Wednesday, 10 June 2015

New books and telly bits....


I'm in the middle of writing a new novel at the moment ~ nearly finished the first draft, 114k words long so far ~ and so I've been a bit slack on the blogging front!  Stuff keeps occurring to me that might evolve into a blog post, but none of it has yet (I really must do that one about internet dating, though), so I thought I'd stick it all together in one post ~ two book bits and two telly bits!

Edward of York meets Elizabeth Woodville ~ Elias and Lisa in my new novel!

The new novel 
I'm writing another one taken from a story from history, like Kings and Queens and Last Child; this time it's the Wars of the Roses.  It's a stand alone and not in any way connected to the Lanchester Family of the other two.  This time, it's only based on the story rather than retelling it.  I did start off with the total retell, but it was far too complicated, with too many elements of the original that wouldn't translate into 21st century life.  I got to 30K words in before I accepted that it wasn't working, and completely rewrote - not an easy thing to do!  The working title is The House of York; it concerns only one family.  It's much darker than the family drama/romantic suspense of Kings and Queens and Last Child, with a strain of psychopathic murderous intent (or two) running through it, and the suggestion of sinister happenings from early on!  I hope to publish it in October (though at the moment I am convinced it's a load of talentless garbage that should never see the light of day) (it's a writer thing.....).

 
Get in there quick!
I had a new review for Kings and Queens the other day from a lady called SuzM that amused me.  She said she'd had a similar idea; the reason it made me laugh was that she said "I turn my back for 30 years and someone else goes and writes it".  Nice one, SuzM!  I know what she means.  Three years ago I wrote a novel called The Other Side.  At first, it appears to be the stories of four different women, but gradually the reader becomes aware that the characters are all the same person, living the parallel lives possible if different decisions had been made.  A short while after I published it the wonderful Kate Atkinson brought out her excellent Life After Life, which made me want to shout, "but I did it first!".  Oddly enough, mine has not been so wildly successful as Ms Atkinson's ~ now, I wonder why that is??!!  I'm glad, however, that my paltry offering was published earlier, so I didn't look as though I was trying to emulate such a literary maestro.  And the moral of this story is - if you have a good idea, do it quickly before someone else does it first!

And now... 

Treme



I'm currently watching this excellent HBO show on Amazon Instant Video and highly recommend it!  It's about New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and is made by the same people who did The Wire; the Wikipedia link is HERE.  It's highly acclaimed by those who know their stuff about this tragic time, and the music is wonderful, of course.   Here's a link to the theme song/sequence ~ watch it HERE!


Fans of The Wire will enjoy seeing Lester Freamon and Bunk Moreland in starring roles, with appearances by Slim Charles, Prez, Ziggy and the bloke who played Bubble's anti-drug sponsor/buddy, Waylon!  You can also spot Michonne from The Walking Dead - and Elvis Costello!




Mad Men 

I meant to write a whole post about the final episodes of this prince amongst TV shows, but it never happened.  What did you think?  I loved it!  I found the gradual shift from the optimism of the 1960s to the attitudes of the 1970s so well portrayed, but also kind of sad; I felt nostalgic for the 1960s even as I was watching the way in which Don and Roger and co found the transition difficult as they grew older and less in tune with the popular culture of the time.  

Well done to Peggy for the nabbing the suddenly-sexy-again Stan Rizzo...


....but I couldn't bear what happened to Betty - I thought the makers of the show were saying 'don't smoke, kids, this is what will happen'.  Sooooo sad!  I hoped they'd give her and Don another scene, though perhaps they had their farewell in that secret interlude a series or so back....  Great idea to have Roger finally copping off properly with Megan's saucy mum, but I wished they'd given Joan more than a business to keep her warm at night.  Still, they had to echo the ideals of the time - the early 1970s was, after all, one of the golden ages of Women's Lib, and who better to be its poster girl for the series than the strong-and-independent-but-still-sexy Joan?  


Best of all, of course, was the way in which the psychological car crash that is Don Draper finally embraced the 1970s....  and yes, he cried and hugged too! 


His walking out in the middle of the stifling corporate meeting was one of his finest moments... but don't you want to know what happens next??!  Thanks, Emma, for reminding me about the old 1971 Coke advert being played at the end ~ a reflection of the zeitgeist for the purpose of something completely at odds with it, an inspired choice of ending!  Here's my favourite character top ten, in case you haven't already seen it.

Missing you already!







21 comments:

  1. Hi TT, you are amazing! So productive. I can't wait to read your next offering! For myself, I just sit with the ideas at the moment and still don't seem to have time to write. Life and work...blah blah...yes I know it's an excuse, because in reality, I'm sleeping far too much! Anyhow, I'll pass on the TV stuff as you know I don't watch anything. It's enough to do to keep up with the reading....

