Saturday, June 21, 2014

Visual Literature by Nicholas Checker

Hi fellow Oak Tree authors. I've read a number of your blogs and posts in the Loop and in the Authors' Connections, and at your various sites.. I'm proud to be among such a talented and productive family. Definitely getting a much clearer picture of who you  are, the flavor of your work, and the pulse of Oak Tree Press. I'm in the right place for sure!
As posted previously, my two novels, Druids and Scratch, are scheduled for publication in late August and mid-October respectively. I'm just starting my promotional blitz and I'd like to share, briefly, with all of you a medium that might interest you: visual literature.
Recent coverage of it by a local Southeastern Connecticut newspaper, and some images of an actual presentation are shown below. Briefly, this is a medium where either the author or actors (and possibly dancers too) actually perform what's being read by a narrator. The author may take part in the performance or cast specific performers who then go through suggestions of movement, action and expression -- both physical and vocal -- in conveying dramatically the literary aspect of the story, as well as providing a visual hint of what's going on. Background music can also be added, either live or recorded. This can be done rather extravagantly -- or as simply as one or two (even more) people sitting around a table literally  "acting out" a short segment of the story. At the Dragon's Egg in Ledyard, CT -- a unique theatre & dance studio -- I enlisted several actors & dancers I know, garbed them in bits of costuming and did the same with set pieces, and also utilized some original music. The result was spectacular and I now have a nice crowd of people talking up my two novels, while the local media has also become somewhat enraptured by the concept.
And this entire concept can be handled by a single person sitting down ... flavoring it with mere hints of costume & props, etc ... or moving around and doing the whole presentation with limited theatrical accoutrements. It just makes the whole lure of the story being told that much more enticing and entertaining. I will stop here and say I will happily share more of this with anyone who would like to give it a try. (
As for my two forthcoming novels, Druids is a fantasy adventure of three unlikely comrades trying to save a broken kingdom from a Druid Lord who has unleashed a deranged sorcery on their world. It also speak out for those deemed "out of synch with the norm."
Scratch is an allegorical saga of a legendary tomcat on a quest to save two warring clans from a greater horror quietly stalking them all. It also explores the decency and despair of human and animal relations.
The image here is the cover for Scratch, done by a gifted young artist, Katie Loyd, who is also doing my cover for Druids -- currently being designed.  Thanks for reading this!!!
(PS: I've also attached a really striking image from our presentation at the Dragon's Egg.)
Nicholas Checker 

"Druids & Scratch" performed at Dragon's Egg

Published May 29. 2014 4:00AM
Brian Ellsworth, Sharyn Farrell, center, and Christine Poland rehearse the production of "Druids & Scratch."

The concept of Visual Literature is pretty simple but certainly compelling. Costumed actors with scripts in hand read the roles of characters in a book or story - with suggestive movement and with the help of music and a narrator.
Consider "Druids & Scratch," a Visual Literary presentation by Nightshade Productions taking place Sunday at the Dragon's Egg in Ledyard. The company's thespians will recreate one chapter each from local screenwriter/author Nick Checker's upcoming novels, "Druids" and "Scratch," which will be published later this summer by Oak Tree Press.
Members of the troupe are Kevin McMahon, Sharyn Farrell, Mitchell Cote, Brian Ellsworth, Beverly "Victoria" Hayes and Malcolm Cameron, and guitarist Mitchell Cote will provide original music.
Donations will benefit the Dragon's Egg, Nightshade Productions and the Forgotten Angels Rescue Sanctuary in Griswold. Antinores Pizza of Quaker Hill will provide food.
"Druids & Scratch," 5 p.m. Sunday, the Dragon's Egg, 401 Shewville Road, Ledyard; free, donations accepted; (860) 535-3346


Bookworm said...

I love the concept of visual literature! So very cool! Thanks for sharing with us. ~ Suzi

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Great idea!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas and picture. I'm sure children will love this. Beryl