Book Extract – Identity: Cry Sies!

Identity: Cry Sies.

The almost familiar country of Sarfricar is about to get a New President, and he’s a Manchester United Supporter! Run for the hills!

A satire of South African politics

Chapter 4

Dr. Wilson Diba was in his sixties when finally released from prison.

Arrested at the age of twenty-three for riding a bicycle without any lights, his initial sentence should have only been five years hard labour. The pro-government press felt this was quite fair as the crime happened during daylight hours. It would have been ten years had it been dark.

As Sweatow was usually shrouded in smoke from the innumerable coal fires that burned constantly the term ‘daylight hours’ was a moot point.

Wilson was busy studying to be a lawyer. Of course, this was impossible for a Blick person in Sarfrica, as they could not practice law, by law.

‘An’ if theys carnt practice, theys carnt get better, hey!’ remarked the Minister of Law and Order, Mr. Vas ‘die voet’ Flock.

To avoid any form of suspicion Wilson usually wrote “second-hand shoe salesman” on any government form that required him to reveal his profession. It had to be second hand because the assumption was that any Blick found in possession of anything new had to have stolen it. It also helped that he never had any stock in trade about his person.

Wilson attended university at Fort Hair and would cycle the 72 kilometres to ‘varsity’ every morning.

The morning of his arrest Wilson was about to crest the top of a steep incline.  He emerged from the perpetual smog bank in Sweatow and immediately went through a speed trap.

Within twenty minutes, he arrived, handcuffed, and blindfolded at Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Police Station.

The following morning he was due to appear in court.

Having a good idea how these things worked, and being a “smart Blick”, Wilson thought it best to confess to his crime and hope that he would get away with a fine.

However, when he addressed the desk sergeant, a charge of aggravated assault was added immediately. Misunderstanding the officer, Wilson politely asked, in perfect Inglish, ‘Excuse me?’

The sergeant, convinced that one of the station’s Alsatian dogs had spoken to him, ran screaming from the charge office.

After eight hours at Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Police Station Wilson was finally able to convince someone that he was prepared to make a full confession.

However, somewhere along the line, his court appointed attorney, who did not acknowledge a word of Inglish, incorrectly translated Wilson’s written confession from, ‘ Riding a bicycle without lights in a non built up area,’ to ‘Knowingly and willingly trying to blow up the Parliament buildings.’

The five-years went out of the proverbial window and Wilson received a life sentence.

Wilson had an interesting time whilst incarcerated, although it was not all spent inside. He spent the first five years of his sentence outdoors digging the route for the M2 West highway.

A cursory enquiry soon revealed that the charges were erroneous and relatives began a campaign to secure Wilson’s release. The original charge of ‘Riding a bicycle without lights’ was also found to be without substance as Wilson had had a set of bicycle lights in a canvass bag he was carrying; the batteries were nearly flat and he had intended to buy new ones in Joeberg.

Wilson Diba became an icon symbolising the inhumanity of Sarfrican law and the desperate need to supply Blicks with dynamo driven lights for their bicycles.

The person responsible for initiating the worldwide awareness campaign for Wilson’s release was his mother, Mrs. Beauty ‘Ma’ Diba.

She first approached the You Knighted States.

As they had recently enacted their own Civil Rights Bill and had lots of money, she believed this would be a good start.

She was thrilled when she received a letter from the President of the YKS, Richard Nicksome.

He wrote:

 

 Hi Y’all.

   I am sending you a crate of Automatic Rifles. We call them the Peace Maker. When Wilson gets out the joint give me a call.

Yours sincerely

Dick.

And, he was.

As the years went by Wilson’s fame spread far and wide. People around the world added their voice to the call for his release.

Universities all over the place bestowed upon him honorary degrees and doctorates.

One such being from the University of Pleese Yorself in Finland that awarded him an honoury degree in entomology, convinced, as they were, that after so long in prison he must have an intimate knowledge of most forms of creepy-crawly. The Dean having seen the film Papillon, no doubt

Then it happened. On a glorious Monday morning Wilson Diba walked out of Joan Foster’s Happy Circle Prison a free men.

