Start Book Day with a Play

20-logo-right-upIts World Book Day, which means it’s time to lift a book and enjoy yourself. Today VCP are featuring some of its best reads, and so why not do something a little different and choose a great and enjoyable play to read?

Heaven Knows.

Plays have become a fashionable read in recent times, none more so than the release of JK Rowling’s The Cursed Child, which has seen great success. When we were first asked if we would consider producing a play formatted book, it was new territory, but something we felt would be a good experience for us.

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, by Colin Smith, has seen a lot of local success around the Manchester/Liverpool area of the UK as a stage play, and so with a recognisable title for play goers, we started work with Colin to produce the book version.

To set the scene, this is comedy, which has darker threads woven into the humour. The scenario follows the story of Andy, whom having had three marriages and has been widowed three times, after a long life dies in bed without realising it. He wakes up in a strange place not really understanding what has happened, and at first is not aware he is dead, and his soul has passed into limbo, before being assessed for entrance to heaven.

Heaven knows I'm Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

Heaven knows I’m Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

The story line is a chuckle fest from the first page, as he encounters his guide into the afterlife with his trainee reaper, Eva. Much to his surprise, his reaper is an attractive young female dressed in rather sexy night attire, something she feels is more welcoming. Eva is to be honest very absent minded and forgets to instruct Andy in the ways of his reaping, which just leads to yet more comedic confusion as he arrives at the reception to Heaven and enters the selection process.

Whilst editing and formatting this book there was many moments where there were outbreaks of giggles and chuckles, as the humour intensified, and we must confess it made working on this book delightfully entertaining. The selection process for Andy, which is a very entertaining and hilarious process not un-similar to the bureaucratic process of a human resources interview, reveals that his three passed wives are all in Heaven and he will be given the option to meet them, and decided which one to spend eternity with.

Whilst making his decision he is taken to a safe house until he can adjust to his new circumstances of being dead, and reflect on the choice for a partner for eternity. Much to his surprise he finds his house sharing comrades to be none other than Adolf Hitler and Jesus. What follows is a wonderful mix of great one liners and side splitting hilarity, as his new house friends help him to decide who his ideal partner for eternity is. This though provides what turns out to the funniest twist of all, because unbeknown to Andy, in heaven you can choose the life you want to be for eternity, and so all of the three women he had been married to in his living life, are very different in their afterlife.

This is a very tongue in cheek look at life and what follows, and is very funny indeed, but not only does it make you have a really good chuckle and belly laugh, surprisingly it also provides you with the chance to think about your own ideas of an afterlife. We had a few discussions amongst ourselves as we worked on the formatting of the book, and it is surprising how it does make you sit up and think about your own life and also your beliefs, in a somewhat light hearted way.

The one dilemma our author Colin had was that in the early stages of developing this play for the stage, he had two very different endings, and during the process he was torn as to which one he could use. We suggested he add both, and so this copy of the play in print form, has the added extra bonus of two ending from which you can choose your favourite, either way we think you will laugh at both.

Colin Smith Playwright

Colin Smith Playwright

This really is a very entertaining play and we feel a book you should definitely pick up when you need a break and a space to chuckle. Having worked on the book and followed it through the whole process, we are really hoping a new stage production is put on in our local area soon, so we can actually see it performed on the stage. A wonderful, light and entertaining tale, beautifully written and presented in a play format by Colin Smith.

 

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Again by Colin Smith is available now on all online book retailer sites including Amazon.

Heaven Knows What Will Happen

Possibly one of the most frequently asked questions in life is, what happens when we die?

It is a reflected moment we have all had in our lives that asks us many other questions. Will we go to heaven or hell? Do angels really sit on clouds? Will it hurt? And also if you have been married to a significant loved one and they have gone on ahead, will they be waiting to meet you at the gates?

Our looming demise in time is one subject that binds us all, the many questions we hold are the bonds we all share, and it is with that in mind that VCP arranged a meeting with the author of what was fast becoming a very popular local play in the Northwest of the UK.

Colin Smith Playwright

Colin Smith Playwright

Enter potential published author Colin Smith.

I must admit that as a writer myself I have pondered the question of life many times, so I was keen to find out a little more about a title that had been suggested to me named “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now”.

I had been informed it was a play about a man who had been married three times, and who was sent to limbo to begin the process of his admission into heaven. It was enough to peak my interest, but when I was also informed it was a Black Comedy, well I wanted to read it, and talk to its author.

I grew up around plays, many of my family were once very into the armature dramatic scene, so I was no stranger to the format, although it has been many years since I read one, my partner on the other hand loves them, and she eagerly encouraged me to get samples.

I must admit I sat in the garden in the sunshine and read the sample I was sent and it was not very long before I found myself chuckling, as Andy who is the main character arrives in limbo not realising he has actually died. It was not very long before I began to see that even though this is a comedy, it actually asks many questions of the reader, as it attempts to pull you into what you feel would be your own ideal scenario of what you would prefer Heaven or Hell to be.

We met with Colin and talked in depth about the play, which has been very well received in the several places it has been performed, and we agreed to take it on and publish it. There was a part of me that wanted to know what happened, and I must admit I giggled and belly laughed a great deal reading the full manuscript for the first time, it truly is fun and a very entertaining and at times hilarious piece of work.

Like all good comedy, it should be able to touch on every subject, and challenge the readers perception of themselves and every aspect of life and death, and I can assure you that whilst having you giggling, it will make you think about just what does come next after the end of what we know today as life. I can only say so much as I feel I do not wish to give too much away, but I did really enjoy it and would happily recommend it to any reader.

We are delighted at VCP to be able to help Colin take this production from the stage to print and make it available to everyone from August 1st 2016, and having not actually seen the stage play in person, I am somewhat looking forward to hopefully seeing a production of it in the future

coverPRF

Heaven knows I'm Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

Heaven knows I’m Miserable Now by Colin Smith ISBN 978-1-910299-16-6

Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now by Colin Smith.

ISBN : 978-1-910299-16-6

RRP £7.99

Available from August 1st.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article Provided for VCP by Robin Morgan (Writer/Author/Publisher)