Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Seren and the New Mabinogion

Seren have commissioned a series of books from Welsh writers, the first two being White Ravens by Owen Sheers and The Ninth Wave by Russell Celyn Jones. I'm elated, obsessed with the Mabinogion as I am, but also frustrated.

Seren should have commissioned me to write my version of Blodeuwedd. It's contemporary, gay, urban; everything Welsh Publishing houses seem to like at the moment. I've got any amount of short stories, poems, experimental fiction and plays - all of which I've been told are too experimental, too urban to be published. No one wants to take risks. The one lead I have is an editor said he wanted to read a novel based on Geraint and Nathalie, after reading a few short stories about them. They are my favourite characters to write about; I've been writing about them for so long that they wrote their own stories now, it's like I just write down the exploits of two friends that I'm growing older with. Great though they are, and fun as they are to write - they are the stories most rooted in the real world. I wish it was the 50s and I was a beat writer. I wish the editor had asked to read about Nathalie and Geraint living in Antiville, my bleak near-future Welsh city. I wish I had more time to write the Geraint novel, or that someone would publish a collection of stories if I promised to write the Geraint novel afterwards. Get me and my angst. It's like being fifteen again.
I read contemporary fiction, and a lot of it frustrates and depresses me. How the hell did that get published? And conversely, why did no one buy this book?

I'm setting myself some deadlines. I want to write the Geraint novel by end of March 2010. Parthian are calling for submissions. I need a binding contract, something spiritual I can use. I will write my testament and seal it inside a beloved book and only open it when I have finished writing my novel. Which book to use?

Off at a tangent again. I love the idea of a New Mabinogion, I absolutely love it - but I am worried that the Blodeuwedd story will be ruined. It won't be as good as mine.


Anonymous said...

Intrigued by your Blodeuwedd story!

I love the Mabinigion too, a book I must read again.

'Zann said...

I do so empathize with your frustration & angst.
I think it will be really good for you if you set that goal for yourself and succeed.
Publishing is a difficult road at best, but telling your story is what is most important. If you get that novel written, no, WHEN you get that novel written, doors will open. (Though they may not be the ones you expect!)
Write, write!

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