David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ has been a favourite of mine for many, many years- since 1971, in fact, when I became a teenager. Thirty-five years later, I fell in love with it all over again when BBC1 aired ‘Life on Mars’ and introduced me to the talents of actors John Simm and Philip Glenister.
Now the fantastic London Contemporary Voices have covered ‘Life on Mars’ and it is so beautiful that I just had to share it with you. Sit back and enjoy…
I primarily write science-fiction, but I’m a sucker for a good story with believable and sympathetic characters, whatever the genre. (As, I’m quite sure, are you.) The same goes for my TV and film choices. So my recent viewing has included dramas such as ‘War & Peace’, ‘Dickensian’, ‘Humans’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Detectorists’ (yes, I know it’s comedy, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s still drama), ‘Dad’s Army’ (ditto), ‘River’, ‘Prey’, ‘True Detective’, ‘Ten Little Soldiers’… and of course, ‘Doctor Who’. Films like ‘Transcendence’, ‘Big Hero 6’ and ‘Avatar’ rub shoulders in my DVD collection with ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ , ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ and ‘Gone Girl’. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. A good story is a good story, regardless of genre.
A book is the longest of long form drama…
A book is, ultimately, the longest long form drama of all, isn’t it? The visuals take place in your imagination, rather than on a television or movie screen, but the dramatic principles are the same, only the way in which they are presented changes. Now we get to the question of genre – the one thing we are taught that we should know about our stories when we write, pitch and market them. But what if your story appears to cross genres? How do you market it to attract all the readers who might want to read it? And so we find ourselves taking part in the Genre Game. Continue reading “Genre – should we pigeonhole our books?”
Almost a year ago, in February 2015, I began work on the promotional trailer for my science-fiction novel, ‘The Methuselah Paradox’. February and March were spent writing the audition script and looking for voice artists to bring my characters to life. Once the final cast member had been signed up, then it became about looking for artists and illustrators to add the visuals… a composer was commissioned to create original music… and then came the next challenge – crowdfunding. Working out how much everything else would cost, deciding which crowdfund site to go with, writing the pitch… and trying to get up the courage to go on camera and tell the world all about my novel and the trailer in person… and putting the final touches to the manuscript itself.
And as every writer knows, the more time you have to tinker with something, the more you will tinker, and tweak, and start to doubt yourself… have I really got a good story here? Will people want to read it, will they buy the book, will they believe in the project enough to want to donate money to help me make the trailer?
Well, I have asked myself those questions and many more, and have been deeply moved each time someone takes a leap of faith in me and makes a donation. To everyone who has donated so far (including those who gave so generously but didn’t want to be publicly acknowledged – which is why I now need slightly less than the totals given on the site!) I want to say a HUGE ‘Thank You’. I can’t wait to start sending out the scripts to my cast and seeing it all come together!
There will be more news soon. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a message from actor Richard Oliver, who is the voice of Tom Morgan in the trailer: A message from Richard Oliver