connor, writer and director of the critically acclaimed 'Between The Canals' (which you can see in Dundrum from tomorrow). He will be chatting with me about how the film came to be, where he gets his ideas from and what motivates him as a writer and film-maker.

I would like the show to be as interactive as possible with comments, question, or generally slagging the hell out of me for overuse of the word 'basically'. So feel free to get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or email. You can also post messages on the show's messageboard. No bad language or bad grammar please...

Yes Paul, you do sound like that. Get used to it.

Feel free to listen to previous episodes of the show below. Yep, this is where the 'magic' happens.
(Apologies for the dodgy, and ridiculously long, American ads.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Am I an optimist? I hope so.

But yes, a week has passed and I am feeling somewhat more enthusiastic about the whole being-a-writer thing. Seven rejection-free days did help, it has to be said.

As did, in no small part, the completion of the aforementioned stage play 'Writing For Brahms', a comedy drama about four 'artistes' all looking for one small be loved and revered by the world.
The rewrite was finally finished yesterday (pancakes helped a lot, thank you Taste Food Company South William Street) after a six-day-marathon effort and at 5.28pm, I was standing in line at the post of office (very 'of-the-people' of me, I know) to dispatch it the Soho Theatre in London for their Verity Bargate Award competition.

And now...breathe.

Today's chipperness can also be attributed to meeting up with my 'international' writers group last night. Well, international-ish...Eva-in-Berlin-soon-heading-to-Munich, Maria-in-Monkstown-soon-heading-to-Finland..and me, Paul-in-Dublin-not-quite-managing-to-move-to-London. Group also consists of Alena but as she now lives in Melbourne, her attendance at the meetings has dropped off slightly (she didn't even bother showing up last night, the cheek). But, as ever, it was a highly funny, creative and inspirational get-together - I even came up with a fabulous title for a future novel. Gotta love brainstorming, really.

Speaking of which, I do now have the enviable task of deciding what my next masterpiece will be. Fellow writer and blogger MSD did point out that, of everything I've written over the years, my favourites seem to be things in which people aren't actually gruesomely murdered. (And as she's pretty much read everything I've written since Burning Matches - and patiently listened as I waxed lyrical about each and every one - her opinion's got to count for something.) But come on, I love killing off my characters! I'm only human!

So...what? A lighthearted comedy drama about two people who meet up once a year on St. Swithin's Day? No, that's been done. A TV drama about the goings-on in a Dublin restaurant? That one sounds vaguely familiar too.

Or maybe I'll take a few days off and play Xbox. Those zombies won't chop themselves up with chainsaws.

I wonder where I get the inspiration to kill off all my characters?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An outcome, an edit, a rewrite, a decision and yet another outcome.

That's my way of saying that, while I've been heartlessly neglecting you for the last month or so, there's been looooads going on 'behind the scenes'.

Which is true...kinda. The two outcomes were, in fact, remarkably similar in that they were both rejections. The most recent was just yesterday when I found out that novel 'Burning Matches' (remember that guy?) didn't win Poolbeg's 'Write-A-Bestseller' competition. Congrats to Siobhan McKenna, author of 'The Lingerie Designer' . The title suggests that it probably won't be my thing but, then again, I wouldn't have thought David Nicholls' 'One Day' was my thing either and I stayed up til three in the morning reading that.
The other 'Thanks-but-no-thanks', and one that hit me harder (or maybe the Poolbeg one just hasn't sunk in yet) was from Literary Agency Blake Friedmann on behalf of 'Square One'. I'll be honest, I did think I was at least going to get over the first hurdle on that one, due in no small part to the excellent recommendation it got from Accomplice TV. But hey, it's the 'real' rejections that make us stronger...or something.

But, not to worry, it's not all doom and gloom. I am today, after a brief sojourn to do some actual paid work (heaven forbid), starting the rewrite for 'Writing for Brahms', my first attempt at stage-writing. Needless to say, it wasn't quite the masterpiece I had decided it was the day I finished the first draft, but thanks to my ever-honest and pragmatic writers' group, I was shown, in no small detail, the error of my ways. So the re-write starts now, and not a minute too soon - it has to be on the desk of the Soho theatre by Friday week.

And lastly, the sad announcement that I have made the momentous decision not to proceed with writing the novel 'Lividity'. Having written the first three chapters, I've kinda 'fallen out of love with it'. It also might have something to do with a large part of it being about a person working in Dublin's new state-of-the-art crime lab...and then the other day, I came across the recently published 'Taboo' by Casey Hill, about a person working in Dublin's new state-of-the-art crime lab. Ouch. Can anyone spell 'Missed-The-Boat'?

Not to worry, the next novel is already stewing away in my brain ready to pop out just when I need it. Coz that's how creativity works, right?