BBC scriptwriter’s lounge

Standard

So I managed to adapt KILLING TIME into a film screenplay and sent it off for some professional reviews. I was very happy with it myself, but have to acknowledge their concerns that it is too long. Only 2 hours and 17 minutes… about the same as a lot of films out theses days, but for a new writer it is frowned upon.

So… the task of cutting out another 17 pages (= 17 minutes). It doesn’t sound much does it? But I’ve already cut out the hero’s subplot love interest, which brought some lightness to the horror of murder. The lovely Samantha was strong and vulnerable at the same time. And when with her friend Libby, they were hilarious. No time for laughter in this horror.

I’ve had to leave lots of scenes dealing with the Ripper’s early years and his tormented mind that focus a little light on the darkness that surrounds him. How his father forced him to go hunting and skin rabbits. His love of Mary Kelly, his final victim, and his possible syphilis that drove him mad.

I’ve had to leave out another of the original Ripper’s victim’s – Katherine Eddowes – a voice lost in the past, and now on the cutting room floor. And I’ve had to give less of Mary Kelly’s viewpoint too.

All in all, it removes the humanity… concentrating more on the action – a true cinematic ploy to drive the narrative and keep the audience coming back for more. A shame though.

It’s perfectly illustrates why you might love a book, then get very disappointed by the film – only half of it is there! I had to cut KILLING TIME from 90,000 words to 30,000 words and it is still too long. It is very frustrating.

I have to admit though, done properly and it can enhance some of the points. Jason Ives love hate relationship with the beautiful but dangerous DCI Bjorkman is simplified – intensified even without Samantha in the background.

The action flies faster and the view is a lot more dramatic. Details only interesting to some are glossed over in favour of the key points to keep us engaged.

So… with my next book, I will be keeping some of these points in mind to try and strike a balance. A golden rule is: SHOW DON’T TELL. Well I shall endeavor to use my new script writing experience to do this even more… but keep the humanity. After all, we only care about the characters if we understand and empathise with them. It is only interesting if we want to go on the same journey with them, through thick and thin.

Image result for adapting a book to film

So now… I am adapting it again to a 6 part drama series. Why? Because the extra time in the extra episodes give the story space to breathe, and re-introduce all those elements I’ve had to cut out of the film.

This is why we are in a golden era of TV at the moment. With BBC I-player, Netflix, Sky, Amazon etc, all looking for that next great mini series to fill their air time and attract new viewers. 6, 8 or 10 parters are very popular.

It is a golden opportunity for new writers to try and explore this highly competitive art form. I must warn you though, it’s even harder than getting a publishing deal, and that’s near on impossible in this celeb obsessed world.

So I’m treating it as a learning experience at the moment – almost a hobby. That’s the secret I think, a balance between writing for the pleasure of it, but keeping in mind that it needs to have professional principles too.

Anyhow, that’s enough for now. Next time I’d like to chat about keeping true to history – Writing about Jack the Ripper meant dealing with real events and real people in a very emotive way. A process that tested my conscience against the need to make a story a good one.

Until next time….

Mark

Draft XX of Killing Time: Almost there

Standard

A first film screenplay is a special thing. Your first baby. Your first love. It is also highly scrutanised and vulnerable… but favour fortunes the brave.

So please take a look at the first scene from KILLING TIME THE MOVIE, it’s quite different from the book from which I adapted it, and a Hell of a way to drop into the story. Unfortunately the formatting goes to pot when transferred to the blog, but you get the gist.

