In a prior post
I told a little about this book I am writing, and I mentioned that it is not the first time I try something of the sort.
I have been writing as long as I can remember. I sold my first story to a newspaper when I was thirteen.
Along with ordinary news magazine articles and hundreds of documentary reports on all sorts of different things but primarily music events, I've written short stories, poems, song lyrics and essays. However, I have not done much publishing of fiction.
I have contributed to several anthologies with short stories and poems, but I have only released two actual books with only my own works, both of them collections of poems, and the last one was in 2000.
So, I still remain to release a novel.
Not that I haven't written a novel. I actually have four full novels lying around, but none of them were good enough for publishing. The first one was a fantasy story (The Swan and The Unicorn) which I wrote in 1985 - 86 when I was 16-17 years old. It was for a competition for young writers, and it came in on a 28th position out of 454 contributions.
As most of you probably know by now, I have recently moved from a flat in the suburbs to a cottage in the country. Moving always gives you a chance to go through your old stuff. To me 'old stuff' includes page after page of drafts, notes, comments, and a vast variety of research material.
For your benefit I picked out some samples and just took some photos of the lot.
This is a sample of the research material I am collecting at the moment, for my next project, worktitel: The Colonel
There will be a lot of military stuff in this book, and if there is one thing I don't know anything about it's the military. I've never been in the army. So, it is actually quite a challenge to me, because I have to start from ground zero in this case. As you can tell, it is oldschool research with hard copies and print-outs of everything. I have some of it on my harddrive, of course, but I need to have actual sheets of paper between my hands to do proper research. It is part of the way I work, always was, so there will be paper, and lots of it.
This is the original copy of my first novel The Swan and The Unicorn
, that I mentioned in the above, written in the mid-eighties. It's about a young boy of our world who sort of disappears into his own imaginative world, a more or less standard Fantasy set-up: a semi-medieval society in a Central European landscape but with fairy tale creatures, magic and that sort of stuff. There's also a development of the main character through the story. He learns the value of being in touch with reality, and he learns that imagination is not always a good thing.
And, yeah, there's a unicorn in it too.
The publishing house that arranged the competition actually send out very nice letters to all contributors, and I got a full two pages with serious personal critique and comments.
Didn't win, though.
This is a novel I wrote in the early nineties, when I was in my mid-twenties. The title translates to "Wonderful Everyday", but the Danish term hverdag
actually has other associations than the English everyday
. Hverdag actually means 'any day'. It's difficult to explain, but there's a certain transtextuality in the titel, that you would have to be a Dane to understand.
It is a sort of 'adolescence novel', set in a contemporary timeline. It's about a young man who is confused about his life in a time and age where there was much unemployment and the future seemed uncertain for most young people. All he knows is, that he very much want to be a writer. Otherwise it's just a very everyday story about young people of that time. A love story too.
I actually don't remember if I ever tried sending it in to a publisher. It was a very confusing time for me, the early nineties, and I'm afraid I only remember a few details from that entire period.
I like the story, though, because it is so obvious, twenty years after, that the protagonist is me. He even looks like I did back then, even plays the drums. It's quite interesting to read it now, and a little bit sad too, because hindsight makes you very clever, as I'm sure you all know.
I show you this piece, because it is written on my old faithful Olympia Traveller De Luxe typewriter
I'm doing a seperate post on this nice piece of equipment another time.
The story is actually my first serious attempt on writing a crime fiction novel. Didn't turn out like I expected, so I dismissed it. Parts of it are quite good, but I didn't finish it. Writing crime fiction is not easy. You really need to be in charge of your plot with crime fiction.
These are a sample of some of the odd pieces I have written over the years: two short stories and a collection of poems.
The poems went to an anthology where they picked out two of them. One of the stories ("265") was supposed to be a contribution to a science fiction short story collection but the project failed and they sent it back to me with regrets.
The last example is what I consider my prime work. This means that it's my personal favourrite, and that people who have read it tend to agree. My wife simply loves it.
It was written in the late nineties, and it takes place in that period. The plot is a classic Golden Age whodunit
plot, and since it takes place in a traditional country community it has references to Agatha Christie, of course. The style is suspense, though, more than mystery.
I wrote it because I needed to write a tribute to Danish writer Morten Korch
. And I do mean a tribute, not a parody. I sort of imagined how it would go, if this guy had written a horror novel. I also wanted it to have strings to Karen Blixen
. I mixed those traditional Danish writers with a David Lynchish atmosphere, adding weird things like UFO sightings, 15th century witchcraft, and, of course, the ghost of Elvis to the mix. It all ends in a very dramatic grande finale
where people die and the castle burns and stuff like that.
It ended up as a gothic horror/thriller mixed with quite a lot of trantextual specialities.
It still works, but I have to re-write it and do quite a lot of editing, because the intertextuality is very contemporary, and there are important contextual details that people nowadays would have forgotten.
And it only has one mobile phone in it.
Nevertheless, I might return to this piece later. I reckon that if I get a novel published, and it sells good, then the publisher might be interested in "Oktoberlogi" - October Lodgins
It would make a slammer of a movie. I would really like to see that happen...
That's it for now. Feel free to ask questions, and I shall answer as good as I can.