Saturday, 26 August 2017

To Maynooth, thank you...

This time last year, I was gearing up to begin my Screenwriting Residency with Maynooth University and Kildare Co. Council Library & Arts Service, (supported by the Arts Council).
It was a wonderful experience, from the students and staff in the university and Kildare libraries to the space it afforded me to focus on some writing projects I hadn't had the time to complete. 
I published my first book, Dad's Red Dress during the second semester, and completed first drafts of three others. 

As a result of my Residency, my next next novel, The Angelica Touch, will come out in November. In addition, Write That Script! my new non-fiction screenwriting book, geared to help writers complete their first screenplay as painlessly and creatively as possible, is due out in October. 

There were the coffee shops and cafes in Maynooth that I was only just getting to know - too busy writing, teaching, running evening events, doing a couple of readings and mentoring students to do so until towards the end.

It took me until May to work out the best time to drive over - I normally got the train, and which was the best car park! 

 Oh Maynooth, I will miss you already but your legacy will live on in the acknowledgement pages of my next few books! (Dad's Red Dress is for sale still in the Maynooth Bookshop.) And in the friendships I have made. 
So a huge thanks to Lucina Russell of Kildare Co. Council Library & Arts Service, to Oona Fralwey and Maria Pramaggiore of Maynooth Uni, to Tracey O'Flaherty, Amanda Bent and Ann Byrne for your help through the year, to all the students and tutors and other writers I met during the year. Also to all the talented people who took part in the events I ran on indie film making and interactive and game narrative.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Prologues - love 'em or hate 'em?

What is it about prologues?Do you love or hate them? Dad’s Red Dress, my first published novel this year, had a prologue I loved. I only pulled it years after my first draft. It’s not in the finished book but I had a sneaky idea I might be able to squeeze it into the sequel. Now I’m working on that, I don’t think there’s any place for it.

Yet it gave my book its name. It said so much about the tone of the book and the central character and her dilemma and I still love that little short page. (I’ve attached it at the end so you can make up your own mind.)

So what about the novel I’m finishing now, The Angelica Touch? It had a prologue too but I completely forgot about it until I came upon an older draft. 
Back in 2012, I set up a First Chapters Club for writers to share chapters and everyone there loved my prologue. One said they wept with laughter. So why isn’t it in this draft? 
I’m not entirely sure but the event it describes was peeled out only in this draft, when an editor suggested it was too bizarre, especially as it contained on colourful character that never reappeared in the story.
Only now I'm torn. I’m gathering in feedback from beta readers, getting ready to do a final (is it ever a final?) edit and I’m feeling a little homesick for it. So I'm curious, what do other writers and readers think about prologues?

Prologue for Dad’sRed Dress

“Red or pink?”
Hi. My name is Jessie. My Dad is standing in front of me asking me to help him choose between two dresses. “Red.” It’s a no-brainer. And yes, my Dad.
 “Absolutely. It hides your knees.”
“What’s wrong with my knees?!”
Gramma says knees are the ugliest part of the human body, but Gaffa says that someone somewhere probably thinks knees are downright gorgeous. I’m not sure. You couldn’t call Dad’s knees gorgeous. Not even if you were, well, desperate and very, VERY short sighted.
And a bit crazy.
But I’m in one of my ‘nothing bothers me’ moods so I give him a hug and say, “Nothing. You have lovely knees.”
They’re very easily pleased, Dads. Give them a hug and they’ll believe anything. Don’t get me wrong – ‘cos people often do; it’s something about being nearly thirteen that makes everyone get you wrong - I love my Dad to bits. But sometimes when the ‘bits’ are heels as tall as well the tallest thing I can’t think of right now, then the ‘bits’ are a bit confusing.
“Red it is, so. Scarlett Johannson eat your heart out,” he says, whoever she is.
Or he.

You can’t be sure with parents.
And then he whips out two pairs of shoes. “Pumps or heels?”

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The joys of having a book out in the world!

One of the wonderful pleasures of being a published author is the people you meet on the way and the response you get to your work. If it was still sitting in my computer or lurking on a shelf in a sheaf of untidy pages, I'd be missing out on so much. 

On Thursday I dropped a copy of Dad's Red Dress into the library at the Ark for their library, one of the most exciting venues in Dublin for innovative art and theatre. I can remember going to the most amazing shows there - from drumming workshops to an entire riveting play by finger puppets to an audience with the wonderful Derek Landy, author of the Skullduggary series. 

Dads Red Dress, and especially Ponchinello the piranha, is so excited to be here The Ark Parrot and Giraffe were commissioned from J Bortoli and B Buckley back when The Ark opened in 1995. 

And, in case it's of interest, I'm available to meet with book clubs, give readings or workshops in schools or libraries or festivals on writing, visual storytelling, creating character, screenwriting and more... (See contact details below) 

Sample or purchase Dad's Red Dress from Smashwords here or from Amazon here  
Also available from select independent booksellers includng Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Galway, Maynooth Bookshop, Kildare and Books Upstairs, Dublin. 

Twitter: @DadsRedDress
Radio interview on Dublin South FM

Contact details:Lindsay J Sedgwick

Phone:+353 861663363