The guards had all clubbed together to buy him a going away present and in an emotional farewell they presented him with a tube of Dark and Lovely hair dye and two new batteries for his bicycle lights. The prison warden had even approved the purchase of two slightly used bicycle tyres out of petty cash. Wilson had never ridden a bicycle with tyres and he did not mind signing the petty cash chitty one bit.

Wilson’s personal guard, who had brought him a cup of tea in the same tin mug with a hole in the bottom for thirty-three years, even on his last morning, was weeping inconsolably.

‘I loves that bleddy Ca…Blick, I really does.’

Wilson stepped out of prison pushing his bicycle to a tumultuous welcome from seven family members and one reporter from the Stark newspaper.

*

    Prior to being sentenced to prison, Wilson had belonged to a Sweatow jazz band called the All Night Clubbers. After he was locked up the rest of the band members gigged ceaselessly for over thirty years to raise funds to launch a political campaign to get Wilson elected as the first Demographic Blick President.

To attract attention to their cause they blew up Muckdonalds’ fast food outlets across the country. No-one died because of the explosions, but apparently, by preventing people from eating at these places many lives were saved.

The All Night Clubbers received the Noble Piece Prize for “Services to Humanity”.

Wilson became Sarfrica’s first Blick President at a glittering inauguration ceremony at Jean Foster’s Happy Circle Prison.

Wilson chose the venue for nostalgic reasons and an array of world leaders, attended, including a bemused President George Brush senior from the Y.K.S.

Asked for his feelings about witnessing such an historic event he replied,

‘Y’know I never realised that he was Blick. Is that legal over here?’

Ten years later Sarfrica was beginning to realise its potential as a true powerhouse on the world stage. Foreign investment began to flood the country and major inroads were made towards the alleviation of poverty.

The country was strong and getting stronger.

So famous had the country become that millions of well-wishers from north of the country’s borders came to congratulate the Sarfricans; most of them stayed.

Twenty years on Sarfrica was almost back to square one. Almost. They still had Demography.

Copyright© Douglas Pearce

Book Extract. Almost Dead In Suburbia.

For Lyz. Who has lotsanlots…anlots of patience.   🙂

I’ve hardly posted anything from this book. Odd I suppose, but then there is a teaser posted on the publisher’s website.

http://www.pkaboo.net/almostdead.html

I don’t know about other writers, but for me once a book is done and dusted  – read published – there isn’t anything one can do with it. It is pretty much a done deal unless the publisher suggests a rewrite or something for a new imprint. 

Anyway, the point is the ‘book is closed’ and we move on to the next story.

But I was sorting out some books on one of my shelves in the office and my hand fell upon a copy Almost Dead so, not having read it in a while I thought I’d  grab a coffee and a comfy chair and see if it still made sense and maybe even forced a smile from the writer, yours truly.

It did. This scene was always one of my favorites. I love the character, Albert. He was such fun to write. The perfect foil to  Straight-as-an-Arrow Detective Sergeant Bill Williams.

I hope it makes you smile as well.

___________________________________________________________________

Bill parked the Jeep in its allotted space behind the police station and walked back up the short tarred driveway to the station entrance.

An elderly gentleman, dressed in an old RAF greatcoat, was sitting on the front steps holding a placard and looking sorry for himself.

‘Morning, Albert, what’s all this then?’ Bill asked.

Albert Gilling was Wiggleswood’s only homeless person.  The old man was not really homeless; he just claimed he was.  A victim of circumstance was the term he used.  In fact, Albert was the wealthiest person in Wiggleswood.  But somewhere along the line it seemed as if a few carriages had become derailed, and this was when he had begun a life of sort-of living on the streets.

