Category Archives: ebooks

Five reasons why writing a novel is better than writing a screenplay.

author,screenwriter,ebook,self publishing,indie filmThe other day, someone pointed out that I am one of a very few writers who have enjoyed a degree of success with both books and screenplays. Not only that, but according to them I also hold the dubious honour of covering a range of genre which very few writers anywhere can match.

Whilst I’m not sure about any of that, it is fair to say that in a writing sense I have certainly been about a bit. Mostly, it has to be said, because I get bored easily.

However, whenever the subject of my work comes up it inevitably leads to one particular question and that is ‘which one do you enjoy the most?’

Whilst both have their merits, and leaving aside the simple truth that I’ll write anything for anyone who pays me, the answer is always the same. Because if I have a blank page and am left to my own devices, I will start writing a book. All day, every day. And for five very specific reasons.

It’s easier to write – That might shock a few people but the truth is that I can have far more creative fun constructing a 75,000 word novel than I can working on a 110 pages script. And if I’m having fun, I can promise you that the words will be pouring out of me as opposed to having to be dragged out. Something which not only makes it easy for me to write but which will almost certainly make for a better read once it’s finished. 

It’s easier to produce – Working with publishers can be hard work sometimes but if all else fails, I always have the option of self-publishing. It might not see the shelves of Waterstone’s or WH Smiths but let’s face it, it will certainly see Amazon and if it sells and is earning, who cares? Certainly not me.

With a film, the whole process is a nightmare which can fall apart at any moment. That’s if it gets anywhere at all which to be frank, it often doesn’t.

Control – With a book, I have no restrictions on subject matter, genre or even length. Being able to write what I want, when I want and just as importantly, say what I want, is not only liberating, it makes the whole thing both more interesting and enjoyable for me. If you need any more proof of that, have a look at my backlist and you’ll see a book about farting. Case rested. 

With a screenplay, once I hand it over I have no control over anything. At all.

The End Result – A book is mine. All mine. Praise or criticism are therefore personal and either enjoyed or dealt with as appropriate and I’m fine with that. A film however, is only mine if someone slags off the script even though by the time the camera’s roll, my input into the development process will have ended ages ago. 

The people – For an author, publishing is a relatively solitary game and as someone who prefers his own company, that’s exactly how I like it. For a screenwriter, the writing process is part solitude, part collaboration, part chaos. This would be great if it were an industry inhabited solely by nice hard-working honest people but sadly, it isn’t. Instead, amongst the many awesome individuals I’ve worked with are far too many arseholes who, if they aren’t simple crooks, are either bullshitters or incapable of making a decision. Or both.

So there you have it. Five reasons why I’d write a book over a movie any day of the week. And with that in mind, I’m happy if not delighted to announce that work is currently well underway on the sequel to my novel Billy’s Log. Indeed, starting work on this has underlined everything I’ve written above and more because I’m loving it.

All being well, it’ll be finished by the time we start moaning about the cold but more as and when. I might even post a teaser or two!

@dougiebrimson

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Just in case you didn’t already know, all my books and DVD’s are available from bothAmazon and iTunes

My name is Dougie Brimson and I’m a Pantser!

panster, writing, screenplay, authorThe other day, I mentioned the subject of pantsing and have had a number of mails asking me what it’s all about.

In essence, pantsing is a method of writing where you put together the very basics of a plot and then just run at it. Or to put it another way, you write by the seat of your pants.

This is generally the method I use for all my projects be they book or script because as I have previously mentioned, the majority of them are sparked off by ideas I’ve had for endings. As a consequence, everything else is about getting the characters to a point I already have firmly fixed in my mind (or indeed, actually written) and so I can make their journey as simple or as complicated as I want.

Of course, as the journey unfolds and my characters begin to take on lives and personalities of their own, I will invariably get to the point where I’ll have to go back to the beginning and start again but this isn’t as bad as it sounds. For by the time I’ve finished what would be classed as a first draft, I’ve probably rewritten most of it at least three or four times and have characters which are reasonably well formed.

