Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Since I Did It": An Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from the (forthcoming) debut title (fiction) of the publishing house Carlos and I will be launching in 2009:


Call me Aurora.

My story ends with a police station, a dank cell and a howling in my head that I cannot ignore. I fear this voice will drive me mad so I must write, and write quickly. I'm using a roll of toilet paper and a smuggled eye-liner, they won't let me have pen and paper for that - or so they say - is the root of my crime. But I must start. I am compelled to write. A hand moves mine that is not mine and will not move on, this is my pennance.
Can a person be convicted on the strength of a tattered, stolen manuscript? Penned by a man possessed by a ghost? If told carelessly, this would be a tale that would defy all attempts to suspend disbelief. Where should I start?

Yesterday I woke in my place of hiding and was tempted out into the open for the first time in days. And caught. Caught like a rat by Derekus and Colin and brought to this dark windowless trap - where I am now incarcerated.
Q what tempted me?
A you might well ask. A sale in my favourite department store.

I must have been half mad. Delirious through lack of sleep, worry, and the persecution of a man (a man? Is a dead man still a man?) Who is not able to rest until his story is told.

Again and again and again.

Bloomsburyton. How I hate you!

To explain the rest of my story I would have to go back to the beginning. A bright, crisp morning not so long ago when I decided to launch an online diary.


Extract from Since I Did It
Forthcoming from Broomscape Publishing (early 2009)
All rights reserved (c) 2008

Manuscript submissions (experimental work / serious literary genres only. No poetry) welcome at shoscombe.oldplace (at)
Authors WILL be required to provide incontrovertible proof of ownership of work submitted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


And they lived happily ever after.

In every story there is the hero and the person who becomes zero.
The hero lives happily ever after. The zero doesn’t.
For all of you busy frequenting this blog, save your time and internet connection. You will not be seeing any new posts on it for a while. A long while.
Society will be better off in the absence of that blog and its owner.
I’m not gloating.
The last one week has run like a high-budget movie. A few days ago Ms Adorna Shine was picked up by the Law, at a famous departmental store (name withheld) in a nearby city (name withheld), delirious, defeated, devoid of make-up. Her bag held only two items: Her switched-off pinkberry, and a yellowed, severely dog-eared sheaf of papers - MY MISSING MANUSCRIPT.
Her lips held no lipstick, only hallucinatory cries about being haunted by Broomington.
There is blood on her hands, on her pen, on her book covers.
I’m not sure I need to remind you of this: that the hunter has now become the hunted.
And the man she had horribly brainwashed and coerced into her service, Carlos (previously known and addressed in some quarters as "Ms. Shine’s shin-breaker") has now seen the light and accepted a Proclamation of Emancipation from her mental and emotional enslavement.
(At the moment, Carlos is shuttling between here and the Offices of the Law helping out with investigations. She is trying desperately to rope him in, but I can assure you that at best - or worst - all he was was an unwilling accomplice, an actor-under-severe-duress. That we can easily prove, there are years' worth of letters and notes and emails ready to be called up as evidence)
Carlos and I have decided to put the trauma of the last few weeks/months/years behind us. We are two men bound by the cruel antics of the same woman.
Time to out with the news:
Carlos and I have decided to venture into publishing.
Serious literary publishing, two to three titles a year, prompt payment of royalties, active and committed representation of our authors (we will be agents cum publishers), plenty of T(ender) L(oving) L(iterary) C(are).
You might be thinking: How dare they venture into publishing? What experience have they got? One struggling writer, one pseudo-novelist’s long-term sidekick, what do they know about publishing? What have they got to offer?
This is where you’re getting it wrong!
What does experience have to do with serious publishing?
If experience had anything to do with serious publishing then you need to ask yourself why the most successful publishing houses are not owned by the most successful writers. Surely a successful writer – having long been accustomed to dealing with publishers and navigating the treacherous catacombs of modern publishing, and having learnt (through suffering) how not to treat a writer – should be in the best position to start and manage a publishing house.
Carlos and I will bring a combined wealth of tangential experience to this venture. We are outsiders, mavericks, intent on changing the system from the margins. We are not ‘more of the same’; we are not old wine (whether in old or new skins). We are encumbered neither by stale knowledge and misleading experience, nor by the stagnant, uninventive arrogance that comes with having being around too long. We want to be to publishing what the skinny kid with a funny name (Barack Hussein Obama) is to the musty-suited stiffnecks of Washingtonian politics.
Our experience is as long-term marginalized persons, underdogs. I have written, and struggled to publish. I have had my work, painfully labored over, stolen, I have suffered the trauma of starting afresh. I have, in the paucity of my success, been slandered and victimized. I understand what it is spend all more time reading form-letter rejection slips than carrying on with my writing.
Carlos on his own part has for years served (albeit informally) as an ‘agent’, representing the interests of Ms Shine, serving as a go-between in dealings with her publishers, negotiating various contracts, serving as a counselor, idea-bouncing board, events manager/party planner, logistics personnel, project manager, muse, bodyguard and threat diffuser, etc.
Here's to the future.
We have already signed up our first author - and novel.



