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Flicking Lizard Interview

Posted on 11 December 2007. © Copyright 2004-2018 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to Mark Boccalatte of Flicking Lizard

Tell us all about you:

I'm originally from Australia, but I have emigrated to the greener pastures of England. I am from outside the publishing industry, which has its + and - points. Some advantages are that I do things from a fresh perspective, with a more informal approach and a willingness to take a chance. The major disadvantage is of course the steep learning curve, but I have the help of some supportive people and organisations which is a great help. For over 10 years I've dreamt of starting my own publishing company. Unfortunately the market is just too small in Australia for any realistic chance of success, so I left behind all that glorious sunshine and moved to London. The aim of Flicking Lizard is to publish talented new writers. Everyone knows how difficult it is for an unknown writer to get published and hopefully we can redress this a little.


How do you find/choose writers?

It ends up coming down to 2 factors really. Does the writer entertain/interest me, and is there a market for it. Unfortunately I've already turned down quite a few manuscripts which I considered to be excellent on the basis that they were unlikely to provide any return on my investment. I am willing to take alot more of a gamble than most publishers but financial considerations are still pertinent.

What excites you about a piece of writing-

I love writing that has spirit. The author is communicating with you with feeling. I've read plenty of authors whose first published book was their best, because there is this freshness and feeling that comes through in their work. It is hard to keep this going. The brilliant writers seem to retain this freshness throughout their careers.

and what makes your heart sink?

My heart sinks when I read cliched, formulaic writing. A good part of the book market is devoted to this kind of writing and it is probably easier to make a profit by publishing this material, but I am just not interested in it. I want the unique voice of the author to come through, not a copied (usually second-rate) version of some famous writer.



A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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Comments by other Members



susieangela at 17:34 on 11 December 2007  Report this post
I tried to look up the books on the distributor's website but couldn't see them - and the website hasn't been updated for publishers since May 2006, I think. Flicking Lizard don't appear among their list of publishers - not under F, anyway.
I notice from the interview that they want new youngwriters - does this disqualify those of us who are older?
Susiex

Account Closed at 20:01 on 11 December 2007  Report this post
I notice from the interview that they want new young writers - does this disqualify those of us who are older?
- I was wondering that!!!

flickliz at 09:47 on 12 December 2007  Report this post
Hi, this is Mark from Flicking Lizard. Sorry, I meant young as in a young writing career, but I can see how it is ambiguous. I have removed that from our website. Our first books will be out in February/March 2008, so that is why they aren't on the distributor's website at the moment, but Central Books will be distributing all the books we publish. Cheers

susieangela at 10:46 on 12 December 2007  Report this post
Thanks for clearing that up, Mark. Look forward to seeing what you publish, and all the best for your future success.
Susiex

Nik Perring at 14:06 on 13 December 2007  Report this post
Sounds great, Mark.

All the best with it.

Nik.


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