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Doug's Success- newspaperstory
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Book News
 25 Jul 2007, 13:22 #19820 Reply To Post
TRAIN OF THOUGHT

Source: The Scotsman, Scotlands national newspaper

View The Scotsman article online on the following link:

http://living.scotsman.com/books.cfm?id=1096662007

LATE at night on the Edinburgh to Stirling train, you might just catch sight of a man tapping away on a laptop. Sit next to him, look at the screen, and you'll find he's writing a story set at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain.

He's been doing this for the best part of a year now, trying his hand at creative writing on the way home from work. He's clearly very good at it, for he's just landed a six-figure two-book deal from Transworld.

I know this because I work with him. Douglas Jackson is The Scotsman's assistant editor, production - responsible for each day's paper from start to finish, keeping track of stories hour by hour, making sure each one is properly displayed. It's a high-pressure, demanding job, yet he's never flustered.

On the train home, though, he's been quietly plotting his way through a novel set at the time of Caligula's assassination. It is tentatively called 'Whom the Gods Destroy', and it is set to be published next spring.

Jackson was encouraged to take up writing by journalist Nicola Barry (whose own memoir 'Mother's Ruin' was launched on Thursday). At first he tried his hand writing stories on the youwriteon website, on which other budding writers critique each other's work on a rating system that ensures that the top-rated contributors - as Jackson soon was - get a detailed assessment of their work from professional writers, agents and editors.

"The idea for the books about ancient Rome came when I was listening one night to Simon Schama's 'History of Britain' on the radio," he says. "He said something like, 'Claudius rode in triumph on an elephant in Colchester.'

"I started wondering about the guy who looked after the elephant and what his life must have been like."

One youwriteon editor loved the story but suggested setting it at the time of Caligula's assassination. The spell worked on other publishers too, with Transworld signing up Jackson for a two-book deal. He's delighted, but as modest and unflustered as ever. "I'm still just a guy who writes a bit on the train home," he says.

This post was last edited by Book News, 25 Jul 2007, 13:30
HJW
 25 Jul 2007, 18:15 #19837 Reply To Post
Quote: Book News, Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 13:22
TRAIN OF THOUGHT

He's been doing this for the best part of a year now, trying his hand at creative writing on the way home from work. He's clearly very good at it, for he's just landed a six-figure two-book deal from Transworld.




Six-figure sum! That is totally fabulous. Nice one, Doug!

Are you hooked?

Oh blogger

Assignment Robot
 25 Jul 2007, 18:42 #19841 Reply To Post
Well done, Doug!

When Assignment Robot is on the train with help dog (stuffed head first in the overhead luggage) he finds it hard to concentrate on reading the ingredients of a crisp packet so your powers of concentration are to be admired. Writing can take massive commitment especially when done alongside day to day work.

I wonder how many other writers wrote their first book in a public arena - JK's another one, we forget with her success now which seems like it's been forever, but writing as a single mother on benefits in a cafe with child by side must have been very difficult at times.

You can get your own carriage now!
visinker
 25 Jul 2007, 18:52 #19844 Reply To Post


Congrats Doug!

I wrote a book living in a shed in Germany once - it had no plumbing or cooking facilities. Haven't had the pay-off yet unfortunately - but I haven't lost hope.

Barbara Scott-Emmett

The Bumble's End by Jimmy Bain - Comedy Crime Ebook

The Stiletto Heel and other stories - erotica ebook

MadCow

Assignment Robot
 25 Jul 2007, 19:14 #19848 Reply To Post
Quote: visinker, Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 18:52


Congrats Doug!

I wrote a book living in a shed in Germany once - it had no plumbing or cooking facilities. Haven't had the pay-off yet unfortunately - but I haven't lost hope.



Did it have a roof?

Help Dog wrote a cartoon in the toilet cubicle on the fast train to kent once.

Here it is on the link below (drawn after as journeys aren't made for smooth lines)

http://www.youwriteon.com/info/cartoon.aspx

Bagpuss123
 25 Jul 2007, 19:40 #19855 Reply To Post
"I'm still just a guy who writes a bit on the train home," he says.



How can I hope to compete when Great Western Railway never turns up? (Thinks...the six-figure sum would be eaten up by the fares anyway...)
Dr Puzzle
 25 Jul 2007, 20:04 #19865 Reply To Post
Maybe you could be discovered in the waiting room eating a piece of gone-off GWR toast?

I rarely comment on non-puzzle related matters but well done to the writer. I doubt I'll be discovered on a train as I travel first class and keep the riff raff out of my carriage by putting a well heeled boot against the door.


visinker
 26 Jul 2007, 15:10 #19884 Reply To Post
Quote: Dr Puzzle, Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 20:04
Maybe you could be discovered in the waiting room eating a piece of gone-off GWR toast?

I rarely comment on non-puzzle related matters but well done to the writer. I doubt I'll be discovered on a train as I travel first class and keep the riff raff out of my carriage by putting a well heeled boot against the door.




Dr Puzzle! You're back! Where have you been?

Barbara Scott-Emmett

The Bumble's End by Jimmy Bain - Comedy Crime Ebook

The Stiletto Heel and other stories - erotica ebook

MadCow

visinker
 26 Jul 2007, 15:14 #19885 Reply To Post
Quote:
Did it have a roof?

Help Dog wrote a cartoon in the toilet cubicle on the fast train to kent once.

Here it is on the link below (drawn after as journeys aren't made for smooth lines)

http://www.youwriteon.com/info/cartoon.aspx



This isn't it, but you get the idea...

This post was last edited by visinker, 26 Jul 2007, 15:15
Barbara Scott-Emmett

The Bumble's End by Jimmy Bain - Comedy Crime Ebook

The Stiletto Heel and other stories - erotica ebook

MadCow

Assignment Robot
 26 Jul 2007, 15:20 #19886 Reply To Post
Quote: Visinker, Wednesday, 25 Jul 2007 20:04

Dr Puzzle! You're back! Where have you been?






I think he accidentally came in on the way to the fish and chip shop

He did leave a message though .. something like 'for anyone that remembers me I don't want to be remembered by them'. The customer skills course we sent him on was fully booked.

Aside: Help Dog, get the air freshener - he's left an aroma of halibut

This post was last edited by Assignment Robot, 26 Jul 2007, 15:21
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