Tag Archives: top dog

Funny is as funny does.

facebook, twitter, social media, author, screenwriting, sex, racism, violenceFor some reason, I seem to get asked an awful lot of questions. Most are inevitably linked to writing or football but others range from requests to be introduced to people I barely even know to enquiries about just how far I would like my head shoved up my arse. However, the other day a question arrived via Facebook which ended up causing me all sorts of angst. Not because of what it wanted to know, but because of what I replied. For in response to ‘are you Rolf Harris’s love child?’ my reply was ‘if I am, my mum has some serious questions to answer’.

Now to me, this is bog standard banter and whilst it might not exactly be in the best of tastes, it soon became apparent that a few people were pretty much disgusted by it. To them, I wasn’t being funny, I was actually belittling the subject of child abuse. A charge which to my mind, says more about them than it does about me.

However, as the PM’s poured in and I dug a little deeper into the backgrounds of those who were having a dig (as I tend to do under the ‘know your enemy’ rule), it dawned on me that there was a fundamental difference between me and the majority of the people who had got the hump. One which was reinforced by a steady stream of messages which started to arrive asking me what all the fuss was about.

For like most of the people who posted their support, I am an ex-serviceman, and the bulk of the people who were criticising me were not.

Reflecting on this later on, it struck me that this was a perfect illustration of a simple truth. One you will see as plain as day in any documentary about the armed forces. For it is a stone cold fact that one of the things which binds the military together is the ability to find humour in pretty much anything.

That isn’t just true of the forces of course (you’ll certainly find a similar sense of humour on the terraces) but what is unique to the military is that the development of a dark sense of humour is actively encouraged because it is one of the most invaluable tools an individual can have in their armoury. After all, how better to cope with extremes, be they emotional or operational, than to be able to laugh about them? 

That’s not to say there aren’t boundaries because there are. But they are often very different from those you would expect to encounter in a wholly civilian environment and it’s safe to say that amongst the military the concepts of both good taste and political correctness are frequently set aside in the quest for a laugh to lighten a mood or a situation. 

Indeed, when I wrote Our Boy, much of which takes place in a military hospital, I was extremely careful to get the dark humour element absolutely bang on. So much so in fact that many of the one liners in the script were actually given to me by lads who’d spent time at Headley Court recovering from injuries the like of which few of us can even begin to comprehend. 

Of course when you leave the military, most people will retain that dark sense of humour and whilst on a day to day basis we are able to reign it in, when it comes to something like Facebook it’s all too easy to slip back into old ways, especially when you’re interacting with other veterans. 

However, when it comes to social media where the boundaries of good taste are at best cloudy and at worst non-existent and you are actually pulling back from lines of decency as opposed to pushing forward to where you think they might be, how are you supposed to know what is and isn’t acceptable? The truth is that you can’t, all you can do is play safe. But that is surely the cowards way out. Humour is after all, supposed to push boundaries and as someone who is and will continue to be quite outspoken about the concept of political correctness, I’m certainly more than happy to stick with my own self-imposed boundaries of good taste as opposed to those which convention or the liberal left impose on me.

But the more I thought about this, the more I started to consider how far apart my personal line of decency might be from those of others I interact with via the web and so I decided to do a little experiment. Last night, whilst Germany were busy demolishing Brazil, I began posting increasingly provocative things on both twitter and Facebook to gauge the response each would get and more importantly, where it would come from.

The one which caused the most furore was ‘The last Brazilian to have that many shots fired at him was at Stockwell Tube station’ which attracted all kinds of comments ranging from ‘that’s brilliant’ to ‘you are a disgusting human being’.

Now to be fair, I did actually hesitate when posting that as even I thought it was close to the mark. I also apologised for it immediately afterwards (and did so again 15 minutes or so later. Far be it from me to be hypocritical!) however, to say it was an illuminating exercise is an understatement. 

For not only did it reinforce pretty much everything I had suspected about banter and social media, it also underlined in thick black pen one very simple truth and that is that a sense of humour is as much a product of our own upbringing and environment as any other aspect of our personality.  

Or to put it another way, just because you don’t personally find something funny doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

PS: If you think that was the worst joke about Brazil I heard last night, you are sadly mistaken. But even I have lines of decency I won’t cross!

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All of my books are available via Amazon by clicking here.

 

 

The Pursuit of Violence.

green street, top dog, violence, sex
Writing Violence

I’m not usually one for taking part in online debates about writing, mostly because I’m not that clever. However, this week I’ve been involved in a fascinating discussion with a group of writers on the use of gratuitous violence in both books and film. Or to be more specific, the duty of the writer in the way they portray it.

