Tag Archives: brimson

Writers, why your ideas are currency.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceIf you talk to any writer, they will tell you that their heads are, generally speaking, pretty fucked 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!

The Myth of Writers Block!

It’s not often I write about the actual process of writing because I tend to think that to do so would infer that I actually know what I am talking about. 

So, when people mail me asking for advice and/or guidance, what I tend to do is to be either as supportive as I can or point them in the direction of the seemingly endless websites, blogs or even perish the thought, books (old school I know, but I am old) concerned with the world of penmanship. That way, I can’t be blamed if it all goes horribly wrong. There is however, one exception.

You see when it comes to writing, there is one topic which is guaranteed to get me going and that is the thorny subject of writers block.

Wikipedia defines writers block thus: a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand or, at the other extreme, some “blocked” writers have been unable to work for years on end, and some have even abandoned their careers. It can manifest as the affected writer viewing their work as inferior or unsuitable, when in fact it could be the opposite.

Well I’m sorry, but I’ve written a lot over the years and with 15 books on my backlist I feel reasonably qualified to comment on this subject and say that as far as I’m concerned, writers block is bollocks. It’s merely a term invented by writers as an excuse behind which they are able to hide. 

So with that in mind, if there is anyone reading this who actually thinks that they are ‘suffering’ please take note of the following:

  • Not being able to sit down and write is not writers block, it is called laziness. So either man up and get on with it or give up altogether and do something else.
  •  Not being able to get past a blank screen or empty page is not writers block, it means you are devoid of ideas. So either get off your arse and get out into the real world for a while to find some inspiration or forget the idea of writing and find another hobby.
  •  Not being able to get over a hurdle in your plot is not writers block, it means that either your idea doesn’t work or you’re simply not clever enough to make it work. So again, either find a way to get over it or give up on it and start afresh.
  • Thinking that what you’re currently writing is inferior to your previous work is not writers block, it means that it probably is. So trust your own judgement, bin the lot and start again rather than flogging yourself to death.

I could go on, but you get the general idea.

Now I’m not saying people don’t get stuck and to be honest, I’ve hit an obstacle in pretty much everything I’ve ever written. But for me, dealing with problems is part of the creative process and in many ways, one of the most exciting. Not least because it forces you to look at your work from a totally different perspective and in my experience that’s always a good thing for a writer. Not least because it’s often where the best ideas are lurking.

@dougiebrimson

My numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

writing, screenwriting, writers block, author, hollywood. green street, 

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!

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! 😉

Missing in action.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetAs a few people might have noticed, I have been missing in action of late. Well, at least when it comes to blogging.

I won’t go into the reasons why as they would make for quite dull reading but suffice to say, this laptop and I have been spending an awful lot of time together writing, rewriting, plotting and developing.

However, the decks have now been cleared, projects completed and time has not only been freed up, but will be better managed so expect a return to normal service at any time now. Thankfully, with the way things are, I certainly won’t be short of things to rant about.

Just as importantly, I have lots of news on all kinds of things both books and films so will start to throw that out as well.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetAmongst that lot will be news on the paperback release of my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow and details of progress on the movie adaptation of  Top Dog 

Exciting times! 🙂

Watford FC: so close but thankfully so far.

watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street, premiership, englandOK, the dust has settled so my thoughts on yesterday and Watfords trip to Wembley for the richest game in football, for what they’re worth.

As a Watford fan, it pains me to say it but we didn’t turn up on the day, pure and simple. Anya, big Al and Lloyd Doyley (I know shock horror, praise from me!) are the obvious exceptions with the addition of Fess who should have been brought on at half-time, if not at the start.

Crystal Palace were average at best with the exception of Zaha who was different class. How many times did he take the piss out of our defence? Phillips… well you just knew he would do it but fair play, I wasn’t the only one to notice that he didn’t give it large in front of us as many would have.

The Palace fans were awesome, ours less so. Ok, much less so. Indeed, if yesterday highlighted one thing it’s the issue of our support and the lack of any cohesion. I know that there are plenty who have tried to sort it out but clearly, it has failed badly and so maybe it’s time for the club to actually step in and become directly involved with the fans to see what can be done. With so much good will toward the team and the owners, I think that we could potentially do something really creative if there was the will on both sides to actually do it so let’s use this moment to kick start some proper open dialogue. After all, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wembley… amazing stadium but the transport situation away from the place is dire. Not simply because of the logistics but because the organisation is so poor and information so lacking.

But however down we feel today, it has been an amazing season and the journey from the horrific event that was the game against Wycombe to walking up Wembley way yesterday proves that being a Hornet is always going to be eventful and certainly never dull.

