Although RAW MEAT was originally begun as a response to continual rejections from publishers it has become much more than a method of advertising; the past ten years have been pretty traumatic for me with the loss of my sight and RAW MEAT has become an important means of communication for me! Through this I have retained my sanity by discussing things going on around me in my life: Andy and Jack, my crazy helpers, books I’m reading, music I’ve been listening to and anything else exciting I’ve been doing! That includes of course my own writing, which will always be at the centre of my life. SKIN
Many people have asked where the title for my Newsletter came from; Raw Meat was one of the first unfinished novels I wrote many years ago. I thought the best thing about the novel was the title and so… it was eye-catching, that was the thing! RAW MEAT was originally Andy’s idea; he thought it would be a good way to publicise my work. The Newsletter began life in 1999 and it’s still going strong today! In RAW MEAT I have been serialising various stories from The Ziggy Collection, and also Killing Time, The Turn of the Century Party, Camp Mary and With An Axe. As well as writing the editorial, which gives an insight into my own life and what’s been happening each month. I also keep readers up to date with my own work in progress – at the moment this is The Space Between - which is also the name of the entire trilogy, as well as being the title of the second novel – I include extracts from this novel as I write them. I have already completed the first draft of the first novel The Spark. This section of the newsletter is called RAW MATERIALS, and in it I describe the process of writing, as it happens. Also appearing in RAW MEAT are occasional contributions from my son Jack, who has his own page. Andy also writes a column called Urban Scrawl.
Skin was written in 1989, for a competition run by BBC TV; I decided to try my hand at a new form of writing… and was astounded by the results! The ideas behind Skin are various, though it is largely about the breakdown of communication between people. My first thought was always with the visual effects, the way that this tearing of skin could be used metaphorically on screen. This short TV script was originally published by the BBC, in an anthology of the Debut On Two, competition winners. Although Skin was amongst the chosen six it was never televised, but it has been published once again by Geoff Barton in Ten Short Plays, which was used on the school syllabus. It has also been published by RAWPRINTZ, together with an introduction by myself, and is still available as an on demand title.
My obsession with Oscar Wilde inspired me to produce a dissertation for my MA in English Studies, which I took at Manchester University in 2001 – 2004. Although I knew that the subject would be Wilde, I wasn’t sure of the exact title until I began writing… Reinventing Wilde grew naturally out of historical facts to become almost a work of fiction itself. Writing each chapter was very exciting, combining fact and fiction, the Victorian age and modern interpretation, to create something quite new. Amongst the modern interpretations I concentrated on, were Saint Oscar by Terry Eagleton, The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde by Peter Ackroyd, the film Wilde with Stephen Fry, Who Was That Man? by Neil Bartlett… and not forgetting my own novels Killing Time and The Turn of the Century Party! I was very pleased with the result, and have made my dissertation available not only to Wilde freaks but to anyone interested in his life, not only his plays!
My favourite chapter is Wilde in Fiction, which seems to lead directly into my latest project on which I am currently working, The Space Between. Extracts from this (the second novel in my work-in-progress-trilogy) are currently being posted in my Newsletter RAW MEAT. I have already completed the first novel of this trilogy The Spark - which is currently being serialised in Without Boundaries. The chapter from my dissertation (Wilde in Fiction) was published in January 2007 in The Wildean, which is the official journal of The Oscar Wilde Society. By the way, I passed my MA. And Reinventing Wilde is still available from me as a RAWPRINTZ publication.
THE complete ZIGGY COLLECTION
This collection of tales are directly autobiographical! They were not written chronologically – in fact I only decided to collect these short stories together a couple of years ago. They cover different episodes in my life; there is one about my son, Jack, another about my childhood in Stockport, another about my years spent in London. Although the story Sightless, which concentrates on how I have dealt with the loss of my eyesight over the past years, was going to be the final story, I didn’t want to end the collection on such a note. I added a final fictional story, Second Sight - which shows that the imagination always wins in the end! The publication of these stories marked a completely new venture for me into autobiography – which I had previously avoided like the plague! But people reacted so positively towards the stories when they appeared in RAW MEAT, that I was encouraged to publish them as The complete Ziggy Collection… which is now available from my publisher RAWPRINTZ as an E-Book on CD-ROM. The price is a minimum donation of only £2.99 in the UK to charity, and all the proceeds go directly to the Manchester Ataxia Branch. To order your copy (with a beautiful cover, illustrated by my Dad, C J Batty) please email me on email@example.com MY FILM SCRIPTS:
DRY ROT and WITH AN AXE –
My initial success with Skin encouraged me to produce further film scripts, which have received positive feedback from the BBC - so far! I wrote With An Axe in 2003; I have been fascinated by the tale of Lizzy Borden’s axe murders in the 1890s for many years, and always thought that they would make an excellent visual piece. Although the BBC found my script "too literary" I am still keen to publish it myself. (Which I will do one day). From this script I went on to write a full-length film script adaptation of one of my novels, Dry Rot. I was very pleased with the result and hope to go on to write more film scripts in the future! Dry Rot the novel has now been published on CD-ROM as an E-Book by RAWPRINTZ, and I have included the film script version as an extra bonus.