Share The Good News: There’s A Christmas Special Coming This Year

Dear Posties, 

There’s a lovely tradition in English television of the Christmas Special episode. Think of Doctor Who.

Two years ago we released a Christmas Special focused on the night of the surf club Christmas party in 1991. The night is mentioned in the letters so it was a natural place to return to and looked at their burgeoning, and doomed relationship, while also seeing their lives through their family and friends.

It is a night significant to the past of Ella-Louise and Jude, and was an opportunity to broaden the canvas of their history together and see who they were through a more colourful palette of characters. It included, and gave voice to: Jude’s parents, Bill and Marion; Ella-Louise’s mother, Carol and Jude’s best mate, Adrian.

Old friends, like old characters, well met. We have a very soft spot for the characters of Ella-Louise and Jude; they were our “comfort writing;” the writing that flowed almost unconsciously to create the lives of characters we lived with for so long that we see them almost as real. That if we were to walk down the street we’d recognise them in an instant in the crowd.

Therefore it is with great pleasure we announce a new Christmas Special. The release date will be revealed soon.

We don’t want to give away too much at this stage BUT there may also be EXTRA bonus material released with the Christmas Special so you will want to keep an eye out for announcements.

Adam and Jodi

P.S. We need your input. We would like song titles to use as chapter headings. Drop 3 song titles into the comments.

Read the First Letter from Ella-Louise for FREE

Friday 6th January, 2012

Dear Jude,

Please excuse the crappy yellow legal pad. Had I waited to find fancy stationery, I might never have sat down to write. Your parents are still listed at Blecker Street, so I’m sending the letter there and hopefully they’ll pass it on to you.

Why don’t I just ring your dad, see if you’re alive and well, and get your phone number or an email address? I can’t. I need to write and do it old school with pen and paper. Think about each word before I put it down (and swear because my hand is already aching from writing more than I have in a decade). To send an email would be like warping the fabric of space and time. But then again, writing a letter to you after so long feels a little like that anyway.

When we sat at The Point watching the sun come up on 1992, I believed in an eternity of New Year’s Eves with you, my best friend, by my side. I had no idea it would be our last.

Just so you know, it hasn’t taken me twenty years to forgive you for not showing up at my farewell party. Or at the bus the next day. You did me a favour. Had you come to say good-bye, I don’t think I would have had the courage to go and leave you behind.

I quit my job at the end of last year. Decided it was time for a sea change, to reassess what’s important in life. Important to me. I’ve bought an old weatherboard cottage just up the coast from Coffs Harbour. It’s not Piper’s Reach (I couldn’t go back there) but I’m near the ocean again. I can lie awake at night and hear the crash of  the waves, smell the salt and seaweed.

Finding the shoebox with your letters and other teenage stuff (I still have the chewie wrapper you gave me the first day we met) it felt like no time had passed. But at the same time, I feel like I’ve lived several lives since then. Guess I have in a way.

Reading your old letters, there were events I remembered and others I’d forgotten — like the first thing I ever said to you was I didn’t kiss boys, so you thought I was a lesbian until I pashed Bart Lehmann at the Year 10 social. Shit! Some things and some people are best left forgotten. But you are not one of those people, Jude. Despite the years of silence, I never forgot you.

You always said The Waterboys wrote ‘The Whole of the Moon’ about us, and while you said it was me seeing the whole of the moon, it was you who was the optimist. No one has ever filled those shoes since I left Pipers.

I’m done with the wandering in the wilderness. I want to reconnect with what I left behind. I hope you have the time and inclination to write back. I could use a friend like you in my life (and no, that’s not code for ‘I’m going through a messy divorce’).

Always your

Ella-Louise

xxx

P.S. I realised I still press hard enough for your patented brand of reverse Braille. Some things never change!

P.P.S: Placebo’s ‘Pure Morning’ is playing. The mention of stormy weather, friends in need, and thoughts compressing all seem rather fitting as I fold this up and go in search of an envelope.