Albert’s family owned large tracts of farmland, and had numerous other business interests at home and abroad.  They also bred racehorses, ran a world-renowned stud-farm and were the ones responsible for resurrecting the Corlington-to-London train line, including rebuilding the station and the steam locomotive that ran on its narrow gauge track, all of which was now part of the National Trust.

Albert’s problems began several years ago after his family claimed he had had a nervous breakdown.

Albert insisted there was nothing wrong with his mind.  He said that the ability to see ghosts was perfectly normal.  It was every one else that was crazy.

Albert went for treatment in London but managed to avoid being committed by behaving ‘normally’ for six months.  Bill suspected he had behaved himself just enough to avoid staying out of a mental institution.  He felt sure there was more to Albert Gilling than met the eye.  So did Albert.

Eventually, he evicted himself from the large family home, claiming the ghost of Lord Alfred Tennyson was harassing him for some inexplicable reason.

His family relooked at the possibility of having him committed.  Seeing as Albert’s family were fairly well known, the villagers feared such an act would immediately attract the attention of the media.  The last thing they wanted was headlines in the newspapers about the ‘Loony Landowner from Wiggleswood’.

So a small flat was organised for him at the back of the police station, and after a month Albert claimed he had stopped seeing ghosts.

As a gesture of gratitude for ‘Putting me up,’ Albert did voluntary police work.

‘I’ll keep an eye open f ‘villains.  Don’t want paying.’

Bill Williams acknowledged the elderly gentleman with a salute and a cup of tea most mornings upon his arrival at the station.

When Albert wasn’t doing his police work, his part-time job was road-sweeping.

‘Cleanliness is next to wotsisname,’ Albert announced the day he decided to take on this supplementary role.

Bill had bumped into him on his first morning as he was leaving the newsagent.

Albert had just turned into the high street, pushing a yellow handcart laden with an assortment of brooms and shovels and a long-handled leaf rake.

One of the first things Bill had noticed were the letters C.T.C painted on the side of the cart.  Oh, dear, he thought. Now what?

‘Hello, Albert. CTC? That’s Corlington Town Council if I’m not mistaken?’

‘It ain’t nicked, if that’s what you’re thinking,’ Albert grumpily volunteered.

‘Nicked?’

‘Yeah. Nicked: as in filched, stolen or purloined. I’ve got friends, you know?’

‘I’m sure you have, Albert. It’s nice to have friends.’ It was clearly best not to wind Albert up. ‘You mind how you go, all right?’

His family were over the embarrassment of having a semi-homeless person in their ranks and, fortunately, the problem had not attracted any attention from the newspapers.

Now, in response to Bill’s greeting, Albert retorted, ‘That’s Mister Gilling to you, Detective Sergeant, and don’t you forget it.’

Bill raised an eyebrow.  He was used to Albert being cantankerous every now and then, but not downright rude.

‘I’ll be back in a minute.  Don’t go away,’ Bill told him.

‘I ain’t going nowhere, Bill Williams.  You can count on that.  I told ‘em, I did,’ he shouted at Bill’s retreating back.

‘Morning, Sharon; kettle on?  Albert’s outside.  He’s having a turn again, by the looks of it.’

‘Morning, sarge,’ PC Griffith replied.  ‘He’s been outside for the past half an hour marching up and down waving that stupid placard.  I was seriously thinking of arresting him for his own good.  Been making a heck of a row he has.  His family will be down soon if he doesn’t behave himself.  It’s just boiled, sarge.’

‘Good, I’ll see if I can sort him out then.  Finch in?’

Bill stepped behind the front desk.  The kettle sat on a small wooden table along with a variety of mugs, a teapot and associated paraphernalia considered essential to the smooth running of police-forces everywhere.  Bill made a pot of tea.

‘Reckons he’s quitting, so he says,’ Griffith informed him.  ‘He’s in your office.’

He was a bit taken aback by this piece of news, considering that Finch believed himself a ‘born copper’.

‘What brought this on then?  Did he finally accept that Clint Eastwood wasn’t a real copper after all?’ Bill asked, jokingly.

