Contracts are scary, full of clauses that can trip one up for years to come, like loose shoe laces. In the corner of my front room is a filing cabinet, dustier than the Ark of the Covenant, which houses a folder devoted to publishing contracts, some of which are now yellowing with age. The dry language of legalities is more baffling and less attractive than hieroglyphics. However, as far as agreements go, the book to film option for Johnny Thunders – In Cold Blood was pretty straight forward, but the life story rights were another matter altogether.
Life story rights are a particularly American construct verging on the Faustian pact, in which one leases out both image and experience, in this world, the universe and beyond. Sounds grandiose? Read on…
As the grammatically beady-eyed will be aware by now, the cover of our Mar/Apr/May issue had an unwanted guest, in the form of a rogue apostrophe. A combination of delays, vanishing proofs and rushed final checks were to blame, but it should never have been written in the first place. Thank you to those who understood, forgave, sympathised and generally let us off with this one. The apostrophe is now persona non grata in Mslexia Towers.
So, as you know, my plan is to test the elegant hypothesis that if you throw enough shit against a wall, some of it will stick.
In the interests of research, I’m going to gamble my Mslexia blogger’s fee on sending my work out absolutely everywhere that I would want to have it published, and to every competition I want to win. I write short stories, so that’s the market I’ll be aiming for.
The journey from page to screen has been a stroll into unknown territory. Though I’ve worked on several documentaries, the cinematic process, at least at the offset, is far less tangible. How ironic that the word ‘adaptation’ is so very close to ‘adoption’, for that is what a film option entails.
Following my last post I’ve been reading (and loving, by the way) your suggestions for reading material about motherhood via Twitter, Facebook, email and the comments section of this blog. I ordered quite a few books on the heel of your recommendations and have had many ‘why on earth haven’t I read this before?’ moments.
I subscribed to Mslexia before I was published and now, with nine novels under my belt, I still find it an endless source of inspiration. So when Debbie Taylor invited me to guest edit the June issue, I jumped at it.
Weeks later, when I was knee-deep in proofs for my next novel, we set a date to meet up in London. So I bundled up the proofs and took them with me on the three hour journey up from Devon. Meanwhile Debbie was making a three hour journey down from Newcastle upon Tyne. Talk about meeting in the middle!