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Educating Peter - What's Next?


Claire
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So, Top Cat - we've all read Educating Peter, (and the vast majority of us have loved it, is the impression I get!) and you've told us about "Nice Jumper" - but where do you go from here? Are you planning another book along the same sort of lines, or are you going to branch out in a new direction entirely?

(Anyone like to offer any suggestions, or wise career advice :eek::D )

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Weeeeelllll.... I've been dithering for a couple of years and getting a bit wrapped up in my journalism, but I've just sold a collection of (extended versions of) my Lost Tribes Of Pop columns from The Observer - pop stereotypes that can be sampled here http://observer.guardian.co.uk/omm/losttribes/archive - which will be published next spring. I'm also working on some fiction - it's a totally new area for me, and is quite different from EP and NJ in style. A bit darker and (obviously) more narrative-based. I won't say too much about the theme, but it's very much "British rural dream gone wrong". Have no idea about when (or if?!) it will be published, but it's very satisfying, and i'm enjoying it massively when I get the chance to work on it, between the stuff that pays the mortgage. My dilemma is whether to send it to a publisher before it's done or wait. Working without knowing there's a pay cheque at the end is a bit of a double-edged sword: it's quite hard to discipline yourself, but when it's going well, it tends to make you feel more loose and free in what you're doing.

 

I was wondering very vaguely about whether to ask Bill about serialising it on BGO, but probably not a good idea at the moment, as I'm one of those writers who tends to go back and fiddle with stuff quite a bit.

 

And, yes, all suggestions appreciated!!

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I like the idea of a serialised novel on BGO and think it is very generous of you to be considering it. How would it work? Would you simply post the final version, having already committed yourself to a publisher, or would you look for feedback? Knowing BGO members you would probably get the feedback anyway and I imagine it would be hard to resist making changes as a result. Quite a dilemma. Great idea though if you can tolerate it.

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I really like the idea of this, but then I think about the reality of having lots of strangers commenting on what I'm currently writing, as I'm doing it, and it seems quite scary. So many people have so many different opinions on books, I worry that I'd turn into the literary equivalent of the bloke in the pub from the Fast Show who keeps changing his opinion in order to keep everyone happy. And lots of films have probably been ruined by their test screening audiences. Still, I'm not ruling anything out at this stage. It could work the other way: serialising it as a finished project. But then perhaps that would be less exciting. I think I need a bit more of a ponder.

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