Tuesday, April 23, 2013


To my way of thinking, one of the really great joys of creating a story is seeing it reinterpreted by someone else, in another form. I've had the good fortune to see one of my short pieces converted to film, and that was an absolute hoot. I got to collaborate on the screenplay, and had tremendous fun learning from the needs of the actors and the director, etc.

I don't think you really 'own' stories. Yeah, sure: you can be responsible for their creation, and if the audience wants you to continue creating, then they need to acknowledge what you've done and make it possible for you to continue, usually by economic support. Nothing unusual in all that.

But the thing about a story is that it's reconstructed every time somebody reads it. They put their own spin on it, filter it through the unique vision of their own experiences. If they make a film of your story, it will not be the film you would have made. If they make a song, it will not be the song you will have written. Thus, any time somebody reinterprets your work, they're doing you an enormous favour: they're making the work new again for you, allowing you to see or hear or feel it in a new and different way.

All of this is by way of preamble to a simple note. The Podcastle people asked my permission to make a recording of The Red Priest's Vigil, and without hesitation, I agreed. You can find it right here: Podcastle - Red Priests's Vigil.

For those as don't recall, the story is a piece of dark fantasy or horror, set in the 14th century. The hero is a kind of kung-fu mercenary in Europe, and he's got a difficult history. There are three Red Priest stories in print so far (and four more in various stages of development) but this was the first I conceived. And of course, time has flowed on since then, and to me, the story was a piece of history.

You get that way with old work. Go back, read it again -- maybe you see the flaws, maybe you smile at the ideas you were working with back then, but the excitement of it is long gone, by and large. And I can say quite honestly that I was delighted by the reading that Graeme Dunlop provided. I thought he did a hell of a job, and it made me enjoy my own story all over again.

I'm very grateful for that... and I thought I might pass the chance on to you folks as well.