Wednesday, 30 June 2010

You can't teach an old dog brand new tricks

The 7th series of British cop show New Tricks starts next week. As Ashes to Ashes has ended, I've given up on Dr Who, and Big Brother is in its final year, there's little I watch on tv these days. So I thought I'd say a few words in praise of probably the only on-going series I still enjoy.

New Tricks follows the activities of UCOS, a team of old cops who take on cold cases. Murders that have remained unsolved for decades are passed on for them to re-open the investigation and see what modern forensics and new policing techniques can reveal. Thankfully the stories aren't as dry as this format suggests they'll be. Every week the cops solve the unsolvable crime, but they don't waste time with forensics and modern techniques. They rely instead on old-fashioned policing methods that prove that the theme tune is wrong; you don’t need to teach old dogs brand new tricks, because the old tricks are better.

The weekly mystery stories are both as well-written and as groan-inducing as you'd expect from a cop show these days when viewers are familiar with every plot twist the mystery format has to offer. Usually you can solve the mystery before the title credits have rolled by randomly picking the least likely solution or by seeing who is the most well-known guest actor, but that's not the point of the show. Instead, it's about enjoying a seamless mixture of drama and comedy in which plots are moved on by the characters interacting and by using their own idiosyncrasies to solve the crime in a way that only these people could.

Heading up the team is Sandra Pullman. In the pilot episode she gets the job of looking after the bunch of old codgers as punishment for accidentally shooting a dog leading to the running joke of her grumbling that, 'you shoot one dog...'. Sandra has become more serious over the years. In the early seasons she was a delight, stuffing her face with fast food, having a continually failing love-life, and always being irritated by the antics of her team. More recently meatier stories have been thrust upon her involving family problems most of which haven't worked well, although that might be because the actress appears to have become a fan of unnecessary cosmetic enhancements that means she reacts to everything with the startled rabbit look.

Her three-man team are all well-drawn characters. Her main confidant is Jack Halford played by the dependable James Bolam who has been a regular face on British tv since the 60s. He's a former hard-man who solved crimes with fists and intimidation, but who retired when his wife was killed in an unexplained hit-and-run accident. Now returning to regular work well into his 60s he's bitter and a shadow of his former self, but he still has a copper's instincts. He provides the emotional core of the show. Again his character changes over the years and we see less of his melancholic side nowadays, although an arc story that ultimately, and inevitably, finds his wife's killer explains that change. Last season he got some necessary cosmetic enhancement when he finally got his eyes sorted out. In this case he looked better for it.

Sandra's problems usually come from Gerry Standing, who describes himself as being always a bad boy, but never a bastard. He has a history of being involved in dodgy dealings and corruption, although most of his past ultimately turns out to have a logical reason. Gerry is played by Dennis Waterman and in essence his role can be viewed as being his George Carter character from 70s show The Sweeney now older, but not wiser. The ups and downs of his character are usually related to the state of his teeth which have varied from painful looking to nice and white. Gerry gets most of the funny lines as a reward for singing the theme tune... as always.

The show's weird character is Brian Lane. He's a former alcoholic with severe psychological problems, a photographic memory, and obsessive tendencies, although as yet he's the only one not to have had obvious cosmetic surgery. As a character he's not even slightly believable as someone who would be allowed to investigate criminal cases, but as we get to see plenty of his home life with his long-suffering wife Esther, he is right for the show. His interaction with Esther always delivers great scenes in the short space of time they're on screen.

There are also several other recurring characters such as the inevitable shouty boss, Jack's nemesis Ricky Hanson, and Dennis Waterman's daughter that provide a nice feeling of continuity between the seasons. But sadly the general direction of the show has been to get darker, so I hope the new series steps back into the light. Dark isn’t necessarily good and last year, after 5 consistently superb seasons, the format showed signs for the first time of running out of steam. Several plots tried to make unwelcome and poorly-executed political points about the mistreatment of East European workers and there was a bizarre story that tried something different with an X-files parody but which didn’t work. Also the personal issues that are being foisted on the characters are getting more desperate.

It was inevitable that Brian would turn to the booze again, but having done so the show didn’t know what to do with him next, so it did nothing. Jack got the man who killed his wife, but that left him with nowhere to go, Gerry's ran out of daughters to annoy, and Sandra's now got a cliffhanger concerning a long-lost evil twin foster-brother, or some such nonsense. So I hope this year the show forgets about contrived personal problems and serious political messages and instead reverts back to its pre season 6 style as I need a weekly smile at the antics of UCOS.

