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5 December 2016
OK, more than likely the last update of a very weird year.
So Head in the Clouds didn't make it out for Halloween. There was a whole 'thing' with the printers regarding the colours on the cover, but after a lot of angry emails back and forth it finally got sorted. So the book is now available online and I think Waterstone's in Coleraine is getting it in, too. I don't know if a signing is going to happen. The closer we get to Christmas the busier everyone is and it can be hard to schedule these things, but keep an eye on the Facebook group and if we do manage to squeeze one in, the details will be posted there. I hope you like the short stories, and please drop me a line or post on the group if you have a favourite.
It's been a strange year for my film-writing projects. For a while there one of them was definitely getting made, and then it wasn't, and now.... there is another interested party but nothing is set in stone yet. I've learned even when things are set in stone, it doesn't mean anything in this business, so all I can do is keep at it.
During NaNoWriMo I managed to get about half of my children's book written. This isn't bad going since it was a last minute idea to do it and I hadn't anything planned, but I'm enjoying writing it and I'm still aiming to have it done by the end of the year so I can start work on my next grown-up book in early 2017.
I have a few things planned for 2017 already. There are a couple more short films I want to make through the North Coast Film Collective, my album is STILL languishing on my hard-drive waiting to be finished, and after seeing Spamalot! the other night, I really want to write a musical - whether this will be for a movie or for the stage I don't know yet, but it's something I really want to do.
Have a Happy Festivus and New Year. I'll be back with sporadic updates in 2017.
23 September 2016
Another long gap. I'm useless at updating this regularly - I know.
OK, so the big news is I'm hoping to have my short story anthology out for my usual Halloween timeslot!! I had so much other stuff to do this year I really didn't think this was going to happen, but after a mad creative burst last weekend where I got a couple of new stories written and a few old ones tidied up, it looks like I'm back on schedule. The book will be called Head in the Clouds: The Collected Short Stories and will have 27 stories that have been written over the last 21 years. It's going to be the same length as my novels, so I'm giving you your moneys worth! :-) Some of the stories are really old (so be kind to those ones) and some were only written a couple of weeks ago, and of course all points in between. It's being proof-read as we speak and I have a local artist working on the cover, so let's hope it all comes together in time for a Halloween release and book-signing.
The other big event coming up is the NCFC's First Annual Screening. Since I started this group a year ago, the members have helped each other make 6 short films, all between 10 and 15mins long. There will be a screening of these films, including my short, Love Bites, for the first (and possibly only) time in Ballymoney on October 4th at 8pm at Compass Advocacy Network (CAN) on Seymour Street. Everyone's welcome to attend, so please come along and see what we've been up to.
Some exciting film stuff is happening too, but we're keeping it on the DL for the moment. I'll post more info when it starts to move forward.
26 May 2016
Wow! Long gap between posts. My excuse is I've been really busy. I'll try to remember what's happened since I last updated.
My quest to purge all the typos from my books is not going well. I've just had too much other stuff to do. I got about three-quarters of the way through Vampire Twilight when I got side-tracked with other stuff. I was sort of relieved to find there weren't any typos per se, but there are a lot of clunky sentences that I'll make a little smoother in the next edition. I WILL get back to doing these because I know The Dead Room at least has a lot of typos - possibly because it was the first one that Mandy Croxford didn't proof-read for me. :-)
I made a short film through contacts made at the North Coast Film Collective, a group I set up late last year. We meet on the first Tuesday of every month in Daniel Gillan's pub in Ballymoney so come along if you're interested in getting involved in the local film scene. The short was written and produced by Peter Ohara and I directed it, which is the first time I've ever directed something that I didn't write. I like how it turned out and enjoyed making it. It's called Decisions and you can watch it here.
Also through the NCFC, one of my short film scripts has been made. Peter Ohara produced this one too and it was directed by Rodney Stewart. It's called Weapon of Choice and it's still in post-production.
And Love Bites is also in post-production. This is the short I made based on the first chapter of Vampire Dawn. The production wasn't without its problems, like all short films, time is the biggest enemy. But necessity is the mother of invention, so I still think it's going to look rather special when it's done.
It's my intention to do a screening later in the year of all these short films (and any others we make between now and then), so keep an eye on this page for details.
Staying with the film theme for just a minute longer, there are parties interested in TWO of my feature scripts now. It's still early days, but if either or both of these happen, it'll be amazing.
My short story anthology has taken a backseat during all this film work, but I'm still chipping away whenever I have time. I'm not so sure about the Halloween release now - the year is disappearing fast - but if it's not out for Halloween, it'll definitely be out for Christmas. I still don't have a title for this book. I'm hoping the number stories there ends up being will suggest a title, but if you have any ideas, send them my way.
I think that's everything. I'll try not to leave it so long next time.
13 January 2016
Hello! It's a New Year, dintcha know?
Despite life mocking me at every turn, I'm optimistic about 2016. I've got a lot of lines in the water, so surely a fish will bite at least one of them. Here's what's happening at the minute....
I'm still waiting to be rejected by the BBC Writersroom. The last call for drama scripts was in September 2015 and I wrote part one of the TV mini-series of The Dead Room. I was really happy with how it turned out, but as we've learned from past experience, that means nothing. The beeb were supposed to tell us who got through to the next round by xmas, but instead we all got an email saying they had over 3000 entries, the most they've ever had for a drama call, and there was no chance of getting through them all before Santa came to visit. So we wait, interminably waiting, and then....
While we're on the subject, I noticed a worrying thing while adapting The Dead Room. There were a lot of typos in it, damn them! So I've made it my New Year's Resolution to re-read all my books (except Vampire Dawn and Mind's Eye which are already on their 2nd editions) and weed out all these mistakes. I'll then re-upload the file for the print books and the Kindle editions and with any luck I'll have error-free novels forever more.
I've also re-entered Ghosthaven for another competition. As you may remember, this was another TV pilot I wrote about a hidden village. I always liked this story and thought it had real possibilities, but after the BBC gave me the 'Thanks, but no thanks' I had nowhere else to go with it. I re-read it before submitting and I still think it stands up really well. So add that to the waiting list.
Things are looking good on the film front....
Interested parties are trying to get funding for one of my scripts and I really hope they get it because I think they'd do an awesome job of directing it.
I'm also really enjoying my time on the New Writer Focus Group. I won this award with the first draft of my western, Diablo's Rest, and after a few meetings talking things over with NIS and other writers, I think I've improved it a lot. The second draft is due soon and I'm anxious to see if everyone else thinks it's improved as much as I do.
And I'm going to be directing a short film funded by NIS. It's called Love Bites, and those of you familiar with a certain novel will guess that it's the first scene from that book. I'm still trying to get the cast confirmed, but if this comes off as well as I hope, it could mean we're one step closer to getting the Vampire Dawn movie made.
I've decided to put all my movies online. There were only a few stragglers; Working Late, Ghosts of Us and Leaving the Lawn, but if you want the full list and their links go to the Coral Moon Films Page.
The short story anthology is still in limbo, due to circumstances beyond my control. Worst case scenario - it'll be out this Halloween, but if some stuff falls into place, it might be out sooner. It's got some weird and wonderful stories in it, so I'm eager to hear which you like best. I've also entered one of the stories from the book in a Stephen King Short Story Competition. There might be a few other entrants for that, but sure it's always worth a punt.
Watch this space....