Me & the Movies

The Company of Thieves book cover

Trying to think of who I could send this to in the hope of getting reviews, because despite getting four stars on Barnes & Nobel and Goodreads, under a different title, I still have no reviews on Amazon, which means, of course that sales are extremely slow.

Last night I realised it is most likely to appeal to fans of Tarantino. Like his early work, at least how it appears to me, I’m of the opinion that character is plot, perhaps because I trained as an actor. You put a character in an environment and if that character is true they can only behave in certain ways. This is true whether they’re heroes or villains. And of course heroes can be villainous, villains can be heroic, everyone has private motivations that we might never suspect, and almost no one is exactly who they appear to be.

I might be mistaken when I say this would appeal to Tarantino fans. I’m not a big fan of his work, I still think Reservoir Dogs is his best movie.

Pulp Fiction is funnier but I must have missed half that movie the first time I saw it because I was laughing and looking forward to seeing it again.

Jackie Brown is a much more mature movie (say that really fast!) but I feel it’s let down by him trying to be clever.

I haven’t seen either of the Kill Bill movies and both Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained bored me, so I haven’t bothered with him since.

I’m still acting and with the movie business being what it is I might be shooting my career in the head writing all of the above, but that’s ok; I’m a stage actor! That shouldn’t be taken as snobbery, by the way, movie acting is much more difficult.

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Story

The joy and frustration of writing! I started a short story to put out some new material while I work on the next novel. But it turned into a long and now I’m tempted to make it even longer. It’s the story of how I wrote my first play: Trial of the Living Dead. I hope to have it finished this week, but deadlines and me are on very bad terms.

Writing School

 

Coming home on the bus yesterday a poem filled my mind. That might be a dramatic way of putting it, but still…

The poem is called Hollowman and I wrote it in 1992. I was twenty-two and my writing was full of teenaged angst. In my teens I wrote about sex I wasn’t having and politics I didn’t understand. I started writing poetry when I was twenty-one and holding myself to a higher standard I thought if I used straightforward language it couldn’t be any good. I was part of a writers group, as a rule, when I read my work, the response was silence or a considered nodding of the head. The only, let’s call it verbal feedback, came when I joined a new group; I read out a new poem, a piece I was really proud of, and someone said, ‘That’s shit.’

A few years later living in London, I was going through all my poems, I had a couple of hundred, and decided it was time to find a publisher. I didn’t submit to magazines, I suppose I thought they would never accept my work. Instead I compiled 40 poems into a book which I called Buddy, Can You Spare Me and sent it off to Henry Rollins. I never heard anything back and a few months later I left London.

As I write I remembered before London, I submitted a manuscript to Gallery Books because they were the best poetry publisher in Ireland. I knew so little at the time that I had double spaced everything!

Hollowman

Screaming dream machines
Collide in ecstacy,
Dreams are there to dream
Dreams are there to realise.
The dance of the Hollowman
With a beauty trip
And an empty can.

In the sudden silent stillness
We see and feel the shake,
This attracts us
And repel us
And propels us
Into motion.

The Hollowman can dance
And his lips can move,
But his hands are empty.

——

My writing has changed now, and maybe within the next year I’ll have enough poems to start submitting to magazines.

As I said before, I can’t help thinking that if I ever become a famous writer the book will turn up and be widely overpraised or over criticised, depending on the critic.

Meanwhile, here’s the freebie, what I now think of as my student work.

TEACH YOURSELF TO LIVE

Street Performance

An acrobat leaps
On Grafton Street
Sculpting the air

Sculpting memory

Kindling dreams.

Online Cupid Play

 

I’ve just finished the second draft of my new play, Online Cupid. That’s right people, it’s based on my book Online Cupid. Anyway, a couple more drafts and I’ll be looking for a theatre company.

Damn!

 

I suppose it had to happen sooner or later; my books The Company of Thieves and Online Cupid were doing well in the Genre Busting category on Amazon until the March of Porn! Online Cupid is still there, The Company of Thieves is gone.

So begins the quest for a new category and visibility.

In the interest of visibility, here’s a free download of Day 1 of Online Cupid,

Untitled Opening

This is the opening paragraph of the book I’m working on at the moment. I wrote the first draft longhand and have just started putting this on computer, that will be the second draft. Then I’ll do as many as it takes to get it right – which might mean throwing out this paragraph.

* * *

Frank Moran opened the door to his father’s house and stepped out into a glorious morning. Only the raven struck a note of evil. At least that’s how Frank saw it; a moment of darkness, climbing, diving and wheeling in the blue. Beyond the fields, Frank could see the new houses that his father had written to him about – when was that? Jesus, it must have been twenty-five years ago. Beyond the houses, he knew, what was left of the town hung on as best it could. After having been bypassed, the town lost more business when a supermarket complex opened about ten miles away, taking business away from the surrounding towns. For a moment, Frank wondered if there was anything he could do to help the town – his home town – the town that had made him – recover. But he brushed the idea aside, it was just cheap sentiment.