New Yorkers say that the shortest period of time is the millisecond between the lights turning green and the cab behind you honking its horn. Which says a lot about New Yorkers.
Very soon, the shortest period of time will be the nanosecond between the toy advert coming on and your kid informing you they want it for Christmas. I think it’s started already.
By comparison, you could get a bus through the gap that occurs between the elation of finishing a chapter and the sobering realisation that it’s time to start another.
I have finished Chapter 10. Means nothing to you I know, but Chap. 10 starts with Harry leaving Theatre Workshop and ends six years later with him landing Steptoe.
Well, I had already completed 11 and 12, two chapters that deal with the series, its impact and the rise to fame etc. etc. while referring back to chapter 10, the one I hadn’t written yet.
So when I came to write 10, I had to make sure to put in all the bits I was going to have, and in fact had, referred back to in 11, and 12. You see?
O.K. So why not write 10 first?
Ah. Now we come to the Book Proposal. In order to get publishers to take on your grand opus you must sell the idea, and of course yourself, in a book proposal. A document which summarises the whole thing and says why you are the 'bestest' person to do it. It’s as attractive as ‘working the room’, something, if you are like me, only to be comfortably undertaken while holding a tray of canapés and wearing a pinny.
Naturally no book proposal about Harry would be complete without a chapter on Steptoe. So in order to get it out there, I skipped from his last production with Theatre Workshop, at the end of Chapter 9, to introducing Ray Galton and Alan Simpson at the opening of Chapter 11.
On a roll, I then went onto 12. All the time 10 was lurking in the corner – giving off the aura of unopened homework on the last day of the summer holidays.
So, I have finished Chapter 10. Hooray, hooray – break out the chocolate….
Oh yes …..
Roll on Christmas… now what was it they wanted?