That usually means it’ll be good enough to send to an independent reader for some feedback and for someone like me who hates rewriting scripts without notes, that really is a god send!

It may or may not have escaped your attention that I’ve failed to release a single book this year. Given that I’d planned to publish two including the sequel to Billy’s Log, this is incredibly disappointing.

On the plus side, I have written four very strong screenplays and one of those is within a hairs breath of being green lit (indeed, we may even get the nod this very week) and am two thirds through a script which has taken me into a whole new genre. I’ve also been involved with another project which, if it comes off, will be quite amazing to develop and with any luck, we’ll have a clear path set up by the end of the month.

More news on these will be forthcoming as soon as I’m allowed to make it public but suffice to say, it’s quite an exciting time.

Finally, the vast majority of my titles are now available in ebook format with the majority either free or just 99p to download. The full listing can be found here.

I can also announce that the ebook version of Rebellion: The Growth of football’s protest movement, is on the way!

My name is Dougie Brimson and I’m a Pantser!

panster, writing, screenplay, authorThe other day, I mentioned the subject of pantsing and have had a number of mails asking me what it’s all about.

In essence, pantsing is a method of writing where you put together the very basics of a plot and then just run at it. Or to put it another way, you write by the seat of your pants.

This is generally the method I use for all my projects be they book or script because as I have previously mentioned, the majority of them are sparked off by ideas I’ve had for endings. As a consequence, everything else is about getting the characters to a point I already have firmly fixed in my mind (or indeed, actually written) and so I can make their journey as simple or as complicated as I want.

Of course, as the journey unfolds and my characters begin to take on lives and personalities of their own, I will invariably get to the point where I’ll have to go back to the beginning and start again but this isn’t as bad as it sounds. For by the time I’ve finished what would be classed as a first draft, I’ve probably rewritten most of it at least three or four times and have characters which are reasonably well formed.

That usually means it’ll be good enough to send to an independent reader for some feedback and for someone like me who hates rewriting scripts without notes, that really is a god send!

It may or may not have escaped your attention that I’ve failed to release a single book this year. Given that I’d planned to publish two including the sequel to Billy’s Log, this is incredibly disappointing.

On the plus side, I have written four very strong screenplays and one of those is within a hairs breath of being green lit (indeed, we may even get the nod this very week) and am two thirds through a script which has taken me into a whole new genre. I’ve also been involved with another project which, if it comes off, will be quite amazing to develop and with any luck, we’ll have a clear path set up by the end of the month.

More news on these will be forthcoming as soon as I’m allowed to make it public but suffice to say, it’s quite an exciting time.

screenplay, independent, film, writer, gangster, murder, One of my other scripts was of course, We Still Kill The Old Way which is released on December 26th. The reviews thus far have been amazing and everyone has high hopes for it. Indeed, I hear a sequel is already in the offing so do yourself a favour and click here to pre-order.

Finally, the vast majority of my titles are now available in ebook format with the majority either free or just 99p to download. The full listing can be found here.

I can also announce that the ebook version of Rebellion: The Growth of football’s protest movement, is on the way!

The Great Game. Or not.

football, writing, sex, oral, sport, soccer, film, screenwriting, analI am one of that lucky breed of individuals who has ended up doing a job, if you can call it that, which just happens to revolve around one of their  passions. As a result of this good fortune, what I do occasionally rules my life 24/7 to the point that if I’m not working by necessity, I’m doing by choice.

Thankfully, my son has also become infected with this passion and no doubt, as the years pass by, the two of us will continue to enjoy our shared obsession not just because we’re father and son, but because…well, because we’re blokes. And as we grow older, we’ll talk about the good old days and how things were much better back … er, now, and moan about how it all went wrong. Which of course, it surely will. Because the thing of which I speak is of course, the glorious, but all too often disappointing game that is football. And if you follow football, as anyone who watched the pathetic efforts of our nations supposedly finest players in Brazil will be acutely aware, the chances are that you’re going to spend a good portion of your supporting life feeling depressed.

