Photos of me needing a shave are pending

Well, good news for me, I made it through the heat for Pulp Idol and am now in the final on 28th May. I’d have to beat off the challenge of another nine people to win it outright, which will be tough, if not well nigh impossible, but I’m just happy to have made it past stage one. Inclusion in the final guarantees my first chapter will appear in the competition anthology which is a nice way to get a bit more exposure. The way I see it, at least nine other people will have a copy and will see my name…

Obviously, I was ecstatic when they read my name out (I was the second person of two to go through, so I now know the agony of seeing one spot going and hoping beyond hope the next words spoken include “Schiller”, “Hinterland” and “Neil” – not necessarily in that order). But I also felt a bit guilty because there were some other good entries. I think it’s fair to say the other winner read my favourite extract of the night, so I’m glad she got through, she deserved to. But there were another one or two that I thought would be too close to call between. One of them was by a really nice woman I spent some time talking to and having a bit of a laugh with. I felt a bit gutted that she didn’t go through as her work was really good. I hope she carries on with it because I’d love to read the whole thing one day.

So yeah, as usual with me, a bittersweet moment. But two glasses of wine into the low key celebration and I’m getting over it a bit. First time I’ve ever gotten anywhere in a competition of any kind. Except for once when I won manager of the month in a fantasy football thing at work. I had to get a goofy photo taken that time as well. And yes, I needed a shave on that one too.

Luckily the final is a Saturday night as I fully intend, whatever the result, to get a babysitter and drink myself into oblivion. Bring on the self destruction…


2 thoughts on “Photos of me needing a shave are pending

  1. James Everington May 6, 2011 / 7:02 am

    Congratulations mate; I’ve never done anything like that, I’d be well nervous. But yeah you deserve a drink or two. How neat is Hinterland to completion? Are you planning to self pub again?

    When’s the final?

    Why am I asking so many questions?

  2. Neil Schiller May 6, 2011 / 8:27 am

    Thanks James. Yeah, I was really happy about it. I’d done my usual thing of deliberately not expecting anything so I wouldn’t be crushed if I didn’t made it through, but I was really pleased I did. First time I’ve ever done anything like that, so it was a bit nerve wracking. My voice came out evenly enough but I had to keep switching the manuscript from hand to hand when it started shaking too much to focus on…

    The final is on 28th May. I’m nowhere near finishing it to be honest – I’ve written about 12,000 words and I’m aiming for 60-70k. So a long way to go yet. When I entered last month I’d only really written the first two chapters so I’ve been manically cracking on with it so I didn’t have to lie when they asked how far I was through. I probably will self-publish it again. Depends really. One of the prizes if you win is potentially a contract with a local small press, so if I was lucky enough to actually get that far then obviously I’d look at that. And I might do the same thing as last time round – ie. run it past a couple of agents so they can tell me ‘no thanks’ before I do it myself, just so I can feel like I at least tried (a bit)…

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