Hello 2014: Time to start growing old disgracefully.

fuck, football, growing old, men, women, sex, loveIn a little over a week, I will be 55 years old. Fifty bloody five!

To some reading this, such an age will be considered not just old, but ancient. However to me, as someone who has always had problems showing any kind of maturity, it’s far from it. I certainly don’t feel old nor do I act it as most people who know me well will be only to happy to testify.

Yet amazed though I am to have made it this far along my own particular rocky road, the truth is that fifty five is a significant milestone for one very specific reason. For had I stayed in the RAF and completed my full service, January the 7th would be the age at which my time in uniform would have come to an end and I’d have retired. And by retired, I mean just that. I would never have worked again.

Now even though I left the RAF many moons ago, I recently realised that I’ve continued, albeit subconsciously, to work toward this point and in doing so, I also realised that with an increasingly full diary for 2014 and beyond, I’m not only going to be working longer than I had been planning, I’m also going to be busier than I ever really expected to be. Not just now, but at any point!

As a naturally lazy sort this was, as you can imagine, something of a shock. But as I reflected on it, it suddenly struck me that it might actually be a good thing. After all, I’m way past the point where I care what anyone says or thinks about me and since most people expect me to be a certain type of person on account of my favoured subject matter, this could be the ideal time to start playing up to that particular persona. Or to put it another way, I’m going to start having some proper fun with this career I’ve somehow forged for myself.

Therefore, on this day where resolutions are made, here is mine; from this day forth I will be both living and writing armed with a new sense of purpose and freedom. If that doesn’t sit comfortably with some people, guess what?

So happy new year folks. I hope 2014 turns out to be as epic for each of you as I plan it to be for me!

Bring it on.

Goodbye 2013… You were the year that was!

fate, writing, author, screenwriterSo that’s it, almost done. Another year, another 12 months of highs and lows which when bundled together, forge the latest instalment of the soap opera that is my life.

I’m not normally one to look backwards and indeed, recently tweeted ‘just because the past taps you on the shoulder, it doesn’t mean you have to look back’ which kind of sums up my outlook on life these days. However, 2013 is worthy of a bit of retrospect if only because in terms of my career, it was a game changer.

Key to this was inevitably Top Dog. Indeed, 12 months ago the very idea of my ten year old novel hitting the big screen was little more than a very distant pipe dream yet here we are, teetering on the edge of a first screening and all the furore which will (hopefully) come with a release. Thanks for that must go largely to Jonathan Sothcott, Martin Kemp and of course, Leo Gregory who have driven it through from concept to reality and along the way taught me more about the creative process than any college or university could ever have.

To say it’s been an experience would be an understatement but unlike working on Green Street which was nothing less than a bloody nightmare, this time round it’s been a blast and I can only say thanks to everyone who made it so. The entire cast and crew were magnificent to work with and fingers crossed, we’ll do it all again very soon.

On the publishing front, it’s been a brilliant year and I’m very proud of the fact that I now have books going back into print with more lined up to follow. That would not have happened without the combined efforts of Matt at the eBook partnership and Darren of Caffeine Nights Publishing and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to you both.

But equally, I have to say a massive thank you to everyone who has continued to support me by buying my books because in many ways, you are the most important people of all in my creative life. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here writing this without your support and rest assured, you are and always will sit firmly at the top of my ‘keep happy’ list because without you, god only know’s where I’d be!

And so it’s onto 2014. A year which will see Top Dog hit the screens, the filming and release of We Still Kill the Old Way as well as the publication of at least two books. And that’s just what I have confirmed at the moment because the truth is, there could be more. Much more.

Indeed, whilst I’ll long remember this last year for all kinds of reasons, the one thing that will stick with me forever is that fate has method in its madness.

So goodbye 2013, you really were something special. But 2014 is going to blow you out of the water.

Happy new year everyone. Bring it on.

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The Crew. Top Dog, Green Street, Leo Gregory, British film, thrillerDespite having been around for what seems like forever, The Crew continues to sell well in both paper and eBook format which I suspect has much to do with the revised cover featuring a certain Mr Gregory. To answer a number of questions on the subject, no, the picture is not a still from Top Dog (you can see lots of those by clicking here) but was actually taken before filming commenced. When Top Dog is reissued it will feature a similar style cover as will the third book in the series which will hopefully be ready for publication late next year.

Wings of a Sparrow is also selling well in both formats and yes, I totally agree with everyone who has told me it would make a great movie! Sadly, whilst I have a script written it is not I who has to put up the money to make it but trust me, finding that finance is high on my ‘to do’ list for 2014!

Merry Christmas folks…. but do we have to have it every year?

writing, writer, sex, penguin, porno, madonna, christmasI read somewhere that the Christmas holidays are supposed to be a joyous time when we are all apparently meant to be… well, joyous.

Given that my twitter and Facebook timelines are awash with people moaning about everything from chaotic shops to equally chaotic weather, joy is something that is clearly in short supply today. It’s certainly absent here in Brimson towers although to be fair, I’ve never really been a fan of the festive season anyway so ironically, having something else to moan about is actually a bit of a positive.

However, in the interests of fair play, I have been giving the point of Christmas some thought over these last few days and whilst I appreciate the religious significance (even though I am not in any way shape or form religious) I am increasingly baffled as to why we bother with the rest of it.

