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Toodle-pip 2012! Brace yourself, 2013!

So 2012 was a hell of a year for me, personally. I started the year two stone overweight, in financial freefall and actually pretty much depressed. I had no writing gigs lined up, was struggling to find any joy in my day job and generally felt like things were Not Going My Way. But did I wallow and fester in misery? Yes. Yes, I did. A bit. But not for long!* The start of 2013 finds me two stone lighter, black dog free, with a new day job, a new accountant and much smaller debts. I’m also a teetotal gym-bunny, which my younger self is finding deeply upsetting, but my 41 year old self is finding oddly satisfying. I would like to stress that this IN NO WAY constitutes any kind of mid-life crisis. Anybody suggesting such a thing will get a slap (from my now finely toned, oh so youthful arm, which, now I think about it, would probably look great draped around the shoulders of, say, a smouldering young secretary in the front seat of  a red ferrari, y’know, the kind that goes VROOOOM!) So aside from sorting myself out personally, what have I achieved on the writing front this year? Stuff I started AND finished I needed to get myself back into the routine of writing after taking 2011 off (except for a short story and some work on a computer game). Happily, in January Abaddon asked me to write a novella for them, and I used it to ease myself gently back into the swing of things. When it comes to completed projects I can...

2012 – half-time report

I started this year with a long list of shit I needed to get done, some personal, some professional. The personal stuff has gone damn well, thanks for asking 🙂 On the professional front, I needed to get my hand back in to writing after a year off. I picked four projects and worked through them, finding my feet again. The first was the Target Hitler novella; the second was a short story for another Pandemonium anthology; the third is an audiobook script, which is nearly finished. I also got the Farscape re-watch blog running over at tor.com, which has been, and remains, a pleasure. There have been disappointments this year too, with one book turned down by a publisher, and an audio play falling through after a lot of effort due to unforeseen circumstances. But that’s all grist to the mill – there’s been far more positive than negative so far in 2012. The plan was to work through all this in six months – in fact it took seven – and then devote the second half of the year to bashing out the first draft of a new novel. I have three novels at the same level of development – three chapters and a synopsis. So I had to choose which one to pursue and then just sit down and get down to it. This is a change for me, in that I have no commission. My five and a half books have so far all been write-for-hire, and have been commissioned with a set delivery date and fee. This book, the first that I will retain...

State of play – 16 August 2011

New and imminent Bad Haven talk to me about stuff, including my involvement with the film of School’s Out. Mass Movement Magazine review Highlander: The Four Horsemen “Moran and Andrews have taken show favourites and crafted incredible tales that carry the legacy of the show to new realms.” I have a long memoir in the second issue of the amazing Vworp Vworp. It’s all about growing up as a reader of Doctor Who Weekly / Monthly / Magazine and it’s illustrated by the brilliant Leighton Noyes (who was sweet enough to send me his original illustrations to adorn the walls of my new house). I must admit to being quite awfully pleased with the piece in question (Hubris? Moi?) and I urge you to pre-order issue two right now. In progress Finessing the dialogue, mission briefs and cut scenes for this: Writing up my notes on the first draft of the screenplay based on School’s Out Trying to come up with a good short story for an anthology that asked me contribute – two weeks left and I have an inkling of a piece, but am wrestling with whether it’s too dark for me to put out there, or whether I can even pull it off… Pitching an audio drama for my fave franchise – my first pitch was rejected, but the door’s still open (I think/hope/pray) Plus, you know, buying my first house, working 9-5, raising two kids, all that jazz. All of which may explain why I’m so puffed out that the new novel remains stalled at 20,000 words – for now. Fret not, it will get done. Next...

For Smurf’s sake, don’t rock the boat!

There are certain tropes that those of us of a certain age (cough…40ish…cough) were conditioned to expect in comedies and children’s films. The evil boss who gets their comeuppance at the end of the film, when the downbeaten hero realises they don’t have to put up with it and can Follow Their Dream instead, is perhaps the most familiar. You know the schtick, I don’t have to quote examples, and we’ve all seen it a hundred times or more. A little bit Disney, a little bit Kesey, it’s counterculture schmaltz, cathartic and gloopy, uplifting and syrupy and goshdarnit, we love its obvious feel good nonsensicality. So imagine my surprise upon encountering The Smurfs. For this film delivers an entirely different moral. In the film, which is essentially Enchanted with little blue people, our real-world male lead is Neil Patrick Gorgeous who, along with his wife, possum-eyed OCD-Glee queen Jayma Mays, forms one half of a critical mass of human cute. Neil Patrick portrays, um, Patrick the archetypal under-appreciated, over-worked, harried, hemmed-in, white collar wage slave. As the film opens he is promoted to Head of Marketing for a perfume company. This is because his predecessor has just been summarily fired by their boss, Odile, for giving her ‘what I want, not what I need!’ Odile is the odious, power dressed, psychopathic, vain, hateful, mega-spoilt superbitch we all love to hate. She could have stepped straight out of Horrible Bosses. She’s Cruella de Ville in Gucci. This perfumed plutocrat rules her company through fear, makes people dance to her whim, hires and fires with nary a thought for the consequences....

School’s Out film news

The news story below appeared in Screen International yesterday, so I can  talk about it now. In brief: the film has got development funding, I’m on board as script consultant, and Oliver Milburn is writing and directing. I met with Oliver and Emma, the producer, a few weeks back. We got on famously and they have a good, strong take on the material. It’s all very exciting, I must say 🙂 Oliver S. Milburn to adapt feature version of School’s Out The feature adaptation of Scott Andrews’ boarding school set novel has received development funding from Screen South. Oliver S. Milburn is to adapt post apocalyptic boarding school novel School’s Out for the big screen. Scott Andrews, who wrote the novel on which it is based, will work as a script consultant alongside Milburn, who is also being lined up to direct the film. It will be the second feature to come out of UK production company Multistory Films. Milburn also wrote and directed the company’s debut feature The Harsh Light Of Day which has just completed post. The project has secured development funding from regional screen agency Screen South. Producer Emma Biggins of Multistory Films, said Milburn had “outlined an exciting action packed screenplay with a strong cultural subtext for School’s Out.” Multistory Films is currently developing a slate of 9 films, including a co-production with Australia and a sci-fi short film, to be directed by Louisa...

An interesting day

Well, it’s been an interesting day, and it certainly got this new site off to a flying start. I was first told that School’s Out was about to be optioned over two years ago. Needless to say I was pretty excited. Quick as a flash, nothing at all happened. The recession hit, companies retrenched, silence fell, and Stronghold beat School’s Out to the punch as Abaddon Books‘ first optioned book. Last month I attended the London Book Fair where the estimable Jason Kingsley, head honcho of Rebellion, told me that another company was about to option the book. Once bitten, twice shy – I allowed myself a soupçon of excitement but adopted a firm ‘believe it when I see it’ philosophy. So when the press release arrived and I found out that the deal had gone through, I had to pinch myself. Lucky I set up a new blog yesterday, but it was more lucky accident rather than cunning plan. Having spent the day being deluged with congratulations from lovely people, I’m still beaming. I can’t, however, answer all your questions at this time. Mostly this is because I honestly don’t know the answers yet. And don’t expect a constant trickle of news, either – the movie business does not move quickly. The one question I can answer right now is: “Are you going to be rich?” To which I am free to reply: “Hahahahahahahahahahaha! No.” But I’m still smiling 🙂 Read other posts tagged School’s...