UPDATE: The Mild Bunch

unnamedSo a while back, I spoke about how I’d started to write a screenplay called The Mild Bunch after a conversation with Frazer Hines. But when the producers we had on board took eighteen months and got nowhere, it was placed back in turnaround in May. That’s when a new producer, Damage Cat Productions came on board. Since then it’s sped along – we have a director in Niall Johnson (Keeping Mum, White Noise), we’ve revamped the screenplay to add some new characters and situations and it’s now speeding towards the finishing line. And I realised that because of the length of time we’ve been doing this, some of you might not know what it is.

It’s a kind of Expendables style movie but starring people I watched throughout my childhood, and it’s awesome, surreal and terrifying, all at the same time. The script’s done, the casting has started and the producers are being spoken to. The whole thing’s speeding along at a great pace.

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How A Salesman Can Help You Pitch…

So in a couple of weeks I’m returning to Raindance to run my one day seminar on Writing for Graphic Novels and Screenplays, and part of my seminar is about networking, and more importantly what not to do. They’re rules I’ve used all my career, and now I’m moving into film and TV, I’m finding that they’re even more vital for a screenwriter.

Today, I write about how knowledge in one market can help in another – in this case how being a salesman can help someone be a writer. Not in every manner of sales, but by looking at some of the basic skills that a salesman is taught to do, and showing how it can help you at a convention.

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Vladimir Tod Returns…

unnamedA few years ago, I adapted the Heather Brewer Vladimir Tod books into Graphic Novels for Penguin Teen, and then, as is the way with writers, I sat back and waited for a while. Years, in fact, as I realised this week that I started the first adaptation, Eighth Grade Bites, exactly three years ago this month. That came out almost eighteen months ago, and I have to say I worried that the others wouldn’t appear. And then this week, the second in the series, Ninth Grade Slays came out.

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Houston, We Have A Convention…

unnamedLast week I was at Houston’s ComicPalooza Con, or rather the ‘Texas International Comic Con’, and it had possibly one of the most awesome beginnings that I’ve ever had at a convention, and possibly may corrupt any idea in my wife Tracy’s mind on what to expect in the future on one of these trips, as on the Thursday before the convention, I got to live a dream and travel behind the scenes at NASA Houston.

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Messenger: The Legend Continues…

unnamedSo a few years ago, Sam Hart and I wrote a book for Walker Books called Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood, a retelling of the classic tale for a modern audience. A couple of years later we were asked to write another, this time about King Arthur, and Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur came out.

After that, we started to think about who could be next. We wanted a female. We wanted a story that people knew, that I could put a new spin on – and within weeks we had it. Joan of Arc.

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The Jigsaw Lady Comes…

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As many of you know, for the last few years I’ve been doing a lot of work with reluctant readers in schools around the world, and it’s become quite a passion of mine. Which was why I was honoured and overjoyed  last year when Danny Pearson of Badger Learning, a division of the Haven Book Group asked me if I’d be interested in contributing to their ‘Teen Reads II’ series of books, a series of books aimed at reluctant readers of 12 – 15 with a lower reading age.

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Vampires vs People of ‘Faith’…

PicfxSo today I was at a school in Hertfordshire and, with a Year 9 class of children, we did a workshop on normal characters in fantastical situations, allowing the students to make the decisions based on what they’d *really* do in a particular setting. The setting in this case was Vampires attacking their school, with the class the only people in the building.

Over the following 40 minutes they worked out what weapons they needed and how they could get them. They fought for control of the group, some betrayed the group to help the Vampires, and some used their faith to save their school friends.

And one of these latter students amazed me today.

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