PUBLISHING ~ SCRIPTS ~ SCREENPLAYS ~ MANAGEMENT
Neaptide Projects Ltd
The Studio at Myrana, Drake Road, Salcombe, Devon, TQ8 8GE, United Kingdom
Telephome: +44 (0)1548 843329
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC Radio Devon
We were honoured to be invited onto Judi Spiers programme on Tuesday 19th August,
where Al Dutton and I talked about the Fields of Thyme, and the song, ‘Now Mama’s Gone’,
which was played in it’s full version with ‘The Battle Hymn of The Republic’. Friends will know
that Al wrote the piece specifically to sit alongside the publication, and in the fullness of time,
to have its place within the Stage Play, which Judi suggested be developed as a vehicle for the
book’s progress, ahead of (or alongside) the movie ambition.
So we’re seriously grateful to Judi and her team for giving us such wonderful ‘airtime’,
even if ‘yours truly’ found it a quite terrifying experience! It was the moment when she
welcomed us, and said, ‘Well David, you’ve said the story is a complex one; so tell us all
about it…..?’ The silence seemed forever, and my immediate thoughts were; ‘Get Me Out of Here!!’,
but it was great, and in due course, a lot of fun!
WHAT PRICE A BOOK?
I've had a couple of hints from potential buyers of the book, that at £12, it's price seems a bit excessive; whilst A.N.Other who's also wanting to self publish, has asked my advice on pricing her forthcoming work. Well the answer to this is incredibly difficult to deal with, and you may be sure that I researched the market as well as I could for The Fields of Thyme. Once I'd finally arrived at a ££figure, of course the next challenge was to face up to the realisation that Tesco, W.H.Smith et al, were selling various books at £5 for 2 units, including by well established writers, and I'll admit this caused occasional moments of depression! However, in the end, the 'likes of us' who have committed to our future in personal and cottage industry projects, simply have to ask whether our books are a better 'buy' than a round of beer for four. In fact if you run that exercise through the grey cells, you might quite easily decide that even if you've written a 400 page lump of tosh; it's still a better spend than a five minute hit of 4% alcohol; to which conclusion you might then add that at said 400 pages, you can also offer your product as a useful doorstop, once the reader has stopped applauding your courage and incredible creativity!
THE 'F WORD'
A COUPLE OF READERS HAVE COMMENTED ON MOMENTS OF BAD LANGUAGE IN THE NARRATIVE, ALTHOUGH NOT NECESSARILY COMPLAINING ABOUT IT. HOWEVER, I FEEL A FEW WORDS ARE DESERVING FROM ME, BEGINNING WITH THE ASSURANCE THAT I USE THE 'F WORD' AS SPARINGLY AS POSSIBLE, AND ONLY IN MOMENTS WHEN I'VE FOUND IT APPROPRIATE IN THE CONTEXT OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF PLACE AND TIME.
READERS SHOULD ALSO KNOW I DON'T ACTUALLY LIKE BAD LANGUAGE AT ALL, AND VERY RARELY USE IT, EVEN 'THOUGH WE LIVE IN A 21ST CENTURY WORLD, WHERE IT'S MORE THAN COMMON PLACE. HOWEVER, WHEN RESEARCHING THE BOOK, I ACTUALLY SUMMONED THE COURAGE TO ASK A FEW ELDERLY LADIES IF THE OFFENDING WORD WAS USED IN THE WARTIME PERIOD I'M WRITING ABOUT; AND IT WAS.
I NEXT HAVE TO TELL YOU THERE WAS MUCH GIGGLING WHEN THESE DISCUSSIONS TOOK PLACE; IN FACT AT THE LOCAL GOLF CLUB, BUT TO PUT MY MIND AT EASE (BECAUSE IT WAS DIFFICULT AND A BIT EMBARRASSING), I WAS REMINDED BY ONE DELIGHTFUL LADY, THAT A FEW YEARS LATER (1960), A CERTAIN BOOK WAS PUBLISHED, WHICH CAUSED MUCH EXCITEMENT, BECAUSE IT WAS THE FIRST TIME 'THAT TERRIBLE WORD' WAS OPENLY USED IN A NOVEL, HAVING BEEN DEEMED UNPRINTABLE IN YEARS PREVIOUS. CALLED 'LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER' (BY D.H. LAWRENCE), THE BOOK HAD ACTUALLY BEEN FIRST PUBLISHED IN ITALY IN 1923, BUT BACK IN MORE RECENT RESEARCH TIME, SUFFICE THAT NONE OF THE GALS I INTERVIEWED WOULD ADMIT TO REMEMBERING THE NUMBER OF A PARTICULAR PAGE THAT WAS SO FEVERISHLY SOUGHT FOR, AFTER THEY'D PURLOINED A COPY OF THE BOOK, AND TRIED TO FIND THE WORD IN THE PRIVACY OF BENEATH THE BLANKET!
I THINK IT WAS ON PAGE '147', BUT I MIGHT BE WRONG. PERHAPS SOMEONE WILL TELL ME, ALTHOUGH I'D PREFER THAT YOU SIMPLY ENJOY MY BOOK FOR THE GENUINE AUTHENTICITY I'VE TRIED TO OFFER.
DAFT OR ‘SMART’
A gentleman of elderly years crossed over to ‘our table’, to say how much he enjoyed the book, which his wife had bought for him. However, he said he’d not entirely understood the strong focus and part of the ants in the narrative, although he sympathised with, and related well, to the character of Tom, whom he called ‘daft’! Well it was a concern I was very happy to take on board, because I know the book is complex in many ways, and it’s important that I respond to scrutiny.
Dealing with the opinion that Tom is ‘daft’, of course I nodded my agreement to this
observation, except to caution that perhaps even ‘daft’ people have some part of
their DNA which is actually quite ‘smart’, and there are moments when Tom Skinner
certainly shows this to be the case in my story. As for the starring part given to
the red ants, and Tom’s determination to save their habitat (which the Americans
wanted for military rehearsals ahead of The Normandy Invasion), well one needs to
look no further than to the current difficulty and heated debate over the Salcombe
estuary, where water-
Of course, one cannot begin to compare our present day campaign to save a wildlife habitat from the boating community, with the moment Tom Skinner set out to protect his red ants and butterflies, by trying to force the American military to practice for Normandy elsewhere. However, if you really think about it, those of us against the proposed activity on the estuary, do actually become another version of Tom Skinner, with the difference being just a question of ‘extent and degree’ at an intellectual level? And with that said, I’m pleased to say that the elderly gentleman who’d crossed over to be nice to me, smiled, and went away seemingly happy, although perhaps thinking that I too was ‘daft’! (4th August 2014)
'Planet Ocean, near Start Point'
Copyright: Nigel Mortimer