However, the truth is that we aren’t ready for the premiership yet -I think anyone with a brain in their head will acknowledge that- and the idea of a season being spanked week in week out is not one that held an appeal for me. And that’s how it would have almost certainly been. As I said, Zaha ran us ragged at times, imagine what 10 of him could do.

So it’s onwards and upwards and all eyes on the 13/14 season in the championship which arguably, is the best league anyway if you like your football in the blood and guts style as I do.

The loan situation and the forthcoming rule changes to that side of things is going to mean the close season will be eventful (aren’t they all for Watford?) but I have faith in the owners and in Zola & Co so I have no doubt we’ll be stronger as a consequence so then watch us go! Who knows, we might even finish our stadium!

Come on you Horns!

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

Thanks to everyone who has been posting reviews of my books lately. They really are hugely appreciated and extremely useful. On which note, thanks to a huge demand, I’m delighted to tell you that my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow, will shortly be released in paper format.

I’ll post further details nearer publication date but this will be the first in a series of re-releases with The Crew and Top Dog following shortly after.

How to bring your novel to life.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysOK, I own up. The title to this blog is slightly misleading because if you were expecting a writing lesson, you are going to be disappointed. In fact, to be perfectly honest anyone seeking a writing lesson from me is going to be disappointed because as I’ve written many times, I don’t actually know how I’m getting away with it so I am hardly qualified to advise anyone else!

No, the title to this blog refers to them actually taking on a three dimensional form in the actor sense. Because after what seems many years of what feels like post-Green Street herculean effort, it appears that one of my projects is finally making the leap from ‘almost there’ to ‘off and running’ with the announcement that Universal Pictures UK have signed as the distributors of my adaptation of Top Dog. Full details of that can be found here.

So, how did this happen? Well the truth is, like many of the events which form what can laughingly be called ‘my career’ it was down to moaning. And to a lesser extent, Twitter.

I won’t ramble on too much, but the short version is this. One day, as I was trawling Twitter in an effort to avoid actually writing, the name Leo Gregory popped up. Now Leo, as many of you will know, is the actor who played Bovver in Green Street and gave, quite simply, the stand out performance in the movie. He’s also a top bloke and so I dropped him a note and asked if he fancied taking a look at a project I thought he’d be perfect for.

Luckily, he agreed, loved it and so at the back end of last year, we met and chatted. Inevitably, talk turned to Green Street, the many imitators it spawned and the fact that in both our opinions, no movie thus far has actually failed to pull off the whole ‘hooligan’ ‘lads’ thing convincingly. This moaning led into discussions about my novels The Crew and Top Dog which in turn led to a meeting with the legendary producer that is Jonathan Sothcott  (which is a tale in itself). The rest as they say, is history.

Now, the point of all this is that like all writers, when I set out to create something, be it a book or a screenplay, it gets to a point where it takes on a life of its own. Up to now, I had always believed that there was only so much I could do after that point had been reached but this is clearly not the case at all.

Because as I have recently discovered, the key to success is moaning. And thankfully, it’s something that I’m not only exceedingly good at but which I also enjoy with a passion.

Happy days!

 

How NOT to sell your eBook.

author, writer, writing, screenwriting, amazon, itunes, kindle, books, greenstreet, top dog, essex boys, sex, bollocks, bullshit

This morning, whilst staring out of the window at the white-out that karma is continuing to inflict on me to keep me off my motorbike as punishment for my former ill-deeds, it occurred to me that I hadn’t blogged for a while.

To be fair, not that many people actually read my blog anyway and so my failing to post anything is no great loss to humanity. However, shortly afterwards, a notification mail landed in my inbox from one of the many writing sites I once subscribed to (yet never take any notice of) which contained a link pointing me toward an article about the importance of blogging to authors.

As a believer in omens, I took this as a sign and gave the article a read because the thought struck me that it might contain some golden nugget of information which would change everything and propel my blog numbers into the stratosphere. It didn’t. It was instead, bollocks.

Now I’m not knocking blogging and indeed, am well aware of the irony to be found in the fact that I am er… blogging. However, there is a massive difference between blogging as a way of letting off steam, entertaining or even showcasing and blogging to ‘teach’. Because speaking as a professional author with a degree of experience about what does and doesn’t work, I can say with some authority that 90% of the blogs I’ve ever read relating to writing are inane drivel. I’d even go so far as to say that most are written by people who have little or no actual experience of anything except rewriting other people’s articles and passing them off as their own which is little more than a con.