Fade in:
INT. A library style office – day
ELIZABETH (29) sits on an armchair that’s VERY WORN ON THE ARMS. She’s upset, with eyes struggling to stay open as she blinks at a CLOCK. JASON IVES (38) is halfway through hypnotising her. Handsome in a bookish way, his calm and confident air pulls her back to a time when she was kidnapped and murdered.
.
JASON
Let your eyes close now Elizabeth. look back into your past life from that last day when held captive in 1952.
.
INSERT– A 1950’s clock, with the second hand ticking.The second hand on the clock sweeps forward one second, then stops. It struggles very briefly, then slowly fights its way backwards.
.
Back to scene
.
Jason sits across from her looking at his notes.
.
JASON (CONT’D)
Describe the room you’re in.
.
ELIZABETH
I can’t, it’s so dark. I’m scared, Jason, I don’t think I can do this.
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
Elizabeth is now THELMA; her past life. Small and frail with matted blonde hair, she’s sitting in the dark as the light pulses to the sound of her heavy breathing.
.
Back to scene.
.
JASON
I’m not surprised. What you’re seeing would scare anyone, but this time there is a difference; this time you are seeing it from the safety of your life as Elizabeth.
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
A masked man is violently pulling Thelma across the floor by her hair as she screams.
.
JASON (O.S)
Remember, no matter how real it looks and feels, you are no longer Thelma, you are Elizabeth, and as Elizabeth, you are in control of what happens to you.
.
— Time freezes in the cellar as the camera rotates.
.
JASON (O.S)
Everything you see is in the past; your past, your history. If you can face your fears now, then we can find the man that did this to your life as Thelma.
.
Back to scene
Jason remains calm – his voice is reassuring. Elizabeth’s eyes are moving underneath her eyelids.
.
.
JASON
I’m ready to pull you out as soon as you give me the safe word. Repeat the safe word for me please, Elizabeth.
.
ELIZABETH
(trembling)
Resolution.
.
JASON
Exactly. Resolution is your way out of here, something you didn’t have in 1952.
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
Thelma is back in the cellar by herself. Light from the door at the top of the stairs fights against the gloom – then the door jumps open.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
Oh my God, someone’s coming. I’m in a cellar.
.
JASON (O.S)
That’s okay, you’re safe with me, but you have to describe as much as possible before we lose our place in this Awakening. Everything is a clue to catching your killer.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
It’s all happening so fast
.
JASON
Freeze the moment, Elizabeth. Slow down your thoughts, and that will slow down your personal time.
.
Time becomes flexible. Slowing, then speeding up to the beat of her heart.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
Erm, okay, there is a workbench to the left of me. I can’t move round because I’m chained… oh fuck, I’m chained.
.
JASON (O.S)
But your mind is free, Elizabeth. Concentrate on the detail. Are there any windows?
.
Back to scene
.
Elizabeth’s face is perspiring, she’s breathing in short, sharp breaths.
.
ELIZABETH
Yes, a tiny one right up by the ceiling, but it has been blanked out with something. I can’t see much.
.
JASON
Use one of your other senses; smell, sound…
.
Elizabeth turns her head as if she’s heard something.
.
ELIZABETH
Hmm, the hum of the freezer drives me mad at night. The throbbing sound gets inside my head, gives me a headache.
.
JASON
What’s the make?
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
The cellar is packed with junk but dominated by a huge freezer that hums loudly in a pulsing fashion.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
General electric. It has a big GE badge on it, pile of shit. Things are still moving, Jason, slowly, but I can’t stop it all.
.
Thelma starts yanking at her chains as light hits her face.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
The door is opening, get me the fuck out of here!
.
JASON (O.S)
Breathe deeply, Elizabeth, you are doing brilliantly. Just slow your breath, clench your fists, that always helps me take control. I need photos or names.
.
Extreme Close up in office
.
Her fists clench so tightly that she draws blood.
.
Back to Flashback
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
(looking around)
No photos, but there are some old sports trophies, wrestling I think. He’s a big hairy man; seems huge. I can’t remember his face, just his stinking boozy breath when he’s raped me.
.
BACK TO SCENE
.
Elizabeth is screaming and writhing in her chair.
.
ELIZABETH (CONT’D)
Fucking bastard has kept me chained here and raped me so many times. I want him dead. Big, fucking, ugly, bastard… you raped and killed me!
.
Jason’s Awakening equipment shows her heart and brain patterns going wild.
JASON
We’ll get him, but I need you to focus right now, Elizabeth. Can you see the names on the trophies? Are you close enough to read them?
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
A large shadow emerges through the door by the stairs.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
So dark, Jason, but the light is coming in through the door now. I can see his feet coming down the steps. can you stop him?
.
JASON (O.S)
I can’t, but you can. You have the mental strength. You are in control of your mind and have more time to look around than you think.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
Hickerson! I can see the name Hickerson on a couple of the trophies.
.
JASON (O.S)
Brilliant, that’s a name to work with. Keep looking. Any first names?
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
Don’t have time, I’m fading out. Fuck, this is it. I think this is when I die.
Darkness pulsates.
.
JASON (O.S)
Hold on. Describe him as much as possible before you leave.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
Going blurry now, can just see his legs. He’s wearing shorts. One of his legs is wooden or fake or something.
.
From the shadows appears a freakish wooden leg with rusted metal joints fused to his flesh. It’s scary as shit.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)
I think it was blasted off in the second world war. He doesn’t usually say much, just attacks me, forces himself on me… Fuck… Resolution!
.
Back to scene
.
Elizabeth is struggling in her chair, her fingers gripping the worn areas as if the chair is used to it.
.
ELIZABETH (cont’d)
Resolution!
.
Jason looks very uncomfortable. He needs more info.
.
JASON
Okay, Elizabeth, I’m shining a light on your eyes, follow it.
.
Jason pulls out a SMALL TORCH, but doesn’t turn it on yet.
.
ELIZABETH
I can’t see it, where is the light?
.
Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
.
She’s scared AND angry now.
.
ELIZABETH (O.S)(Cont’d)
You said I’d be out. Shit, everything is rushing now. He’s in front of me; his face, oh Jesus fucking Christ his face, help me!
.
INSERT – AN UGLY SLIMY FACE WITH DEATH IN ITS EYES, RUSHES IN A BLUR FROM THE STAIRS TO RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER FACE.
.
.
The face stares straight into the camera for a few beats.
.
.

