Monday, 20 March 2017


Hello, Dear Readers! It feels a bit insensitive to wish you a happy Monday (especially if the weather where you are is as filthy miserable as the weather where I am right now) so I'll just say that I hope the week's getting off to a good start for you so far.

As you can probably tell from the blog title this week, I've got a sort of gallimaufry to share today. First up, some links to a pair of posts made by the lovely Bonnie of A Backwards Story and her friend Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl where they interview me about BAREFOOT ON THE WIND and you get a chance to win a copy, or a copy of one of nearly a dozen other Beauty and the Beast themed novels, as part of their week of Beauty and the Beast. It's an international giveaway, so get in there!

This is celebrating the release of the Disney live action B&B this week - which, by the way, I really want to see, but have mixed feelings about too. So if anyone's already seen this and wants to give me yays or nays about the film in the comments, feel free!

In other BAREFOOT ON THE WIND related news, the book has been longlisted for the Southern Schools Book award, which is super fab. The longlist is rather intimidating, but it's great to see my strange little Feminist tale there among all the big names, and some friends of mine too.

Finally, *deep breath* at long, long, loooooooong last... the work in progress known as Codename: DTH... is finished!


Well, I mean that it's finished in first draft. And a particularly messy, rough, incomplete first draft, too. I haven't even written the epilogue, because although I know the book needs a closing chapter to tie up lose ends and give the reader that satisfied The End feeling, I feel as if anything I write now will just be a placeholder that immediately ends up going in the bin once I've re-read the manuscript. So I decided to leave it instead. I've never done that before and it gives me a really queasy, guilty feeling.

However, since the book is already 130,000 words long (yeeeee!) which is as long as Shadows on the Moon was in first draft, I definitely don't feel like I need to be adding any unnecessary new length at this stage!

The book's now printed out in an entirely different font and format than the one that I'm used to working on, and has been secured with a veritable fleet of bulldog clips, since I don't have a folder big enough to fit it (yep, it's a bit... chunky. In a loveable way!). Since I've finished this a little ahead of schedule I'm going to give myself some extra time to get distance from it before I do a complete hard copy re-read and mark-up, write that epilogue, and then get to cutting, revising and polishing. I'm hoping that I'll be able to make substantial reductions in wordcount before I take that scary step of sending this off to my agent to see what she says.

Once it's in a state my agent can live with, then we'll be on a quest to try and find a home for the book - whether that's with my beloved Walker or someone else. I honestly, truly love this story and these characters and this world. I think it's the best and most challenging thing I've written since Shadows. And I believe the book is one that needs to be out there for readers to find. Fingers crossed that there's an editor (and marketing and finance teams) out there who can love it and believe in it as much as I do. If/when it does sell, I should be able to give you all a bit more detail about it.

In the meantime, I'll be refreshing my brain a bit by ploughing through as much as my To Be Read Pile as possible, and also working on some other - COMPLETELY DIFFERENT OMG - stuff, just for fun, to keep the writing muscles limber

Read you later, my muffins!


Shanna Hughes said...

Congrats on finishing! Wohooo!!

As for B&B, I've been looking forward to this movie for MONTHS. It is (was) probably my most anticipated movie for 2017 (although, Pirates? Wonder Woman?) and I really enjoyed seeing it last Friday. It was magical!

I think Emma does a fantastic job as Belle, and I think no one but Luke Evans could have portrayed a better Gaston.

The story is true to the Disney movie we know, and many things are similar. They have, however, changed Belle a bit by making her an inventor too (which I loved because she did that so she had more time to read... this would be so me, lol), and added more background story on Belle's mom, but also the Beast's father, as well as a few scenes that show the relationship development between Belle and the Beast better. I thought it was more realistic this way, with the tiny details that showed they really connected.

I was't really sure about Mrs. Potts accent, though! Ha. I don't know. It just seemed a little... off, to me, and I didn't like the movie version of the song Beauty and the Beast as much as the original Disney movie. I love Ariana Grande & John Legend's version, though!

I'll probably go see it again this week. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Definitely an overall positive experience, then! I know why Mrs Potts' accent was wonky though. It's Emma Thompson, and posh actors can never do cockney properly. Thanks, Shanna :)

Rachel Balcombe said...

Whooo, congrats on finishing the WIP!! *confetti* Editing is my favourite part but I think I'm at least 5k away from the end of mine still (sadness).

I went into BatB with very low expectations, and I was definitely impressed! I do think it's better than the original, and I love that this will be the version of the story that a whole new generation will grow up with.

Some things I am a little meh about - the much vaunted 'gay moment' is less problematic than I thought but also nothing to write home about - but there were some really lovely progressive-feeling moments throughout that I'll probably do a post about at some point. I'd be interested to see what you think if you see it, bc you often pick up on stuff I don't see - and there is so much to see in this film!

In conclusion I'm seeing it again on Wednesday :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Challenge accepted! Well, I hope so, anyway - that's if I can manage to get out of the house for long enough while it's still on in cinemas. I hope I do! Thanks, Rachel. xx

Barker and Jones Staff said...

Overall I really enjoyed it. The look, the sound, all of that is perfect and magical and amazing. The gay moment wasn't really anything at all, totally blown out of proportion, and the added background did help.

However, the time frame is cut way, way down from the animated version, and that really jarred me. Everything happens super fast. That's my only complaint, though.

In summary: go see it. :D

Zoë Marriott said...

Thanks, B&J Staff, I'll definitely try to fit it in if I get the chance :)

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