Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Electronic age

Both volumes of "Bobby Carapisi" are now available on and I'm feeling good. This is my first straight-forward fiction piece that is geared solely to delving into the lives of two men who've undergone a traumatic experience and how each copes with it...or doesn't. In fact, since I don't get free copies of it for 60-90 days, I went ahead and ordered myself a set. So...I now have 5 books published and available for sale...and the first two HAVE been selling.

So far, HTRASG has sold about 900 copies. PM is around 350 copies sold. RIHC6 has just begun to sell and isn't anywhere near the magic 200 number yet; that's how many copies have to be sold before Nazca Plains starts paying royalties. Of course, the whole contract is geared to them doling out as little cash as they can and as slowly as possible, but I knew that going in. And the fact is, I wrote the first three books geared more to erotica (even though I can't do something as simple as that with my characters or stories) so they'd be willing to publish a more mainstream book like BC. My goal was simply to have it out there and available...and give me something tangible to show for all my work. A psyche boost, as it were.

And it's working, as is placing well in three script competitions. My attitude about my writing has gone from "Maybe I don't know what I'm doing and should quit" to "I'm good and if you can't see that, you're an idiot." I know how to tell a story, even if I DON'T follow Syd Field's ironclad laws of scriptwriting or Aristotle's definitive 3 act structure. Some of the greatest movies ever made and books ever written have ignored those restrictions and done their own damned thing and been the better for it.

So I'm no longer willing to explain why one script has a two-act structure while another is told in 5; that's just how they came out. Nor do I feel the need to pump a story up to meet the unrealistic demands of the ADD crowd. My stories and scripts and plays have their own ebbs and flows, a rhythm determined by the tale and the characters, and you either hop on board for the ride or you don't. After all, there are a lot of people out there who think "Citizen Kane" is wildly overpraised (I've heard that from a few too-kewl critics), "Seven Samurai" is too long and slow (I actually watched Robert Osborne say this to Rose McGowan after showing the movie on TCM! He should know better), the last act of "La Grande Illusion" is unnecessary (a German film professor), "War and Peace" is too long and archaic to read (complete nonsense put forth by an English Lit teacher who swore "Continental Drift" was the greatest book ever written), "Huckleberry Finn" is racist (more nonsense from those who never bothered to read it) and "Angela's Ashes" is a life-affirming novel worthy of a Pulitzer Prize (and never mind I was close to slashing my wrists after reading it).

I know, I know...I'm tacitly placing my work in the realm of the classics and vaguely comparing it favorably to them -- but you know what? I am and it is. Deal with it.

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