The Power of agents

Standard

Image result for film script

 

I’ve diversified into writing scrips now, by adapting my new book into a film screenplay. It was quite a learning experience…. but more about that another time.

I attempted to try and dodge a few agents this week. Escape the overworked, underpaid apathy filled underlings that are given the unenviable task of guarding that first wall of defense against the masses. The wannabe script writers / authors like myself who are trying to peer over the parapet of fort Hollywood. Okay, I’ll stop the castle reference points now.

So, when I managed to obtain Director / Producer / Screenwriter and even inventor, Roman Copolla’s email address, I took a deep breath and sent my carefully prepared script and opening message to him.

I must say, seeming as it must have been very early in America when he received it, he was quick to reply, and polite under the circumstances… even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear.

Image result for roman coppola

‘Mark sorry to say that for legal reasons I’m unable to except this type of solicitation directly (has to go through agents in my case William Morris Endeavor thanks for your understanding)

 

R

 

Don’t need to respond to this email’

 

Now of course, he could have been using this as an excuse, but at least he let me know who his agent is and he actually answered, rather than blanked me.

Related image

So my point is… the power of agents. He is a man who has grown up in a film making dynasty. He is 53 years old and shouldn’t give a toss what his agents say… but he does. They have enough legal power over him to stop him being able to either find his own projects, or be approached from an outside source. I’m a little staggered to be honest, even though I know I shouldn’t be.

 

Film making is a huge creative and financial process. It relies on professionals at the top of their game to get the best deals for themselves and their clients. They are the royal guard – the elite soldiers (sorry, back to the castle refs again) – in a war or words that are literally worth millions of dollars. It’s just a shame that those creatives near the top of the chain have their creative liberty shackled.

 

I certainly hope Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks or even Francis Ford Coppola have more say in their projects.

 

Gaining ground

Standard

Picture

At last I’m gaining ground. Not easy this independant publishing gig!

I’ve just received a large initial order for my Ripper book (KillingTime) from the Jack the Ripper museum, in Cable Street, London. Well, it was a perfect fit really. A great museum, with friendly owners that are passionate about the mystery of the Ripper himself, and the women of the area in Victorian London. They have recreated scenes from this macbre past, and even a mock up of the Ripper’s bedroom (If it was Walter Sickert) and a mortuary.

Picture

Yes, it is all a little bloodthirsty I must admit, but it is history as well, and the past life scenario was a brilliant vehicle to bring his victims and the officers hunting for him, back to life again. It was my original thought when plotting the story. What if you could put the reincarnated forms of his victims etc, through a regression. What would be learnt, and could we apply any modern forensic knowledge to verbal clues given in those sessions?

Picture

I’m also in talks with the Museum of London, The London Dungeon, and The London Bridge experience. Those last two also feature Jacky boy in their gory reconstruction of London’s history.

Apologies for thos who prefer my more spiritual, philisophical elements, displayed in my first book – The Many Lives of Adam Capello – I call that my ‘Light – Awakening’ series… and am working on a follow up, or sequel soon. I shall keep you well informed.