I won’t go too deeply into the way it unfolded other than to say it veered from one extreme to the other and back again at least more than once. But whilst it was extremely interesting to learn how others perceive their creative responsibilities, little or nothing was said which made me change the way I think about mine. And mine, as I see them, are relatively simple. Indeed, they can be encapsulated in one single sentence. For when it comes to anything fictional, my job is to tell a decent story as honesty and realistically as I can.

This is underpinned by something I have said many times and that is the fact that the most important person in publishing is the reader. And when you write the kind of things I do for the kind of people I primarily write them for (lads), then my sole duty is to give them something which they can not only recognise but hopefully, put themselves into the centre of.

In the case of hooliganism, that means street fighting and anyone who has ever been involved in a row at football knows that it isn’t Queensbury Rules Boxing or Tae Kwon Do, it’s short periods of scruffy, disjointed mayhem. It’s still violence, but it’s real violence as opposed to the stylised fighting we see in too many films and computer games and whilst for some it’s little short of terrifying, for others it’s bordering on hilarious.

That’s how I have to write it because that’s how it is. Anything else would be a betrayal and I’d lose my readers in a heartbeat.

Quite rightly too.

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top dog, brimson. hooligans, author, film, screenwriting, violence, crime, thrillerThe next few weeks (maybe even days) will see a couple of announcements on the movie front. The first will almost certainly be the name of the director signed to ‘We Still Kill The Old Way’ and the second will be the release date for ‘Top Dog’.

Assuming all goes to plan, it’s going to be an exciting few months on both fronts.

There have also been a couple of developments on the book side of things the most important of which is that the novel I’ve been working on for the last few months has been scrapped.

I won’t say much about the subject matter for now and normally I’d advise any writer to finish everything they start working on because you never know if it will click into place and come right. However, in this instance, I was happy to go against my own advice purely because I just wasn’t enjoying writing it and with two other books lined up, I was keen to get stuck into one of those which is exactly what I’ve done.

Indeed, the book I’m working on now is actually the one I should have written last year because it’s the one that genuinely excites me.

Yes, Billy’s Log 2 is finally on the way.

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!

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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 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!

Goodbye 2013… You were the year that was!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy new year everyone. Bring it on.

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

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

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!

Top Dog – done and almost dusted.

clapper, film, kemp, sothcott, greens street, top dog, brimson, gregory

 

So that’s that. Whilst there are still a couple of days filming to go, to all intents and purposes my role as the writer of the movie adaptation of Top Dog finished when I drove out of 3 Mills Studio’s in East London last night. To say it has been quite a few weeks would be an understatement.

It’s no secret that my previous experience as a full-on feature film screenwriter wasn’t exactly great but it’s fair to say that as polar opposites go, Top Dog sits firmly in the epic category. Indeed, in all my time on set (and I was on set almost every day) I only had one gripe and that was yesterday evening after what had been a very long, cold and tough day. And no, I’m not going to tell you what it was or who it was with.

Credit for that must go to the amazing production team put together by producer Jonathan Sothcott who not only worked miracles at times but put up with me wandering around asking questions and poking my nose in.

Ironically, as a former military sort where every single thing is religiously and meticulously planned, organised and structured, film sets are actually something of a nightmare as they are, to say the least, chaotic places. Yet to a man (and woman!) the crew on Top Dog were truly brilliant and I doff my cap to them all for what they’ve done these last few weeks.

Much the same can be said of the entire cast who, from the simply awesome Leo Gregory through to the numerous supporting artists (or ‘lads’ as I prefer to call them) who came along simply for the experience of being in a movie, breathed life into my humble script. But I’m not going to talk about them purely because I don’t need to. You’ll soon see for yourselves how good they all were. Believe me, you will.

However the real star of the Top Dog shoot has for me been the director, Martin Kemp. As genuinely nice as you imagine him to be and frighteningly talented, he led from the front every single day and was an absolute pleasure to be around. Just as importantly, as I have previously blogged, he’s taught me so much about the process of developing a script and has even got me to the point where I’ve started to think that I might actually be half-decent at it! Who would have thought?

And so now it’s done, and now I wait. Don’t ask me what comes next because I have no idea. People talk about seeing rough cuts and afternoons in screening rooms but this isn’t my world and so I simply nod my head as if I know what they’re talking about.

What I do know is that when Top Dog is finally put together, it’s going to look fucking amazing. Because I watched it being made, and it was the absolute bollocks.

I cannot wait to do it all again.


top dog, brimson. hooligans, author, film, screenwriting, violence, crime, thriller
 Top Dog will be released next spring/summer but in the meantime, if you’d like to read the book that started it all, you can download it from Amazon by clicking on here

And don’t forget, Top Dog is actually the sequel to #1 best-seller The Crew which is not only available to download as an ebook, but has just been re-issued in paperback. Again, you can purchase that simply by clicking this link. 

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. 

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?

.

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?

.

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