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Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Free Reads, Honestly

Been getting some reports that The Authentic William James doesn't always show up as free. I've had this problem with Amazon promotions before and never quite got to the bottom of it.

Here are some links that I've just tested with the ebook coming up at the required price, ie 0.00.




And if nothing works for you, email me via the Contact page and I'll send you an epub file.

Whew.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Free Reads, This Week Only

These are troubled times and though they surely will pass, we’ve no say in how soon and there’s little we can do other than disengage, lie low, support the science, and keep our spirits up.

Reading can play a big part in that process, and every reader knows it. All across social media I’m seeing independent booksellers rolling out local delivery services and online publishers slashing their prices, not just to stay afloat but to give active encouragement to the readership. I’ve been looking at what I might do to join in. Most of my material’s licensed out; Orion handle my ebook backlist while Random House have The Kingdom of Bones and The Bedlam Detective, but there still a few pieces of work over which I have control.

I’m making all of them free to download for 5 days, from Monday March 23rd until the following Friday. They’re all on Amazon so I don’t know what your local time will be when the change kicks in. Even if you’re an Amazon refusenik, you can treat it as a chance to get something for nothing out of Jeff Bezos.

Here’s what there is: 

The Authentic William James. Novel. As the Special Investigator to the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy, Sebastian Becker delivers justice to those dangerous madmen whose fortunes might otherwise place them above the law. But in William James he faces a different challenge; to prove a man sane, so that he may hang. Did the reluctant showman really burn down a crowded pavilion with the audience inside? And if not, why is this British sideshow cowboy so determined to shoulder the blame?


In Gethsemane. Novella. In the early years of the Twentieth Century, a Spiritualist and a stage illusionist become strange allies when they take their clashing ideologies onto the lecture circuit.


Melody James. Novella. In the lobby of a Blackpool hotel, one year after the end of the Great War, Britain's spymaster recruits a young sideshow fortune-teller for a mission of historic importance.


Two Tales. A pair of short stories, Out of Bedlam and The Plot.
 

One Dove. Short story.

 

Friday, 28 February 2020

BAFTA omission (2)

That post from earlier this month, the one of me and the crew on the boat...

I found a few screen grabs from the film we were making. It was called Trick Shot. An over-ambitious mini-feature but my first crack at directing, made towards the end of my time working at Granada. It wasn't a Granada production, just a thing of my own involving everyone I could rope in and whatever facilities I could beg, borrow, or quietly make disappear for a while.

If you grew up in the North West, you may know some of these faces. Shot on Eastmancolor negative with processing and neg cutting at Manchester's Humphries Film Lab, now long gone. The film stock was sourced as a favour through the World in Action production office; a professional kindness in itself, and then the bill never came...

Trick Shot: Malcolm Brown, Oslo

Trick Shot: Charles Foster, Diana Mather, Salford and Manchester

 Trick Shot: Jim Pope, Stock Ghyll Force, Cumbria

They say we learn from our mistakes, and I learned a lot. But it was enormous fun, and a serious step up in my education.

(Pictured: Malcolm Brown, Charles Foster, Diana Mather, and Jim Pope. My cast, my teachers.)

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

An Englishman Abroad

...or, Fool, Interrupted. The appearance online of an interview prompts me to a long-overdue blog post about one of the highlights of my 2019. The interview's further down this post and, be warned, I do go on a bit. It was filmed by Magnus Edgarsson on the deck of a floating hotel on the Fyris River, just a short stroll from the centre of Sweden's oldest university town.  The interruptions came courtesy of distant dogs, other residents trucking through, a passing ambulance, and a far-off football match where things seemed to be going well for one side or the other.


I was in Uppsala at the invitation of The English Bookshop along with fellow writers Juliet McKenna, Steven Savile, and R J Barker. Together we played two panels to a packed house on Saturday evening. One was on crime and the other on fantasy, with the audience switching seats around in between.


It's a terrific bookstore, a proper readers' paradise with a deep selection of new and backlist titles and tremendous support from its customer base. As a panel I felt we made a good lineup with a variety of angles and, dare I say it, what felt like a good team chemistry. On the Friday evening we were welcomed into the home of our hosts Jan and Isabella - old-style Swedish elegance and bookshelves to die for - and on the Saturday before the session we had a guided tour of the town. It has a long history but for me this comparatively recent feature resonated the most:


Saturday afternoon found us back on the boat taking our turns in front of Magnus' camera. The range of interviews can be found on his dedicated channel here, but this is mine:


On the Sunday before flying home, RJ was off signing stuff while Julia and I were given a walking tour of Stockholm by Swedish adoptee Steve Savile; all the main sights plus the bank where a siege gave rise to the term 'Stockholm Syndrome' and the stairs up which Olaf Palme's killer fled. I can't think of a better way to make a first-time visit.



Monday, 3 February 2020

BAFTA omission