Today is the last day of the Smashwords free download of Werewolf of Oz: Fantasy Travel by Google Maps and my last poetry collection, 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections. Following on from yesterdays blog, my books have had a strong feminist with a small f theme from the start.
This was inspired by my lifelong liking and loving for beautiful women, and a respect and fondness for all nice ones; rather than any particular women, or any militant feminist groups or opinions at university. It was also influenced by my disillusionment with male society – giving up on finding any kind of ‘brotherhood’ in normal society!
Mslexia Before Writing Magazine
When I started my creative writing career in 2005 the first writing magazine I subscribed to was Mslexia, which is a specialist magazine for women writers. However, they only accept submissions from women, so I changed to Writing Magazine after a year or two.
I’m not criticising the Mslexia policy, just writing what happened. They are both great writing magazines, with Writing Magazine probably better for beginners, and Mslexia better for more advanced writers and women.
I took a six months break from the day-job over the autumn and winter of 2011/12 to complete Werewolf of Oz, editing it and creating a storyline plot that brought the 142 blogged episodes together as a book.
Werewolf of Oz Women
Werewolf of Oz had a Wizard of Oz theme, with the Grey of Greenygrey taking the role of Dorothy. Bon Scott of AC/DC fame inspired the Bonzo character taking the place of Toto. Instead of the cowardly lion, scarecrow and tin man there was a body, mind and spirit theme.
Elle ‘the body’ Macpherson seemed a natural inclusion as the body. In the story she starts off with diminished confidence, but regains her identity over the course of the book.
Olympic gold medallist Cathy Freeman was the spirit, and enjoyed a similar upward curve over the course of the book, following the Wizard of Oz theme.
There are also many cameos, such as the evergreen Kyle Minogue, and the heavenly Holly Valance, with the latter inspiring an epic poetic quiz episode, with some of her best and scrumptious bubble and squeak on the line.
Some fantasy females also star, such as Emily the Emerald Hat, Molly Mook landlady of the Rowdy Rook pub inspired by the actual Mollymook place, and Cilla Chinchilla, crack commando with the COG (Chinchillas of Goya – inspired by Goya’s chinchilla painting).
There are also females from overseas guesting, such as the Brontes because of Bronte, Sydney, and Mary Shelley, because there is a Frankenstein element to the grunge music Terminator – Grunginator.
I completed the whole book myself, including the cover on Photo Impact. I think it was the last time I used photo editing before the recent Rachel Sylvester – Rachel Riley and Sylvester the Cat – Humpty Doo special blog post.
I used a turquoise background layer, writing Werewolf of Oz on it. The photo I used as the upper layer is from Vinales, Cuba, with a lone walker on a greenygrey sunset highway symbolising the story, as well as just being a nice photo.
I had also merged a couple of Greenygrey logos into the photo. The bottom one is emptied of green, symbolising Grey, who set off on the ramble alone, after it was deported to Oz by the Grand Council, who’d taken over the Greenygrey world and imprisoned Green, in a storyline set up on my blog before the book started. The whole Greenygrey logo in the top corner represents Grey’s travel quest, to find Green, and become whole again.
The storyline was most inspired by the British ‘Home’ children deported to Commonwealth countries up to the 1950s. They were promised better futures before leaving, but usually suffered years of abuse and hardship instead. Their tale was just being revealed before this book, mostly through the movie Sunshine and Oranges (what they were said to be promised), after campaigning work by social worker Margaret Humphreys.