Do you remember that George Harrison song?
♫ It’s gonna take time,
A whole lot of precious time ♫
Turns out he was a bit of a prophet.
Often you hear writing gurus, mentors and lecturers preaching about how everything takes time in this writing malarkey. Things like, “it takes ten-thousand hours to become good at writing”, or “it takes an average of X years for a script to reach the screen” (and of course, for the latter, only if it has gone through numerous rewrites and stages of rejection).
It all seems a bit ridiculous and farfetched, but once you get to witness it, it is clear why.
I wrote my entry for the TWISTED 50 initiative about a year ago at the tender age of thirty-eight. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, it will be published in a book by September, when I’ll have achieved the grand old age of thirty-nine and a half. Roughly eighteen months later.
Of course, the idea didn’t just materialise from nothing – magically from the ethereal void. It slowly came together from an entire lifetime of experience.
As a writer I’m like a bee who flies from flower to flower collecting my “pollen” before I turn it into the sweet “honey”.
I was born in Lancashire, famous for its folk tales and witches, in 1977, and indeed my early memories of my mother were an interest in Hammer horror films and local witchcraft. As I grew, I too, became fascinated with the peculiar, fantastic and the Fortean:
Decades of research thanks to the Fortean Times.
Through nature / nurture, I also became enthused by horror films and wrote some ideas for scenes and scripts all throughout my formative years.
Ideas flowed continuously. Writing happened sporadically.
Then in October 2014, I took my lads to the library to return their (probably overdue) books. On the way out, among the Hallowe’en promotion shelves was an intriguing book called The Book Of English Magic (ISBN: 9781848540415). I walked out of the back door and stopped. Something about the cover called out to me. I went back in, checked it out and devoured its contents.
Inspired by the book and influenced by earlier entertainment like War of The Worlds, Alternative 3 and Ghostwatch, I wrote a television script called The Summoning. It was a faux live show, filled with mini documentaries, fake adverts and Twitter feeds, where three modern day witches would evoke an angel on camera for the world to see. With my grandiose imagination, I wanted to make the audience at home believe that it had all gone wrong and that they were about to witness the apocalypse.
But of course, grandiose imagination is also a euphemism for “unsellable” or “risky”.
That was until July of 2015, when a new and unique competition was brought to my attention.
The Summoning evolved once more into a two page piece of prose – it became my TWISTED 50 entry SPELLINGS.
And now I know, when those in the know say “this business takes a lot of time”, I can completely empathise, because it has taken thirty-nine and a half years, decades of research and a lifetime of influences, for my humble two pages to finally go to print.
My Profile HERE.