To be honest, I guess that’s where the main attraction lies for me. I am after all, a natural pessimist and so it stands to reason that football is my ideal sport. After all, if you go to a game expecting to be disappointed, anything else is a serious bonus!

But the other benefit the great game provides is that the pre-match pub has replaced the traditional campfire as the place where stories and legends are both told and heard. And who can deny the pure unadulterated joy which comes from hearing about someone else’s misfortune or the simple thrill of trying to work out if someone is lying through their teeth or not.

The problem of course, is that every so often, you are expected to contribute. And tragically, I have one of those footballing stories that tread the fine line between bizarre and bullshit. A story that I still have difficulty believing even though I was the central figure. In short, I once saved a penalty taken by my own team in a game that we lost. Confused? Oh, it gets worse than that. Much worse.

You see during my time in the RAF, I was the manager of our Squadron football team. A team who I have to admit, were rubbish. The sad thing was, I was also a member of the defence and as we were leaking goals at a frightening rate, I eventually got to the point where I dropped myself.

Come one particular match, against the side who were top of the table, we all turned up as normal but due to circumstances beyond their control, the opposing side turned up with only ten players. However, as they were superior to us in every aspect of their play, they were quite happy to play us with ten men, which, if nothing else, was pretty demeaning for our lot.

Of course, the inevitable happened and just before half time, in the only attack we had managed to mount during the previous forty minutes, their keeper got seriously hurt and was carried off. As a result, they were now down to nine men and it looked like the game would have to be abandoned. However, sensing at least a point for my lads, I offered to go in goal for them with the promise that I would, of course, be totally impartial!

Following various warnings from their captain and bearing in mind that we had only threatened their goal once in the first half, they reluctantly accepted my offer and I thus took my place in goal against my own team. But such was the lack of skill exhibited from my own players (this gets confusing) I had nothing to do for the rest of the half and at the break, gave my own team a rousing pep-talk designed to get them playing well enough to score a goal against me.

However, as the second-half progressed, despite their numerical superiority my own team remained pegged back in their (our) own half but the team I was keeping goal for still could not score. As the final minutes ticked away and that elusive point became ever closer to reality, a hopeful punt from our defence  (and that’s our as in my own team) released our centre forward who came charging toward me followed by their defence (the team I was playing for) who clearly who had little faith in my saving their skin. As our striker entered the box with me firmly rooted to the line, they hacked him to the ground and the ref awarded a penalty.

So, to clarify: I was now standing on the goal line, facing a penalty about to be taken by a player from my own side who, were they to score, could well end up securing their (our) first win of the season, and against the top of the table side.

Their (their) whole side were now giving me dire warnings of what would happen to me if I didn’t at least make an effort to save it whilst my (my) lot were shouting at me to let it in. Meantime, I was trying to let our centre forward know that I would go to my left by using exaggerated eye movements etc, and it seemed that judging by the wry smile on his face, he had got the message. As he ran up, I dived to my left and he, thinking that I had actually been telling him to put it to that side, put his shot exactly where I ended up with the result that the ball hit me and bounced back into open play.

Such was the shock of my actually saving a penalty taken by my own side, that their (their) defenders won the ball, screamed up field and scored whilst my own team remained rooted firmly to the spot in total disbelief. The result being that I ended up on both the winning and losing sides.

Inevitably, as soon as the whistle blew, the repercussions began and eventually, after a blazing row, I resigned my position as manager and never played for the team again.

You see, I told you. Unbelievable.

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wings-of-a-sparrow-final.pngMy latest novel, Wings of a Sparrow, is now available in both paperback and ebook formats. Just click on the relevant link to purchase via Amazon. It’s also available via all online retailers and in good bookshops.