Both books are now also stocked at Foyles book shop, Tottenham Court Road, Barton’s book shop, Leatherhead, and most of the libraries in Surrey – so the word is slowly spreading.

Thank you for all the support from my friends of old, and new friends made through my books. Your support keeps me driven.

Image result for thank you

So just a short blog update today, as I have lots of little jobs that need attending too, and, as constantly requested from Bartons… a sequel to leap from the page.

Have a great weekend!

 

Mark

The solitude of writing

Standard

Image result for writing alone

I’ve had a bit of a knock back lately. I’m in that awkward zone where I’m waiting for responses from agents, which can take anywhere from 2 days to 3 months and it is a little frustrating, especially when only the rejections come in.

And then there is the personal life… which I will keep mainly personal, but in essence, I broke up from my girlfriend a few months ago, and although it was a mutual and amicable decision, it has been hard to think of anything else.

So how does that affect the writing process?

Well, I can only speak for myself of course, but I should imagine it’s tough for any writer. We spend an awful amount of time by ourselves. It is what we do! So having someone good in your life can be the difference between success or failure. Hell, it can be the difference between a book of 80,000 words, or a few sporadic words of shite that have no real meaning.

Image result for gobbledigook

Think about it. When we see an author’s dedication, it is normally glowing towards their loved ones. They are the rock that their emotional foundation is built on. They are the kind voice, the support, the cup of coffee in the morning that can make all you feel whole, even when things are not going well elsewhere.

Image result for book dedication

I look around town and see couples everywhere, linked by hands or just an invisible tether between them. And on television or at the cinema, real people or fictitious, taking on the world because they are surrounded by people they trust and love. It gives us the strength to carry on against the odds.

 

So yes, for a writer, being single can be catastrophic. And only now am I beginning to write again, starting with blogs and a collection of my thoughts that only I will ever see. Of course, for some writers, they would probably love the thought of being single. Why? Because it takes away the distraction of a relationship. The noise in the house, the visiting of their relatives, the shopping trips to help them choose a new outfit.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1f/1e/f0/1f1ef016a4bfbc4f58791976cd845023--backyard-sheds-garden-sheds.jpg

That is where a sensible balance comes into the equation. That is why Stephen King locks his door, and countless others dream of a warm luxury shed at the bottom of the garden to retreat too, like Roald Dhal. But in the end, it comes down to will power and commitment. Just look at Jeffery Archer!

Hmm, that’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. But seriously. Here was a politician who climbed the greasy pole to somewhere near the top. He was a household name. Then he had an affair, and some dodgy tax deals and ended up in prison. Throughout all that, his wife stood by him. God knows why, but she did. Maybe… just maybe, it was because she knew, that even with his indiscretions,  that they were a team.

Image result for jeffrey archer writing

And with that Team Archer, he was able to continue writing even whilst in prison. I’m not saying they are happy, but I’m fascinated by this human bond; this team built up through shared ambitions and usually starting with love, but changing, transmogrifying into something else… a myriad of different roles, and all of them serving a basic need. Well, maybe not the sexual need in his case, but who knows.

 

So anyway, I digress.

 

My writing stopped. Last year I was on a role, with up to 10,000 words a week at one point. Yes, it is not all down to being single. Part of it is just the timing with the agents, and trying to think of a new story to write… and even find the will power to write another book when I can’t even get a publishing deal for the two I have written already.

Image result for writing drying up

But it has still confirmed what I kind of knew in my heart of hearts. When a dedication is made to your partner in a book, they are not just being polite, or trying to appease their spouse. They know that that the whole writing process would have been much tougher without their support. They say that behind every successful man is a woman, and I would say that behind every successful woman is a man – or, in this modern world at least – a partner. A lover or someone to confide in. Even if it is just your agent, it is someone to pull you through the process.

Image result for pretty line

So… I am still friends with my ex, but something needs to be said.

 

Thank you Katja for all your love and support whilst writing Killing time. Honestly, I quite possibly couldn’t have done it without you.

Image result for pretty line

And for those singletons out there in my position. Go out and find someone. Whether it be a boyfriend / girlfriend, a relative, a friend or even a writing club to spur you on. But most importantly, push yourself out of the shed or living room table and your comfort zone to the outside world, and meet someone special. It will make all the difference.