Monday, December 1, 2008


I have spent the last few nights agonising over this post. I have said again and again that this is a literary blog, not a gossip column. But it seems she here's hellbent on distracting me. Who am I to resist putting a noisemaker and rabblerouser where she belongs?

As I promised you in my previous post, there was adventure last Thursday, at the launch of the most famous plagiarised novel in the world, Pink As (Stolen) Perfume.

She showed up, much to my surprise (I had no idea she'd be that shameless to show up as the author of a novel that the entire world knows is not hers).


Carlos and I spent the last hour before the event studying (wildly rewinding) clips of QUANTUM OF SOLACE (he's watched it a million times, and brought it to my attention).

When, a few sentences into her reading, he launched himself onto the stage like a rocket-propelled grenade, he caught her and the entire audience (made up mostly of people who had come to see the adventure I promised) unawares. Strapped like a parachute on his back was a pressurised bag containing her missing dog, Sherlock (whom we had rescued a short while before from her chronic neglect). Upon seeing the body of evidence confronting her:
  1. the maltreated dog
  2. copies of the letters implicating her in Broomington's tragic fate
  3. incriminating extracts from her memoir-in-progress (The Collected Emails of Adorna Shine)
  3. COOPERATED AND CONFESSED to her heinous crimes against the late Broomington, against the traumatised Desiderus, against abused Sherlock, and against defrauded Carlos.
We MADE her read a confession (which was of course far more interesting than the novel she was attempting to launch), as well as the portions of the novel which she had copied and pasted from 19th century pornographic magazines - all she did was to translate them into 21st century English). After this I kind of got carried away and decided to read a bit from my novel-in-progress. The audience seemed to like it and erupted in wild applause and adulation, and a few people clambered onto the stage to express their delight.

In the minor confusion that followed, Ms. Shine BOLTED. With Sherlock! I admit that Carlos and I were stupid to allow that happen. But I thought I saw someone video-taping the entire incident, and have been searching youtube to see if they've uploaded it.

Before her reading she had talked about being in possession of her original manuscript, and of her desire to auction it at the end of the reading. Alas, that manuscript (which I suspect to be my stolen novel) is nowhere to be found. Either she still has it and bolted with it, or it's fallen into the hands of someone else... either way, bad news. It's the only thing depressing me now... I need to get that manuscript back!

She's been saying some nonsense on her blog about "the words [I have] been scrabbling to hold onto [not being mine] after all."

I thought she had reached the zenith - or nadir - of her mad delusion. I'm OBVIOUSLY wrong. Perhaps her talent lies in writing GHOST FICTION - make that GHOST FICTION "GHOSTWRITTEN" FOR HER. Fancy her saying I was possessed by Broomington, and that it was him writing my first novel using my hands.

Preposterous! Whoever believes such in this Age? If he wrote my first novel why isn't he helping me write this second one? Hah!

PS: Thanks Carlos for helping with the photo above (photoshop i believe it is called)