Yvette answers the bloody question…

*continued from yesterday…

Yvette Richardson is a writer whose debut novel we will be putting out.. sometime soon. Ish. It’s called The First Five Minutes. It’s about a woman who, having recorded every five minutes of her husband’s life (at his request/demand) finds unwanted secrets among her notes. Richardson’s darkly comic novella is set in the five minutes after the husband’s death. Here’s a snapshot of her chat with our very own, Abi Kaur-Jones. Yesterday we left the conversation when Yvette was about to describe the modern themes her story makes reference to…

YVETTE: These days it seems recycled information is what’s revered, regarded. Especially when you are a relatively unknown artist, writer, whatever, it’s what you share and retweet and put other people’s words on Facebook, those fucking inspirational messages and life lessons and other god awful crap, that people will use the barometer for how good you are. I did an experiment recently where I wrote and collated a series of these types of messages/ideas. Some my own, some ripped from those sort of enlarged postcard things you get on Facebook. And I swapped the presentation around, put these ‘inspirational’ messages as my own, then in their original form, then threw some of mine in there. The ones that were most liked were the ones in the vein of presenting them as someone else’s words, in that postcard-y form. Even if the same message had been written a week or so earlier, but just presented as ‘my words’. To me it shows that if you write something that’s truly satirical or funny or meaningful, people are less likely to think it’s any good than if you share, or they think you are sharing, someone else’s ideas.

Someone I know was writing about pollution the other day on Facebook and I sent them something I had written recently on the subject.

They said the usual ‘love this’. Then – ‘Where’s it from?’

That it should be from own mind seemed the furthest concept for this person.

In my story, Daphne has, up to the point of her husband’s death, only found meaning by writing down what her husband has been doing. Moreover, he thinks, or did think, she only had meaning or worth based on what she could record about him. Now she has to go it alone and discover who she is and what her own take on life is. But mine is an (hopefully) humorous read and the things she discovers about herself – and others – are rather startling, to say the least!

The First Five Miniutes will come out as soon as Yvette hands over her redrafted manuscript…

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