Reaching “The End” for The Second Time

A few weeks ago we sat down in our respective chairs, me in Sydney, Jodi in Brisbane, to read through the last forty pages of edits.

We were reaching “The End” for the second time. It’s probably about the fourth time: the first time we wrote it, when our readers reached “The End,” during our own edits, and lastly, reading through the edits together.

And it was emotional. Very emotional.

We both wrote up how we responded to reaching “The End” and you can read Adam’s post, Tears in the Writer, Tears in the Reader, and Jodi’s post, Goodbye Jude and Ella-Louise.

Meanwhile, the edited version is with our trusted reader, Rus, and Season 3 is sent to our editor, Toni.

While we wait for the feedback and comments we are putting together all the bits and pieces ready for out assault on the publishing world.

What Are Your First Impressions?

In this world, first impressions have a marked effect on how we react to someone or how we engage with an event. Make the wrong first impression and it can be hard work to build positive relationships. Make a great first impression and people forgive the tea stain on your shirt.

As the editing on Post Marked: Piper’s Reach comes to a close we are now looking beyond “The End” to where and to whom we pitch our tome, which means carefully constructing how we want to make a good first impression.

Two weeks ago Jodi had the opportunity to pitch Piper’s Reach to the commissioning editor of a large publishing house. While it was unsuccessful in terms of being asked for a sample, it was the first step in looking for publication options.

Over the coming weeks we will be finalising the first round of edits, checking edits received from our good friend, Toni, and putting together a full synopsis and query to have a great package to make a positive first impression.

We firmly believe in the story we have told, its universality and connection to a wide range of readers, not limited by gender, age or geography. Therefore, about a month and a half ago the first 400 words of Piper’s Reach appeared at First Impressions, hosted by In High Spirits – Diane K Salerni and Maine Words – Marcy.

We wanted to see if Piper’s Reach had something to hook readers in and make them want to keep reading. It was a gamble for us to gain reactions and feedback from readers unfamiliar with the world and characters of Piper’s Reach. Diane and Marcy offered their impressions and left it open to readers to offer their feedback.

Overall, the feedback was very promising and positive and most commentators said they wanted to read more. The one thing they stumbled on was the use of the word, “pashed,” an Australian term for kissing.

You can check the comments here: Dianne Salerni and here: Maine Words.

In the coming weeks we will be revamping the website and offering a few teasers of the new version of Piper’s Reach.

If you’re a long time reader of Piper’s Reach, what do you like in the first impressions? Would you read on?

If you are unfamiliar with Piper’s Reach, have you read the first 400 words and have we piqued your curiosity to want to know more?

Let us know in the comments.

Post Script: Piper’s Reach

Post Marked: Piper’s Reach has come to an end*.

Jodi and Adam have included a few words by way of farewell.

Jodi's Final Note

Adam's Final Note

*At the end of July, the letters will all be removed from the site as Jodi and Adam put some serious hours into editing the story of Ella-Louise and Jude in preparation for bigger things.

Interview With Rus Vanwestervelt

Throughout the time of Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, one commentator has engaged with the series in such as way as to be almost a third author. Rus Vanwestervelt has given Jodi and Adam remarkable insight into each of their characters, articulating their psychology and motivation in ways neither of them could have envisaged.

Such is the impact of Rus’ insight and lengthy essays he posts after each letter that Jodi and Adam have coined a phrase: WWRT – What Would Rus Think?

With that in mind, Rus sent through a series of questions about Piper’s Reach to Jodi and Adam. They responded with four thousand words.

Drop into Rus’ site and get a behind the scenes look into the process and thinking behind Post Marked: Piper’s Reach.

Find the three parts of the interview at http://www.rusvw.net/

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Interviewed by Judge Whisky

The only thing I expected from Adam was he’d write a compelling letter once a fortnight, and where possible, provide legible handwriting! ~ Jodi

Judge Whisky hosts us for the final hiatus interview today. An avid reader and supporter from the first letter, plus a self-proclaimed ‘non-commenter’ because of the emotional impact of the letters, Judge gets the dirt on the project’s inception, expectation and faith in partnerships, directional intentions and outcomes, the intersection of fiction and real life in characterisation, evolving a series soundtrack and just how far we dare to dream ahead. And, for those of you burning to know about jellyfish and breast implants…you won’t be disappointed.

