Tag Archives: books

Writers, why your ideas are currency.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceTalk to any writer for long enough and they will inevitably tell you that their heads are pretty messed up.

Not in the sense that they/we have some kind of mental issue (well, not all of us), but in the sense that our brains are constantly filtering random thoughts and ideas. Be they for books, characters or even simple scenes.

This is especially true of those writers who tackle contemporary issues because if we have any intention of injecting reality into our work it is vital to actually get out there and experience a bit of it. In my case, as someone who tends to feature football in most of my work, watching games really is research (which is why my local and most fabulous Watford FC supporting tax officer always tells me to deduct it against my tax!). It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Sometimes of course, an idea will fly in and fly out, other times it’ll hang about for a bit and then be forgotten whilst a few will eventually find their way into a project. But there are others which, by virtue of the fact that they are just too good to ignore, simply wedge themselves into my consciousness like some kind of mental post-it note. And if an idea can survive my Alzheimer like memory, it generally means it is worth taking notice of.

I have a few of those hanging around and hopefully, most will see the light of day at some point in the near future. Indeed one in particular already has me buzzing even though I have two books to write before I can even think about tackling it. And much as I’d like to tell you what it is, I can’t. Or rather I won’t.

Because you see in my warped world, ideas are currency. They are after all, the very basis of my creative output and so I need to not only nurture, but protect them!

I mention this now because my new book, a comedy entitled Wings of a Sparrow, is the result of such a process because it stems from an idea I first had over six years ago. I actually pitched it to my publishers at the time and even though they turned it down, I knew it was a great idea which is why I kept tinkering with it. Now, thanks to the joys of self-publishing, it will very shortly see the light of day. Hopefully as soon as the first week in December.

Full details of what will be my fifteenth book (how did that happen??) can be found on its dedicated website but I have to say that I am genuinely excited about this one, more so in fact than I have been about a project for a long time. It just feels…. well, right, although ultimately of course, that will be for you lot to decide!

And now, having finished Wings, I am already onto the next one which is, as promised, the sequel to Top Dog, the third book in the Billy Evans trilogy.

The plot-line I’ve developed is quite possibly the best I’ve ever come up with and as I’ve been fleshing this out, I’ve been buzzing with ideas including some which will involve characters from the previous books. Indeed, I am almost certain that I’ll be writing this in a way which means it will be quite difficult to read it without having read the previous two. To me, and to others I’ve discussed it with, given the nature of the central character and the world he inhabits, that makes perfect sense but if you have any thoughts, please let me know.

Two things I am certain of are the title and the fact that it will be released as an eBook initially, all being well around late spring.

But in the meantime, I have the release of Wings of a Sparrow to deal with and that should hit the online stores in the first week of December. Test-reads have been universally positive and hopefully, given the subject matter (and the fact that there is no mention of hooliganism!) it should attract some decent press.

As ever… watch this space!!!

violence, racism, racist, anal sex, oral sex, bum,
The Crew. Still #1 after 15 whole months!

I know I seem to say this every month but thanks to everyone who continues to keep The Crew at number one on the free soccer book download charts of both Amazon and iTunes.

That’s into 15 straight months now which is some kind of achievement and something I am incredibly proud of. Top Dog also continues to sell really well (it’s currently at #2) so here’s hoping the new book does just as well.

Happy days indeed!

From novel to screen – The joy of adaptation.

manchester united, david moyes, liverpool, british film, ryan giggs, old traffordWith Top Dog heading for release on Monday, the PR machine has been running at full speed and one question which has repeatedly cropped up is how I found the process of adapting my own novel for the screen.

Rather than go into it all here, I’ll point you in the direction of an article I wrote for PureMovies.com which not only goes into it in some depth, but also talks about how the movie actually came about.

Thankfully, the screenings thus far have gone really well and everyone seems more than happy which is all I could hope for. But now comes the really important bit and that’s the public reaction so if you fancy a look and haven’t ordered a copy, you can do so via Amazon. Either that or simply head down to your local DVD/Blu-ray retailer early next week.

All being well, the reissued paperback will be not far behind as copies have already rolled off the presses. That can also be ordered online via Amazon or if you can’t wait and fancy the eBook version, that can be downloaded right here right now for the princely sum of £1.99p! It’s also available via iBooks of course.

kill, indie, british film, hooligans, krays, violence, gangsAway from Top Dog, work on We Still Kill The Old Way is almost complete with the final scenes being shot in Spain early next week. I visited the set a couple of times and have to say that there was a real buzz amongst everyone that something really special is coming together.

It’s a great script, the crew are fabulous and it’s being helmed by an excellent director in Sacha Bennett but the really exciting thing about this project is the amazing cast we have working on it. A cast which includes legendary names such as Ian Ogilvy, James Cosmo, Chris Ellison, Steven Berkoff and Lysette Anthony as well as a raft of brilliant young actors led by Danny-Boy Hatchard and Danni Dyer.

If that lot doesn’t get your juices flowing, nothing will. You’re going to have to wait for a few months yet but believe me, it will be worth it.

Exciting times.

 

 green street, top dog, martin kemp, elijah wood, hooligans, gangs, violence, crime writing, indie film, writing, screenwriting, leo gregory, brimson, 

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!