For details of all current, future and previous books and movie projects, please visit www.dougiebrimson.com

 

football, writing, sex, oral, sport, soccer, film, screenwring, anal, animals, top dog, green street, elijah wood, charlie hunnam, brimson, premier league, 

Are you an author, a screenwriter or simply a writer?

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerYesterday, I made a comment that the difference between being an author and being a screenwriter is the same as the difference between an immaculate conception and an egg donation.

Now as someone who writes both novels and scripts, this is a fairly obvious and totally accurate statement yet for some reason it seemed to cause confusion in certain writing circles and it struck me that it might be worthwhile expanding on it a bit. So what follows is a slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to the essential difference between the creative processes involved with the two very different disciplines. 

As an author, when you write a novel, it is your baby. You sit, plot, write, edit, rewrite, edit again and then when you’re happy, you send it off to a publisher who more often than not, will be the first person to read it.

They will then come back with some comments to which your response will be to either reluctantly agree or to tell them to get stuffed. You then do a bit of polishing, send it off to a proper editor who, amongst other things, will fix your appalling grammar and then when everyone is happy, it heads off to print. 

Yet from concept to shelf or kindle, as the writer you retain pretty much total creative control and as such, the finished article remains in essence, all your own work. From that point on, it’s all about you. Have you ever seen a book publicised as ‘edited by….’? Of course not. 

It’s you who do the PR and you who get the accolades or the grief. Hence the immaculate conception. 

A screenplay is totally different because in terms of the creative process, you as the writer have very little power over what finally ends up on screen. Yes, you might well come up with the initial concept and you will certainly put the initial layer of flesh on the bones but generally speaking, your place is and always will be on the bottom rung of a very long development ladder. Indeed, a script will go through so many rewrites it might as well be written in pencil and it’s certainly safe to say that by the time it gets to the point when a director calls ‘action’, the shooting script will be very different from your initial draft

There are of course, very specific reasons for this be they creative improvements the director has made or something as mundane as location, cast or budget. Yet however much it might irritate you as the writer, everything is underpinned by one very simple fact and that is that everyone involved in the process wants to get the best thing on screen that they possibly can. 

And that is the key difference. For unlike a novel, a script is a true collaboration and your pages are usually the starting point. Or to use my original statement, the egg.

You see, simple. 

This is of course, totally different if you write a novel and then adapt it for the screen as I have just done with Top Dog. But that’s an entirely different subject which I will no doubt end up talking about in therapy one day!

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerMention of Top Dog leads me nicely into the latest news and that is that the release date for the DVD is 26th May. I’m also hoping that the novel will be reissued in print about the same time and that can be pre-ordered from Amazon but if you’re desperate, you can download it by clicking here.

There has been talk of a London premiere as well as some screenings and news of those will be posted on Twitter and Facebook as soon as the details are released.

Casting is currently underway on We Still Kill The Old Way with shooting due to start on May 5th. I’ve seen a provisional list and if even half of it comes off, it’ll be amazing!

Again, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for details. 

Happy days indeed. 

 

top dog, green street, sothcott, gang, gangster, violence, british film, self publishing, ibooks, indie publishing, martin kemp, spandau ballet, elijah wood, hooligans, england, sex, racism, krays, pornography, london 

How to create characters (according to me!)

writing, screenwriting, author, writer

I was asked this morning how I come up with names for my characters and since I haven’t blogged for a while I thought it might be an idea to kill two birds with one stone by writing something about the process and how I go about it.

It is important to stress however, that this is how I do it. As I’ve written before, I have never studied the craft of writing and so have no idea if there is a standard ‘way’ or not. This works for me and that’s all I need to worry about.

Character development is actually one of the most fun parts of the writing process for me because it allows me the opportunity to play god. And given that it’s fairly certain that he and I will not be meeting in the afterlife as I’ll almost certainly be heading south, it’s an opportunity I tend to relish for all kinds of reasons. Revenge being just one.

