Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Backside of Nowhere

I am so stoked about my latest novel. I’ve been writing like a man possessed. In a fraction of the time it took me to reach the same point with my earlier books, I have written a first draft and a first re-write. And I sent the manuscript to people who helped me edit my earlier books. After reading the first two chapters, my friend Larry — who is a fantastic poet and a harsh critic who never lets me get away with crap — said: “Finally an expert is in charge.”

And my friend Margaret wrote back: “I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo impressed. I read and reread sections just poring over the word pictures. I really, really, really like this aspect of the writing on this one. I shall return to the story now and see what happens but I can tell you now this is word-wise (don't know about the plot) definitely the best.”

I will have to do at least one more read-through and revision after all of my wonderful, volunteer, no-pay editors get through with it. By the way, the title is The Backside of Nowhere. It is set in the fictitious town of Freedom, somewhere near the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There’s a lot of action in it. There are two hurricanes, a flash flood, two football games that each end in riots on the field — and, oh yes, a love story involving a movie star who returns to his old hometown and reconnects with his old high school sweetheart.

While waiting for my friends to finish reading it, I’m editing Bill’s story for Gabi.

As everyone knows, our son Bill committed suicide after a gay bashing. Gabi posted his story on her Web site. It began as a simple, one-page site with a picture and a brief statement. At first hundreds and then thousands of people responded to it, and it snowballed into decades of activism. For years Gabi has been saying she was going to compile it all into a book, but she’s never had the time to even get started. However, in a way, she has already written the book. It exists on her Web site and in hundreds of saved e-mails and letters. Writing the book is simply (Ha! Simple my ass) a manner of putting it together in a coherent fashion. That’s what I’m working on now. That will be the next ClaytonWorks Publishing venture.

Stay tuned for updates.


Bev Sykes said...

And when you finish writing Bill's story you can start putting Steve's story into publishable form. bwahahaha!

Alec Clayton said...

Yeah, right. As if I would dare tackle the task of writing the Big Head story.

But actually Bill's story is more about after his death than it is about before his death, and guess who plays a major role in that story. From the time he first wrote to Gabi, which was before the opening of "The Last Session," to the Lennon piano project, which is ongoing -- Mr. S. is a lead character in this story.

Bev Sykes said...

He'll be so pleased.