Monday, 28 June 2010

The World Cup may be coming home

If you like sport and are English, yesterday was a great day. I never thought I'd live to see the day when a very real possibility dawned that England may actually win the World Cup, but today that possibility feels real. Yesterday we beat Australia, thereby winning a series against the old enemy for the first time in, well, several decades. In fact last year I think it was 7-0 to Australia, and that flattered us.

Admittedly we scraped home by one wicket, most of Australia's best players are injured, and it needed the ECB to deem that being English now means having a grandparent who knows what a Yorkshire pudding is so that we can fill the team with South Africans and Irishmen. But still, a victory is a victory. And in fact, in some ways, England are already the holders of the World Cup, but that was in the 20 over version of the game and I still haven’t got round to thinking of that as a proper sport.

So strangely, 50 years after inventing the limited-over game it now finally seems that England have worked out how to play it. We've had moments before. There was that time in 1975 when we had Australia at 39-6, but then Gary Gilmour (not the serial killer) strode to the crease and stuffed us. Then in 1979 Boycott and Brearley forgot they were playing in a limited-over match and ground out a painstaking 50 odd in about 30 overs. And nobody can ever forget Mike Gatting proving conclusively that the reverse sweep doesn't work 25 years before Pietersen decided it would be his chosen method of getting out. But since those glory days of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory we've never really had another sniff of getting anywhere in limited-over cricket. But now suddenly Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Craig Kieswetter and a couple of token English players to make up the numbers look like they've formed a team to be proud of. So next year we could be in with a shot at the trophy that has so far eluded us. Presumably this optimism will die next week when we take on the mighty Bangladeshis, but for now there's reasons to be cheerful.

Footnote: I've just spotted that apparently yesterday England lost in some other game involving fake tans and designer hairstyles, but I'm not sure that one really counts as a proper sport.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

An interview with Derek Rutherford

I've posted up a transcript of an interview carried out last weekend by a group of authors with Derek Rutherford. The lengthy answers are fascinating as they go into great detail about the author's creative process. I think it'll make interesting reading for both writers and readers.

Interview here at the Black Horse Express.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

What Doctor?

The latest series of the British fantasy show Dr Who ends this weekend and as I wrote a review of the first episode I suppose I ought to say something. Although what I can say will be limited as I've given up on the show, possibly forever.

I found the first episode to be fresh and interesting with a new Doctor, new companion and new production team, but my enthusiasm died quickly and after a few episodes I gave up on regular watching. I dipped in occasionally while searching for a channel that wasn't showing a bunch of millionaire fashion models mincing around a field with a round thing. But those flashes always irritated me within minutes and I didn't stay. I've just had a look at the Who forums and it seems the series is popular and the last episode was apparently: Like. The. Best. Episode. Ever. But that tends to happen most weeks so I'm still not sure if it's a weak show, it's me failing to grasp its subtleties, or it's just the sad fact I'm now a lot older than the target demographic. I think it's probably the latter.

My main problem is the new companion of Amy. The character is inconsistent and unappealing, which I gather is deliberate because there's supposed to be something mysterious about her that makes her act oddly. But I found it hard to care as I'd never seen her behaving normally. She reminds me of one of those sitcom characters whose role is to deliver one-liners and do weird things in every episode. I also don't think the actress is any good. I think I could probably get used to the new Doctor Matt Smith with time, but, to me anyhow, he comes over as a weak actor too. I've never, not once, believed in him. He gives a performance as a madcap character in which every nuance, every gesture, every line is delivered to convey that he's madcap while never once inhabiting the role. I get the feeling those two had a great time filming the show, but sadly that didn't translate into something I enjoyed watching.

