The Walking Dead…and buried?

 

This weekend see’s AMC’s the Walking Dead stand on the cusp of maybe the biggest fall from grace in television history. Here we stand in the middle of it’s eight season feeling pretty much underwhelmed and somewhat not bothered about it, well that’s my feeling anyway, and I’m an avid fan.

I don’t usually do debatable pieces but I feel compelled to give you all my two cents…

To begin with, this article will contain spoilers of the Walking Dead, you’ve been warned! 

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I remember some years back spending the month of August binge watching seasons 1 to 4 of the Walking Dead readying myself for the remarkable season 5 and the year after which saw possibly the most gripping moment on television. Season 6’s finale episode.

You can’t not mention the arrival of the notorious big bad known as Negan, and every top story must have the big bad. Soon after his introduction we realized the Governor was a choirboy compared. The S6 finale had us on the edge of our seat, Rick and the gang were on their knees literally and were putty in Negan’s hands. What a huge moment for TV, an introduction like nothing we had ever seen and a monologue sequence by Jeffrey Dean Morgan which put viewers for the first time in a wonderfully weird position, a love to hate position for record breaking viewing figures. Then, we had to wait half a year to see who died. Say what you like about that moment, but that was part 1 of TWD’s peak.

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Season 7 opened where we left off, Rick is a defeated man, his eyes say it all, fantastic acting from everyone in this episode, much like all of the series. That episode did something to the audience which has never been done before. We felt demoralized, down and not wanting to see any more. I didn’t want to watch anymore, seeing such strong characters chopped down.  I have never felt that way about a story before. Two beloved characters fell, Glenn and Abraham, a shocking turn of events and even then it didn’t cheapen the major character death thing that Game of Thrones loves to do, quite well mind. We as an audience were wounded. And that folks was the very peak of this show, it never got better than that.

It just went downhill…

The Walking Dead has never recovered from that moment and the introduction of Negan. I’m not sure the show knew what to do with him next, maybe the greatest thing about the show (him), ended up being its true demise. Looking at the current mood on social media, most people are not happy with the show.

And  S7 had it’s moments, the whole Daryl getting kidnapped easy street thing was good, and the Hilltop seemed intriguing, along with an introduction to King Ezekiel by way of Morgan and Carol. Dwight’s character was perfectly conflicted and full marks for Eugene. All of these ingredients were the perfect recipe for this show to really push forward and move into a whole new chapter, war. Except that didn’t really happen. Season 7 was a sluggish decline all the way to the finale when we finally saw the three ‘good’ communities unite, that was awesome, but was that really enough? We finally saw Negan retreat, just about, and was that enough?

Although the whole long hard season thing worked to an extent, viewers didn’t get anything from it. There was no Negan origins story, no signs of any real fight back and no consistency with how the last seasons dealt with any resolve. Okay, some series are allowed a duff season, I can allow that considering the Walking Dead has a fantastic cast of actors who take their craft seriously. The zombie effects are second to none, but the story; began to show signs of crashing and burning throughout season 7. And then the first half of Season 8 happened.

The opening three episodes opened with a good effort of trying to replace the missing action from the previous season. But it didn’t feel like an ‘all out war’, as advertised. a lot of it just seemed over pushed and over done just to cater for S7. I know this show doesn’t like to explain things and sometimes that’s good for ‘creative scope’ but I began to question what exactly was going on.

Negan looked to be on the back foot but then the resolve of that angle just fizzled away. And again we saw no origins story. We are then led to believe the Saviours are trapped in their own compound but then just got out. The one good thing about S8 was the King, and his epic ‘still I smile’ routine which got dashed and ruined. Don’t get me started on how pointless the tiger turned out to be! Jesus appeared to be a complete flake, a soggy corn flake actually and his confrontation with Morgan was underused.

So the Saviours get out with no real harm and go straight after Alexandria. Quickly they dismantle the place and pretty much level it. We see a brief exchange/fight between Rick and Negan, again not enough. The good guys and characters we have come to love are hidden underground, and then it gets revealed Carl has been bitten.