Now, I know that in both Billy Evans and Billy Ellis I have created characters which have and will make return appearances but that’s a different blog altogether. This is about the first time they make an appearance in my psyche but be it a novel or a screenplay, initially it always starts with the same thing, the story. Be it tightly or loosely plotted, it is vital that you, as the writer, have some idea of the journey you’re going to take your creations on before you start putting them together. Once you have that, then you can start putting flesh on bones. It is however, important to understand that to all intents and purposes, your characters are, and must be, real people with real histories, personalities, flaws and fears. They have to be for reasons which should be obvious. And key to that is making them ‘real’ in every sense of the word.

For me, the first stage of that process is to give them a name, a face and a voice. The name is the easier of the three because all it has to do it fit the individual and the world you want them to inhabit. Can you imagine Billy Evans being called Tarquin Selby-Green? Of course not, it would never work. Billy is short, sharp, blokey and slightly cheeky so it was perfect for the main man in both The Crew and Billy’s Log.

I also wanted the christian names to be short and punchy. Evans was my former agents name and Billy Ellis rolls off the tongue. Simple as that. But in the past I’ve found names for my characters simply by scrolling through Facebook and finding something which I think fits. However, a name can be changed fairly easily, usually with a few clicks of a button, the face and the voice are far more important because as you spend more and more time with these imaginary people, they will fairly quickly come to haunt your consciousness.

When a character first appears in your head, he or she will inevitably have a certain look and Billy Ellis was no exception. From day one he was medium height, stocky, dark haired and had a cheeky face. In essence, like any one of a hundred lads I know. I also knew immediately what I wanted him to sound like and so once I had the plot tied down, I went looking for him.

Oh yes, every character in everything I’ve ever written is based on a real person. In the case of Billy Evans, it was a mate. Now I won’t say who he is (he knows, but he is very different from Leo Gregory which is why I had so many initial problems when I began adapting the book for the screen) but I follow this same model for every character in everything I write. The reason being that if I ever find myself struggling, I can either ring up that person or YouTube them. Trust me, it’s amazing how quickly and easily a quick chat or a short video clip can free up the mind and spark something off.

Of course as work progresses the characters begin to take on lives of their own which is exactly as it should be but as a starting point, basing them on real people certainly works for me and in all honesty, that’s all I care about!

.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysWork on Top Dog is all but complete now and having seen an initial edit, I have to say it’s looking brilliant. I’m not going to get all gushy about how amazing everyone looks and what a fabulous job Martin has done suffice to say, I could not have asked for better from anyone involved. I certainly can’t wait to see it on a big screen and whilst I have a rough idea of release dates I’m not going to pass them on as that isn’t down to me. However, as soon as I’m allowed to pass them on you’ll be amongst the first to know.

The new novel is also progressing well and should be released in a few months in both eBook and paperback formats. I can’t say anything about it as the moment but I think and indeed, hope, it’s going to cause something of a stir. Indeed, we believe that in some respects, it’s something of a first!

Exciting times!

5 reasons why adapting your own novel for the screen is a great idea.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boys

*This blog was written a few months ago but with the film done, dusted and heading for release, I thought it worth posting again because.*

As I sit here typing this, on the other side of London (Croydon to be precise), a crew and some awesome actors are filming scenes from my own adaptation of my novel Top Dog.

For various reasons, not least the fact that I abhor the area around Croydon with a passion, I have stayed away from the set today and am instead, sitting at home. However, with no game to occupy me thanks to the FA’s obsession with international football, I thought it might be an idea to write a short blog about a question which has been repeatedly asked of me since the shoot began. To be specific, what’s it like watching both my book and my script come to life?

