Now that my latest serial, ‘Benny Goes Bust’ has concluded, I thought I would give an overview of the process once again, and this time compare it with another of my serials, ‘A Pillar Of The Community’. As anyone can tell from the ‘Likes’ and comments, ‘Benny Goes Bust’ did not enjoy the same following as that other one. In fact, it was a long way off, getting fifty percent less readers soon after it started, and seeing an increasing decline over the twenty episodes. A rough indication is that the previous serial received over a hundred views a day, for some thirty days. The new one started with something like fifty a day, declining to less than forty within three days, and as low as thirty during the last few episodes.
But as much as I love to entertain and interact with my readers, I was writing this for myself, as always. And on a personal level, it was my most enjoyable fiction, from the writing perspective. It was never designed to end with a twist, for a change. So I decided to include a few surprises with some characters, all of which worked, I am happy to say. I was left with a regular readership of just over thirty people each day, as well as some who randomly read one part or another. Views as of last night were just over eight hundred in total, for the twenty parts. Compare that to the earlier serial, which achieved over three thousand views in thirty days.
I completely understand that the subject matter might have put off a lot of people. A serial about the online sex industry, even one with little or no graphic sexual references, is something not only unusual on a blog, but distasteful to many. I thank you for trying it, and appreciate those who carried on reading and commenting on my other posts. For those of you who just ‘got it’, and stuck it out to the end, my heartfelt appreciation. I couldn’t be more pleased that you enjoyed it, believed in the characters, and invested in some of them too. Most of this serial was based on people I have met, and some I knew very well. The idea for it was even based on an actual event involving one of my cousins, back in 1966.
Benny was an amalgam of directionless young men who have been around all my life. With little ambition, lacking get up and go, easily influenced and controlled by others. Their mantra is ‘anything for an easy life’. Noddy was based on hackers I had seen interviewed on TV, and my own experience of encountering what are known as ‘Autistic Savants’, during my days as an EMT. Nan was a lot like my own maternal Grandmother. Though she was never a glamour model, after she was widowed in her early sixties, she changed her hair colour, bought lots of new clothes, and embarked on a life of ‘excitement’. That included drinking a lot, going away for weekends, and enjoying the company of what she called ‘man friends’, some of them a fair bit younger than her. Sophie was an invention, but also a mixture of some real ‘lively’ older women who frequented pubs owned by my family, and one woman in particular.
And I knew a ‘Beverly’. My Beverly was a married woman too, a good friend of my parents. I was sixteen, and she was forty-six, two years older than my mother. We never operated a business together, and we never married later. But the rest is true. And I knew a hard-working ‘Linda’ too, though she didn’t have a Bugs Bunny tattoo. I was twenty-two, and she was in her thirties. She was close to leaving her husband for me, but stayed for ‘the sake of the children’. So, it was pretty much based on fact.
The small amount of research I did into the ‘oldie’ market online was eye-opening to say the least. I assure you that my version of it was tame. But everything I mentioned, from the revitalised careers of jaded glamour queens, to them selling their worn stockings in plastic bags, is completely authentic. If anyone doubts that, send me an email, and I will reply with actual links! 🙂 Last but not least, the setting. Camden, a part of London I know well, and lived in for twelve years, close to Robert Street, where I set Beverly’s maisonette. The pubs , restaurants, and the market, are all genuine, as are the street names. There is even a stall in the market that sells Moroccan artifacts, but I have no idea if the owner is nicknamed Cozy.
Thanks once again for reading.
I will give you all a break from serials for a while now.
Best wishes as always, Pete.