Monday, 24 January 2011

Spaceships Podcast

Every week my friend Jim compiles a podcast of great tunes on his blog

This week for podcast 13 he asked me to contribute some choices.

Below I'll explain my choices, in painstaking High Fidelity detail, before providing you with the link to go download it.

Firstly, you've got to start with something that grabs the attention, or something epic, you've got to have a launching pad that isn't just a 'normal' tune. I wanted something odd to open up and a good track is the title track from the film PONYO. It's short, sweet and catchy as hell.

Following that we're into the belly of the beast, of what I called when talking about it the MELANCHOLY MIX. New Year's Kiss by Casiotone for the Painfully Alone sets this up.
I then placed Husker Du's I Don't Wanna Know if you are Lonely at 3, i wish this came a bit later, it's something with a but of a faster pace a but louder, it would have broke up proceedings later on. Oh well, nevermind, it's still a great track.

After that come 3 piano led tunes, you'll be a wreck on the floor after those, then picked up by some blues tunes. Walkin' the Blues by Willie Dixon is my favourite song to write to at present.

Then the end of my stint with track 9 The Leaning Tree off the new Sun Kil Moon album, epic yet stripped back, with perfect vocals and guitar playing.

So, if you've read all this surely you'll be clicking this link.

Feedback is appreciated on either my blog or Jim's, because I haven't mentioned he takes over proceedings for the second half with another eclectic mix that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Susie Pepper's Teeth Murky Depths 15

Look at that glorious cover, and housed beyond that is my glorious comic strip Susie Pepper's Teeth. I recieved the proofs just before Christmas and was blown away, the artist, Thomas Tuke, has done a fantastic job.
The story is a twisted take on the vampire genre, involving a young girl called Susie Pepper, it's a really gruesome, but also quite sweet tale.
It looks amazing too. If you want to order the magazine, which won British Fantasy award for magazine of the year 2010, you can do so by following this link

It's £6.99 and there's loads of other good stuff in the issue.
If you do read Susie Pepper's Teeth I'd love to know what you thought.


Thursday, 13 January 2011

Blue Box 3

I'm pleased to announce, I have another Doctor Who story in the 3rd issue of Blue Box. this one features the second Doctor and his companions.
I love this story which mostly takes place on Alcatraz before taking an odd twist. I hope you feel I've captured Troughton's doctor well as he is my favourite.

I hope if you liked my last story Escaping Sunbeams that you'll have a look at this, it's only £1.50

Check out and order Issue 3 here:

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Screenwriter Geek: William Goldman

I've just started reading William Goldman's Adventures in the Screen Trade, I'm probably behind every self respecting screen writer on that front, but if you haven't read it you need to right away.

I'm only a hundred pages in, and don't want to quote huge passages from the book, you should go out and buy it but two bits that have stuck out so far are when Goldman discusses the lonliness of the writer, "most of us are entering uncharted ground, and we have hope, but we also know the odds against us. Failure keeps us company."
And also the great section on agents, and the importance of a good query letter.

What a great screen writer, and what a great book. an inspiration to us all.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Screenwriter Geek: Every script is different

This blog is about writing.

More specifically, how you can only learn so much about script writing, and I'm sure it's the same with novels and all other forms, because each script is different, feels different, and has it's own challenges.

For example, the script I'm working on now is another attempt for me at writing a 30 minute comedy script for TV. I have tried this before in a script jam packed full of ideas, but probably too many of them. I was trying to create a hybrid genre of comic book sci fi, horror and comedy but all I managed to do was dilute the comedy aspect of it. So i learnt to make the comedy the focus of my new piece, but then the format got in the way, somewhere between getting the idea and beginning to write it a faux documentary style came into play, so now I had to contend with this overshadowing the comedy elements, but I'd learnt this lesson before, until I realised that this style of script led to a completely different style of writing, for me it did anyway.

Usually when I write first drafts it is usually in a chronological manner, starting at scene 1 and not stopping until I'm at the end of the script, but this one has given me the freedom to just write whichever bit I want, or whatever funny bits are in my head at the time, and then bring it all together in the redrafting, like a good editing process. I've known other people to write like this, but it's never been my style, until this script offered the opportunity to do it.

Other scripts have differed in what routine, or lack of, works best to write it. My first feature script I could only write late at night in 2 to 3 hour bursts after 11pm, whilst a few scripts have poured out in a matter of days. Others like to be worked on in small 5 minute bursts throughout the day, taking a long time to come together, and one or two get worked on until they're halfway done and then like a break until i can come back finish it and fix it up nice.

If you're a writer I'd like to know you're writing stories because I am a geek about screenwriting.