Monday, 19 March 2012

The Fizzy Pop Vampire – Story of a Creative Process

Seven years ago I summoned a strange creature from my brain meats and gave him a tiny story of love, loss and redemption. The love was for lemonade, the loss was... well, I won’t spoil the story, and the redemption was sadly lacking. I’m no illustrator, and so the tale of Fizz (as I call him) was purely a written affair.

I got a job at Titan shortly after and met someone who I thought was a good fit for the project. I pitched the idea at her and crossed my fingers. Nothing happened and I busied myself writing reviews and scraping together an RPG supplement, forgetting about Fizz altogether.

Time passed.

Then, one day, Fizz came up in conversation with the Web Mistress at Forbidden Planet, one Sarah Langton. She rather liked the idea and asked me if she could have a crack at bringing the sweet-toothed nocturnal terror to the printed page. Sure, I said, not realising that I’d misplaced the original story.

Fangs for the memories.

I re-wrote the whole thing from memory, which is to say I started over and hoped it would be as good as I’d remembered. Sarah started on a concept for Fizz and things were underway. Fitting in illustration around a full time job, an addiction to Portal 2, and an irrational shoe obsession (seriously, she has loads) is no mean feet, erm, I mean feat.

Waiting for art to materialise has to be one of my least favourite things in the world, so I got on with other projects. Stuff like Tales of Japan over at Weaponizer, The Boy With the Porcelain Ears, and a short story for those awesome kids over at Pornokitsch.

And then suddenly, without my realising, Sarah had completed the book. She even made little proof copies and we had interest from a publisher.

What could go wrong?

The publisher got cold feet, deciding they couldn’t distribute a children’s book (a concern of mine from the get go). We brushed down our respective egos and started hitting up agents and even directly approaching children’s publishers.

We heard nothing. No one was taking a chance on new projects that didn’t come from established authors. Or so we were told. I shrugged my shoulders and went back to writing about people with swords and nice jackets. Sarah didn’t get mad, so much as get even.

Screw the publishers, was her rationale, I’ll go straight to iPad. Which is what is happening this week, all due to Sarah’s hard work.

So the take away from this short (and possibly uninteresting) blog post is this: nothing ever comes easy. If you’re working in a creative environment it’s likely to be damn near impossible, but you should not give up.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly! Also, YAY. FIZZY POP 4EVA.

    Can you guys release a high-rez version of one of the pages, so that I can set it as my desktop? That would be brilliant.