‘Not Ben, sarge; Albert.  Says road-sweeping‘s too dangerous.  Didn’t you read his sign?’ PC Griffith asked.

Bill sighed.  Here we go again, he thought as he walked past the desk with two mugs of tea.  Time to solve the mystery of the disgruntled not-really-homeless-street-sweeper. ‘Don’t complain, Bill Williams,’ he mumbled to himself.  ‘You gave up chasing pushers, pimps and other assorted nasties for this, remember?’

‘Sorry, sarge?’ Griffith asked.

‘Oh, it’s nothing, Constable,’ said Bill with a small smile.

Bill made a point of reading Albert’s sign. It was lying face up on the steps.  ‘Grime don’t Pay, Whoa is the day,’ the slogan announced.  Bill read it again and noticed the spelling mistake.  Then he considered the family’s association with racehorses, and wondered.  He also noticed that Albert was wearing a black armband. Fred’s death had touched everyone in the village. Bill sighed as he sat down next to the elderly gentleman.

‘Right, Albert.  Let’s have it then, shall we?’ said Bill as he handed him his mug of tea.

‘I quit.  That’s what.  And don’t think you can get me t’ change my mind either.  They didn’t believe me up at the house, and I told ‘em.  Well it’s happening again.  Before y’know it they’ll be all over the bloody place.’

‘What will, Albert?’ Bill asked patiently.

‘Ghosts, what else d’yer think I’m talking about?’

Oh, dear.  Albert was going off the rails again, Bill decided.

‘You sure you don’t want to come inside?  It’s warmer.  We can chat there,’ Bill asked.

‘Inside?  Then I wouldn’t be homeless would I?  No thanks.  The police station is probably full of ‘em too.  I’ll take my chances out here if it’s all the same to you.  But I ain’t sweeping no more, so let’s get that straight.’

‘You’re not sweeping any more.  Okay, I understand.  But Albert, you’re not really homeless,’ Bill reminded him.

‘Ha!  You’re talking about the converted coal shed at the back of this place, right??’

The converted coal shed, as Albert put it, had been paid for and furnished by his family.  It was as comfortable as anyone could wish.

‘So what’s all this about ghosts?’

‘Seen ’em.  Two of ‘em.  Up in Cherry Blossom Close, I did.  They didn’t see me though, thank gawd.’

‘You saw two ghosts in Cherry Blossom Close?’ Bill asked cautiously.

‘Yes.  I’d just done sweeping Crab Apple Lane and was walking to the Close and there they was! Bold as y’like, strolling up the road.  What’s the matter with you, Bill Williams?  You going deaf or turning senile or what?’ Albert asked.  He was getting annoyed.

‘All right, Albert.  Steady on.  My hearing’s fine,’ said Bill, trying to keep things calm.  ‘So who were these ghosts then?  Did you know them?’

‘Right.  Like I’m personal friends with spooks.  I don’t think so, do you?’ Albert took a long, very noisy slurp of his tea.

Bill winced.

‘Then did you recognise them?’ Bill asked, wary of another tirade of sarcasm.

But instead of the abuse Bill expected, Albert took a quick swallow of tea, put down his mug then shuffled his bottom along the step until he was close enough to whisper in Bill’s ear.

Bill backed off a little but Albert grabbed the policeman’s lapel and pulled gently.

‘One of ‘em was dressed in a raincoat like in those old spy films.  Like Humpy Bogey or whatever his name was.  You know the one, right?’

Bill nodded.

‘Only it wasn’t him.  It was that French fella.  Coostow.  The Pink thingy,’ said Albert, almost in a whisper.

It took Bill a couple of seconds; then the metaphorical light went on.

‘You mean Jacques Clouseau.  The Pink Panther?’

‘Yeah, that’s the fella.  Lived on a boat and did diving and all that stuff when he wasn’t being a policeman.  Did you know he helped invent the aqualung?  During the war it was.  Well it was him.  And he weren’t alone neither I’ll have you know.’

