'Barbara's writing is bold, original and enormous fun. In her screenplay 'Cowboy Girls' she cleverly puts the female at the very epi-centre of the traditionally male genre of the Western.'

Anthony Minghella, Oscar winning
Screenwriter/Producer and Director
.


Barbara.Mackie

How to write your first Musical

Easy steps in writing your first ever Musical …

Ok, folks.  I am doing it and only have a very rusty grade 5 Piano (ended up after six years of lessons only being able to play a John Mayall’s Blues song  and badly after too many drinks!) so be VERY ENCOURAGED, people, because if this particular writer can cobble together her FIRST MUSICAL so can you! Step one: wait until the dead of night in your darkened bedroom (must be pitch black) and drag your phone to your ear and press the ‘record’ button. Step Two: Get into the character you are creating for – in my case ‘RUMPY PUMPY!’ ‘s main character, Holly, a Brothel owner) and think yourself IN.  Step three, get under that duvet so husband and lurking teens in nearby bedrooms can’t hear you and start to warble away – one note after another – into your record section of your phone.  Step three: Banish all those demons and lurking critics in your head and GO FOR IT -sing a note, sing two, sing three.  Does it sound shite?  Maybe, but that doesn’t matter – onwards, mon brave!  Step Four: Just force out the notes, they will come, I promise!  This particular writer has a rusty/coffee-stained voice so you can imagine that my croaking is anything but effective but you must FORCE yourself to believe in your ability to COMPOSE! 

 

Now ‘Compose’ is a very weighty word which scares the living daylights out of most of us – it certainly did me! – but press on.  Agreed, this darkened duvet crazy way of creating is certainly not for the feint hearted, but as said, if Barbara Jane Mackie can write a Musical so can you!  Be brave.  Step Five: play back the few notes – maybe just four or five in sequence – that you have recorded and reflect.  Shite or semi-shite or … ok-ish?  If ok-ish, pat yourself on the back and think of some lyrics to match your warblings – this can help the process, believe me – and then do another RECORD. Be brave – do it!  How does it sound now?  Like a tune?  If you have a tune, then you are technically a composer and pour yourself a large brandy and go to sleep, dreaming dreams of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Oscar glory!

 

More to come on this and the workings of MY FIRST MUSICAL ‘RUMPY PUMPY!’

Rumpy Pumpy!

Am having BIG FUN writing ‘RUMPY PUMPY!’ my first ever Musical and first ever stage play. Liasing with New Theatre Royal and all the fab people there to get a rehearsed Performance going in early April and have luckily (PHEW!) finished the First Act!

‘RUMPY PUMPY!’ is based on the true story of Hampshire WI Members, Jean Johnson and Shirley Landels (now sadly deceased) who have bravely been championing the cause of Working Girls in our Nations thousands and thousands of brothels and trying to get Government to licence the brothels, thus making things safe and comfortable for the women there. As Jean Johnson says ‘The WI should be about representing all women!’

I wrote ‘RUMPY PUMPY!’ as a film, but with my new relationship with New Theatre Royal and the Writer’s Hub there, have been developing it as a Musical, feeling strongly that this tale of empowering Brothel Workers – which is clearly a comedy drama and upbeat in its tone – lends itself to this form. First Act done – Second Act coming!

Wobble – Barbara Jane Mackie

Ok, folks, it’s official! Have started WOBBLE my follow-up novel to EAT THE VIEW, which will be set in Ryde, Isle of Wight, where I live. Opening scene in a beach hut overlooking the wonderful sweep of Appley Beach, as our angst-ridden writer, Alpha O’Mara, struggles with her first chapter – as did I this week! Hell’s Bells? A first chapter has to do SO much! Not just set up the entire novel, but the themes, the central characters – well, some of them – establish sympathy for the protagonist and so on – phewwww! But nailed it so am charging on now with WOBBLE!

Literary Editor – A gun for hire!

Am now a gun for hire! A fully credited Literary Editor, folks, so if anyone wants to hire this lone cowgirl, please just contact me on my email – barbara.mackie@btinternet.com or through this site. Been editing my friend Christine Lord’s book ‘Who Killed My Son?’ her powerful and moving indictment of the BSE, Mad Cow cover up that is soon to be published and we are turning into a screenplay together. Very moving, very true and hugely searing. A moving tale which will be out soon. I thoroughly enjoyed editing another writer’s work and cut, cut, cut calling myself Barbara Jane Scissorhands!

Eat The View gets Sunny approval!

Wunderbar! ‘Eat The View’ got a very bright and breezy thumbs up from THE SUN newspaper! ‘A very funny novel with lots of truly delicious characters’ THE SUN’S Books Ed, Natasha Harding, called it. Good stuff! Also featured on ChicLit Central for those of you who are more ‘online’ as BOOK OF THE WEEK so now just need more downloads, so get clicking on Amazon, please, people, and have a read of ‘Eat The View!’ If Christmas doesn’t cheer you up, the tales of my wild and wanton heroine, Alpha O’ Mara, should warm the cockles of your heart!

My Book Launch – Eat The View

Had a really inspiring and succesful Book launch last week at The Black Sheep in Ryde. A good crowd and questions answers with my journalist friend Christine Lord and readings from EAT THE VIEW. A sucess and the firrst of many!

Chic Lit Central

Check out CHICLIT CENTRAL online – as they are reviewing my novel EAT THE VIEW today.

They are a classy US outfit who do cutting-edge reviews and promotions – so feel honoured to have my novel up there!

My Interview on BBC Radio Solent today

BBC Radio Solent Interview http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00xrwfq

Have a listen to my interview on the Katie Martin show (it’s 75 minutes in) where I talk for England about writing EAT THE VIEW

Rain stopped play!

Rain stopped play! The Match? Barbara Jane (Serena!) Mackie vs. her nineteen year old son, Maximilian (Federer) Steyger. Location? Ryde Mead Tennis courts in Ryde, Isle of Wight. Mum? A bit rusty. Son? Thankfully, also a bit rusty! Serena Mackie’s forehand? Strong! Agreed by all! Serena Mackie’s serve? Shite! Even back at my Cirencester High School, my serve was my weak point, but we played on with grit and determination through the rain and both games – Mother and son’s – improved!

Now back in my study as the Monsoon descends. Ridley Scott put it well in his vision of the future with ‘Blade Runner’ where it rained non stop. We are living in the ‘future’ now, people, whether we like it or not!

Life on Mars

Life on the Island is going slowly … ‘Eat the View’ did a massive run up the Amazon/Kindle charts and is now hovering around the 20,000 mark (apparently that’s good as the ‘paid Kindle Charts’ have 450,000 novels all jostling with each other) and keeps bumping up to 10,000 and then down and then up again! Being a woman of a slightly impatient temprament (I’m Aries, sorry, guys and gals!), I’m feeling a tad’s frustrated. Seeking solace with my friend and fellow Ryde Author, Andrew Lucas, who has had a Kindle best-seller with ‘Crossed-Dressed to Kill’ his humorous Comedy-thriller (check it out!)

Andrew has been a veritable font of wisdom when it comes to all things Amazon and Kindle and has steered me through this process -which has been quite a white-knuckle ride, a case of trial and error as one uploads. I can see why many wait on traditional Publishers but I must admit, I feel a slight writerly ‘glow’ to be part of this new media – where everything is changing and changing so fast! Andrew now has a publishing book deal, a well-trod path which this particular writer is hoping to emulate!

Roll on September when I find out about e-book sales on ‘Eat the View’ and any monies earnt. After all, we writers have to earn to eat – as Raymond, the ghost says in my novel: ‘You can’t eat the view!’