The reason it continues of course, is that so many people want to be authors and make their living selling their books. Yet the simple reality is that if you want to sell books then there is only one thing that will do it for you and that isn’t reading about how to sell books or even writing about how to sell books, it’s actually sitting down and writing books. And if you want to sell lots of them, write good books because if you do that, the rest will eventually take care of itself.

That my friends, is as good a piece of writing advice as you will ever read anywhere.

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readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysI am not a little delighted to say that my novel The Crew continues to hold onto the #1 slot on both its Amazon and iTunes chart which means that it is now approaching 18 months as the top downloaded sports book in the UK. That’s none too shabby even if I say so myself so could I say a huge thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed it. It really is most appreciated not least because as I have said many times, nothing sells books like word of mouth (and that includes blogs! – see above).

Of course the recent news that Top Dog is heading for big screen has helped immeasurably and we have taken huge and very exciting strides with that project in recent weeks. All being well, I’ll be able to reveal details of where we are with it quite soon.

And on the subject of Billy Evans and his exploits, work is progressing well on the third book in the series and I am still battling away to get my latest novel, Wings of a Sparrow, to the screen. Ironically, I receive more mails asking me about that than almost anything else which is really most gratifying because it means that the story has actually struck a chord with people which is kind of the point!

The one fact all authors should know about eBook marketing.

life, work, money, sex, military, football, marriage, kids, writing, ebooks, author, marketing, blogging, Writing is, by its very nature, an odd profession. After all, if you strip it back to basics it involves spending most of your time on your own making up stories.

That said, it’s also a pretty cool way of earning a living not least because I get to spend most of my time on my own making up stories.

Now obviously I am not the only person to see this as a positive attraction because there are seemingly many people out there who wish to follow in my footsteps and fair play to them I say. Indeed, in these ePublishing times, it’s never been easier to make your work available to an eager public.

The problem of course, is that writing a book is only half the story. Or even, as many would have you believe, barely a fifth of the story. Because once you’ve written your book, movie or play, you have to sell it. Yes, that’s right, as a self-published author, everything falls on your shoulders and that includes the role of salesperson.

Personally, I love this side of the job because it provides me with the perfect excuse to piss about on the internet and whatever I am doing seems to work because I am, apparently, doing OK. I could possibly be doing better but I have no way of knowing that for sure because I’d much rather be writing, watching TV or riding my motorbike than writing ‘guest blogs’ or taking part in blog tours (whatever they are) which are both apparently obligatory for authors who want to sell eBooks. Or at least it is according to the so-called experts.

This leads me nicely onto the point of this blog because yesterday I read an article about writers marketing their work which left me not far short of incensed. It wasn’t simply the subject matter which was actually about screenwriters putting their screenplays for sale on Amazon (although if you need me to tell you why that’s a bad idea you deserve everything that could possibly befall you) it was the bit at the end about the author of said article. This bit in fact: (I have deleted her name because I refuse to give her any publicity)

XXXXXX XXXXXX is an author and screenwriter. She is the author of “Publish Your Screenplay on Kindle.” She plans to publish several of her screenplays on Kindle before year’s end.

So, she’s written a book and an article telling us to do something which she hasn’t actually done herself… yet. Do you really need me to tell you what I think of that?

The sad thing is that there are thousands of people like this who are making money off the back of the writing community by selling experience that they do not actually have and indeed, there are plenty of so-called ‘professional authors’ who actually derive most of their income from talking about the subject of being an er… professional author as opposed to earning money from actually selling books. Or to put it another way, frauds.

This is especially true of the subject of eBook marketing because take it from someone who actually knows, the truth is that whilst the web is awash with articles telling you how to do it, there is actually no magic formula. More often than not, what decides if an eBook is going to sell or not is good old fashioned luck.

Yes, of course there are things you can do to help get the stars if not aligned at least visible and these range from exploiting social networking to writing ranting blogs but the bottom line is that the fundamentals of eBook marketing are exactly the same as they are for traditional publishing. For an aBook by a relatively unknown author to be a success it comes down to the same old thing; right book, right time, right reader, etc, etc.

And that my friend is the secret. You can have it for free.

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football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceDougie Brimson is an author and screenwriter. Thirteen of his fifteen books are available in electronic format including The Crew (which was the most downloaded football title of 2012 and has held the #1 slot on its Amazon and iTunes chart for almost 18 straight months) and his latest comedy, Wings of a Sparrow.

His screen writing credits include the multi-award winning feature Green Street and the forthcoming adaptation of his own novel, Top Dog.