‘Oh?’ Bill ventured.

‘No he weren’t.  And don’t give me that “poor-old-Albert’s-lost-his-marbles” look, Bill Williams.  I know what I saw.  Anyway, the other one was a cat.  And a talking one at that.’

‘How do you know it was a talking cat, Albert?’ Bill regretted the stupid question the instant it was out of his mouth.

Albert glared at the policeman.  ‘Just how the hell do you think I know it was a talking cat, for gawd’s sake?’

Bill didn’t flinch under the look but did have the sense to apologise.

‘Thank you, Sergeant.  Well, the point is this.  The fella in the mac looked like Coostow, but he sounded like that young fella who moved into number one a short while back.  That computer fella.’

‘Ralph Fenwick?’ Despite himself, Bill was slowly becoming enthralled.

‘Riiiight.’ Albert drew the word out.  ‘Him.  And they, him and the cat that is, went up Cherry Blossom Close chatting to each other happy as you like.  And you know where they went?’

Bill shook his head.

‘No, course you don’t.  But I do.  ‘Cos I followed ‘em, see?’ Albert paused for effect and took yet another noisy slurp of tea.  He looked at Bill over the rim of the mug and smiled.

‘Ah, so now you’re interested.  Bit diff’rent for some reason I see.  Maybe you’re thinking that I ain’t quite so doolally after all, eh?’

‘Maybe not, Albert,’ Bill conceded, reluctantly.  The hairs on the back of his neck and forearms had suddenly come to attention.  ‘So are you going to tell me where your ghosts went, then?’

‘They ain’t my ghosts, Sergeant Williams.  But for the record they went up to old Fred’s place, God rest his soul.  Give me this coat, he did.  D’yer know that?’ Albert indicated the large RAF greatcoat he was wearing.

‘Yes, Albert, I know that.’ Everyone knew that.  ‘So, what did they want there?’ Bill asked.

‘Monkey business, that’s what they was up to.  Monkey business and a spot of thieving,’ Albert told him.  He was relishing his role as storyteller.  For the first time he had a rapt audience.  Albeit, of only one.

As soon as Albert mentioned the word ‘thieving’ Bill was on full alert.  Up to that point he had gone from patience to curiosity to fascination.  His mind was beginning to put two and two together and, although they still added up to five, things were slowly beginning to make a strange sort of sense.  It was Wiglob.

Bill tried not to show too much emotion as he encouraged Albert to continue, even though his mind was beginning to race.

‘Fred’s kids were there, but they was next door.  I heard a lot of crying.  Anyway, that Ralph fella and his cat went inside and I crept round the back to see what they was up to.  They went into Fred’s bedroom, cheeky buggers, and robbed him.  Can you believe it?  Robbing the dead.  It ain’t right I tell you.  Just ain’t right, even if you are a ghost,’ said Albert passionately.

‘What did they take, Albert?’ Bill asked carefully.

‘Couldn’t tell for sure, Sergeant.  It was in a plastic bag.  They lifted it out of the floor.  Looked like Fred had some sort of safe by his bed.  Whatever it was, they nicked it.  Hidden in a tin box it was.  They nicked what they was after then put the tin back in the hole in the floor.’

‘Anything else?’ Bill insisted.  He was fully on board at this point, ghosts or no ghosts.

‘Actually there is.’ Albert sounded as though he wanted to get as much mileage out of the story as possible.

‘Well?’ Bill asked.

‘The kid was there.  Fred’s grandson.’

‘Michael, you mean,’ Bill prompted.

‘Yes, little Michael.  Smart kid that.  Played chess with him once.  Beat me, too.’

‘Really?’ Bill expressed surprise.  Not at the fact that Michael had beaten Albert at chess; Michael had beaten most people he had played against, Bill included, but surprise at the fact that Albert and Michael had played; wondering where and when that was.  He had become momentarily distracted.  ‘What happened?’

‘Nicked my rook and it was all over.  Didn’t even see it coming,’ said Albert.

