Laurel Canyon Fantasy will be based on a novel I wrote a good few years ago. It was only my second attempt and I threw in everything I’d got: a 1960s hippie tale, witches, a sorcerer, aliens, space monkeys, and, to top it all off, a present-day Carl Hiaasen-style plot strand in which five friends try to save a tropical island from development, their adversaries in this being the aliens.
I have it on some authority that at least the aliens weren’t devoid of merit: I sent a chapter featuring them to Bloomsbury’s ‘slush pile’ (this is what publishers call the landslide of unsolicited manuscripts that buries them daily) and received an extremely kind reply saying that although the venerable Bloomsbury publishing house currently had no use for my extraterrestrials, the slush pile attendant (usually an intern) was sure that I would find success if I kept at it. This kind of mellow encouragement even from interns is rare for a nobody shopping unsolicited manuscripts to slush piles, and it sustained me for years. The aliens were made of helium and lived on a planet called Eek, which opened the door to all manner of squeaking hilarity.
Nevertheless they will be stripped from the new and bare-bones Laurel Canyon Fantasy, as will the space monkeys, the tropical-island-dwellers and the intergalactic sorcerer (whose point of view was rendered in a highly intricate and extremely hard-to-follow stream of consciousness. Think Yoda meets Leopold Bloom on steroids). Since all these plot strands eventually interweaved I have no idea how I will get on without them. If I get stuck I reserve the right to re-introduce any or all of the above elements. You have been warned: there may be gratuitous space monkeys ex machina.
I’ll be aiming for a nice palatable 300 words per day, excluding weekends, the odd Monday and some other random times of my wanton choosing…