Writing this series has exceeded my expectations. I get to write an intriguing character, balanced against the revelations of Jodi’s character, their former friendship, the knowledge they have now, and I get to have a lot of fun doing it. ~ Adam

Miss last week’s interview with Laura Meyer? You can read it here, including an interesting discussion in the comments section about strengthening craft by  living vicariously on the page.

Interviewed By Laura Meyer

Until we kicked into Season Two, I was doing well. I’d had my early teary moments as I excavated Ella-Louise’s past, and then I just got on with it. Ella-Louise kind of gave up trying to seduce Jude via letter and things settled into a holding pattern. ~ Jodi

We had the pleasure to be grilled interviewed by Laura Meyer in the lead up to the conclusion of Season One.

Laura first interviewed us on April 2nd in the lead up to launch day. Today Laura revisits questions of form, story and direction, and throws in a few new one regarding fans, the difficulties of abiding by the No Spoilers Policy (NSP), how we’re coping with the emotional intensity of writing the serial and special questions deconstructing the characters of Jude and Ella-Louise.

Season Two has gone into a territory I didn’t think it would go so the emotional toll is heavier and more intense for me. It has made writing Jude a whole lot harder. ~ Adam

It’s epic, and you can read the complete interview here.

Post Script

And thus we come to end of (what we are calling) Season One with a taster of what is to come in Season Two.

Thank You

We thank you, our small, but dedicated cult following, who have spent the last five months with us as we’ve shared Ella-Louise and Jude’s story, passing it on to family and friends once you were hooked.

What began as a bit of a crazy idea at the end of 2009 and birthed earlier this year on a beach among wet, sandy, squealing children, has taken us on a journey neither of us really anticipated taking. Nine months later we have reached a point in the lives of our characters we never thought possible. We are intertwined intimately in their lives. They talk to us and are with us constantly.

We’ve been blessed to experience first hand, how readers become emotionally invested in characters, and care for them as much as we do. We know from comments that living vicariously through the lives of Jude and Ella-Louise has struck quiet moments of people’s lives, keeping them from reading, or pushing them to confront what’s inside. While it is a thrill to write Jude and Ella-Louise, it is also a responsibility we take seriously

Season 1 ends with Jude’s letter hinting at something BIG. Think of it as a season ending cliff-hanger. But you will have to wait as we take a two week break.

Interviews

During the hiatus, our newest writing partners, Laura Meyer (@L_Meyer) and Joshua Londero (@judgewhisky), grill us about Piper’s Reach. We’ll post up links so you get all the interview/behind the scenes juiciness. Laura’s interview will be aired Tuesday, 4th September and Josh’s on the 11th September.

Facebook

We’ve launched a Facebook Fan Page where all the readers can mingle and comment in the one place. At the moment there are a bunch of new and old photos up, including sneaky looks at the next three letters. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what comes next for Jude and Ella-Louise, or your thoughts on what happened at the reunion.

On The Horizon

Season Two commences with Jude’s “next letter” live Tuesday, 18th September, 9am Australian time.

There’s a storm coming.

Blog Tour: Day 9 with Icy Sedgwick

The final stop on the Post Marked: Piper’s Reach blog tour is with the wonderful Icy Sedgwick.

In today’s post, Icy asks us about how letter writing differs from traditional narrative story telling, dialogue in letters and how email has affected modern communication.

A letter is perhaps the one form where backstory is integral to understanding the characters, their relationship and their current situation. The events of the past inform the present. As the characters replay significant events from their past, they focus on their perspective of that moment – Adam

All my old friends and I lament the digital age and the fall from grace of letter writing. While we love being able to see what each other is doing on Facebook, have instant access to photos, status updates and to comment on them… we miss receiving a letter – Jodi

To read the rest of the interview, click here.