Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Alan Savage - his 'Next Big Thing'


Alan Savage                             ‘The Teesside Verses’
Is a musician, teacher and writer and originates from Middlesbrough, North East Britain.
‘The Teesside Verses’ is his first ebook publication, due out March 2013.

I’ve been tagged by Jude Cowan Montague, who is a fantastic writer, musician and artist. Please circulate and circumnavigate the globe of these combined talents!


Where did the idea come from for the book?
‘The Teesside Verses’ came about by happenstance. I had written some poems with an autobiographical theme to them and I started to notice a thread linking them. I challenged myself to write more, keeping the local theme of Teesside in mind. The poems or verses to be more precise, were written over a period of the last 18 months or so, but one of them date back longer than that. A few are revised versions of things I started over three years ago.

What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry, but the very term makes me baulk a bit. I don’t like the barriers it invokes. Most people associate Poetry with something they had to do at school. It would be a great achievement if people put Poetry books in their Tesco trolleys. Tesco are you listening?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The verses put together might thread to a storyline for the life of a small town dreamer character, trying to escape his surroundings and circumstances I suppose. If it is mostly me, it would have to be Richard E Grant, as I have been told that I look like him! Ken Loach could direct it. Is he still alive?

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Poetry is not only for posh people you know.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
With a poem or verse, I usually get the initial rush and feel of it quite quickly. I’ll write a first draft.  I then let it ferment in the mind until I feel ready to come back to it. I usually give them a full week or month before revisiting them. Some take longer. One of the verses I revised over six times. Really, you can tinker with them indefinitely, but you have to stop at some point. It’s a bit like writing a song. You look for a way to hook in the listener and then try to keep them there.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Inspiration is a second you have to jump on or it goes away. I always carry a small writing pad and a pen or pencil. The rest is pure perspiration. I wanted to publish a Poetry book as I wish more people would read Poetry out of choice. I also would like it if it helps broaden the scope of what people understand by Poetry. It can be both entertaining an enlightening. It need not be obscure and difficult to get. I’m a Punk poet. I don’t want to bang on and bore people or show off. It’s stripped back, direct and I hope people can relate to it. If not, I have failed.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Some swear words to make school kids feel rebellious reading it. Always worth a cheap shot.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be an ebook and an audio book. I have been looking into this publishing lark and it occurred to me that to self-publish is not only a desperate vanity option – it is also a good way of maintaining your rights and self dignity. Plus, if people pay you directly, there is no pie to slice up. I am of course open to offers of telephone number length advances. I need the money and would not say no to a proper paper published book. Who would?

***

My writers to tag are:
1. Hartlepool new wave of Noir writer, the uber-cool Paul D. Brazill.
2. Middlesbrough born published poet , writer and terrific lass, Angela Readman.
3. Musician, artist and writer, Jude Cowan Montague (of superb avant folk duo Foulkestone too!)
4. The marvellous writer and creator of ‘weird noir’, Kate Laity.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Next Big Thing - Expanding Blog

Amazing writer/poet/word artist all kinds of wonderful Kirsten Irving tagged me as a writer to respond to an interview for an expanding blog project called The Next Big Thing. You can read her interview at http://sidekickbooks.blogspot.co.uk/.

In turn I’m tagging four selected writers to answer the questions on 9 January 2013) (see below the interview!).

Where did the idea come from for the book?
These poems and pictures are based on a visit to Terre Rouge in Mauritius where I stayed with the Groodoyals family, hence the book's title The Groodoyals of Terre Rouge. So although it may be unfamiliar to many, the collection has a straightforward rather than a cryptic title.


What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry and Art

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Ah, well the Groodoyals family are better than any screen family – but perhaps some of these large families that have been so popular on the screen represent something of their tight knit sensibility. I’m thinking of the Cosby Family, the Waltons, the Partridge family – hey, all my references American – which says more about my personal viewing history than anything else.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
How it feels for an adult to get a new family for a brief moment in a windswept isle in the Indian ocean.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I wrote the poems in a month. But they only became a manuscript four years later. The original prints were made over six months at Camberwell Art College.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
That marvellous family, the Groodoyals of Terre Rouge, of course. Also I was just branching out into poetry at the time, after being a songwriter for many years. I wanted to have a go at pushing my lyrics further, experimenting with working without the support of music. This was hard for me. I was breaking habits I had built up over a lifetime. I felt quite lost at the beginning but it helped me find my way into writing poetry. Focusing on a concentrated, special time period turned out to be a good way of creating a coherent body of first work. Having published my debut collection on a completely different topic (Reuters news stories in For the Messengers) I wanted to return to a personal topic, and refreshed the work for me by expanding the text with the inclusion of printmaking.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The artwork consists of photographs of the trip which contrast with the poems to add extra voyeur and voyager qualities. The experimental prints are lyrical, visual explorations. I’m fascinated by etching and monoprint techniques and like to push these as much as possible. The design is by the brilliant Nicky Otaka Zhu.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Neither. It’s going to be published by Dark Windows Press in 2013.
***

My writers to tag are:
1. My Teeside wordsmith in Malaysia, Alan Savage (I'll post his here)
2. Rather superb playwright, teacher and fun guy Sean Bruno of the Conway Collective

3. Lucy Lepchani, who is working towards a very interesting book on her Lepchar heritage

4. Er ... I haven't got a fourth yet - but I shall


 

Check them out on 9th January