Monday, February 24, 2014

A tribute (and a thank you) to the late, great Harold Ramis

It's no secret that while I may have been during the tail end of the 70s, I consider myself an 80s kid, through and through. I mean I may have been born 3 years before the decade started, but I grew up in the 80s, and something like is bound to have a big effect on a growing boy. Like everyone who was a child during the greatest decade there ever was, there's one thing that influenced me more than any other, beyond Transformers, or He-Man, or Duran Duran, or Robocop, or Frankie Goes To Hollywood, or any of that stuff.

Yes, I'm talking about Ghostbusters, a movie that, in hindsight, had a spectacularly big effect on how I write, and how I even think about plot-lines. And so, it was with a heavy heart that I read the news today (courtesy of The BBC), saying that Harold Ramis has died, aged 69...

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Want instant fame? Create an insanely stupid conspiracy theory!

I was watching TV today, and I was quite shocked to see a new advert for Tetley Tea show up ('cos there's not been one on telly for four years). I was also quite shocked, in a really rather good way, to see that it's got aliens in it...

Now that is a cool alien design. However, after I'd boggled at how cool it was to see aliens advertising the very elixir of life (I haven't been this excited about an advert since the Smash robots), I had another thought, and it was this: "I wonder if someone has now said this advert is part of the alien conspiracy theory?"

So I had a look, and glory be, the conspiracy theorists didn't disappoint...

Sunday, February 02, 2014

I wonder how hard it would be to write a sci-fi novel for the whole family...

I'm rather proud of the Cynos Union series, but then, I suppose I should be, because it's my baby. 'Tis the first ever book series I've published, after all, and like they always say, you never forget your first. It took me a long time to be able to say it (crippling self-esteem issues are always fun), but I'm proud of what I've achieved with the Cynos Union, and pre-emptively proud of what I'll achieve with it next.

However, while the Cynos Union series is many things, what it's categorically not is "suitable for younger readers".

There's entirely too much effin' and blindin' for that (which was bound to happen since the main characters are mostly salt of the earth Yorkshire sorts), not to mention the odd evisceration, and it's for that reason that each and every Cynos Union book comes with a disclaimer in the front-matter, saying that it's for mature readers only. But what if I went for a book that didn't need that disclaimer?

Basically... writing a young adult/teen fiction novel that the whole family can enjoy: how hard can it be?