But I guess it's not their fault and it's more to do with the way the series has been produced to appeal to children rather than to the inner-child in all of us. The stories make less sense than they used to, the sonic screwdriver is now a magic wand, and the bad guys are there mainly to be made into models and toys. I could moan some more, but the show doesn’t deserve criticism. It's a quality show, and it's time for me to accept that the days of quirky sci-fi from thirty odd years ago won't return and leave the children to have their fun.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Prairie Man

I received a contract today from Hale for my western The Prairie Man. This will be my 22nd Black Horse Western and it'll appear sometime in 2011. I was pleased they accepted this one as the story is slightly different to my normal style with a strong murder mystery element. It has my usual big plot twists and is set in one of my standard fictional towns, but it's less action-orientated than usual. Usually when this happens with the first draft I beef-up the action with a few extra shoot-outs and punch-ups, but somehow that didn’t feel right for this story. So I was delighted it was accepted. Although I guess that means I'll end up redressing the balance for the next one by having as much mayhem as I can cram in. Here's my draft blurb:

Tales about the spectre of the night known as the Prairie Man were told to frighten children, but one day those tales nearly led to a tragic accident for one young boy. Hank Pierce saved Temple Kennedy's life that day and so Temple promised that one day he would save Hank's life.

Fifteen years later the two friends grew up to lead different lives. Hank became a respected citizen while Temple ended up as an outlaw, but when Hank was wrongly accused of murder the call of his childhood promise gave Temple a chance for redemption. He vowed to save Hank or die in the attempt. But when he sought to unmask the real culprit his investigation led to a man who wasn't even supposed to exist: the Prairie Man.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Novel diary - #3

When I started this diary chronicling the writing of a story I said I thought it might be a fated project, and three weeks in that's now feeling possible. The welcome news I received last week that Avalon will be publishing my last Fergal O'Brien novel has meant I've spent most of my time thinking about Fergal might do next and not about this story. But I set out to chronicle a story through the good times and the ennui and so I'll soldier on. Either way this chronicle might become more intermittent if I spend more time with Fergal as I won't bother saying anything if I've written nothing.

Last time I had a few paragraphs in which an abandoned stage was found. I wrote the rest of that scene from the viewpoint of someone finding it and exploring the area searching for clues as to what had happened. He didn’t find any, sadly, as that would have helped the story develop. But when I read through what turned out to be a very flat scene afterwards to see if I could work out what might happen next I realized I'd got confused over names. The man had started out as just a name and then suddenly he'd become a sheriff halfway through. So I decided to make the stage be discovered by two people, one a lawman and one someone else.

This change enabled me to have some dialogue and so re-writing the scene made everything flow in a more interesting way. The two men, now provisionally called Sheriff Jameson and Nathan Wright, argued and had plenty of friction, although I don't know about what yet. The sheriff has a chip on his shoulder about something, and Nathan feels guilty and he wouldn’t meet the sheriff's eye. Best of all, the rewrite provided the one clue that should have been flaming obvious to me from the start bearing in mind the idea that had started me writing. So Nathan finds a book entitled Legend of the Six in the stage and he hides it from the sheriff. It has be Six rather than Seven, which is the title I started with as I now realize that Legend of the Seven sounds like a sequel to the Magnificent Seven. The scene ends with the lawman leaving Nathan in disgust and heading west and something about the book persuades Nathan to head east back the way the stage had come.

So I know have 1,500 words with some hints of various mysteries about some characters along with a potential next scene in which Nathan follows the stage route back to some location and he hopefully finds something interesting.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

10% off A Fistful of Legends

In June Lulu are offering 10% off the Western Anthology A Fistful of Legends featuring the 2010 Spur Award finalist short story Half A Pig. That means it retails for $14.35. The offer is open to anyone, but US buyers also have a free shipping offer. If you'd like the code to get 10% off (which incidentally can be used to buy other books at the same time up to a maximum of $100), contact me at and I'll give you password.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

How to win the last ever Big Brother

Tomorrow for supposedly the last ever time several hundred housemates will enter the Big Brother UK house in a forlorn attempt to forge a media career. Although the omens aren’t good for a long career as these days the media forgets about BB winners faster than the previous serial killer, the omens are good that the show may bow out with a bang not a whimper.

There's a heavy nostalgia factor, I hate football, and the Internet buzz is enthusiastic after the show re-introduced 24-hour coverage so fans can enjoy watching people silently picking their noses whenever they want. And the show appears to have rediscovered a sense of fun, as against all odds the last celebrity version was entertaining and it even had some intelligent conversation. Best of all the show is planning its worst ever opening night twist with more housemates cramming into the house than there'll be people in the baying mob of a crowd. Then based on some random process their numbers will be whittled down. Now, the last time BB picked a housemate randomly, the randomness somehow randomly resulted in the random housemate being the media-obsessed wife of a millionaire media mogul who had reportedly said he'd pay anything to get his wife in the house. Four years on conspiracy fans still debate that random moment and the coverage of that girl who almost wore dresses picking a random ball has been more carefully analysed than the Zapruder film. So picking all the housemates randomly is sure to get the show off to a highly-debated disaster and BB always works best when its close to collapse.

