Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Two projects. Five years. One week. By Keren David.

Five years ago I started work on a book.
Five years ago I started work on a musical.

The book, was known as ‘my mad historical project’ for ages. I worked on it between other books (four written and published in those years)  while waiting for edits, a wonderful distraction from other concerns. It has been through umpteen drafts. 

 I began to wonder if it would ever be finished.

The musical is an adaptation of my 2011 book Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery. I worked on it between other books, along with a wonderful composer, a production team and two lyricists. At times we have been joined by directors, performers, musicians, choreographers, musical theatre students and teachers.  We had two early productions, to pull together a script, and since then the project has proceeded in fits and starts, as we're all busy people. 

I began to wonder if it would ever be finished.


Last summer the latest draft of my book was finished. It  -  finally -  had a title: Stranger. It is the story of Emmy in 1904 and Megan in 1994. It is the story of Tom in 1904 and Sam in 1994.  It is about love and loss, murder and motherhood, choices and kindness and cruelty. 

Working on it has been kind of magical.  

Last summer a new draft of the musical was workshopped with students and professional actors and had a rehearsed read through of the musical. In a room at the Café Royal in central London, my characters came to life. They sang, they talked, they went shopping and fell in love, and argued.  

Working on the musical has been all sorts of magical too. 

Last autumn the latest version of the book  (I’ve lost count of how many drafts there have been) acquired a publisher and an editor and a publication date. January 2018.
Last autumn  the musical (I’ve lost count of how many drafts there have been) was chosen for a workshop performance at the University of Central Lancashire.  There's  talk of it being ready for licencing for performance as early as the summer of 2017. I'm willing to bet on it being available by  January 2018. 
Me and my musical boys: in Preston for rehearsals at UCLAN with (clockwise from me) Andy Barnes (producer) Kirk Jameson (director) Lesley Ross (lyricist) and Paul Herbert (composer) 


So, next week I have to deliver the structural edit of Stranger. And next week I will be in Preston to see the UCLAN production of Lia's Guide. The book is due back to my editor on March 17. The show is on March 16, 17 and 18.  I've taken the week off work.

The timing is, frankly, spooky. And I’m not quite sure what I will do with myself when these two projects are finally over.  Will they ever be over? Is any creative project ever over?


Maybe I’ll have a little rest. 

5 comments:

Sue Purkiss said...

The very best of luck with both of them!

Nicky Goldman said...

You are a complete star! x

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

What a wonderful coming together of events... like waiting for planets to line up and then when they do there is this great magnetic force that affects everything. I hope the energy surges through you. A very big pat on the back for two such brilliant events!

Jan Maddern said...

I'm so pleased that it's all coming together for you Keren, what an exciting week!

I've already pre-ordered Stranger and hope that Lia's Guide to the Lottery will be a) a huge success, and b) accessible to the masses as I would love to see it... having absolutely loved the book!

Hats off to you.

Rowena House said...

Spooky - but amazing. Hope it goes really well for you.