 

Good luck in your writing, and your love life,

 

Mark

Rejections from agents

Standard

It has been a while. First I was busy with sending out manuscripts to agents… a long, and lengthy process, and then I was in limbo.

I was a little lost whilst waiting to hear from the agents that I was pinning so much hope on. Silly really. I’d had so many ideas and plans when writing Killing Time, declaring to friends that I was too busy to complete any projects, and yet here I was… lost. I was all at sea.

Image result for lost

And then the time eventually passed. I redesigned covers, looked for competitions to enter and tried in vain to think of a sequel to my undiscovered masterpiece. 6 weeks passed. Then 8 weeks. The silence filling my ears. Well, almost silence. I had one young agent ask for the whole manuscript… just enough interest to keep my heart beating.

A small aside: Her name is Sarah Manning. Impossibly pretty, with that gorgeous girl next door look, that no girl next door to me has ever possesed. Young of course, with an innocent air that may well belie a savvy intelligence. She has started video blogging details on how to hook an agent. And against my expectation, thus far they have been really good, after a shakey first episode of introduction. Please find the link below:

And yet………………………. Sigh……………. I still ended with a rejection letter from her. A lovely, kind, nicely put rejection from my girl next door, but one all the same. She said I write well, and that the story is indeed very commercial…… but it didn’t captivate her!

Am I bitter? No, of course not. They receive so many submissions that they have to be completly blown away by your MS. They have to absolutely love your story, to the point that they fall in love with it… In love with it enough to fight by your side against their bosses and future publishing bosses that they pitch to. Remember, out of the thousands of submissions a year they receive, they probably only pick 2 or 3 up.

Image result for agent rejection

So don’t get upset by the rejections, even if you imagined running with off the agent to some sunny beach house and living happily ever after. Oh… is that just me?

If they are kind enough to give some feedback – read it and utilise it. Get some trusted readers to go over your first 3 chapters again. Look for the hooks needed to snare your agent. Check the tenses and the character perspectives. Hell, check everything again that might just make those chapters more exciting. Unfortunately the publishing world is run by the MTV generation now. They want to be impressed ASAP! Like it or not, it is their world, and we have to play by their rules.

Or……………………………………………………… do we?

Image result for self publish

There have never been so may options. From ebooks, to on the kindle, nook, ibook etc, to paperbacks. Publish using Smashwords or the daddy of them all, Amazon. Amazon own Createspace… I have mentioned it on here before. They make it free to upload all your image files for the cover, or use one of their designers for a reasonable fee.

And free to upload the interior file for the book contents. Just make sure the quality is good, because quite frankly, there are a lot of people putting some crap out there, and it is making it difficult for the rest of us. Check the spelling, grammar, formatting, fonts used at the very least. You will be helping yourself, and every other struggling author out there.

Or………………………………………………………………….

Use one of a new service, such as Red Door.

Home

These  publishers are a step up from vanity publishing. A very important step though. One in which requires integrity, because you will be parting time and most importantly, a lot of money to try this route out. Basically, they work just like any other smallish publisher. They get editors and copywriters and cover designers to make your book look as good as you both feel it should be, and then start promoting it, and using thier contacts to get it into bookshops. They work out the logistics of warehouses, printing and distribution.

You have to submit a munuscript to them just like any other agent, and they can reject it just like any other agent, except that they can take biggers risks than traditional agents because you are lessening the financial risks for them. You are spreading the bet because you take a big part of the financial risk away from them by paying for most, or all of it yourself. This is the time when you put your money where your mouth is. If your book is so damn good as you keep telling people, then you should be the one taking the risks.

The reward? Simple. Your royalty percentage. A typical deal with a publisher will see you getting just 8%. A deal with Red Door, or Matador or a similar reputable service, should be 60% going to you if you pay everything. That initial outlay may be £5,000 or £6,000, but it’s a hell of a return.

That said Kindle ebooks give you a 70% return, and cost nothing to produce or sell on Amazon. You can sell them cheaper as no printing, distribution costs etc – but they are still only about 40% of the market, so quite a gamble.

And whilst Red door etc can be an easier way in, with bigger margins… do they have the clout to turn you into a best selling author? This is where it all hangs on what you want. I’m greedy for attention and money if honest, so want to give the big boys a try first. I have to admit though, the Red door alternative is looking more attractive every day.