There’s no real indication as to where Season 8 part two will go. Like many of the seasons they play up to the unpredictable nature of what a zombie apocalypse is but there’s hardly anything left for me to look forward to. I’m not bothered at all about tuning in this monday (sunday for US fans).

If you ask me, there’s something really wrong probably happening underneath the hood of the car as to speak. You can almost sense that in Talking Dead when Scott Gimple sat on the couch. He confirmed Carl will die, a character we all thought would see the finale episode. How many high profile original character deaths can an audience deal with until they call time?

Rumour and induendo suggest that Gimple has been removed from his current position and there have been talks of a ‘shake up’ but again this gives me little faith for S8 part 2. More news has recently surfaced that Lauren Cohan (Maggie) hasnt signed on currently for Season 9. Another top character death will bring the walking dead on the verge of being buried and with no signs of retribution for Glenn’s death by the birth of their child.

My conclusion is simple, if this was a show based off my books, I would have stepped in a long damn time ago and never let this show get to this stage. Negan is slowly becoming a pointless novelty, albeit well portrayed like all of the cast who I imagine work so hard to convince us and immerse us into this world. Time is quickly running out for probably the most watched television in a generation.

Netflix are becoming stronger and stronger, they started out with producing low budget high performance quality shows. Now they are producing high budget, high quality performance shows at an increasingly quick rate. If they were to create a high budget zombie show, then it could be curtains for TWD.

There are some great shows currently streaming; Altered Carbon, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Westworld, Black Mirror to say a few.

Broadcast television has to catch up in terms of quality story. And for the network that brought us Breaking Bad, AMC are a far cry away from those days now.

I will be tuning in, but the Walking Dead currently sits on probation/ last chance saloon for me. In the words of Shrek, it could be ‘all ogre now’…

 

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Darkest Hour Review

It’s February again, somehow. So I had better write another blog post before my 100 plus followers forget me. Yeah I said 100 plus! There has been an influx of new follows to the site as of recent and I must thank you all for the support, why not stay a while and read my latest movie review…

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It’s 1940, and Great Britain is on the back foot of a crushing European Invasion from Germany. Their forces are in retreat and have been pushed back. Many of the soldiers are pinned down in either Calais or Dunkirk.

Back on British soil, the government is in turmoil. The current Prime Minister and his support is in disarray (quite like today but on a lesser scale). There are calls for a new Prime Minister, and that is where our story begins…

Darkest Hour

I imagine this film will be used in schools for many years to come. It begins much like a documentary as the credits open showing black and white images of war over a silent soundtrack, nobody in the busy cinema made a sound or rustled a bag of M&M’s. Quickly we are taken back to a time full of uncertainty, a time not far from our own.

A raucous crowd of politicians are gathered in London’s Houses of Parliament and call for the current Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) to step down. This is so a coalition government can be formed. We soon find ourselves introduced to the man who gets the job, Winston Churchill via Gary Oldman in what will probably be his finest hour in acting.

Now I’m a 90’s kid, I never knew what Winston Churchill was really like apart from footage of the past, but I can honestly say I believed it was him throughout and not Gary Oldman who brings an assertive but endearing take on one of history’s greatest ever leaders.

We don’t just see him as a leader who can talk the talk, we see Churchill behind closed doors, we see him toiling over speeches not only he writes but with his assistant Elizabeth Layton played by Lily James in a just as convincing role. In fact the whole cast were convincing throughout and delivered a masterclass in not only history, but of those who wrote it.

There were recurring scenes throughout the film as Churchill met with King George IV depicted by Ben Mendelsohn in what is another Oscar worthy shout in this film. It showed their relationship build from the ground up. We saw Churchill battle his own war cabinet, whom he selected himself and yet another great performance comes from the one true king of Westeros Stannis Baratheon; Stephen Dillane (Viscount Halifax).

Darkest Hour is a simple film and a complex film at the same time. It’s a simple nod to history but shows the complexity of how the world achieved peace through sacrifice. It stands as a reminder to not only great leaders but the people on the ground who experienced war first hand. I guarantee you will laugh out loud and be moved emotionally.