In a nutshell, it’s bloody awesome. But for five very specific reasons most of which wouldn’t apply if I’d handed the novel to someone else to adapt. So…

  1. As a writer, when you construct a novel or a screenplay, you play every single scene out in your head even before you commit it to paper (or keyboard). Seeing and hearing it unfold in 3D in front of your eyes is an incredible experience because it proves you’re not actually mad after all.
  2. Watching great actors actually act is an amazing thing (and we have GREAT actors on Top Dog). Not only do they give everything you’ve written a depth you cannot really put into a paper version, but they work with your words to make them even better. Understanding this can only make you a better screenwriter.
  3. Every once in a while, the actors will perform a scene EXACTLY as you imagined it when you wrote it. This has happened a few times on Top Dog and the feeling is indescribable.
  4.  It’s fabulous for the ego. And by that I mean that as a screenwriter, nothing will ever dispel your self-doubt faster than the sound of a director saying ‘Cut. That’s brilliant’.
  5. Standing on a film set surrounded by amazing people and knowing that they’re only there because of you gives you a feeling that makes all the hours, days, weeks and months spent at a keyboard worthwhile. Not because it’s a power trip (it isn’t) but because it’s proof that if you keep at it long enough, dreams can come true. And on top of that, you get paid. What’s not to like?

Thankfully, we still have a week of filming to go and whilst I’ll obviously be sad when this stage of Top Dog comes to an end, I know that the final wrap will signal the start of the next stage of what’s proving to be a fabulous journey. And on top of that, I’ve another film slated to start in March 2014 so I’ll be able to do it all again.

How cool is that?

The Crew. Top Dog, Green Street, Leo Gregory, British film, thriller

It has hopefully not escaped your attention that my novel The Crew has this week been re-issued in print thanks to the wonderful folk at Caffeine Nights Publishing.

It can be found sitting on the shelves of WH Smiths and all decent bookstores alongside Wings of a Sparrow which also completed the journey from eBook to paper last week.

Wingscover

Both books are available to order online from Amazon, iTunes, etc if you’d prefer and are of course, still available in eBook format.

And yes, Top Dog will also be re-released in paperback around the same time as the film is released. But like all of my work, there will be a twist in the tail…. 😉

Why all writers are mad… sort of.

writer, brimson, lazy, ebooks, amazon, itunes, screenwriting, author, novel, green street, sex, monkey, imac, windowsAs a writer, you inevitably spend a good portion of your time alone. The process is after all, fairly solitary and in truth, that’s one of the great attractions. At least it is for me. I’m not really a people person you see. Or to be more specific, I’m not really a real people person.

For on most days, I’m not actually alone at all, I’m in the company of all kinds of characters. Men, women, kids, hooligans, old men, glamorous women, thieves, thugs, hero’s… the list is endless. In fact it’s limited only by my imagination, because that’s where they live.

The joy of that is that they exist purely at my bidding and are real only for as long as I want them to be. Some I will meet only once, others will remain for a long time. Sometimes we have fun, sometimes I put them through all kinds of grief, sometimes I just watch what they do and feed off them. People are amazing, even imaginary ones. 

Now I know this makes me sound like some kind of mental case and if I were to chop off the first paragraph of this post and read it aloud to my doctor, she’d be quite justified in having me sectioned.

But the key word in that first paragraph is ‘writer’. Creating is what I do and my vivid imagination is my primary and most important tool. That’s how I can get away with having a mind which is a cross between a bizarre soap opera with only one viewer and a computer game with only one player. Both of which are me.

Sometimes however, it all goes horribly wrong. Or rather, fabulously wrong. Yesterday was one such occasion because filming began on my own adaptation of Top Dog. A novel I wrote well over ten years ago and which itself is the sequel to a book which first hit the bookshelves over thirteen years ago! And as I sat on set watching scenes I had created in my head actually being played out for real, I was frequently struck by how different it all looked from how I had imagined it. And the truth is, it looked a whole lot better in 3D.

That has taught me a very important lesson and it’s one which is almost certainly going to make me a better screenwriter. 

Because actors are real, locations are real. And as a writer, if you want to give your characters and situations life, the best way to do it is to understand that unlike the people in your head, they already have it. 