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    1. Oh well, my life is so uneventful that all I do is write, V! xx

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  2. The House of York sounds brilliant! I was just thinking I need a new series to watch so I will have a look at Treme. Happy writing :-)

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    1. Jade, I think you'd ADORE Treme - I don't say that lightly, I think from what I know of you that it would be HUGELY up your street. In fact, I'm tempted to send you a boxed set right over! There's so much about the culture of the place, too.

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    2. It does sound fab! I've got the first 2 seasons to watch already so hopefully I'll be able to have a look once we're finished moving! :-)

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  3. So looking forward to your new book :) You and my son have exactly the same taste in TV programmes - he's nagging me to watch The Wire and Mad Men so I'll have to tell him about Treme.

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    1. Oh, do - and listen to his nagging!!!

      The new book is still at that '50% of it is crap' phase, ladies - but, hey, that's first drafts for you!!! I cross my fingers :)

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  4. Treme sounds wonderful - and how productive you've been. (As for TV - I watch so little, I didn't see even one episode of Mad Men. But so make an exception for Montalbano ...)

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    1. Jo, you would ADORE Treme! I watch telly from 9pm to 1am, most nights - when everything else is done! That means 4 episodes of whatever the series is - looks like we'd better try Montalbano, then!

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  5. I am a fan of Mad Men, too :)
    I wonder why are you still on this platform? As a prestigious writer, I have a feeling that your exposure will be considerably increased if you will put at least this blog, on its own domain. You can contact me if you like, and we'll arrange something.
    Good luck with your book :)

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    1. You're a prestigious writer, are you? I'm afraid I haven't heard of you! I'm guessing you want to sell me something. Not sure what you mean by 'this platform' - I imagine you mean my blog. Ah, I see, you want to sell me your website design services. If I do decide to have a website, I'll probably make my own equiries, but thanks anyway.

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    2. Hahahaha!! Love it!!! - home goal Mr Popescu

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    3. You like the way I deliberately misunderstood his grammatical error! I usually delete this sales crap, but this one amused me :)

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  6. I so admire output, Terry. I think you're probably like my husband - a sort of fuel-injection engine that wakes up firing on all cylinders.
    I'm more the kind of old banger that has to be crank started before my brain sparks into life!

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    1. Ha ha! Not at all - I write all the time because I want to, but I'm by no means firing on all cylinders, ever, I promise you! But it's the thing I like doing most, I couldn't do it if I didn't, it's just..... what I do :)

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    2. And do it so well, Terry - keep going!

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  7. Very excited about The House of York, Terry. I love reading your posts about your favourite TV shows too. I haven't watched The Wire or Mad Men, in fact I rarely watch TV anymore except for Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful (give me dragons and werewolves and I'm happy!). My son is still traumatised that I haven't seen any episodes of The Walking Dead ;-)

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    1. I'm so glad you like my telly posts, Shelley! I just do them because I get so involved in a series when I'm watching it that I can't quite let it go, I think. And LISTEN to your son!!!!!

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  8. Ahhh Mad Men, loved it all of course. The last episode was indeed very nostalgic but I don't know why they had to give Betty terminal cancer just to show that Sally was finally growing up. It was great though to see Don at the end sitting finally finding some peace but then cutting to the Coca-Cola ad - one of the most successful ads of all time - which he is obviously supposed to have created after 'finding himself' at the retreat.

    So glad Peggy and Stan got together, that was one of the sweetest things in the whole show put together, and it was good she finally made some peace with Pete. But what of Pete? They had mellowed him over the last series or two, he was still a twit but more worldly. I never liked his wife very much so didn't feel much for her when he swept her off her feet again!
    I agree another Don/Betty scene would have been nice, but Mad Men does that - leaves you wanting more for a character. I also agree about Joan, such a shame her older man turned out to not support her after all. He could have done and it would have had the same impact!

    Great news re. your new book, you busy bee! Good luck with it! :-)

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    1. Oh lovely, you've gone in depth on it! I thought the cutting to the Coke ad was genius, it being the ultimate bit of advertising brilliance, so in tune with the times - actually, I might have to edit this before Monday Blogs and mention it - thanks!

      I never had any strong feelings about Pete - a prat at first who became more likeable, his wife was an airhead, but a good ending for them. Yes - that's exactly what I thought about Joan. I was saying, come on, couldn't you have made her final man 'get' her, at at last??!!

      Thanks to you and Shelley for best wishes with the book - it's a bit first draft URGH at the moment! x

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