Image result for self publish gamble

For now though, I will just have to wait for my second round of agent applications. Use Agent hunter btw… they save you so much time in searching out the details of the agents that would work best with your project.

I’ll also have to wait for Sarah manning to come to her senses regarding my book, and dating older men.

.Say hi sometime and check out my 2 books – The Many Lives of Adam Capello, and Killing Time, on Amazon, and for Gods sake give them a damn good review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time my friends..

Mark

 

The Complications of Genre

Standard

I’d never thought of it before…

Image result for writer confused

I just wanted to write…

Image result for sterling archer writing

And before I knew it, I had my first book… THE AWAKENING OF ADAM CAPELLO

…and then I had to find out what genre it was. Yes, arse about face, but it was my first book, and I didn’t want anything stunting the creative process. I then found out it was Metaphysical fiction.

Image result for metaphysical

Yes, I didn’t know what Metaphysical fiction was until I’d written it, but now I do. Only problem is, the new book, KILLING TIME, is a lot lot darker, and a historical fiction murder mystery. So should I have written it under a different name?

Tricky, as it is set in the same world of Awakening and even has Adam Capello and Martin Kale from the first book. I have also changed from 1st person to 3rd person… so I apologise to those that prefer their fiction to be a certain way and expected something different.

But life is not that simple, especially if you have quite an organic writing process as I do. I go with the flow. Some might even say I let the spirits of my ancestors influence my writing.

Who knows, it feels quite free flowing sometimes, even if I do stare occasionally at an office wall for a few hours  waiting for inspiration to strike.

Image result for that tricky second novel

I’m lucky people are wanting more though, so will have to fix this problem by writing a sequel to my first book sometime soon..

The Awakening of Adam Capello by [Taylor, M]  VS    VS  Killing Time by [Taylor, M W]

Or write another completely different book under a new name with the freedom to say whatever I like because no one will know who I am. A whole new genre mix…

What do you think?

Metaphysical erotica anyone?

Have a great week,

 

Mark

Killing Time goes global !!!

Standard

Apologies for the lack of any recent updates… I have been busy getting the final version of my new book KILLING TIME ready for Amazon etc. I hope you like the cover. I especially like the spine with the Ripper in blood red shadow in the middle. Lovely 🙂

It is amazing after all this time to think that my book is ready for the big wide world. I started writing one chapter on January 1st 2016 to mark my new life as a writer… I was made redundant from the Met police on December 31st 2015 after almost 24 years.

I was happy with the new chapter, but then didn’t really start writing until May because I was too busy starting other new projects and suffering from that feeling that a lot of new writers have. That feeling that nothing might emerge from the word processor… my mind blank… my creative flair all used on the first book.

It is that reluctance to start anything because we do not want to face the dedication it needs for the following year, or the fact that it might be rubbish. But here I am, and very proud of my newborn. It is grittier… by far, than anything else I have written, and so far, well received by my Beta readers. A huge thank you to all of you btw, especially Katja for her support, and Tambi for an amazing job proof reading it.

Image result for proof reading

I now have to start researching for the right literary agents to send KILLING TIME to, and making each and every cover letter, synopsis and MS submission tailor fitted to that agent. It’s hard. Real hard!

But… I will also keep up with my blog here, and overhaul my writer’s page (themanylivesofadamcapello Facebook) to include both books. Now is the time for energy and conviction, not lack of confidence or complacency. Now is the time for more hard work… the big push.

I will be at the London Book Fair at Olympia on Wednesday March 15th representing myself and SAVANT PRESS, my publishing name. Wow it would be great to meet some of you there.

And, hot of the press, I have been asked to do a book signing at Barton’s Book Shop in Leatherhead, Surrey on April 29th. I can’t wait.

Image result for Bartons book shop

I’ll be quizzing in the next blog or two, with factoids on Jack the Ripper and the whole concept of past life regression… Same on Facebook. So again, I hope I see you there

https://www.facebook.com/themanylivesofadamcapello/

All the best… and enjoy the fresh spring weather.

Mark

Blog 10… sort of:

Quote

Image result for christmas writing

Happy Christmas to everyone who reads my blog. It has been a productive year which is ending very happily. On January 1st of this year I was made redundant from the Metropolitan police after almost 24 years as a crime scene photographer, with all its highs and lows.