‘Not the game of chess, Albert, the burglary, for goodness’ sake.’

‘Oooh, keep y’hair on there, Sergeant.  The thieving, right.  Well, Michael must have been in the house somewhere; I didn’t see.  But he went into Fred’s bedroom to use the loo, and when he came out . . .’ Albert paused, ‘he looked at the cat and spoke to it.  Would you believe it?  I knew that kid was bright but I never reckoned he was clever enough to see ghosts.  How about that then, Sergeant Williams?  Now there are two of us.  Wonder if he’ll become homeless like me?  What do you think, eh?’

‘What did he say?’ Bill asked, refusing to be drawn along that path.

‘Nothing that I could tell.’

‘Not the cat, Albert. Michael, said Bill, annoyed.

‘Oh.  Well why didn’t you say?  He said “hello”, I think.’

‘So how do you know he was talking to the cat?’ Bill asked.

‘Because the moggy had its head poking out from under the bed and the lad looked down at it.  I was watching through the window.  Don’t you listen?  Or do you think I’m making all this up?  Maybe you think it was me that burgled Fred’s house.  Wanna come and ransack me coal shed for evidence?’

‘No, Albert I do not.  And for the record, I do believe you.  God knows why, but I do.’ Bill couldn’t believe he had actually said that.

Albert was grinning.  ‘Well you’re the copper.  I’ll leave you to it then.’ He stood up and handed the empty mug back to Bill.

‘You’ve gone a bit pale there Sergeant! Which is quite a thing, considering,’ Albert chuckled.  ‘Look like you might have seen a ghost.’

Bill just sat there for a few moments, not sure of what he should do next.

Albert looked up at the sky.  It had become overcast during the past ten minutes or so and a few spots of rain had begun to fall.

‘Oh well, I’m off to the Coach and Horses for an early lunch.’

He stood, stretched, handed Bill the placard and shuffled off to the pub.

‘I might reconsider the road-sweeping.  I’ll let y’know tomorrow,’ he called over his shoulder.

*

Copyright ©2011 Douglas Pearce

And because they said it…..

Enjoyed it very much:
This was a really witty and enjoyable read. Thanks, I enjoyed it very much! :0)

(Frances Kirkwood, Reader)



“A book well worth the time:”

I have recently finished reading “Almost Dead in Suburbia” by Douglas Pearce.

I really enjoyed it and can happily compare it to a book like “Good Omens” from Terry Pratchett. If you enjoy the light humour and a good, well written story that keeps you guessing, this in my opinion is a book well worth the time and money.

(Jason Bell, Reader)


“Original, funny, entertaining, and a very good read:”

Having read some of Pearce’s writings on his blog I was certainly expecting an entertaining story with a good deal of humour, and so it was. However, since, according to the blurb, the story revolves around the ubiquitous theme of one person’s spirit inhabiting another’s body, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of an original plot. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The book is original, funny, entertaining, and a very good read. The plot takes you through several unexpected turns and “red herrings” and leaves you guessing ’til the end – and even after the end. The style reminds me of Terry Pratchett and Tom Sharpe with a dash of Douglas Adams.

As the saying goes, everyone has one good novel in them, but I suspect we can look forward to a few more from Pearce.

(“Ennui”, Reader)


“A brilliant, comic read. Storytelling at its best.”

(John Zande, Reader)

– See more at: http://www.pkaboo.net/almostdead.html#sthash.uteE1kLp.dpuf

“When are you going  to get a proper job?”

(His Mum)

P’kaboo Facebook Page

the red ant

It’s finally up.  I was scared for years of putting a page up for P’kaboo because… I know Facebook.  It’s like a spiderweb.  Once you’re in there, getting out is not so easy.  And who wants to look at a dead abandoned page?