So once those random housemates have entered the house, how can one person come out as the winner several months after the last football has been kicked? After ten series the rules of winning are fairly well known, but here's my take.

1. Go on a journey

I don’t mean an actual journey like those two aliens who disguised themselves as human beings (or it might have been the other way round) to go around London last year did. I mean it's important to do something that the producers can interpret as an emotional journey. It doesn't have to involve any real emotion, but it helps to do things like boil an egg in week 3, or have slightly less arguments in week 7 than week 6, or give up smoking when the fags run out. You can come out of the house the same obnoxious, self-absorbed, work-shy idiot you were when you went in. But as long as you've done something that will let Davina use the word journey when she's gushing over you, you could be the winner.

Note of caution: If this fails and you get kicked out early, try to avoid using the word, although four years on I still fondly remember one housemate wailing, "but my journey is not yet complete!"

2. Represent a hitherto unknown socially disadvantaged group

At first sights this is a tricky one to accomplish if you're not a member of an obviously socially disadvantaged group such as being a virgin, a transsexual, or a cross-dressing crusty with tourettes. But luckily social disadvantage exists purely in the eyes of the viewers. Two years ago a housemate with poor hygiene appeared to have it in the bag from the start, but the viewers revolted against his revolting behaviour and voted instead for the less obvious disadvantaged group of girls next door. Last year they went for the even less obvious disadvantaged group of pneumatic, brain-dead glamour models, so this only proves everyone is disadvantaged and the winner just has to work out what their disadvantage is and position themselves accordingly.

Note of caution: Being posh will never be viewed as a socially disadvantaged group.

3. Pretend to be stupid

This gets harder every year as the bar was set very high early on by some depressingly stupid people. Luckily the capacity for viewers to enjoy watching loveable idiots who are too stupid to find France on a map of France or to count up to one even with the aid of a calculator is unlimited. It's not even essential to keep up the act. You can discuss the allegorical allusions in post-modernist art a few moments after claiming you've never heard of Shakespeare, or calculate to the penny how much your agent will deduct for you showing various parts of your anatomy in lads' mags immediately after claiming not to know who the President of Britain is. Viewers accept this as part of the game and even the merest hint of knowing something about the world that can’t be found in a celebrity magazine is sure to lead to an early exit. This is doubly important to remember if you do actually have a job, so, for example, trainee teachers should show they know less than their pupils do.

Note of caution: There are no prizes for being the second most stupid person in the house. That just looks stupid.

4. Start and end your faux-romance

Pretending to have a romance with the most photogenic housemate used to be essential to ensure you could sell your non-story of your non-romance to the non-thinking part of media. Now that the media send all their investigative reporters on missions to tease out the truth about other reality shows, the rules of romance have changed. Now it's important to pretend to have a romance and then pretend to end it. This gives you plenty of coverage on the highlights and then it provides plenty of sympathy when you separate and you make it look like the pretend break-up wasn't your fault. Either way, if you're a woman remember that WAG is now a profession with a higher standing than doctor, lawyer and accountant, so ensure you make it clear that you're training to be a WAG. If you're a bloke, make sure your pretend romantic object is unrequited or appear to be too self-absorbed to know someone is pretending to fancy you.

Note of caution: Do not start and end faux-romances with every housemate in the house, especially if you are already conducting a faux-romance with someone from another reality tv show.

5. Break the fourth-wall

Appealing directly to viewers always goes down well. Having a divine revelation that you'll stop believing in God if you don’t win or stating that if you don’t win you might not be able to afford a new boob enhancement will always bring in the votes. Direct to viewers speeches are always best done in the diary room where the other housemates won't get to see you being witty, clever and bitchy. They won’t find out you’re a threat until it's too late or until you annoy a producer and they show the footage to everyone in the house. If you're not erudite enough to do this, just mumble. Subtitles give the highlights a sophisticated European film feel even when every other word is like.