Whilst this was sad in some respects, it was also a fantastic new start, as they had been generous enough to give me a small pension to keep the wolf from the door. It freed me just enough to find lots of small part time jobs I like, and most importantly, to concentrate on my writing. I wrote the first chapter of my new book on Jan 1st to start my new life with purpose, and as a result, I have just finished editing the second draft of my new book ‘Killing Time’ to be ready in late January 2017.

For those that cannot wait or want a rare copy, I have published it as a Beta version with a false title and author name. Long story, but it makes it easier and clearer to publish it as a new book when it is ready. You can find it on Amazon worldwide as  ‘In the Footsteps of Madness’ by Solomon Wise. I quite like that author’s name… maybe I should have used it from the start.

In 2065 a new science called Awakening has turned the world upside down. It gives the gift and the curse of being able to delve back into your past lives. But one past life is so strong that it overcomes its existing identity. The life of someone who should never have been allowed to exist in the first place. The Leather Apron, The Whitechapel Murderer, The original serial killer, he is known by all these names. And now he wants to kill again. Jack the Ripper is back.

And… in a mad rush to finish the year with a bang, I have just finished an Amazon advertising campaign… I’ll let you know how that went in the new year. Until then, enjoy the holiday period with friends and family. Relax and rest so that you will be ready to start a book yourself in January.

 

Happy Christmas,

 

Mark

Blog 9 – Past the finishing post

Standard

First Draft

Image result for smug

I’m feeling a little smug. Sorry.

I want to shout out my accomplishment in a very un British way. I must apologise.

I have finished my new book! Ye ha and all that!

Ahem, now I’m standing on a box with a megaphone,

I HAVE FINISHED MY NEW BOOK!!!!!!!!!

Image result for finished new book

Ahhhh, that feels better. Please excuse my outburst, but it is a lovely point in any writer’s life. To finish a book that you have been working hard on; in silence, away from friends.

Oh, but I have not finished it. Just the first draft of course. That rough but certainly not ready first edition that only a scant few will see. Complete with ttypos and plot holes and a crappy cover, but that is okay. Those few are friends… and better yet, friends of friends who do not know me, so will hopefully be more honest with their reviews.

Image result for honest reviews

How important are reviews? At this stage they are the guiding light. I know the story way too well to have any distance from it. I know all the twists and turns, who is who. I know the red herrings from the clues and the jokes that originated in my head and still make me chuckle. But will they make you chuckle? Will you see too easily the clues I have left behind to the point of making it pedestrian? And talking of which, is the pace fast enough?

Think about when you tell someone a joke… It is more than just the words. You have to set it up. You have to engage the listener with minor gags along the way that build the whole scene up. You need to get the timing right and the joke to be a complete surprise for full effect. I’m terrible at telling jokes… I try too hard and lose the natural rhythm. Well it is the same with a story, especially when it is a thriller or murder mystery.

Image result for bad joke

I love this joke

So thank you to those friends that are reading it right now. Thank you Chris in Miami who raced through it in three days saying he could not put it down at night. And thank you for what you have said already regarding a couple of the characters… it has already given me ideas for the second draft.

Readers all over America, some in England and even one in Norway for a little Scanoir feedback.

Image result for scanoir

So if you are in a similar position, don’t be too shy to show anyone. It will never grow that way. Your story needs to see the sunlight and be watered by praise or encouraged by loving clips of dead limbs. I was never a good gardener either as you might see.

Get it onto people’s e-readers or even give it a false title and author’s name to get it published on Amazon under their excellent Createspace service.

Image result for createspace

Createspace is their publishing arm, and I have to say, it is brilliant. It does not cost a penny to set up, unlike other services such as Ingram Sparks. They also provide an ISBN and it will be available all over the world. Once you are happy with the book (after 2 or 3 drafts) and it has been proof read to perfection for mistakes, it is ready to be a first edition and then you can re title it and give it your own ISBN. Another milestone.

This is when you think about advertising your book. I have only just started, which is very slow of me. I put out an Ad on Facebook 2 days ago for £30 that will last me a week. How exciting is that. Okay, so only 2 sales thus far, but it is early days yet, and for now it is all part of the adventure. I will let you know how I got on in my next blog.

Until then,

Happy writing,

Mark.