Wednesday, December 18, 2013


This will be my last blog until 2014, as I've promised myself I'll be taking Christmas off after all my hard work over the year. And what a year it's been... it's been quite exhausting. Here are the highlights.

  • I was commissioned for two feature screenplays PLAYGROUND and COWBOYS CAN FLY.
  • PLAYGROUND has been a big hit with all those who have read it both here and in the US, and it now has a Hollywood co-producer. Their agent at WMA also loved it.
  • Ruby TV are interested in me and my work, and I met up with them to pitch ideas in August.
  • Drama Republic have also shown a strong interest in me an my work and want me to come in for a chat, which will hopefully happen early next year.
  • I had a lunch meeting this month with CBBC to discuss my work and listen to what they are looking for. They have requested I send them one page pitches of my ideas in January.
  • I was one of a select group of people invited to a workshop by the BBC Writersroom with Adrian Hodges, the writer and exec producer of the BBC's new action & adventure show The Musketeers coming in January 2014.
  • I was also commissioned for a 30 minute short script with no dialogue, which I found not only a challenge, but also refreshing. It was a very enjoyable job.
  • I successfully pitched a football sitcom, created with my co-writer Brendan O'Neil, to commissioning editor Jon Montague of Sky and he requested the pilot episode and series bible.
Besides all those wonderful things I have two spec projects I'm working on with directors who I'm keen to work with, two TV series I'm working on with other writers and I've also been asked to script edit another film for the producer of COWBOYS CAN FLY.

All the above shows what you can do with a lot of hard work and some dedicated networking. I'm looking forward to finding out what 2014 has in store for me.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all, and may all your endeavours in 2014 be successful.

Now tell me, what have you achieved in 2013?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


A really great read for writers of any level.
I received my copy of the deliciously outspoken Lucy V Hay's book a couple of months ago and I've only just finished reading it. The reason; because it was jam packed with so many ideas, information and valuable insights I wanted to make sure I had absorbed it all before I commented on it.

Followers of Lucy's blog and various other scribblings scattered over the interwebs will know she is always a fantastic source of information, dedicating herself to helping other writers with useful articles and discussions. It's no surprise then that someone eventually asked Lucy to prove she knew what she was talking about and write a book. Thus Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays was born...or rather written.

Lucy V Hay: She knows stuff!
The book is split into three parts. The first focuses on what a thriller is. Thriller is a very loose genre term which actually contains a multitude of sub genres, all of which Lucy looks at in great detail, inviting the reader to think about how many there actually are. I was surprised.

The second section explores how to write a thriller, from picking your sub genre, the logline, the outline, the characters, the first ten pages and setup, the conflict to the showdown. The great thing about Lucy's book is that it doesn't just tell you HOW to write a thriller, it invites you to think over things yourself, using various examples and quotes from established writers, script editors and readers.

The third and final section was the one I found most interesting. Writers, of all levels, rarely think about the actual business of selling and making a feature, or TV screenplay. To me it's fascinating. Here Lucy examines how the industry works, and makes some suggestions on how to make it work for you. I love this section because I feel that to be a great writer you need to know how everything works around you. I don't think it's enough just to write a screenplay, hand it over to a producer and then forget about it. Knowing what is involved in production, from attracting named actors to budget issues helps a writer to give their screenplay the best chance of getting made. It's all invaluable information that every writer should be keen to learn.

Lucy sums up each topic of the book at the end of each section, so there's a handy reminder to quickly access if you don't have time to read the whole section, or simply just for a quick reference. And at the back there is what I consider to be the largest list of valuable resources I think I have ever seen listed on paper.

All in all a jolly wonderful and informative book that's a must on any writer's Christmas list. Get it! Read it! Learn from it! Enjoy! Shazam!