About

This blog has been created in order for me to cheaply self publish my first novel, Screaming In Public, which was named after the Mambo Taxi song of the same name. Many, many years ago, when I first started to write the earliest version of the book, I did write to Delia, the bands bassist, to ask if it was O.K for me to use the song title in this way. She said it was O.K so long as I acknowledged the band, and I still have her letter today.

The reasons for publishing the book this way rather than submitting it the conventional way via a literary agent (very few publishers will read unsolicited fiction these days) are many and varied. I don’t intend to write a long diatribe against the publishing industry, but I will say that I haven’t had any joy on the occasions when I have submitted this novel to literary agents.

Why? well, the main response tends to be a variation of ‘We do not feel that we could place your work’, which basically means ‘We don’t think there is a market for it.’ If I were the egotistical type, I’d – innacurately and unwisely – take this to mean that I was too avant garde. In fact, because I’m acutely aware of my limitations as a writer, I have instead taken it to mean exactly what it says: That there is no obvious market for what I’ve written in this case. Not because I’m ahead of my time, because I’m not, but because in writing this book I have drawn on a series of British female middlebrow authors from the past – notably Dodie Smith, Stella Gibbons, and Nancy Mitford, but also D.E Stevenson and a few others – as well as a mix of British, U.S and Australian young adult writers, such as Meg Cabot, Louise Rennison, Ros Asquith, Jaclyn Moriarty, and – recently – Sarah Dessen. I think the combination might have been a bit much for the average lit agent to get their head round…

The resulting story is a young adult novel, in that it revolves around the lives of a group of teenage and young adult women, whose lives revolve around music, who are not well off, who live a hand to mouth existence, who have good times and bad times. My initial point of inspiration was Sarah Schulman’s ‘Girls, Visions, and Everything’, but by the time I started writing this final version of the book, I was increasingly influenced by Dodie Smith’s ‘I Capture The Castle’ and ‘The Town In Bloom’, Stella Gibbons ‘Here Be Dragons’, Meg Cabot’s first few Princess Diaries books, Susanna Kayson’s ‘Girl, Interrupted’, the film version of ‘Ghost World’, and the collective series of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Xena’. A baffling combination perhaps.

I have chosen to serialise the novel here because I feel that, if there is an audience for it, that audience is web savvy enough to find it here. If there isn’t an audience for it, then I’m happy enough to be doing this for the benefit of those few friends who have expressed more than polite interest in it over the years.

If you ever read a draft of it, read it in the hard to read fanzine form, or asked about if I’d found a publisher for it yet, and if you still want to read it, this is for you.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Red
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 15:09:20

    hey lady, so great this is online. i really enjoyed reading the screaming in public zine editions. you rock! xxx

    Reply

  2. screaminginpublic
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 16:12:08

    Thanks Red, I’m going to have a look at your blog now…

    Reply

  3. Trackback: “Women in punk: the disappearing years” | Feminist Memory
  4. Trackback: Fantastic interview with Lucy Toothpaste | Feminist Memory

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