There were some fantastic scenes depicting the times of struggle and showing the mood of people on the streets and London underground. What I liked the most was indeed the amount of powerful quotes in this film (below).

My verdict is this film is must see for the history lesson, but you’ll stay for the performances.

King George VI:  How do you manage drinking during the day?

Churchill: Practice.

King George VI: One never knows what’s going to come out of your mouth next. Something that’ll flatter, something that’ll wound.

Winston Churchill: My e-emotions are unbridled. A wildness. In the blood. I share with my father. And my mother also. We lack the gift of temperance.

 

Churchill: Those who never change their mind never change anything.

 

2018 Preview

Happy New year loyal reader and welcome to 2018! My blog is back for what will hopefully be the biggest yet for my writing.

‘They’ do say it takes 5 books to finally ‘feel’ any success towards being an author and so 2018 will see the arrival of not 1 but 2 more books to the back catalogue. That puts me 1 away from being a modern Tolkien right? We’ll see I guess but first before I talk about my books I want to address the white elephant in the room!

Star Wars – What were they thinking?

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This review will contain spoilers, but if you haven’t seen the Last Jedi, scroll on or don’t see it, I stand in either choice right now…

That bad? Well thinking about it and having let the whole thing sink in after xmas, yes. Now not all of it was terrible and as a casual (didn’t see them fully until my teens) fan I found myself wondering what the hell they were doing along with ‘hey that was pretty good’. There were some parts of the Last Jedi I did really enjoy, I could count them on one hand and on the other hand all of the bad or shall I say unnecessary plot arcs, events and characters that took up too much of the long run time.

It felt as if all the great work and promise from the force awakens seemed to be completely ignored or dashed by new the director Rian Johnson (the now voldemort of films). We didn’t see anywhere near the screen time needed for both Finn and Poe Dameron. Instead we are introduced  to filler characters. Some of which are trying to make an already richly diverse universe even more so. This time around the whole diversity thing just felt pushed. I mean the world is obsessed by such a thing which the original Star Wars had. Princesses that were strong and could fight, different skin tones and accents, its all there in a new Hope.

I cant get my head around why they cocked this up but they did. And for those who had waited 40 years to see their master Jedi return, you will be disappointed by Luke Skywalker, the recluse who spends a film ignoring Rey.

What interests me the most is an impending doom of where they will go next. Maybe Rock ‘the Dwayne Johnson’ was right by releasing Jumanji at the same time…

Let’s talk my books 2018…

Loyal followers will know this year will see two books come out.

The Teleporter

In a world where there are already too many super heroes, comes another super hero…

teleporter

Okay that may be a bit broad, but the Teleporter, arrives this April/May and promises to be of novella length. This short mainly comedic piece will see one layabout drunk guy accidentally acquire the ability to Teleport! Some other stuff happens and he tries to save the day and get drunk….

Sounds fun huh? Well I enjoyed writing what is a departure from horror and took my time to create something which will hopefully be a barrel of laughs. There will be more teasers like the one on the left soon. You can find more information here.

 

Cemetery House

‘Survival was only the beginning…’ 

The long awaited sequel to Open Evening arrives this Halloween and sets out to tell the story of those who survived that night in Haddington. We will see an extended origins arc for Twister who has to ‘go home’, this time around he’s not alone. Here’s the teaser trailer…. 

Cemetery House will also connect with Darke Blood resulting in a crossover coming 2019!

 

 

A guide to book promotion

The thing about life and doing stuff means that sometimes you gain experience. And to be more specific, when it comes to writing books (I currently have 2 published with 3 in the pipeline) I have learned all sorts of crazy, funny and sometimes important things. I’ve dabbled many times in sharing my experiences all things publishing and this post is indeed another branch from my resources section.

This is my guide to book promotion…

First of all the results I got from my various endeavours is subjective and dependent on a lot of things. This includes: the type of book you are promoting, the state of the market, timing, pricing, quality of product and how it looks, how many reviews, yada yada yada.

A lot of things have to align pretty well for any book to sell, even thought there are snake like marketing tactics to trick people into buying things. You wont find any here, just honest experiences, ideas and tactics.

