Author Will Self correctly said that, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the editing. The words flow forming some sort of cohesive narrative but things like grammar, punctuation and all the other ‘tricksy’ bits are ironed out under the editor’s scrutiny. I have (sounding like a real pro here) been fortunate in having three superb, unpaid editors, who have taken my ramshackle efforts and knocked them into shape.
Of late a real life ‘English Professor’ (yes, even academics have insane members) has been kind enough to work with me. (Work with me is a defensive posture as I merely do what she tells me and take her amends as gospel.) The question of her sanity, or perhaps mine for inflicting my work on her, needs clarification.
The Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry are, in themselves a bit ‘left field.’ I have struggled long and hard to explain them but until recently failed to do so adequately. Imagine if you will four hands on a saucepan (bear with me). The hands belong to Spike Milligan (deceased), Jilly cooper, Fred Vargas and Hergé (also deceased). The ingredients they toss into the saucepan are these: a sprinkle of ‘Puckoon’ (Under Milkwood might suffice), a dash of bawdy romance, a lick of off-beat detective thriller and a slice of adventure (with a bit of occasional soft porn). Mad as a bag of frogs of course but so is the author.
However, that is not the stuff I sent the lovely L.W who, at this point in time, must be wringing her hands in long distance imitation of what she’d like to do with my throat. The book of short stories currently littering her inbox is entitled ‘Simian Simpering – Private Detective and Surrealist Investigator (Dredging Silkworms and Ten Reversible Faces). No, it is not a treatise on world famine but something far less worthy. It is nothing like Fekenham Swarberry either, which is daft enough, but a rather bizarre set of stories, ten in total, that feature a character who really belongs in the bottom draw marked rejects of Edward Lear. They make the term nonsense seem, well, nonsensical.
As I said, I am very grateful to the good lady but also Jason Daniels who I would love to do the cover art but having had him design three for Fekenham, and all as yet unpaid, shall not add insult to injury. Also (sounding like a Miss World winner) young Mark Scammell for his sterling work on my website.
So then, all I need now is a literary agent…
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.