Thursday, 30 June 2011

You just can't please some people ...

Everyone, it seems, is bagging out J.K. Rowling and her decision to e-publish her Harry Potter through her new Pottermore company. Some claim that it'll decimate an already dodgy market, that she's turning her back on the system that made her and sticking two-fingers up at them.

What a load of b*llocks.

What they all are seemingly forgetting is that it's her decision to make. These bricks and mortar companies have no claim over the HP entity or how the intellectual property is managed or treated. By JK restricting the outlet of the HP ebooks - going out over a multitude of platforms - she is allowing them to be more freely obtained and not 'dominated' by any one (already established) commercial provider. She is keeping control of the HP brand - just as she's done from the start.

She retained the e-publishing rights to the books (so the story goes) at a time when even email was thought daring and new, so fair play to her. Those that are whining now should stop complaining abut what they think they might be losing and just be eternally grateful that JK helped them sell millions of hard- and paperback copies of the series over the last however many years. They should be concentrating on nurturing new talent and not dwell on the gravy train that left the station years ago.

Monday, 27 June 2011

The last Liquid Lunch

Danny Stack - one half of the UK Scriptwriters team (with Tim Clague) - has just finished uploading the last of his 'Liquid Lunch' episdoes.

'Liquid Lunch' is 6 x 2min episodes posted on to YouTube in which friends Ollie and Alex discuss what they're going to do with their life. The first episdoe can be seen here.

Well done to Danny and all the team on getting this written and produced so quickly, although if you read his blog not without some pain.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Latest self published collection

My latest short story collection The Spirit is Willing ... is now available here on Amazon  - £0.86. It has four more stories with the central theme of the Undead: a vengeful spirit; a new vampire; a very old vampire; and some ghosts who want biscuits with their coffee.

These stories feature scenes of violence and contain strong language, and may not be suitable for younger readers.

Ready ... steady ... BUY!!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Damn you Luther

I've eventually gotten around to watching the first two episodes of the new series of Luther (BBC1) starring Idris Elba and found myself getting slightly miffed.

For a while now I've been thinking about and 'developing' a story that featured Springheeled Jack as the bad guy. Springheeled Jack was a Victorian 'myth' who committed foul deeds and 'jumped away' - showing a clean pair of heels in the process.

However, it looks as if I'll have to shelve that plan. The splendid Lee Ingleby played the uber-creepy Cameron Pell (above) who styled his sins on the aforementioned Jack. Pell wore a Punch mask when killing people (right) and the whole way it was written and filmed worked exceptionally well. Luther's up to his old tricks again and I'm sure it'll get much worse before it gets better. If it ever does.

Also who else should pop up in the first two episodes? Possibly the hardest-working actress right now - Kierston Wareing. Not only has she recently had a pivotal role in BBC 2's The Shadow Line, she also featured in last Sunday's ITV Scott & Bailey. And after doing a quick IMDb search showed that she's got a gazillion other shows either in production or post-production. Does she ever sleep?

Monday, 13 June 2011

Selling Sweeney and pastures new

Scott Barber has let me know that due to budget issues Selling Sweeney is to be put on hold for the time being, although he tells me that it is still on his slate. With that in mind and him wanting to get SeeView Pictures off the ground wants to film a lower-cost, short piece.

His wife is a dentist and has access to a surgery in an old Victorian building. He asked me to write a max 10-page script, with two actors and the one setting in a similar vein to the Hammer House of Horror stories of the 80s.

So, with that in mind I've written Novocaine Will Numb the Pain - a 7-page, two character script. Although I did throw in a cheeky second location, but I feel it enforces and adds to the whole. It's about a distinctly odd dentist who lets a woman in to his surgery at the end of a day and without an appointment. It doesn't look good for her. But she's got secrets of her own.

The initial reaction has been that he likes the script but I anticipate some tweaking once a director gets attached. So maybe this will prove to be my first produced work ... It may all change before the end of the week.

ITV vs BBC ... and a bit of E4

I find it strange that at times there seems very little from terrestrial TV that's really worth watching. Perhaps it's what they call 'seasonal', I don't know. However, IMHO, there's been quite a bit worth watching of late.

I've recorded 'Camelot' (C4 - Saturdays) but have yet to watch it Sadly, though, most of the Arthurian interpretations leave more than a little to be admired. I really do wish that this isn't one of them.

BBC ... and predominantly on BBC2

The Shadow Line - written, produced and directed by Hugo Blick (in an interview Chris Eccleston said that Hugo would also have done the catering if he could) - brilliant in its build up and with a stellar cast which includes Mr Eccleston, Chewitel Ejiofor, Rafe Spall, Anthony Sher and Steven Rea. The last episode is this week. Will all the strings be tied up? Or is there a second series on the cards?