STEP 1 

Firstly you have to decide what you want. For me personally and my two books, I wanted people to know they existed, quite simply. Thousands of sales would be great but I realistically want to shift enough books just to know they are being read. A majority of 2017 I spent trying to figure out the best way to promote both of my books and truthfully my sales were god awful. (Basically near to zero).

I went from near enough nothing to a maximum of 600 plus sales in 1 day! Hell we even hit number 1 in the occult charts at one point. And there’s no proven secret, you just need to do your homework and that’s the next step.

STEP 2 – RESEARCH 

Now where did I do my homework? Goodreads!

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There are hundreds of discussion boards/groups amongst the grand depths of goodreads full of mostly up to date and historic information. One particular group I joined; ‘Support for Indie Authors’ is packed to the rafters with stuff. And for the first time in my writing life, I knew I wasn’t alone.

This group is full of not only valuable tutorials but it is run by people who have been there just like you, their books haven’t sold either and they discuss it, vent and share. This is the wonderful thing about the modern age we live.

There is a section dedicated to book promotion, and so I got to work deciding how I would go about promoting my books. I wanted people to know my product was there so how would I do that?

I was willing to part ways with some money, not a lot mind, say around £50. How would I know my money was being put to use, I consulted the discussion boards where people tell you results and now here I am.

STEP 3- DECIDE 

I put together a short list of promo service providers. Websites and companies who specialize in promoting books via websites and mailing lists. Some of them promised over 10,000 eyes would look over their newsletters alone. I made contact with ones who looked genuine; many of them have a process such as a form making it all the more easier. I will list my results further down.

STEP 4 – IMPLEMENT 

I timed my booked promotions with a view to eventually give the e-book of Open Evening away for free. I enrolled in KDP select for both books and set up dates for them to be free (5 days in a row). (I only intended Open Evening to be free but Darke Blood was also for a time). Everything was organised and so I waited for the promo dates to roll by.

STEP 5 – TRACK SALES AND RESULTS

Book sales began to trickle in. And so here are the results and who I used:

Before books were free: 

Book Doggy – Cost $10 – Book sales – 21 (not bad huh?)

Bargian Booksy – Cost $43 – Book sales – 21 (somewhat pricey compared to above..)

Fiverr – Cost $5 – Book sales – 3 (Probably not worth it again, but lesson learned)

The 5 days my e-books were free:

Bookwerm – Cost $10 – Book sales – 10

And then things went a little crazy, by day 2 I had sold 83 books and then that number kept growing until my final day of being free. Open Evening was downloaded 629 times. We hit number 1 and many post downloads came in after! oe 1

So there it is, Open Evening officially arrived and I was only just touching the surface in terms of promotions. But this is the beginning.

The good thing about kindle is that you can also track pages read, and so here are my results…

people are reading

As you can see people are reading my book. Which is what I wanted from this, just to let people know it exists. When it comes to promotion of books, the job is never done. And there is always someone who has been in your situation.

Stranger Things 2 : Review

There aren’t many TV shows quite like Stranger Things. I could probably count with one hand the amount of shows with as much binge-a-bility, yep that’s a new word around here. We are in a the golden age of television with multiple Netflix original series spreading their vines amongst the calendar year, no pun intended.

stranger things 2.PNGWhat I will share with you now is the sequel to my Stranger Things review of last year And what exactly do I have to say?  A lot because Season 2 is just as good if not slightly better than the first. There may be spoilers ahead but not many.

So what makes Stranger Things the stand out series of 2017?

The Phenomenal mostly young Cast

Season 1 worked with a particular format and as a stand alone holds up pretty well. But sequels are a fantastic opportunity to expand upon the wealth of wonderful characters, with a cast that matches or even surpasses the likes of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Probably the best thing in stranger things is the cast,  but this time around I found very few things wrong with the show at all.

Long gone is the over done; over the top emotion of Winona Ryder. We see her in a more developed role with a concern for her no longer missing son/ partial newcomer Will Byers Will (Noah Schnapp).  For a character who had a handful of scenes last time around he certainly changed the dynamic of ST2 making it different for the better.