Now, for the Facebook Share Contest in which we all are hoping to get 50 shares on each of the 7 chosen novels, of course I had to put the page up.  Here it is:

https://www.facebook.com/pkaboo.net

And many many thanks to Marie, from Kvenna Rad, for putting content up there.  She’s been busy as a bee, doing everything from updating the header pic and avatar to keeping the flow of ideas happening.  And Paul from Bookseeker Agency, our partner in UK, created the collage of titles that is now the page header.  (Image above)

We did already have the P’kaboo Book Club going, for quite…

View original post 62 more words

Poetry. I don’t write it because…

Poetry has never been a literary form I truly understand. But this does not mean I cannot respect and admire those who can write poetry.

Didn’t Homer take a whole weekend to write the Iliad? 😉

Well, this lady can write poetry, and she has also written a novel.

P’kaboo Author, Maria Marshall.

Blank bookcover with clipping path

What is reality, what is illusion? – A lost circus girl in late 20th Century Rome; a female gladiator in ancient Rome. What connects these two very different women across two millenia? In her riveting novel, “Lupa”, Marie Marshall takes you through two contrasting versions of Rome and shows masterfully how people tend to see only what they want to see. 

http://www.pkaboo.net/lupa.html 

And this man’s music was poetry as well. And his middle name was Marshall!

Not surprising then, that the author is a fan.

woodstock

James Marshall Hendrix

DSP.

Remember to acknowledge those who matter. And remember, everyone matters.

Although I understand the meaning behind the saying The Lord helps those who help themselves, I believe it is equally important, if not more so, to ensure you help others along the path of your journey and hopefully, they will still be there so’s you can give each other a leg-up when you come across the inevitable obstacles along the way.

It might seem trite to say authors make a publishing company but  make no mistake, it is no less true that a good publishing company can make an author; a symbiotic relationship that requires constant nurture to ensure healthy growth.

Literary agents and Publishing Houses refer to the large amount of manuscripts they receive as the Slush Pile, and it is not difficult to imagine an agent trapped somewhere behind this small mountain of words-on-paper.

It is also not that difficult to imagine the frustration agents feel having to wade through hundreds and hundreds of Introductory Letters and partials; the term to denote a partial manuscript.

And this applies to email submissions as well. I shudder when I open my email after a couple of days and find 231 unread messages and alerts from Word Press. I have to wade through all that?

And I’ll be honest, on occasion I don’t. Click, Select All. Delete. I know, Terrible, isn’t it?

So what, I wonder, is it about a submission that would suddenly captivate a literary agent or publisher enough to suddenly scream, “Stop the Press!”, “Eureka!”, or, ‘Who the hell is Harry Potter?”

Honestly? I haven’t got a clue.

I mostly write comic fantasy. I laugh at my own writing. Maybe even more so than those who read my work? Probably because I know all the gags and all the subtle references. And in the words of Terry Pratchett’s famous witch, Nanny Ogg, ‘’double intenders’’.

This occasionally worries me. Is my ego taking over?

I also find it a bit disconcerting that I hardly ever come across fiction in Blogland that I can relate to.

But I remind myself that while I consider Sir Terry Pratchett a brilliant author I have never been able to really enjoy the first two Discworld novels, The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

Yet, his 25th novel, The Truth is my favourite book of all time.

Which adds some credence to the tagline, “opinions are so often subjective…” at the bottom of form letters literary agents often send out.

All this makes it more special that a publisher would take me under their wing and publish my work.

Even though it was not a smooth ride, and occasionally it caused sleepless nights, I still smile every time I take my first novel from the bookshelf and simply hold it, or flip the pages through my fingers, or look at an image of the cover on the internet.

And the thought comes, unbidden, ‘I wrote this. Me. My words. My story. My book.

I believed in it enough to see it through to the finish, but it was my publisher who believed in it enough to bring it to life.

Don’t stop believing. Maybe you will find a publisher like mine?

Thank you, Lyz.

Go visit P’kaboo and say hello. Or visit Lyz personally. She’s a fine writer in her own right, and here in Blogland.

http://skrikvirniks.wordpress.com/

http://www.pkaboo.net/

DSP.