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David MacDonald Graham, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

October 20th, 2017 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on David MacDonald Graham, MLitt Publishing Studies 2017-18

There is a section in C.Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew, where a lion roars the world into existence, that may be a simplistic reduction but it sums up my approach to most challenges, sometimes you have to roar your world into existence. The Magician’s Nephew, along with Tolkien’s Hobbit were some of the first books I read, enough to captivate the imagination of a young mind and imprint the infinite possibilities and mallability of the written word. My local library also had a wide selection of graphic novels, including Asterisk, Tintin, and surprisingly some Moebius. We’ll pick up on that point later.

Words, whether read, written or performed, have fascinated me ever since. Stories are everywhere, especially in my home city of Stirling. Having returned after too many years away, you can still feel the legends of Wallace, Bruce et all in the City’s foundations. You can also feel the vibrancy around the M.Litt in Publishing Studies, a course I am very proud to have been accepted on. I came to publishing in a less than stereotypical fashion, I began my working life as a stage actor. Emerging myself in the poetics of ancient Greece or Shakespeare’s grand tragedies, and in the process earning myself a reputation as an ‘academic actor’. It was a label that was certainly apt, I would delve into the histories and culture of the plays I was in, eventually resulting in a desire to study at B.A level. I studied Theatre Studies at the University of York, focusing my dissertation on the progressive morality of Christopher Marlowe in an era where he was perhaps, a man out of time and possibly the very first spy on her majesty’s secret service. Later I returned to acting with a stint at Newcastle’s Performance academy, progressing to a second B.A Hons in Drama from Sunderland. I produced, wrote and performed in a one man show with the premise ‘What if Edgar Allan Poe wrote your life?” as my final piece.  This also kicked off a continuing obsession with Gothic literature and the art of the horror story, I soon devoured the works of Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Stephen King and Lovecraft. Ironically it was the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Rice’s Servant of the Bones that rekindled the childhood passion I had for the comic medium, which had never conclusively left me, but I had never considered it an area of study. The Comic Studies M.Litt. at the University of Dundee soon changed that and I found myself immersed in the sheer flexibility of the medium, every genre imaginable from science fiction to the biographic (Read Maus  by Art Spiegelman for a keen example) and the historical had been adapted at some point. Comics are not just superheroes, comics are for everyone and there is a comic that will resonate with everybody.  It was no surprise that I wanted to produce my own, which in typical fashion led me to an M.Litt. in Writing Study and Practice to improve my creative writing skills. Subsequently I firmly believe that to understand publishing in all its forms, then you also have to see it from the other side. The writers of the future are out there, in any genre or medium, they are out there looking for a platform. Publishing is not simply a business, it is a calling. A call to enhance and progress literature as both a business and an art form, at some point it can be argued that it blurs the line of both. Market it, nurture it, make the absolute best of it. Every Artist’s work deserves the best packaging.

So, to bring it back full circle to the lion, roar your world into existence, nurture and capture the imagination of others, help them to roar. That’s what I aim to bring to publishing.

I have a keen interest in genre, ranging from the aforementioned Gothic to the fantastical, crime, science fiction. The speculative and everything in between, new trends and the emergence of sub-genres (and their applications in a business sense) in the ongoing evolution of the written word.

But to be more concise, here’s the cliff notes.

Pop culture lover, genre enthusiast. Passionate about music, performance, comics and all forms you can write in, about, and everything in-between. Previous dissertations include: Sexual fluidity in the modern graphic novel, Marlowe and Morality, a creative writing portfolio and the Connections between ritual and creativity.
Actor, Writer, Presenter, future Publisher, moonlights as a Bingo Caller.