Will Byers takes center stage again in all things plot but this time he is present. He becomes one of the top priorities in a rich multi plot narrative driven by the huge range of characters. From the very beginning we are teased by him that something is coming and his time in the upside down had an effect.

David Harbour as Jim Hopper takes the deserved lead. We see his character explore further into himself and the effects of the upside down world that seems to slowly present itself into the real world. There aren’t many television characters as third dimensional as the conflicted but real Hopper with his cigarette smoking, wheel spinning tough love approach to life. All he wants to do is protect his town and not let the past haunt him.

Gone are the spook type secret people or the ‘bad men’ although the shady department of energy lab is still in operation only this time seemingly in more control of their ‘experiment’ with a convincingly shady Dr Owens (Paul Reiser) being at the helm.

He isn’t the only new character in town as Sean Astin appears in true nostalgic Goonies style eventually providing some important input to the group as Bob the Brain. We see a conspiracy theorist investigator type  (Brett Gelman) provide that well known ‘commie’ hysteria of a town where something happened.

stranger things 2 cast.PNGThis wouldn’t be stranger things without the break out character Eleven and Millie Bobby Brown this time stands alone most of the time. Her performance throughout can be best described as award winning, with that power and emotion wrapped in an essence of historic darkness. We are teased that there are more of her types in the world and this is perhaps something further explored in the latter stages of the series.

The most important element of Stranger things 2 is in fact the kids; or the AV club as I like to call them. Lucas, Mike and Dustin who are all on form and not just a trio this time but with Will back in the fold. The AV club are the character glue of Stranger Things and all of them face new challenges alone and together which is all a part of growing up. Newcomer girl Max (Sadie Sink) provides that extra diversity and perspective of an outsider along with testing the group’s integrity.

Eventually they are joined by boyfriend of Nancy , Steve Harrington (Joe Keery)  who exceeds his character from last season complete with best hair do and really comes into his own as the ‘baby sitter’.

The established friendship of Jonathan Byers and Nancy is expanded upon eventually tying into the main plot like all of the familiar faces seen before. And we even get a nod towards the seemingly not cared about Barb from Season 1!

The Story

Let’s face it, you can have all the nostalgia and nods to various 80’s pop culture stuff, but it’s nothing without an original story. And that’s where Stranger Things sets itself aside from other shows. The story, this time around was sharper toward the end but with a slower build to bringing all the elements together.

Characters were deliberately separate making the viewer want to see the reunion and boy did we have to wait, but boy was it worth it.

From the poster you can see breaking out of red sky the big bad looking thing looming, and I must say it looks badass, or ‘bitchin’ shall I say. After spending three of so episodes re introducing the story we are treated with a continuous build all the way to the final episode. It makes for binge worthy watching and even runs like a 9 hour film. I recommend watching more than one in a sitting as scenes continue and overlap episodes. And no this isn’t like Game of Thrones with the constant death, there’s actual story here so if your perception of TV has been ruined by dragons and incest then you may not like Stranger Things.

Last time round we had the iconic light bulb scene and to me it’s what made the series. Season 2 even nods to that and does the same thing in a different way. All of the questions asked in season 1 eventually become answered, and the world isn’t quite what you thought it was.

The nostalgia

Okay I get it, the whole 80’s thing is cool and season 2 expands with the nostalgia. There are nods to basically everything good about 80’s pop culture. We are treated with a Ghost Busters nod and much of the creature stuff is straight out of Alien/Aliens. We see the Goonies and Stand By Me tributed yet again without complaint.

There is cold war/Russian fear which highlights a different time and the music is on point. The original soundtrack will take anyone back to that time and let’s face it the hair styles are in between good, amazing and terrible. If you like watching a car wheel spin away you’re in luck!

The humour

The Duffer Brothers have grabbed at the opportunity to tell yet another riveting, engaging, edge of seat sitting story which keeps you watching to the very end. There were emotional lump in throat moments along with some real laugh out loud lines from a cast of wonderfully gifted performers. I found myslef smiling at the chemistry some of these guys and gals had on screen. This may be the best show on TV right now and it’s all a bit tongue in cheek.

