We’re the new face of failure

Ok. We weren’t shortlisted for the Times short story award. Weren’t even longlisted. It’s just rejection after rejection. We imagine this is what it’d be like if we ever went speed dating. Are we bitter? Only about as bitter as a bucket full of lemons. Has anyone seen the episode of The Simpsons where Homer and Marge go to a sweet convention and Homer eats the world’s sourest sourball? (The funniest moment in Simpsons history) yeah, that’s what our faces were like. Ok, not really. We knew we wouldn’t come close. So long as we weren’t last. Maybe they’ll do a shortlist for the worst entries. We’re bound to win that one. When you’ve got a longlist of prize winning authors, it’s no surprise that a couple of literary frauds such as ourselves didn’t make the cut. We sent a 7K word version of the 4K Missed Call short story that was published December 08, which we then turned into a novel. So we’ve done what’s best in these kick in the teeth situations, sent out another story. This time, the contender into the ring to slug it out against heavyweights is Daughters of Annwn, the 6K word story we started writing while Cat’s knee was being used for a gory treasure hunt. It’d be like Amir Khan going a couple of rounds with Joe Calzaghe. Our money’s on the little guy. (Us). It’s just been emailed to Bridgehouse for their young adult anthology. We’ve already sent them a story for this, Deadly Reflections, which has been round the publishing block more times than a serial killer trolling for unsuspecting victims. But Deadly Reflections wasn’t originally written with a teenage audience in mind, DOA has been. In fact, we liked it so much, we’re turning it into a teenage novel. We’re on chapter 4 at the moment – not bad, considering we started it on Thursday. But then the first 4 chapters have already been written in the short story version, we just split it up and extended the scenes. We did exactly the same with MC and another novel, Legion of the Damned. DOA will be our first attempt at teenage fiction, so we just have to remember to keep the violence down and cut out the swearing. We haven’t written a novel since we finished MC in Feb 09, as we’ve been busy redrafting our other ones and writing short stories. We’ve missed the excited shiver that pole dances around our spines when starting a new novel that you just don’t get when writing a short story. Don’t get us wrong, we love writing short stories, but nothing beats that rush of creating a new folder on the computer. It used to be when starting a new A4 notebook when we wrote long hand ’til we realised it saved time writing it straight on the computer, rather than typing up our illegible scrawl. We have absolutely no idea what DOA the novel will be about, as we’re not planners. We prefer to see where the story and characters take us, rather than planning it in meticulous detail. We know some writers do it that way, but our view is, if you know the exact route you’re going to take and everything that happens along the way, what’s the point in writing the story?  We like not knowing what will happen or how the characters will turn out. This may explain how when driving somewhere, we always manage to get lost (often ending up in Newport – not sure how that happens). We arrive at our destination eventually, but at least we’ve had an adventure along the way. And what’s life without adventure?

Just a quick reminder, the deadline for the author blog awards is April 2nd. Go to www.authorblogawards.com to nominate us. So far, we’re up to 5 that we know of and have just been badgering one of our supermarket buddies to nominate us. He’s been promised a position of power for when we take over the world. There are a few more positions up for grabs if you’d like to join our Raven army, but you have to nominate us first. We can win this, people! Who’s with us? Speaking of epic battles, we just watched Wales thrash Italy in the 6 Nations. Fantastic game. Shame they couldn’t play like that throughout the tournament. We’ve also been enjoying watching the Under 20s play. Unlike the senior side, they’ve only lost 2 matches, so we can look forwards to those youngsters becoming a part of the senior side one day. We’ve seen the future of Welsh rugby and it’s handsome.