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wings of a sparrow, the crew, top dog, football, screenwriting, leo gregory, hooligan, martin kemp, jonathan sothcott

Aside from the commencement of filming on Top Dog which will continue for a while yet, this week will also see two of my novels hit the shelves of WH Smiths (and all decent bookshops).

The first is the print edition of my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow and the second is a re-issue of The Crew which continues to hold on to the #1 slot on the sports download charts. A position it’s held for well over two years now.

All in all, not a bad few days for me then. 

5 ways football could be made even better.

green street, top dog, football, ebooks, flares, pyro, soccer, NFL, EPL, screenwriting, authorIn a matter of days, English football will wake from it’s enforced slumber and return to it’s rightful position of being the most important topic of conversation in the land. Forget royal babies, Big Brother, the Tour De France, the economy, Syria or any of the numerous trivialities we’ve been forced to think about over the last few months, the worlds greatest game is what it’s really all about.

Now as I do each and every year, I have avoided the constant stream of bullshit which has surrounded the close-season transfer market so that when I walk into Vicarage Road next saturday to watch the first home pre-season friendly -traditionally the start of my season- it will be as if it’s all fresh and new. Although given everything that’s been going on at Watford lately, in this instance it actually will be!

However, I have kept my beady eyes on everything else and not for the first time, have noticed that there has been little news of any change which might impact on the role of possibly the games greatest asset, the fans.

This is far from a shock of course because I’ve been around long enough to know that whilst the game is totally reliant on us for pretty much everything and TV is busy selling the game on the back of the atmosphere that we create, the reality is that it doesn’t really give a shit about us.

But then again it doesn’t have to because we’re obsessed. The game knows full well that we’ll turn up week in, week out and pour money into the tills no matter how good or bad the product. Just as importantly, even when things go horribly wrong we have to put up with them because we are totally impotent in terms of either power or influence. We have no legitimate voice, football doesn’t want us to have a voice! Perish the thought that the game which is wholly reliant on us would actually listen to us let alone care about what we think! Football is after all, the only industry not driven by its consumers.

If it wasn’t, do you think for one second games that would be moved around on the whim of a copper or a TV scheduler with no thought for how fans are going to get home? And that’s just the start.

The list of things we can legally do inside grounds grows ever shorter whilst the restrictions placed upon us in and around grounds get more draconian by the season. As a consequence the passion, humour and even the shear excitement of being at football is diminishing year on year yet no one with the power to change things seems to care because no one with the power to change things has to care.

Can you honestly say that going to watch English football these days is the occasion it once was? Do you not look at fans in Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Turkey even countries like Greece and wish that our stadia were like that on match days? I bloody do. Every single week.

The irony is that it wouldn’t take much to get our game up to a par, if not beyond what we see in the rest of Europe. After all, there is nothing like an English football ground when it’s fired up. The question is, how?

Well how about this for starters:

  1. Start treating fans like adults instead of sheep. We don’t want much from football, but we do want to be treated with respect. Hooliganism inside grounds is a thing of the past and much of that is down to the actual fans themselves so how about the game not only recognising it but rewarding it? Stop hiding behind the fear of it.
  2. Bring back standing. It’s proven to work in Germany and there is absolutely no reason why it wouldn’t and shouldn’t work here. But the most important reason is that we want it. Period.
  3. Scrap designated seating. It’s a good idea in principle but in practice it’s the single biggest factor in the destruction of atmosphere inside our grounds. That is a cast iron fact.
  4. Allow flares inside grounds. They look astonishing and contribute to the sense of  occasion. When used correctly they are perfectly safe as we see right across the continent  every single week. Again, you can’t continue to hide behind the past and in truth you don’t need to.
  5. Allow drinking on the terraces. Yes, keep the rules regarding being hammered and enforce them accordingly but we’re adults for fucks sake.

