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February 10, 2014

Jonathan Gould: What's Next for Neville?

First of all, I wanted to give a big thanks to Donna for letting me barge in here at such short notice – it’s much appreciated.

I guess I’m here to let the world know about the third installment in the strange adventures of Neville Lansdowne – Scrawling.

Coming up with an idea for a third adventure for Neville wasn’t easy. After all, in his first adventure he fell off the world and in his second adventure, he managed to push the world completely out of shape. How do you follow either of those? What could he possibly get up to next?

Buy Scrawling at Amazon

Then I cast my mind back. Back to a far off time, when I was a bright-eyed student studying for a Diploma in Screenwriting. One of the classes was about writing for animation. The teacher was quite a character – Roger Laws, the former producer of Spitting Image (which I guess will mean more to any Brits out there then folk in the US – to sum up, it was a hugely popular satirical puppet show back in the 80s./90s And yes, we did get to play with the puppets – you don’t want to know what Bill Clinton and the Queen were getting up to).

Anyway, for one of the assignments, I came up with a script for a metaphorical sort of short film featuring a character who drowned in a sea of words. It seemed to work well. Roger loved it. A few people in the class didn’t get it, but that’s par for the course for me.  But after the course (which I never ended up completing), the script disappeared into a filing cabinet, and the idea slipped to the back of my mind.

So there it was waiting as I trawled through my mind. It seemed perfect. Drowning in a sea of words was exactly the sort of thing that could happen to Neville. Right away, I knew I had the idea for my third Neville story.

Only problem was, the script pretty much terminated right where the character was inundated by the words. I know I would need a lot more than that. What happened to Neville afterwards? Where did he find himself? Who would he meet? What challenges would he need to overcome? As I gradually found answers to these questions, my little animation idea turned into a fully-fledged story. In the end, the script barely covered the first half of chapter 1, but it was more than enough to get me started.

So what does happen to Neville Lansdowne after he drowns in a sea of words? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.

About the Author
Jonathan Gould has lived in Melbourne, Australia all his life, except when he hasn't. He has written comedy sketches for both the theatre and radio, as well as several published children's books for the educational market.
He likes to refer to his stories as dag-lit because they don't easily fit into recognisable genres (dag is Australian slang for a person who is unfashionable and doesn't follow the crowd - but in an amusing and fun way). You might think of them as comic fantasies, or modern fairytales for the young and the young-at-heart.
Over the years, his writing has been compared to Douglas Adams, Monty Python, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, the Goons, Dr Seuss, Terry Pratchett, and even Enid Blyton (in a good way).
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Be sure to check out Neville's other adventures in Doodling (buy at Amazon, read my review) and Scribbling (buy at Amazon, read my review).

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