I am delighted to introduce you to Rewan Tremethick who has very kindly agreed to do a guest blog post as part of his tour prior to the launch of his most recent book at the end of May. Rewan is an ex student of mine at the University of Winchester where he studied Creative Writing. I was lucky enough to supervise his final year project (dissertation).He would spend a lot of time in my office along with Sonney Stelling putting the world to writes [sics]. We had many a laugh but he was also a good student. Always listening to what I had to say, going away and working hard on his creative pieces. So It is with great joy that I hand my blog over to him. Well done Rewan and good luck
Writing my way to self discovery. And biscuits.
I learned something rather important about myself when I wrote Fallen on Good Times. Originally, I had intended it to be a nice, straightforward adventure. No subtext, no brain work, just something simple and easily consumable, like the pulp magazines of the 1920s; the period in which the book is set.
It was National Novel Writing Month: a time of year that always gets writer types excited. It's the literary challenge equivalent of running a marathon for anyone interested in using their legs. Write 50,000 words in one month, no excuses. It doesn't have to be good - the idea is just to get something out of your brain. Writers have a tendency to avoid writing, which we're allowed to do, because we're artists. If after several months, the people you had hired to build your home had only put two bricks together, because they 'hadn't felt like building', you'd be outraged. Writers, on the other hand, get away with it, hence the large kick up the backside NaNoWriMo provides being rather useful to us.
For me, writing long pieces has never been a problem. I take part in NaNoWriMo for the community. And also because it presented a nice opportunity to get working on my new project - the paranormal adventures of a private detective in 1920s America, down on his luck, looking for something better (and less deadly) to do with his life. It was an action book, and a comedy. You could laugh at it, and people got punched every now and then. All good things.
But at the end of NaNo, I looked back over it and realised it was too empty for me. I needed it to have some substance. I wasn't aiming for ideas as astounding as Decartes 'I am thinking, therefore I exist’, but I wanted the book to be something that made you do a little bit of brain work. Rather like a pile of hot coals, or a porcupine, you shouldn't be able to just hold it for several hours and then forget about it forever. It should leave a mark on you.
Considering I originally started on Fallen on Good Times because I was taking a break from the other ideas I was working on, which were much more complex and thematic, this was a bit of a problem. I had succeeded in my goal - make a straightforward book that would (hopefully) put a smile on some people's faces and give them a happy way to while away a few hours. Yet I wasn't happy with what I had produced.
Hence the moment of self-realisation. It was a very quiet epiphany, the acknowledgement that I needed to tell stories that had meaning, that said something. If they made a film of my life, they'd have to crank up the drama somewhat, perhaps by having the realisation come to me in a dream, then depicting me tearing up the pages of the manuscript, shouting at befuddled relatives 'I need something more than this!' As it was, I was alone in the living room at about 1.30 in the morning, which is when I tend to do most of my deep thinking. I was probably eating biscuits; not as dramatic though.
Perhaps that's why Mark Wilson from Paddy's Daddy Publishing, and the other people so far who have read it and enjoyed it, have liked it. It originally started out as a comic action romp. It achieves that quite well, I think. There are plenty of Discworld-esque characters and moments (my style of written humour has often been compared to that of Messers Pratchett and Adams in the past), and some nice action sequences. But what the rewrite added was a few layers of depth. It made the book resonate more, created a stronger purpose for the story, and gave the book something to say.
I never set out intending to ignore my desire to create something that had depth and subtext, I just hadn't realised when I started Fallen on Good Times just how strong that desire was. It's not a facet of my writing, it's the very reason that I do write.
I have long believed that good writing makes you feel, but great writing makes you think. If Fallen on Good Times makes people laugh, smile, and enjoy themselves, I'm happy, but if it also makes them think about their own thoughts and beliefs with regards to the issues in the novel, then I'm something more than happy. I'm fulfilled. Justified. In the film of my life, that'll probably be depicted by me running up a mountain and roaring triumphantly at the world from atop the summit.
In reality, I'll probably just have more biscuits.
Check out the trailer for the book here:
About the author:
Rewan (not pronounced ‘Rowan’) Tremethick is a British author who was named after a saint. St Ruan was invulnerable to wolves; Rewan isn’t. His paranormal detective noir, Fallen on Good Times, is being released towards the end of May. Rewan has already had two murder mystery novellas published.
When not writing, he can be found drumming, reading, and pondering. He works as a freelance copywriter, so it’s hard to find a time where he’s not writing anything. Rewan is a fan of clever plots, strong woman who don’t have to be described using words like ‘feisty’, and epic music. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy, radio presenting, and writing sentences without trying to make a joke.
He balances his desire to write something meaningful by wearing extremely tight jeans.
Click here for more information and to sign up and get chapter one for free [link: http://www.rewantremethick.com/fallen-on-good-times-novel].