Note of caution: Simon Cowell has raised the bar on mawkish appeals to viewers so dead hamsters, relatives with colds and the trauma of a particular leaky zit is not enough. The fate of the entire planet now needs to hang in the balance in your appeal.

6. Remember your target demographic

Most viewers who are old enough to pay their own phone bills don’t vote, and most viewers who are male don’t vote either, so remember who you’re trying to appeal to. If you're a bloke, try to look cute by taking your shirt off. Teenage girls don’t care if you're so obnoxious you try to pick a fight with someone when you're in the middle of getting a formal warning for picking a fight with someone. As long as your shirt is off, they'll excuse you. If you're a woman it's harder to appeal to teenage girls, but being unattractive and so not being a threat appears to work best. So pretend to be drunk a lot, worry about your looks, claim to be unlucky in love, and put on as much weight as you can. Either way avoid housework as the young voters think that's a boring thing that adults do. It'll prove you have the right priorities in life and it'll make everyone else look bad when they shout at you for being a lazy poseur.

Note of caution: Teenage viewers don’t watch BB any more. You might spend 3 months with your shirt off and all you'll get is a cold and a gay following.

7. Remember that most people only watch the highlights

Being entertaining 24 hours a day is a sure fire way of ensuring the other housemates will remove you very quickly no matter how often the producers change the rules. So pace yourself. For the first 12 weeks spend 23 and a half hours a day in bed to ensure you don’t get into arguments, but do ensure you provide two minutes of great tv a day. This means picking the moments that'll be shown on the highlights to be animated such as tasks, other people's arguments, anything involving music and dressing up, and being the last one to go to sleep at night. But remember not to leave your two minutes until after you've been evicted. Going surfing across a crowd who move out of the way will ensure you're remembered, but there are no cameras in the Casualty department.

Note of caution: Dressing up as an old woman every night will only make the highlights if you dress up as a funny old woman every night and you're not an ignorant twerp.

8. Stick to the script

The producers picked you for a reason, so do it. If they put you in because you claimed to be loud and annoying, start fights. If they put you in to be bullied, distance yourself and be a victim. If they put in you because you’re an arsonist, set fire to something. If they put you in because you said you were barking mad, be creepy enough to ensure the viewers with OFCOM on speed-dial start complaining. And when you’re in the house, listen to the coaching. If you're asked who you fancy or hate in the house, find out who the producers want you to fancy or hate. If your ex-partner gets surprisingly put in the house, be surprised. If you're walking by the diary room door and a random person is asked to come to the diary room, know that you're the chosen one and stuff those chillies down your throat until you vomit. In short, do what you’re told and the producers will love you, give you plenty of coverage, and they won’t deport you too quickly when you get kicked out for pervy behaviour.

Note of caution: Not remembering your lines is the worst BB crime. The producers will change every rule in the book to get rid of you, your best bits footage will consist of you getting evicted, Davina won't say you were a legendary housemate, and George Lamb will forget your name.

9. Have a no game-plan game-plan.

The show is based on the idea that after 3 months the viewers get to know everyone thoroughly and so they can decide who is the nicest person. This is a dangerous area for housemates because after 3 months everyone becomes boring and worse, most housemates are boring people anyhow. So create interest by having a game plan to be someone else, preferably someone more horrible than you are. Then, when you revert to being your usual boring self viewers will like you. Make sure you ruthlessly eliminate your rivals, stab everyone in the back, and seek allies everywhere to avoid being nominated. You cannot win without a game-plan, but whatever game-plan you choose, do not on any account ever admit you have a game-plan or even look as if you have a game-plan. Even stating that you don't have a game-plan means you've thought about it too much. Nominations should cause you more pain than dental torture and it's a bad idea to shake a fist in triumph when people you hate are evicted. You must appear that you've just turned up to have fun, that you have never, ever, not once thought about winning, and that when you strategically voted for your nearest rival in the final week it was a pure accident.

Note of caution: Include a small part of your own character in the housemate and catchphrases you create, so Thai cookie monsters and chirpy 'I'm only having a laugh, me' geordies are a bad idea.

