The Secret Life of Frank Bosco

I am Frank Bosco. Not a lot of people know that.

I invented Frank. He belongs to me. He came into being last April. That was when I entered the Winchester Writers’ Conference Lifewriting competition. I had to come up with a pseudonym and, somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I found Frank Bosco. His real name is Francesco Bosco but, since he writes in English, he prefers to be known as Frank. For the competition, I entered the opening pages and a synopsis of my book Veneziano. Frank likes to think of it as Wolf Hall meets The Godfather, but of course he is quite wrong. I ought to know because I am the author.

I was fortunate enough to win a prize for Veneziano in this competition, which was sponsored by The Queen’s English Society and The Joyce Morris Literacy Foundation. When, at the Writers’ Awards Reception on 23rd June , Frank Bosco was called to collect his prize in the University of Winchester Stripe Auditorium, there was some consternation among my fellow writers when I stood up. They were expecting Frank, but they got me. Frank was frankly annoyed since he believed he should have been the one to receive the award and have his picture taken with Dr Bernard Lamb of QES. I did point out to him afterwards that he was, in effect, only a pseudonym and had no real life of his own, which – I suppose –  is a strange irony considering that we are talking here about a Lifewriting competition.

Now, here’s the problem.

In due course, I will receive a cheque for my winning entry. Frank spotted this small item of information in the Winchester Writers’ Conference handbook … and now he expects a cut – 50% if not more. He will not go away. He is delusional and believes himself to be the author of this work and therefore entitled to the prize money.

If other authors have had similar experiences with their pseudonyms, they may like to advise me what to do. Did John Banville come into conflict with Benjamin Black? Did Ruth Rendell have any problems with Barbara Vine? What about Joanna Trollope and Caroline Harvey? I believe it is a common problem. Though clearly I am dealing here with a pseudonym who believes himself to be of more consequence than his creator.

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Twins, my latest children’s story, reached the bookshops in May. And here it is:

Anyone who writes about twins must surely have insider knowledge. So, do I have a twin brother or sister? No, I actually don’t have any brothers or sisters, though I have often wondered what it would have been like to have a sibling who looked just like me.

(Pause for thought.)

Oh, all right … probably not a good idea. One of me is enough.

The idea of twins, though, has fascinated writers through the centuries. There are look-alike twins, evil twins, estranged twins, conjoined twins, unlikely twins, mythological twins, in-an-iron-mask twins. So for a new twist on twin tales, read … Twins.

What kind of Twins are you expecting?

Tim is determined to win the Arkwright Student of the Year award and take his mother on the First Prize trip to Disneyland Paris.

He starts a Keep Arkwright Tidy campaign and everything is looking good until he and his friend William create mayhem in the park.

How can Tim win the prize now? Maybe – just maybe – he can blame his mystery twin brother …

Publisher: Helbling Languages – ISBN: 978 3 85272 293 1

In the write frame of mind

It’s a cliché to say that writing is a solitary business … but it is. When we write, we are inside our own heads and it can be lonely in there. And when we’re there, rattling around and having a hard time finding the great ideas that we thought we had stored away for easy reference … that’s when it helps to hear about the experiences and inspirations of other writers.

My name is Janet Olearski and I am a writer and NLP practitioner based in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. In this blog I hope to reach other writers like myself  … in Abu Dhabi… but also in many other places where familiar themes and sources of inspiration may not reach. Writing away from home can motivate us but it can also block us as our creativity dwindles with the efforts of managing the day job, interacting with cultural distractions, and spending too long in the shopping mall. Without the support of a writers’ community, such as we might have enjoyed back home, it is not unusual for us to self-censor, lose sight of our goals and become delusional.

In this blog, with a little help from my writer friends, I aim to explore a range of writerly topics, such as the writing of short fiction and the novel, reading contemporary fiction,  modeling good writing, managing time, setting goals, self-marketing, investigating the mysteries of e-publishing, and generally living the literary life.