On Tuesday (September 18, 2018), I announced my first published project outside of blogs since early 2016. While it’s not a book in the traditional sense; rather a stage play that I wanted to produce in 2015; it’s the first major product out of The Mad Writer Project.
A Summer Vacation with the Clark Family was originally called A Summer Vacation with the Clarks’. Very subtle change in the naming, so it’s no big deal. I put on a black box staged reading of the play in the summer of 2015, but ended up pushing back from a full production for various reasons. I came up with the decision to release it in book form shortly after the creation of The Mad Writer Project, as I was looking for a way to promote my play and also make it available for the everyday reader. This is the first of several plays that will be published by The Mad Writer Project for the reader and the producer. It will be available on October 1, 2018, but is available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle now.
As usual, I’m nervous about this project but also excited. It’s a representation of what The Mad Writer Project is about; artistic freedom. It will open the doors to all kinds of new work coming out for months to come.
Some people would think that it’s a little strange that I’m publishing a play instead of producing it. Some people would even think it’s a little strange that I’m publishing a play about a summer vacation in October, instead of in the summer. Others might even wonder where the inspiration of the play came from. Well, today is your lucky day if you’re inquiring.
Publishing plays have been something I’ve thought about for at least two years. While I prefer my plays to be performed, I thought that publishing would give it a wider audience and give it an opportunity to get it produced by people who are looking for fresh work and could probably have better resources than I have at this present time. Therefore, I’m not at all saying that I wouldn’t produce my own work; that’s a dream of mine. But I’m all about providing as much positive light on my work as possible, which meant that I had to let down the secret veil a little, and let the public actually see how the play is written. I still have the master version that’s written in standard play format. I will always maintain those for my own production, or for people who much rather use that version than the published version.
I debated for a few weeks on what play I was going to publish first. It was between A Summer Vacation and Mr. Braxton’s House. While both plays are tragic dramatic stories, Mr. Braxton’s House has a much darker and symbolic theme. I chose A Summer Vacation because my goal was to have a play ready for publication by October, and I didn’t want Mr. Braxton’s House to be associated with Halloween. Anyone who has read the play would understand that despite the creepy nature of it, it’s more about deeper issues than a Halloween story.
I also chose A Summer Vacation because it’s a simpler play to produce and because while the summer is ending, most people has a favorite story or memory from their summer vacation that they took just a couple of months ago. However, this play isn’t about favorite summer moments. It’s about everything that could go wrong with a vacation. Also, you have to keep in mind that this play could’ve just as easily taken place before the Labor Day weekend. Any time period that would be considered summer, you would probably still talk about it in October. I also didn’t want this to be a seasonal project; this play can be read or performed at any time of the year.
As for the reason I wrote it…there are a number of reasons that motivated me in writing this play. I was angry at the time when I wrote it, although I don’t remember why. Some people think that I wrote the play based on personal experiences. Most of us write work that has a little bit of our DNA in it, but I can’t tell you if my motivating factor behind writing it was because of an experience. For that reason, I never really answer this question directly, and I take great amusement over the fact that people try so hard to pinpoint the reason; even to the point where they think the play is specifically about them.
Interesting fact: It took me about a month to write A Summer Vacation. I started Mr. Braxton’s House the next day after A Summer Vacation and it took me about a week.
I can’t say when Mr. Braxton’s House will come out, but I would say expect it within a few months.
I want to also make it known that work coming out from The Mad Writer Project won’t all be remakes of old material. While I will be revising some material in the past, I will also be releasing work that I have never let anyone see, as well as fresh new projects. Just keep watching what happens here at jbburrage.com and you’ll get the full scoop.
By the end of the day, it’s about putting the best of me out there. So look out, world! There’s more to come.