Sadly, none of the above will happen because the game cannot see what is happening in front of its face and more importantly, the police are wary of giving up any degree of control however small.

But it’s nice to dream and maybe one day, when the football party come to power, some of it will actually turn to reality.

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football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetCouple of bits of news; As you may or may not have seen,Martin Kemp has been announced as the director of Top Dog which is brilliant news for all concerned not least because he’s a bloody good director!

We’ve been battering the script into shape and I’m happy to say that it’s now pretty much locked and ready for filming in November. I can’t wait!

In addition, my latest novel Wings of a Sparrow continues to attract great reviews and is selling so well that we’ll be bringing it out in paperback later this year. It’s also coming out in Russia in August and I’ll be visiting St. Petersburg and possibly Moscow in September to do some PR.

Wings, together with The Crew and Top Dog will also be making their way across the Atlantic later this year but more of that closer the time.

On top of that, I’m about to start work on another movie and am currently writing a new book. It’s going to be something very special and as far as I know, has never actually been done before so we’re all very excited about it but that’s all you’re getting for now.

Watch this space!

 

top dog, green street, the crew. hooligans, violence, sex, racism, self-publishing, author, screenwriting, writing, writer

 

Why part of me hopes Watford don’t win promotion to the EPL.

football, watford, publishing, marketing, premiership, liverpool, manchester, arsenal, zola, pozzo,

I am, as many people will know, a Watford supporter. And as anyone who follows the great game will know, this coming weekend could well see my little club return to the promised land of the English premiership.

Quite how we are in this position is well documented and will certainly be dissected at length over the coming few days but to say we are not the most popular club in the land would be something of an understatement. We of course, don’t care what people think of us as we’ve been far too busy enjoying the ride and watching football which has veered from being some of the best I’ve ever seen Watford play to a quality which would not look out of place on Hackney marshes. On at least one instance, we saw both within the space of 90 minutes.

But that’s the joy of football and not only explains why we love it, but why so many people would not even contemplate missing a game.

However, to return to the matter in hand, much as I am buzzing ahead of the game on Saturday and would love to see us secure promotion, there is a small part of me which hopes we don’t actually make it. Not just on Saturday, but even via the play-offs.

It has nothing to do with what may or may not happen on the pitch because having followed Watford since the early 70’s, I know as well as anyone that anything can (and often does) happen at Vicarage Road. Indeed, one only need look at this season as proof of that and I have little doubt that our Italian owners have huge plans, god bless ‘em.

No, my concerns have everything to do with what might happen off the pitch. For the truth is, like many English football fans, I despise the premiership and everything it stands for.

The ‘top flight’ isn’t football to me. It’s little more than a media driven entertainment version of the game designed to exploit the very people without whom it wouldn’t even exist, those fans who actually attend games.

And if we do make it, that media will go to town on us because as the ‘little’ club, we’ll face a season of being patronised by people I have little or no respect for. The Lawrenson’s and Lineker’s, the Gray’s and the Durham’s… all of whom will regard us as little more than cannon fodder who have no right to be where we are because we’re not a ‘big’ club. And as a result, we as fans will be on the defensive. Not like we have thanks to ‘loangate’ this season because the whole Udinese B thing has been fun, but because we will have to justify ourselves week in and week out. Even the thought of that pisses me off.

Don’t get me wrong, if the stars align and we do make it, I’ll be as chuffed as anyone but that delight will be tinged with a little bit of regret. And pound to a pinch of poo, I won’t be the only one.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysFor those who didn’t know, Universal Pictures UK have come on board the Top Dog movie project and with their support, it looks increasingly likely that filming will commence in June ahead of a cinema release in February. Casting will commence shortly and full details of that will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

I may well have some more exciting news to pass on very soon relating to both books and another movie project. Exciting times!

Finally, I’m going to be staging a series of giveaways of books over the next few weeks. You’ll need to follow me on either Facebook or Twitter so if you want free books, get on it!  @dougiebrimson