Tag Archives: Sunday Times

What’s in a name?

Candice:  So it seems JK Rowling wasn’t just happy to publish a book that was different to Harry Potter, under her own name, just to see how that went.  She wanted to add more money to here ever growing coffers by publishing one under a pseudonym.

JK was outed by the Sunday Times, apparently a few weeks before originally planned, as the writer of a new crime fiction novel. ‘ The Cuckoo’s Calling’ was published a few months ago with no real fanfare, and sold 1500 copies before its famous author was discovered.  To quote the conversations on twitter – this is how it is in the real world, books are published all the time but without a big plug they never really come to light.  It seems shops have been struggling to keep up with demand since the announcement, as they had only bought one or two copies.

So what’s the big deal about keeping the name a secret?  I suppose part of it is the back lash that happened after A Casual Vacancy came out.  Not my favourite book by any means, I think that was the general feeling of book critics too.  However was that influenced by the name of the author or the quality of the story, its hard to tell when you are so famous.  British critics are famously good at bringing people up and then, when they peak, knocking them back down again.  So, when you have got to where JK has, how to do you get genuine feedback on what you have written?

I suppose it is like being a celeb.  Famous people, like Michael Jackson for example, surround themselves with ‘YES’ people, and therefore they can do no wrong.  But, these people don’t tell them that the plastic surgery looks crap, they are spending too much money, or that the new record sounds just like the last one.  The more famous you get, the harder it is to get true feedback.  So, this is a chance to step back into the guise of an unknown, of course with pots of cash and an agent on tap, to test out what it feels like.

So, when I get rich and famous from the KOD series, who’s going to keep me in check?  Well, its Phil of course, and if not my Sister, who will have no problem telling me to get off my high horse.

We all need some critical appraisal some times, some of us more than others especially in  a world we can broadcast our every thought to everyone  (take note all those people who have verbal diarrhea on facebook) but we are all too frightened to be critical of others.  Perhaps it would be good to hear the corridor conversation slagging you off, it might help put things in perspective.

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The best places to live in Britain?

Candice : After the last post I am somewhat at a loss as to what to follow it with.  I’ve also got a stinking head ache so excuse me if my post is short!

I was reading with interesting in the Sunday Times about the supposed “Best places to live in Britain”.  Flicking through I went straight to the Midlands section and looked for the lovely place where I live.  But no, it was not there, shock horror, but Leamington, where Phil lives, was.  Now, there is nothing wrong with the Spa town but I was surprised that the ‘hull, as Phil likes to call it was not there.  I have to admit I was planing to add £10k on to our house price when we go to sell it again just based on this!

Anyway, it got me thinking about locations and how one might pick where a story is set and why.  I did look to see if March, Cambridgeshire, was in the listing, as this is where our book is based, but no it got away too.  Funnily enough, that probably helps as we don’t give it the best write-up in the novel.

So, where are the best places to live and why is my question.  How did the Sunday Times come up with this somewhat arbitrary list that in such hard times might be to difference between sale or no sale.

Apparently it is based on ‘crime statistics, transport links and life expectancy’ amongst others.  Have they not heard HS2 is on its way? After the nasty nature of JK Rowling’s  A Casual Vacancy that I blogged about the other week, it makes me wonder is there a story in living in the best place to live?  I can see it going a number of ways, Stepford Wives, Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, and other options but none of them pleasant.  Maybe that’s just how my mind works?

I don’t know if I’d want to be marked against such strange criteria, and its the same for our writing.  It’s all personal opinion, what one likes another hates.  We’ve been entering our stories into competitions and have got nowhere, but I’m not going to get down hearted as it’s all just that markers feelings on what they like.  We can’t all like One Direction or the X Factor, you know.

Luckily for the other half, he is working on a development based in Edgbaston and that gets a listing.

Apparently next week there is a second supplement, all about top spots for families and the great outdoors.  Forget putting the house on the market if we don’t get in that one!

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New Year’s Resolutions anyone?

Candice : Though you will be reading this post on the 1st Jan 2013, I’m afraid I refuse to get up in time to write it so I’m writing this in 2012.

I’ve  had a nice Christmas break, hope you have had too? To  be honest there has been a lot of lazing around, but it has been much required.  I’ve managed to miss watching either “The Wizard of Oz” or “One of our dinosaurs is missing” but have caught some good Xmas telly and done some nice slobbing.  To make up for it I did do a 5k run at the gym earlier, it just about got rid of last night’s chocolate intake.

So, it comes to the time of year where you are reminiscing about what you have, and haven’t done, and if there is anything you can change for 2013.  I have to say, having been to the gym today I can already see what January and February are going to be like on that front – lots of people joining with great intentions and then failing miserably after two months.  That is the point I get annoyed as I’m like, ‘stop hogging the treadmill in your stupid shoes and outfit with price tags still on, and let us proper gym people who have been coming for last 12 months, get on!’

I’ve read my stars for this year, courtesy of the Sunday Times, and looked at making some resolutions, so here they are:

1. Write more

Well yes, that is obvious I suppose.  Nolan Parker seem to have gone through waves this year of major output and then nothing.  I have got a good excuse (Phil knows) but once I got back into it the other week I remembered why I like writing and need to find more time to do it.

2. Write more

Yes, this is a repetition of number one but there are so many other reasons to write more!  I follow Daisy Waugh, Sunday Times columnist, on twitter and she said something interesting the other day about tweeting feeling like a busman’s holiday.  Well writing can feel like that to me.  I spend all day facing a computer so coming home and turning one on feels like I never left, hence I don’t feel inclined to write anything evenings or weekends.  Well, if that doesn’t work I need to find another way to do it.

3. Write more

Yup, that one again.  I’m thinking repetition will make it stick. I saw a University friend of mine over Christmas.  He runs a theatre company so has managed to get the thing we all want, a job he really loves and get paid for it! When I explained I would be late over as I had to work, he asked if I had been writing, I said unfortunately not, it was the paying job.  Ah, I wish.

4. Write more

Oh yes and on that note, as least one of us has managed to get paid for it this year.  Mr Phil Parker, published author.  He’s done signings and everything!  This time next year, ‘Nolan Parker Short Stories Collection’.  There’s one to aspire to.

Happy New Year to you all and we look forward to amusing you in 2013!

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