Friday, 3 October 2014

In My Bottom Drawer (2) - Barbara Scott-Emmett

In My Bottom Drawer (2)

We continue our series of discovery with a look at the humble beginnings of new Triskele associate, Barbara Scott-Emmett. Not only is she the author of the forthcoming, highly anticipated literary novel, Delirium : The Rimbaud Delusion, she has published two thrillers, Don't Look Down and The Land Beyond Goodbye - as well as a series of erotica novels under her pen name of Barbie Scott.

Her writing has been applauded by competitions and critiques alike, and yet, like every writer out there, she has a 'first born' nestling in a dusty drawer somewhere that she would much rather forget existed.

Here, we force her to confront her demons and reveal all ...

"When I first started writing I thought everything I produced should eventually find a home. The thought of any of my wonderful work languishing unread was too painful to contemplate. As time went on of course, I realised some things were never destined to be inflicted on the public. My first two (or rather one and a half) novels for instance.

My first completed full length work was Lucifer’s Gift. I was proud of it. I read bits out at writing groups. I sent it off to agents and publishers. It came back with polite notes of rejection. I cursed these gatekeepers for their inability to recognise genius. And shoved the manuscript in a drawer.
My next venture into novel writing was going to be called The Villa of the Mysteries but it never got that far. I wrote a fair bit of it before I admitted to myself that it was banal and trite. It went in the back of the drawer with the first one.

After I published my subsequent novels, I dragged my early attempts out to see if there was any way of resurrecting them. And cringed. Did I really send this adverb-ridden self-conscious twaddle out to publishers? I wanted to hide myself away in embarrassment.

Once I crawled out from under the bed I shredded the manuscripts, wiped the disks and removed all evidence of my shame. Thank goodness self-publishing wasn’t around in those days and the number of people who suffered was limited to a few kind-hearted friends. Writing those first two novels was necessary and useful – they were my ’prentice pieces, my practice runs. I learned from them and got better and that’s what early work is for.

The moral of this story is: Don’t Publish Too Soon."

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