Monday, 20 May 2013

Stories in your ears

This morning I discovered that the trilogy of stories I wrote for BBC Radio 4 in 2011 - Portrait - is now available online, on AudioGO and on iTunes.

This came as a complete surprise to me - the BBC hadn't notified me they were making my work commercially available.

At first I was indignant that they'd not asked my permission or had the courtesy to inform me of their action.

Then I was really glad that the stories were out there and could be heard (because I think they're good stories, and good readings).

Then (quite possibly because I was doing all this before breakfast) I became irritable in an all-round writery fashion... so I dug out the original contract (over which there had been a lot of tricky negotiation, in which I was very usefully advised by the Society of Authors) and inched through the complex clauses I'd forgotten about since signing it, namely the rights to commercial usage.

Ah. Yes, it was in there, but written in language that hadn't stuck in the crevices of my mind. And yes, some miniscule percentage of the original fee will trickle my way in the fullness of time. I intend to keep my eye on that.

So they are legitimately available, and I'm relieved and glad and far less irritable. I still think they could and should have alerted me!

Below is the original BBC R4 blurb about the stories themselves -  they're a sequence which builds to form a whole, much like painting a portrait in stages...

If you listen, I hope you'll enjoy them.

Download them for 99p each

PORTRAIT: A Triptych - 3 stories looking at the significance of a portrait. 
First broadcast August 9th, 10th, 11th, 2011 - produced by Sarah Langan at BBC Bristol.

1-The Painter's Story, read by Burn Gorman - Tom meets Nic at an arthouse cinema. She's out of his league, but he throws her a line about wanting to paint her, and one day she turns up at his studio and agrees to sit for him. By the time the canvas is finished, Tom realises she means more to him than just a female form he can observe.

2-The Model's Story, read by Federay Holmes - Nic wakes up in a hospital; she's battered and bruised, and as memory begins to return, her husband turns up. But is he there to console her, and will she go home with him? And what happened about the portrait of her painted by Tom?

3-The Voyeur's Story, read by Bill Paterson - screenwriter Andrew meets painter Tom on the set of a detective series, for which Tom has supplied the original artwork in a story about revenge. What's the real story behind the canvases, in particular the beautiful nude?

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