Here’s a Q&A over on the Manchester Literature Festival blog for an event I’m doing at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation on Friday October 10th. Do come if you’re around. I’m also proud to be judging the Blog North Awards 2014 earlier that week. Manchester, I miss you and I’m looking forward to spending some time with you. Especially YOU.
Back in April Animals was optioned as a film by the very brilliant producer Sarah Brocklehurst, who was nominated for a BAFTA in 2012 for Black Pond (a clever, dark, absurd British comedy) and named a Screen International Star of Tomorrow 2014. Here we are being silly in a photobooth.
Since then, Sarah and I have been working to get funding so that I can write the screenplay, which I’ve always wanted to do even though I’m sure it’s going to be solid getting my head round a totally new discipline (Me: “Er, isn’t it just dialogue?” Everyone who works in film: “NO”). The British Film Institute has a department called Creative England, which supports projects like ours, and they’ve just awarded us funding and mentoring, so we can go ahead. Hooray! Thanks, BFI. This week I start writing the treatment and once that’s clear I’ll start expanding this into the script. I’m going to be meeting regularly with a proper screenwriter to check I don’t veer off track (likely). We’re aiming to have a first draft done by the end of October. Here goes.
Plans are now well underway for the second volume of Curious Tales. Last year there were six of us; this year there will be eight: seven writers and one artist, our very own Beth Ward again, who did such a beautiful job of the illustrations for the first book (as you’ll see above). What else can I tell you? There will be a set of strange and unsettling ghost stories published in a fancy anthology this winter. There will be a series of events (some with mulled wine, some with costumes – well, I’ve got a new Victorian-ish dress, if you drink enough mulled wine and squint it’ll be wraithlike), starting in early December, in libraries and bookshops across the country. The two special guest writers for 2014 are very special indeed. Meantime watch this space. And THIS space. If you like.
I wrote this piece for the Waterstone’s blog about Animals, social disobedience, and an event I’m doing on Thursday evening at Waterstone’s Piccadilly with Zoe Pilger and Helen Walsh. Come!
I did a Shelfie for the Indy mag. You’ll see from this how absolutely excellent I am with technology and things like legible screen-grabs. Hi.
Animals is this month’s ELLE Book Club choice. If you want to take part you can find out more here. You can also download a PDF with discussion points and guidelines on how to set up your own book group if you fancy.