One Sale A Day Is Fine (Actually It’s Great), Fairytale-X, Kay Nielsen, Zane Grey

26 Mar

Sold, another, book today. Sold another, book today. (That was my attempt at type-singing, by the way, not a Shatner impression.) (Although actually that could be fun, let’s try that.)

Today I sold … another book. Didn’t expect to. But when I … checked … the report. Well. There … it was.

You know what that means? One a day for three days in a row! That’s fantastic! Moving forward, slowly but surely, always moving forward.

Today I’m seriously considering putting out an older book that I’d previously labelled ‘not quite good enough for public consumption’. Why? Because I had a look at it and it made me laugh. It’s basically a bunch of fairy tales told through the confused-but-enthusiastic voice of a teenage guy–a little like MST3K but for the weirdness of old stories (and seriously, some of them are really, really weird). Tentatively titled “Fairytale-X”. Here’s a snippet of a cover test:

Instantly you can see some problems with it–so obvious I need not even point them out–but this is kind of the idea I’m going for, except I’d also put some more modern images over the ‘classic’ picture, possibly sellotaped on with torn edges, to represent a modern perspective on an old story. It’s not like I’ve shoved fighter jets and machineguns into the stories, just … hmm. Actually that might misrepresent things a little. I’ll have to think about this more.

The background image I’m using is by my absolute favourite illustrator of classic tales, Kay Nielsen, probably most famous for his (amazing) work on East Of The Sun and West Of The Moon. This image in particular I’ve always loved:

Flowing, lonely, otherworldly, and I mean just look at the composition, just LOOK at it. Every element perfectly balanced, the colours, the shapes, it’s perfect, is what it is. Just perfect.

I’ve wanted to get into westerns for a while now, but it was my father who finally connected me with a writer I could really get into–Zane Grey. Incredible writing. I’m reading Desert Gold at the moment and on almost every page I’m highlighting passages, I actually find it difficult not to read it aloud (in, of course, a weary, dusty, gravelly voice). You can find a lot of his books at Project Gutenburg, if you’ve any interest at all in good solid writing go take a look. Hard to believe they were written a hundred years ago.

“The desert surrounded him, silver-streaked and black-mantled, a chaos of rock and sand, silent, austere, ancient, always waiting. It spoke to Cameron. It was a naked corpse, but it had a soul.”
-Desert Gold, Zane Grey

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Posted by on March 26, 2011 in Of Writing


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