After all, there can be few more stressful times than late December and let’s be honest, if you have kids or grand kids, the impact on the old bank balance can be catastrophic. More to the point, now that we can buy Brussell spouts pretty much all year round even the delights of Christmas dinner can be replicated whenever we feel like it.

Yes, I know there are all kinds of other reasons why the holidays are ‘special’ but when you sit down and think about it, most of them are bollocks. We’re all far more mobile these days so most family can get together relatively easily and even if we can’t, the internet allows communication in forms we couldn’t even imagine when I was a little ‘un. Equally, thanks to Netflix, Love Film and catch-up even the once highly anticipated post-pig out TV experience is largely a thing of the past.

OK, there’s the issue of time off work but when when you’re self-employed and work in an industry which tends to commence winding down at the beginning of December, the fact is that the whole month is lost which can be a pain in the arse.

The more I think about it, the more it strikes me that as a society we are being led not by the church, but by the supermarkets and the online stores and in these times of austerity, the question is, why do we do it?
Would we not be better of binning the annual spend-fest that Christmas has become and holding it once every four years instead?

It works for the World Cup, the Euro’s and even the Olympics and would it not be better all round to have something to really look forward to as opposed to dreading?

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A couple of bits of news: the editing on Top Dog is well underway and a rough cut should be ready for viewing soon. I’m actually dreading this as it’s the first time I’ll have ever seen one of my books brought toreaders, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boys life but I have every confidence in Martin Kemp so I’m sure my worries will be unfounded.

More to the point, once the rough cut has been viewed firm decisions will be taken regarding release dates etc, so as soon as I have news of those, I’ll pass them on.

I’ve also taken a positive decision about my next book. I don’t want to say too much at the moment as things may change but suffice to say that it’s an idea I’ve had ticking over in my head for a long time and in many ways, it will be the book that I’ve always wanted to write.

Finally, could I take this opportunity to wish everyone who reads this a very merry Christmas and if you could do me one favour over the coming week it’s to take the decision not to drink and drive.

2014 is going to be a massive year and I’d like to think you’ll all be around to share it.

Indie author or not indie author. That is the question!

indie, self publishing, soccer, money, eastenders, danny dyer, football, soccer, brimson, top dog, green streetThe other day, whilst talking about the subject of publishing, I was referred to as an indie-author and then asked if I was comfortable with the label.

My response was seemingly the cause of some angst to my inquisitor who, from what I could gather, was hoping their question would illicit a rambling and angry diatribe about the evil empire that is traditional publishing. What they got instead, after about a milli-second of thought, was the response that not only do I not know, I don’t actually care.

However, since the question was asked I have actually given it some consideration and eventually I goggled the obvious question; what is an indie author? The response was extremely interesting with the top answer being provided by the Alliance of Independent Authors who define it thus:

  • You have self-published at least one book.
  • You recognise that ‘indie’ does not necessarily mean ‘self-publishing only’ and acknowledge that even the most indie-spirited self-publisher works in collaboration with other publishing professionals (editors, designers, distributors) to produce a good book and reach readers.
  • You are open to mutual beneficial partnerships, including trade publishing deals where appropriate for you, so long as the author’s status as creative director of the book is acknowledged.
  • You expect your status in the partnership to be reflected in contracts and terms, not just lip service.
  • You recognise that you are central to a revolutionary shift in publishing which is moving from seeing the author as resource (in the new parlance ‘content provider’) to respecting the author as creative director.
  • You are proud of your indie status, which you carry into all your ventures, negotiations and collaborations for your own benefit and to the benefit of all writers.

Now if that’s the standard definition, I’m actually none the wiser. After all, I’ve never self-published a book and I certainly don’t do anything for the benefit of other writers (why should I? They’ve never done much for me!) so that pegs me firmly in the NOT camp. However, I most certainly do involve other people in my work and since without me, there will be no more Dougie Brimson books, it’s fairly obvious that I am both the creative director and very much my own boss which puts me squarely in the AM category.

But, and here’s the key point, as anyone who knows anything about me or who has taken the trouble to read a blog post or two will know full well, I’m barely comfortable calling myself an author let alone prefixing that with anything else.

I write books and I sell books, that’s as far as it goes for me and if someone wants to tag me as this or that label, that’s their business. It’s certainly not mine because I’m too busy writing.

Which is actually how it should be.

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indie, self publishing, soccer, money, eastenders, danny dyer, football, soccer, brimson, top dog, green streetI’ve been receiving lots of questions about Top Dog and in particular, requests for information about when it will hit the big screen.

The answer to that is that I don’t actually know for sure and whilst that sounds hard to believe I promise you it’s true. I might be the writer but the whole thing is in the hands of the editor at the moment and until he’s worked his magic, I’m firmly out of the loop. Rest assured though, as soon as I have news, it’ll be all over Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into my next movie project We Still Kill The Old Way which is starting to look really exciting.

On the subject of books, both The Crew and Wings of a Sparrow are now available in both print and eBook format from all online and high street book stores. Top Dog will also be re-released next spring as a movie tie-in.

Finally, could I say a huge thanks to all those people who have contacted me about Billy’s Log lately. For some reason (and I wish I knew what it was) it’s started to sell really well again and I’ve had a flood of mails asking me about a sequel.

I’m happy to tell you that there is indeed going to be a second instalment and indeed, it’s all mapped out so as soon as time allows, I’ll get my teeth into it. Promise!