Thursday, November 27, 2014

New edition of Doctor Who: Amorality Tale out soon

One of my Doctor Who novels is getting a new edition from BBC Books in February 2015. Amorality Tale is part of the The History Collection, a range of eight historical adventures that includes beloved Who novels such as Paul Cornell's Human Nature [which he adapted for David Tennant's Doctor on TV], The Witch Hunters by Steve Lyons, The Stone Rose by Jac Rayner, and The English Way of Death by Gareth Roberts [quite how my page turner snuck on to the list I don't know, but consider me chuffed nonetheless]. Alongside new paperback editions with lovely new covers, the novels will also all issued as eBooks for the first time.

Amorality Tale was originally published in 2002, and marked my return to long form prose fiction after a six year break. It was my first Who novel for the BBC Books, so I poured a lot of care and attention into that book. I meticulously researched the setting [London's East End in December, 1952], got a big gang of beta-readers to give me feedback on the manuscript, and undertook considerable rewrites to finesse the final draft. The result is a dark story that rips along at a fair pace - anyone seeking prize-winning literary fiction is better off looking elsewhere - but still has some humour amidst the sturm and drang.

I stopped writing prose fiction in 2008 to focus on screenwriting, having burnt myself out by producing too many potboilers too close together. I wrote nine novels in 27 months at one point, with 600,000 words published across various media one year followed by another half million the next. But my hands still twitch to create prose fiction sometimes and I have no shortage of ideas. [I'd still love to write more Doctor Who - my last trip in the TARDIS was the audio drama Enemy of the Daleks, back in 2009.] One day I shall come back to prose. Yes, I shall come back...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Apply now for two-day Screen Lab 2015 - it's free!

Screen Lab 2015 is an intensive, two-day course on breaking into screenwriting - and it's free! Organised by the inestimable Scottish Book Trust, the lab will be run by award-winning writer/director Adrian Mead in Edinburgh next February.

The applicants lucky enough to get selected will learn from Adrian and guests about realities of the script development process, and how to break in. This is a priceless opportunity to discover what happens in the industry, from a working writer/director.

Having been mentored by Adrian, I can testify to the wit and wisdom he offers - indeed, we have him as a regular guest speaker on the Creative Writing MA at Edinburgh Napier University. Rarely do you have access to such expertise for free, so apply now.

Full details can be found here on the Scottish Book Trust website. The deadline for applications is January 7th, 2015, but I strongly suggest applying now rather than waiting until the last minute. If you still need convincing, check out the clip of Adrian in action.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rehearsal pics from 'The Cripple of Inishmaan'

Johnnypateenmike [George Gilliland] gossips to Aunt Kate [Julie Devine]
I'm in a production of Martin McDonagh's play The Cripple of Inishmaan, being staged Oct. 15-18th at the Corn Exchange in Biggar [tickets available here]. It's a hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking and politically incorrect comedy-drama by the creator of In Bruges, one of my favourite films. Director Leah Moorhouse is doing a stellar job with this, aided and abetted by a great crew - it'll be a blast.

Johnnypateenmike and his Mammy [Judy Jordan]
Cripple Billy [James Boyd] and his Aunt Kate
Johnnypateenmike spreading more gossip
Aunt Kate, fretting