Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Children of Rarn - redux

Can't believe it's been so long since I posted here. Just goes to show what a busy year 2015 has been, and how much time I have spent NOT writing, but working at what modern-day authors call the RLJ - or Real Life Job!
But 2016 has started with a different tack. At the beginning of 2015, Gollancz, a well-established and venerable publisher of science fiction and fantasy, and now an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, put out an call for direct submissions that was, apparently, so successful, they repeated the call for 2016, and, taking advantage of their opportunity, I submitted my fantasy novel The Children of Rarn, which is based on the song cycle developed by Marc Bolan in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
The Children of Rarn tells the tale of a race known as the Peacelings, and their arch-enemies, the Dworns.  The Peacelings, guided by their High Priest, Agadinmar, and ruled by the Swan King, live in relative peace and prosperity in the haven-realm of Beltane, while the Dworns, along with their thralls of trolls and "dragonbreed", live outside Beltane, hidden away, and commanded by their demonic lord, Lithon the Black.
Marc wrote a small number of songs, intending to build these into a full fantasy rock concept album, but failed to complete the project in his lifetime.  All that was left were the original demo version that he recorded with Tony Visconti, and a few re-recordings of some of those songs in his catalogue of unfinished works.  Even The Children of Rarn theme became the bookends of the first T.Rex album, simply titled T.Rex.  All-in-all, these were the very bare bones of the potential album.  Shortly after Marc's death, Tony hunted out the demo version and applied some light production to it, so that it could be subsequently released on the album "MARC - The Words and Music of Marc Bolan 1947-1977", as The Children of Rarn Suite.

Taking these as the spine, and adding in a few characters from many of Marc's other songs of the same time period, and including some characters and events based on Marc's real life, I built a fantasy novel, which has topped out at around the 100,000 word mark.  I originally started the story way back in the late 1980's, and submitted it, with varying success, to a couple of publishers.  But then I let it lie, even though I discussed the project with Tony Visconti, who was very supportive of developing the novel.
And now I have submitted the project to Gollancz for consideration in their 2016 Direct Submissions call.  It arrived there on Tuesday, so I am now in that purgatorial limbo that authors go through, between submitting a novel and waiting for a response from the publisher.  In the meantime, I still have to rescue around three-quarters of the novel from the WordStar files I wrote them in - yes - WordStar!!  And the whole thing could really do with a good re-edit and maybe a partial re-write, as I am definitely not the writer now that I was then - by which I mean my style and voice are much stronger now than at that time back in the days of mystery!
With my fingers crossed, I will keep you informed of updates and progress, and, with a good - nay - great stroke of fortune, maybe I will hear something wonderful back from Gollancz.

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