With Monday Memories finally completed I wondered what I ought to occupy the space with. Monday Musings will be a weekly journal of what I have been doing and thinking over the preceding seven days.
The weekend just gone I sent the final, final version of Called to Account to my chosen Indie publisher. I thought it was finished almost a year ago, after two years in gestation. When I first contacted TSL I was disappointed to be told that it would be March this year before they could take it on. I used that time to revise and re-revise the manuscript, submitting it to various tests and a couple of trusted beta readers who write in the same genre (historical fiction based on real events). Both offered suggestions for improvement which I took on board. They also offered praise which I can use on the back cover and elsewhere in publicity material.
As both readers said, the book, set during the Irish famine of mid-nineteenth century, has resonance with social conditions today. With so many individuals and families depending upon food banks, the 21st century’s equivalent of nineteenth century soup kitchens; when we still subject welfare claimants to rigorous testing to prove their eligibility, and with a vast economic gulf between the wealthy and the very poor, we clearly have yet to learn anything from this tragic and shameful episode in the UK’s past.
I am looking for other people with an interest in the subject who would like to receive and advance review copy. If that sounds like you, drop me a line at flparker1941@gmail[dot]com.
Meanwhile, I have been working on a cycle of short stories with the theme of two people each of whom has the same ambition, only one of whom succeeds, reaching the pinnacle of success in their chosen career, whilst some unexpected event thwarts the other.
So far they are all set in the same provincial English town, the one in which the bulk of Transgression was set. I believe that, once completed, they can become a companion volume to Transgression. Not a sequel, because they share roughly the same time frame, circa 1950 to the present, but I have an idea about an event that would link them to one or more of the characters in the earlier book.
Also in the past few days, I have adapted and shortened one of those stories to make it eligible for a competition for which the closing date is the end of February.
Last night I attended a delightful concert given by the Alina Bzhezhinska Quartet. Inspired by, and delivered as a homage to, the work of Alice and John Coltrane, it was part of a 10 day tour of 10 Irish venues. Earlier in the day Alina gave a workshop to a group of aspiring young local musicians. It’s wonderful to see a new generation being encouraged to appreciate and to create jazz.