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 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

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If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

5 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

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If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

Book signings? That’ll be a no…. mostly.

russia, st. petersburg, author, green street, top dog, wings of a sparrowWhen I first became an author, one of the things I looked forward to was the opportunity to go on book tours. These, I imagined, would be huge affairs where people would queue around blocks waiting for me to sign books whilst at the same time fawning all over me telling me how awesome I am and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?

For some people I suspect, that’s exactly what they’re like. For me however, they are slightly different. Well OK, they are totally different. Alright then, I don’t do them at all. At least not in the UK.

The reasons for this are many and varied but the primary one is that as someone who still struggles to come to terms with the fact that I’m actually getting away with writing for a living, the idea that people would actually take time out of their busy lives to come and see me in the flesh simply because I am an ‘author’ that they like does not actually compute. That’s not false modesty, it’s fact.

There is however, an exception to this and it’s one which has in many respects, crept up on me. Because for some bizarre reason, my books are becoming increasingly popular abroad and if an overseas publisher invites me, I always go and I always sign. And I love it!

I mention this now because I have just returned from St. Petersburg where I did a shed load of PR to launch the Russian translation of Wings of a Sparrow.

This was actually my third visit to the city and I really do love it there which is ironic given that I spent 18 years helping to repel the might of the Soviet Union as a member of Her Majesties armed forces. To say it the trip was a blast is an understatement and as always, it was a series of brilliant experiences punctuated with the odd bout of terror. Let me tell you, being driven at speed through the suburbs of a Russian city by four blokes you’ve never seen before and no idea of your destination certainly focusses the mind!

Of course as always, I had nothing to worry about because that’s just the way things are done over there. Indeed, everyone I met was amazingly warm and generous and all of the signings and events were brilliant. So much so in fact, that plans are already afoot to go back next year. This time equipped with some better Russian language skills I hope!

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysThe success of the trip has however, got me thinking. For with Wings of a Sparrow and The Crew due to hit the bookshelves of the UK before the end of November and both Top Dog and We Still Kill The Old Way heading for filming within the next six months, has the time come to actually think about doing some signings over here?

Or would that, as I suspect and indeed, fear, be too pretentious?

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Wings of a Sparrow will be published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on October 21st. It is available to pre-order from Amazon by clicking here. If you would prefer an eBook, you can download it now via here.

Further information can be found at dougiebrimson.com

Book signings? That’ll be a no…. mostly.

russia, st. petersburg, author, green street, top dog, wings of a sparrowWhen I first became an author, one of the things I looked forward to was the opportunity to go on book tours. These, I imagined, would be huge affairs where people would queue around blocks waiting for me to sign books whilst at the same time fawning all over me telling me how awesome I am and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?

For some people I suspect, that’s exactly what they’re like. For me however, they are slightly different. Well OK, they are totally different. Alright then, I don’t do them at all. At least not in the UK.

The reasons for this are many and varied but the primary one is that as someone who still struggles to come to terms with the fact that I’m actually getting away with writing for a living, the idea that people would actually take time out of their busy lives to come and see me in the flesh simply because I am an ‘author’ that they like does not actually compute. That’s not false modesty, it’s fact.

There is however, an exception to this and it’s one which has in many respects, crept up on me. Because for some bizarre reason, my books are becoming increasingly popular abroad and if an overseas publisher invites me, I always go and I always sign. And I love it!

I mention this now because I have just returned from St. Petersburg where I did a shed load of PR to launch the Russian translation of Wings of a Sparrow.

This was actually my third visit to the city and I really do love it there which is ironic given that I spent 18 years helping to repel the might of the Soviet Union as a member of Her Majesties armed forces. To say it the trip was a blast is an understatement and as always, it was a series of brilliant experiences punctuated with the odd bout of terror. Let me tell you, being driven at speed through the suburbs of a Russian city by four blokes you’ve never seen before and no idea of your destination certainly focusses the mind!

Of course as always, I had nothing to worry about because that’s just the way things are done over there. Indeed, everyone I met was amazingly warm and generous and all of the signings and events were brilliant. So much so in fact, that plans are already afoot to go back next year. This time equipped with some better Russian language skills I hope!

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysThe success of the trip has however, got me thinking. For with Wings of a Sparrow and The Crew due to hit the bookshelves of the UK before the end of November and both Top Dog and We Still Kill The Old Way heading for filming within the next six months, has the time come to actually think about doing some signings over here?

Or would that, as I suspect and indeed, fear, be too pretentious?

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Wings of a Sparrow will be published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on October 21st. It is available to pre-order from Amazon by clicking here. If you would prefer an eBook, you can download it now via here.

Further information can be found at dougiebrimson.com

Martin Kemp to direct Top Dog!

British film, gangster, ebook, self publishing, top dog, green street, screenwriting, the crew, leo gregory, Martin KempJust a very brief post to inform all those who keep asking that Martin Kemp, best known for being pretty much everything from Spandau Ballet legend to star of The Krays will direct the forthcoming big screen adaptation of Top Dog.

I won’t go into the details as they can be found via the link below but suffice to say, I’ve been working with Martin for a while now and it’s been both a real pleasure and a great learning experience.

More details of the project will be released as and when they can but in the meantime you can read pretty much everything here at  The Hollywood Reporter

Happy days!

PS: This is not what I was referring to in my previous blog! That’s something else entirely! 😉