The Next Big Thing

I don’t know whether I should be slowing down, in the coming New Year, but I seem to be speeding up, all in the act of keeping my mind voraciously occupied, so it’s time for some action.
Therefore, thanks to the Sheffield Cowboy aficionado and sometimes writer of tales of the Wild West, Zack Wilson,for inviting me to take part in something called The Next Big Thing. It’s a promotional device by which an author is invited to answer ten set questions about his or her latest work-in-progress and then to tag three more authors who are also working on a new book. A bit like a chain letter, I suppose, but more self-indulgent and hopefully, a procrastination eliminator.
What’s the working title of your book?
You Don’t Get Buffalo in Tarzan Films
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Over the last one hundred years I have started and stalled many projects, novels, screenplays, plays, and of course short stories. So I am revisiting several of the short stories and compiling them into a book. The title story is based on an incident back in the seventies, when there was, unbeknownst to the masses, major social and industrial change taking place and as we entered into the eighties, that pending political revolution became clearer. The last Great Buffalo Massacre, also took place in Central Scotland during that time, and that event is the catalyst for all the other stuff, which touches on Cowboys and Indians, World War 2, destruction of the Unions and going to the local Spar for the messages.
What genre does your book fall under?
Scottish Contemporary Misanthropy
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
James Cosmo, to play the older guy and Martin Compston for the younger guy. Child actors would be required as the main protagonists, and it would be great to do the old Ken Loach approach on recruiting young fresh faces for those characters
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
White man speak with fork tongue, mostly.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
An agency, or if not, then nepotism, but, as is known for up and coming writers, or even, let’s say established writers, a good review in the Herald or the List is not going to happen anymore, so you have to go out there and submit that book, that screenplay, or play and if it is good it will get published, ( I have never been published, so I retract that last statement) but there are people out there, and I know who you are, who call your selves publishers, and will publicise the book, get you on TV AM , Loose Women, The One Show or any other canopy of intelligentsia, and talk shite about Hollywood being interested, a hundred thousand copies ready to roll, but needing seven grand up front and then another three grand for the launch, and that’s just what they do to young kids…..
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
17 years
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Agnes Owens, the most under-rated Scottish Writer (not my words) and she is my Maw (my words)
What other books would you compare the story to within your genre?
I have a unique voice…, seriously, most probably James Kelman or Duncan MacLean

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
A question came up recently in discussion about who is the writer, right now, who is telling the story of the impoverished, the put upon, or if one is on the other side of the fence, others might call them ,the wasters, the weak, or the curtain drawers, and then of course further afield, globally that is, our own ‘hardships’ are insignificant compared to other countries although , even as I write, that problem is getting closer to home. So the stories are about all that jiggerypokery with the usual sex and violence, humour and tears, dualism, and how the Christian faith has now been replaced with finger crossing.

The Three Writers that I would like to nominate for the next big thing are,
Sophie McCook
Sophie McCook is a scriptwriter, editor and teacher living in the north of Scotland. Her first novel The Panic Ruminations was written last year as an exercise in application; a one-thousand word chapter was published every day (excluding weekends! As the author says, ‘I’m only human!). Following the success of this bite-sized comedy, the novel has now been published in full and re-edited for even more comic pleasure.

John Ward

John F Ward is a writer. He now lives in Perth, Scotland, the town where he grew up. A graduate of Edinburgh University, where he studied philosophy and English, he taught English at the Royal High School, Edinburgh, and at Inverness College. He was born in Clydebank, a long time ago, grew up in Perth and went to school in Dundee. His published work consists of The Secret of the Alchemist (2003) and its sequels, The Stone of Sorrow (2004) and City of Desolation (2005) all published by Studio 9, and translated into French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Polish, Czech and Serbian. His latest book, “The Comet’s Child” is published by Strident in Autumn 2009

Lorna J Waite

DR. LORNA J. WAITE is a writer and researcher, author of The Steel Garden and one of the editors of ’the forthcoming Rethinking Highland Art: The Visual Significance of Gaelic Culture/Sealladh as ùr air Ealain na Gàidhealtachd: Brìgh Lèirsinn ann an Dualchas nan Gàidheal. She was born and brought up in the former steeltown and textile town of Kilbirnie in Ayrshire and educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Dundee. Her Ph.D. explored ‘The Industrial Clearances’ and the effect on folk memory and culture of de-industrialisation. She is a Gaelic learner, a peace activist and is involved with the Women for Independence group. She has never belonged to a political party and has been a lifelong supporter of Scottish independence and nuclear disarmament, active in Scottish CND and Trident Ploughshares.

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