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Many authors don't get to see their first novels in print and Guy is no exception, as at least his first two have yet to see print.
I'm also aware of a number of other books which he wrote or compiled but which have not yet seen print because I own them in manuscript or typescript form.
I originally included Confessions of a Sex-Writer too, which I don't own, but I've since removed it as I've written about it in much more detail at Sexy Confessions.
One of the most mysterious pieces in my collection is what appears to be a 'novel' written by Guy when he may have still been in school. It's untitled, though otherwise complete with a contents listing and everything.
I've seen mention in a number of articles of a children's novel that Guy wrote long ago. I'd assumed at the time that those were mentions of Badger Island, which was written almost two decades before it was eventually published by Julia McRae Books in 1993. However, perhaps some of those mentions really referenced this book. I'll have to go back and find the articles and look at the context.
It's handwritten, but in a style that doesn't look like Guy's does on the many handwritten manuscripts I own. However, it's also very legible cursive, as if it was written by someone still in school. That's backed up by odd spelling and punctuation errors, of the sort that Guy doesn't tend to make. Further evidence comes from the fact that the last five chapters are written in a Grafton Exercise Book, of the sort that I remember well from my schooldays, with 'Guy Newman Smith' carefully printed on the front in pencil. The earlier 22 chapters are handwritten in a generic blue notebook.
I haven't read it yet (soon!), but the chapter headings suggest that it's a crime adventure like you'd read in the old boys papers, which have been well chronicled as the biggest influence on Guy's writing.
I'm tempted to guess that this dates back to his days writing for The Tettenhall Observer, when he was in his teens. It's possible that it was one of the serials that they printed, as I don't have those for reference, but I do have a list of what they ran and it doesn't look like it. Certainly most of his serials for that paper featured a detective named Stan Webster, whilst this features a crime reporter named Dick Walker tackling the villainous Delaney Gang.
Update: Shane Agnew has the handwritten copies of the Tettenhall Observer stories and the handwriting matches this.
Here's the chapter listing:
There's no mention of a word count, but there seem to be about a hundred words to a page and there are 148 pages, so I'm thinking about 15,000 words. That would technically make this a long novelette.
According to Guy's own notes on the title page of my typescript copy, Starlite was his first novel, written in 1966.
It's a 34,000 word adventure novel centered around a gamekeeper, a real life passion of Guy's that has been referenced in many of his novels and especially his Gamekeeping and Shooting for Amateurs which has bene published in five editions by four different publishers. The title is taken from the lead character, Jim Starlite.
The plot can be roughly discerned by merely perusing the chapter titles:
Again backed up by Guy's own notes on my typescript, Rebel Star was Guy's second novel and he suggests that it was written around 1969. However, I also own the handwritten manuscript, which lists what are presumably start and end dates underneath its chapter headings: 15/2/71 to 26/2/71.
Written by hand in a W.H. Smith's Loose Leaf Pad for Students and Offices, it ran to 40,000 words, not bad for an unpublished novelist to put together in a mere eleven days. However, only two pages have seen print, in the self-published 1976 comic book, Adventure Strip Weekly.
It's a story about the rise, fall and rise of Kevin Fox, the 'Wonder Boy of Football', who rose from playing in secret, because his public school only allowed rugby, to playing for his national team.
Again the chapter titles highlight the story well:
Certainly the most published of Guy's unpublished novels, Dreamtime, a science fiction story, was at least partially serialised in a magazine. However, it didn't finish its run, so remains unpublished in complete form.
That magazine is Nexus, 'the international fan magazine' run by Mike & Gloria Gay. It published the first five chapters of Dreamtime across issues 6, 7 and 8. Issue 6 is dated Spring 1982 and it appears to have been a quarterly.
My copy is an odd hybrid. Chapter one is a carbon copy typescript but the rest is handwritten inside an Alliance Building Society diary for 1958. It takes up most of the book, running through to 25th September.
The word count is 60,000 and it runs twelve chapters.
At 15,000 words, The Adventures of Guy of Warwick would qualify only as a novelette rather than a novel, but then many of his early novels, from Starlite on, were technically novellas.
It's a dramatisation of Guy of Warwick, nowadays best known as a tourist attraction in Stratford-upon-Avon, but, in his day (or so the legends go), one of King Arthur's knights of the Round Table.
Guy had long been fascinated by his noble namesake and had written a 3,500 word non fiction article on him, which he had pitched to Blackwood's Magazine, though I don't believe it ever saw print.
I don't know a date but the typescripts of both the article and the novelette are stamped Caerlaverock, Guy's address in Tamworth before he moved to the Black Hill. However, on the cover of the novelette, the original stamp was for Burnt Hill House, his previous address in Tamworth.
Clearly this set of articles and short stories was aimed at pitching a stack of unpublished material as a single entity, but it never happened, which isn't surprising given that the format is late Victorian.
I have no idea who it was pitched to, but I have this hand-written contents sheet and most of the articles and stories in various forms.
The contents are:
Word counts vary from 3,000 to 5,000 words with a total around 63,200.
Another compilation, this one was at least just of short stories and had an actual aim, pitched to the Polish market which was publishing much of Guy's back catalogue and were eager for more.
Guy's note to me when I bought this stack from him was 'Collection of early GNS stories; some from London Mystery, 2 original Crabs stories; several unpublished. This book was only ever published in Poland.'
I don't believe it ever actually saw print, though I do believe it reached typescript form as I have more than one copy of Curse of the White Rhinocerous and one is a carbon typescript that begins on page 162.
The contents would have been:
Original publication details were:
Many of these stories were renamed from working titles or even published ones:
The Author's Note in the second image reads:
The stories in this anthology span the entire length of my horror writing from my first published The Searchers up to The Crabs and Sabat. Some formed the genesis of an idea for later full-length novels; Child of Isis led to Accursed, and The Doll to Manitou Doll. Several were published in magazines between 1972-82.
A few have been slightly rewritten but overall I decided to present the early stories in their original form. Their writing has afforded me much pleasure over the years, and one day whilst sorting through piles of copy manuscripts in the attic I decided to compile a selection of these offerings of horror in volume form in the hope that my band of faithful readers might enjoy them.
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