Physchoville 2 - Okay, it may have ended already but considering that they didn't know if they were going to get a second series, and with pretty much all the characters potentially dying at the end of the first, I thought that the mix of out-and-out comedy, mad surrealism and scary freakiness meant this was a must watch to fans of Mssrs Pemberton and Shearsmith. Brilliant, and will be added to the DVD collection.

Also, Luther returns tomorrow (14th) for a second series - always worth watching for Idris Elba, alone.


Scott & Bailey - starring Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp (also in The Shadow Line), Amelia Bullmore (shark attack ... everyone loves a shark attack) and the superbly subtle Rupert Graves. This programme had (apparently) eight millions viewers for its opening episode and, although it does have some faults, is a solid female-led police drama. Much better than 'Vera' which should have been cracking but was simply Brenda doing a Columbo impression and doing it badly, I'm sorry to say.

Injustice - the five-episode series broadcast over one week. Now normally the one-week 'mini-series' that ITV broadcast aren't normally anything to get too excited about but with a top-rate cast (headed by James Purefoy) and written by Anthony Horowitz it kept my attention right to the end. The 'unreliable accounts' of some of the characters placed doubt as to the reality of actual events and, I thought, handled really well.

One of the flagship programmes for me on E4 is Misfits. I was late coming to this - probably because of the channel - but it is brilliant and now in its third series. Very, very clever scripting. The acting is first rate and equally well directed. It's now in its third series and will no doubt carry on for more.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

First US Kindle sale

I thought I'd check on my Kindle sales a short while ago and was very pleased to see that The Regret of Cause and Effect has been sold through the US Amazon site. It may not be in the Dan Brown league but hey, it's a start.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Selling Sweeney latest ...

Well, it's all change again.

As reported in my last post it had been several weeks since Scott Barber of SeeView Pictures mailed me about Selling Sweeney and what was going to happen with it. Scott mailed me yesterday to let me know that, due to budget constraints, Selling Sweeney is going to be put 'on the back burner' for the time being, but he still has the desire to film it in the near future.

And, with that in mind, he asked if I wanted to write him a max 10-page script based in a dentist's office, with two characters and with a Hammer House of Horror feel. Of course I said yes. This is interesting because, way back when, it was a Horror script call from Scott which first got me in touch with him.

I immediately started jotting down ideas and over the last two days wrote a 7-page script provisionally called Novocaine Will Numb the Pain. It features a dodgy dentist and (hopefully) an enjoyable twist. I sent him the first version earlier today and so far he's happy with it. Maybe this will be my first filmed work?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Selling Sweeney update

Well, it's been another long while since I last had an email from Scott Barber (the Producer) at SeeView Pictures regarding the Selling Sweeney script. However, one came through today. The director still didn't like the last offering and re-wrote it, putting his name first on the script ...

Now, you must understand Scott's initial vision was of a slick, Steve McQueen-type, hustle story that was current, modern and ultimately uplifting. He wanted this in no more than ten pages. The latest script suggested by the director came in at 27 pages.

I'm not too disappointed in hearing that Scott and the director have parted ways. It's annoying that it's taken months to get to this position with nothing happening but (hopefully) it will mean a new director will be attached who shares Scott's vision.

It may also mean more re-writes, but hopefully the script will still be filmed before the end of summer. My fingers are crossed.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Idiosyncrasies of Kindle formatting

On first look it's simple enough: save a .doc file as a .htm, run it through the mobi-pocket creator and create a .prc file ready to upload via the Kindle load pages. Simple.

However, there are, I've come to learn, some finer points which need tweaking to make the finished product look as good as it could. With two uploads already I think I've pretty much got it sorted, but it's not as straight forward as it first appears.

Hopefully all future Kindle uploads will be smoother and more professional-looking.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Another eBook collection on Amazon for Kindle

My second short story collection is now available on Amazon for Kindle and can be found here.

It's four more stories which this time touch on the the elements of crime which don't fall into the black and white of right and wrong: retribution, mis-carriage of justice, the desperation because all else has failed, and innocent bystanders.

It's another bargain at £0.86 and with Father's Day coming up is the perfect gift ...

I'm finishing off my next collection - featuring the undead and other oddities - which should be ready to upload soon.

So get buying. ;)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

No longer a self-publishing virgin

I've taken the first tentative steps into the world of self-publishing.

Amazon for Kindle has my four short-story collection 'The Regret of Cause and Effect' - adult stories which involve the consequences of human decisions. It's a snip at £0.86.

It can be found here