10. Be a Alt-hero

If all else fails, position yourself as the Alt-hero. Work out who the teenage girls will vote for, then try to be an Internet phenomenon instead. Being quiet, boring and asleep will help as viewers will decide you have hidden depths as after doing nothing for 3 months you must surely be a very deep person. Being dull will ensure you don't get mentioned on the spin-off shows and so it will look as if the producers don't want you to win, appealing even more to the fans of alt-heroes. Even better, when you do something such as eating a cake or dressing up as a cake or making a cake or being in the same room as a cake, it'll appear to be comedy gold. This plan does need preparation though, so get the website set up beforehand, get the facebook campaign started, and get friends to spam the BB forums with support. Then sit back, do nothing, and wait for viewers to bestow hidden depths upon you.

Note of caution: Sadly, you'll be forgotten about ten seconds after Davina troops off to the dole queue, so all in all it might be best to get kicked out in week one and get a job instead.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

A few words in your shell-like, pal, about Gene Hunt

The Tainted Archive's TV Cops weekend are running my article on Gene Hunt.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Fergal O'Brien rides again.

I received the welcome news today that Avalon will be publishing my western The Miracle of Santa Maria. This will be my 6th Avalon western and the 6th in the Fergal O'Brien series. The story follows on directly from the events in The Treasure of Saint Woody and it's a tale I'm particularly delighted will be published as I really enjoyed writing it.

Fergal is a snake-oil seller, a purveyor of a universal remedy to cure all ills who along with his side-kick Randolph McDougal inevitably gets into scrapes when he tries to pull off outlandish money-making schemes. In this story though, for the first time ever, Fergal's motives are noble as he comes to the aid of a run-down mission, so it was nice to show his kinder side, an element of his character he usually keeps well-hidden. The story also finally resolves the sub-plot that has been developing since The Flying Wagon concerning the mysterious Woody and his even more mysterious closed box. I've always had the ending to this plot in mind since Woody's box first drifted onto a blank page about 5 years ago, but I had wondered whether I'd ever get there. The story also combines the usual, for my Avalon westerns anyhow, mish-mash of odd things such as an astronomical angle of the Pike's Peak eclipse, some bad Shakespearean acting, swordfighting, nuns, and the miracle of the title. Oh and I'm pleased that a prime contender for the worst joke ever to appear in a western might now see print.

The book will be published in 2011, and there'll be details here about it later. And now that Fergal will be riding again I guess I'll have to ask him what he wants to do next.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Novel diary - #2

I've still been working on another tale so I've made little progress with written down words this week, but some ideas are bubbling away happily. In a previous article I talked about how making connections is the important thing for me in writing. Although I wouldn't go so far as to call it a system, I usually need to connect at least three ideas before I have something that feels substantial enough to start writing. And usually those three ideas turn out to be a character idea, a plot idea and something real.

The real thing that came to mind is western dime novels and the way that real people who would later be viewed heroically lived at the same time as fictional heroes were being created. I used that idea for comic effect in The Treasure of Saint Woody, but that idea had started out with serious intent so I've felt it has more mileage even if I haven't been able to think of an angle. As it turned out I watched an old episode of the tv cop show Morse this week where tabloid reporters try to destroy Morse because of his bookish ways. It included a scene I've always liked where he solves the murder from the blurb of an old book, letting him deliver the proud line at the end that he got the answer from, "something I read in a book."

That made me think it'd be nice to get that line into a story somewhere. So I'm thinking now that my working title of The Legend of the Seven refers to an old book, but somewhere in it is the solution to a mystery. So that's two ideas of something a bit real with early western literature and a plot point of someone reading a book. I just need a hint of a character. And sometimes when nothing character based comes to mind I resort to the simple solution of having a bloke ride into town. I don't know who the bloke is or where the town is, but I hope I'll find out quickly.

I tried that and for variety I decided my bloke would be on a stage. So I wrote a stage, but I struggled when I came to think of who the colourful folk inside would be. I had a walk round the garden and when I came back I decided if I didn't know who was on the stage maybe I shouldn't try. Maybe nobody is on the stage. So that's what I have: about three paragraphs describing a stage standing alone and abandoned somewhere. How it got there, where it was going, what happened to it, and how that links in with a book and a legend involving the number seven I don't know yet. But it's a start and I'm intrigued enough now to carry on.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

TV Cops Weekend at The Tainted Archive

Watch the promo video at The Tainted Archive.

I was pleased to be asked to provide an article on Gene Hunt. And there'll be plenty of articles written by all manner of writers about cops young and old, US and UK. Don't miss it this weekend.