I’m becoming two people…
I’ve been writing consistently since my first son was born 11 years ago but even more seriously in the last number of years since the real baby days of my youngest child, now 4. From my early endeavours I have 1.75 novels in a drawer. In the last number of years I’ve written many short stories, several of them shortlisted, many many flashes, two complete novels and another one on the way.
For any of you familiar with my writing through my #FridayFlash posted here and links to stories, you will know that in the main my writing is slice of life, on the literary side. I’m also partial to writing what Tania Hershman denotes science inspired fiction: fiction which uses as it’s starting point a scientific fact or discovery and creates a story around it. At the moment in fact I’m writing a flash about a Faraday cage and I was excited to write a story for this Higgs Boson Anthology. The story Supersymmetric: Almost but not quite is one of my own favourites.
Science explains the marvels of human life and the natural world and it also through it’s theories, findings and ways of looking at the world provides marvellous metaphors that can be used in literature to present our experiences of being human. Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go presents and alternative or possible future reality where cloning has become commonplace yet it is a work of literature. Many authors such as Margaret Atwood write about alternate realities without calling it science fiction. My literary novel The Book of Remembered Possibilities depicts, as well as the world we live in, a perfect alternate world inhabited by the alternate self of the books main character.
But I’ve gone and written Housewife with a Half-Life. It’s a comedy, it’s got a sprinkle of sci-fi, it’s got slightly scary rotten apple faced creatures called Geezers. It’s got an arch enemy with a cataclysmic convertor called The Spinner. It’s got household appliances that talk and others that are downright dangerous. It’s got a housewife called Susan Strong and an endearing spacemen with luminescent emotions called Fairly Dave. It’s got precocious and cherubic twin boys, Pluto and Rufus, (they aren’t dogs!) with a temporal hopping bunk bed. It’s got downright evil, it’s got peace, love and understanding. It’s got ensuite showers and a woman who can save the world with a clothes peg. And while it’s set in suburbia, in a regular house, the action mostly takes place in other worlds through which the characters travel through all manner of portals, including the Frozen Peas section in the supermarket’s chilled cabinet.
So is it sci-fi? More or less, less of the space opera and more of the human heart. But it’s more on the space and sci-fi side than my literary offerings. In this changing publishing landscape it’s a book that publishers might want to take a risk on but can’t. Those that have read it enjoyed it but didn’t know quite where it would fit. I could, like Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help send it out 60 more times to publishers but I’m also curious to give self-publishing a go, to acquaint myself with all the processes and stages and to do it right. I also very much admire self-published authors such as Marc Nash, Dan Holloway and Catherine Ryan Howard, who for a variety of reasons have got down to the business of getting their work out to people directly and have done so in a professional manner with quality products. I also believe in my book. I’ll talk more in another post about what I’ve done to make it the best I can. But when I read it, I enjoy it, laugh, am moved by it and hope you will be too. I’ll be releasing Housewife with a Half-Life as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback this June available through Amazon, Smashwords and other online outlets.
There are many reasons why we might take on pen names. So why A.B.Wells? Well it’s still me, not far from Alison Wells. Of course it’s got connotations of H.G. Wells, a writer I admire. It’s my space comedy more sci-fi self and for now it’s my self-publishing self. It’s my Fairly Dave and Susan Strong self and there may be more of those where they came from. It differentiates this material from the literary material that I’m submitting to traditional publishers. I’m hoping that I can take many readers with me who’ve enjoyed this blog and my writing as Alison Wells but that readers who find me as A.B.Wells will enjoy my more sci-fi offerings.
I’ll be blogging more about my self-publishing endeavours and looking specifically for your help in spreading the word about Housewife with a Half-Life. There’ll be a specific post where anyone interested in being involved with a blog tour or mention can sign up. If anyone has any further comments or suggestions please check contacts for my email.
Just over a year ago I was asked to be a resident blogger on the writing.ie website. My blog is called Random Acts of Optimism. A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to see a link on Twitter to this most inspiring and moving talk by Ray Bradbury on writing. In his summation he said that what we want most of all as humans and as writers is for someone to come and tell us that they love us, love what we do. He also said that his life was full of surprise. That he wrote just what came to him and then surprising things happened which resulted in the opportunity to share his work and publish his books. For me, becoming A.B.Wells and self-publishing Housewife with a Half-Life is an act of optimism in a book that is about what I love, what makes me laugh and what I want to share with others.