Final Thought

Our return to Hawkins is an expanded coming of age story. It continues right where it left off and even excels in some parts. The universe in which the upside down world has been fully established and makes great old fashioned television, something which has nearly vanished with the mass over produced stuff we see today.

It truly shows that stories can still be told without graphic sexual content or even politics. Yes it can be scary at times, but grow up if you are bothered by that. If those kids can survive the demo gorgon and demo – dogs then you can too.

If you ask me like last time Stranger Things should be known as Better Things!

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Big Book Update 2018

2018 is closing in on the horizon and I find myself asking where did that year go? Time flies when your kicking ass and writing books. But these days blog posts are rare for me due to my procrastination efforts and my philosophy of no news equals no blog.

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Of course I could find something to vent about, like the deteriorating political situation in ‘insert nation here’ or how ‘insert maniacal world leader here’ will get us all into a nuclear war. It’s safe to say I prefer not to debate and voice opinions of such things, I find most news tiresome, especially when most of it is bad, I’m not ignorant, just selective. All bad news aside, I must say 2017 has been incredibly diverse for me in terms of success and writing efforts.

Earlier in the first half of this year we saw the release of my second novel Darke Blood in which sales are still trickling by and even some fresh reviews have made their way in. The feedback overall has been good and my efforts to publish this book have been very much worthwhile.

oe 1

Open Evening had further success by reaching Number 1 in its Occult category on amazon and sold over 600 copies in a day (it was free to download at the time!).

Soon after DB’s publication and before I got to work drafting my next next book. I say next next because 2018 is a huge year for me.

 

2018 will see two books of mine grace publication. My back catalogue this time next year will increase to 100%! (that’s just maths…) 

So what are they? Well scrolling down past this post you will see my announcement post for CEMETERY HOUSE; the sequel to Open Evening and also linked to the Darke Blood universe! Exciting huh? Click on the picture below to view the teaser. We are looking at a Halloween release for CH.

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So what’s the other book?

Soon after finishing the inital draft of CH I needed a much needed light hearted break away from horror/thrillers and so I got to work on a comedy novella called, wait for it….

THE TELEPORTER; a super hero comedy type story. I am looking at an early April release date and more importantly over the last week I have been in contact with my awesome book publication team and I can confirm…..

both Satin Publishing and Design for Writers will be on board to publish/edit and create an awesome cover not just for the Teleporter but for Cemetery House also!

the to

My next step will be to let my loyal readers know official release dates which will turn up sooner than you think! Hashtag creepy wink!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cemetery House Release Date confirmed

Yep, you read that title right. CEMETERY HOUSE, the sequel to Open Evening has an official release date! There’s a teaster trailer currently making the rounds of the Facebooks so if you see it, remember to give an indie author a hand by liking, sharing and commenting…. 

Seeing as I haven’t blogged in quite a while here’s a rundown of all the recent news from the universe of Lee Hall, procrastination extraordinaire and sometimes word smith…

trailer

Click on me to view the trailer, you know you want to…

September Anniversary Freebie Bonanza!

yeah

Yeah!

A few weeks back I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of becoming a published author via the arrival of Open Evening. For a few days the E-book of both Open Evening and Darke Blood were available for free (I only intended the first book to be free, so a cock up on my behalf). But either way the reaction was massive, and already I have received new reviews from new readers. And I have to say the numbers of downloads were record breaking for me. A new personal best came on the 23rd of last month with over 600 e-books being downloaded. Of course if you were watching, Open Evening shot up the Occult charts on amazon all the way to Number 1! Awesome right?

Drafting finishes for the Teleporter!

My next book will be a novella/shorter story called the Teleporter, and it is predominantly a super hero comedy with elements that break the fourth wall and has some politically loaded messages. Last month I managed to finish the first draft and will hopefully be looking at a release in the fist half of 2018. You can like the Teleporter’s page right here. 

Editing begins on CHc house

Seeing as I have already decided upon a release date for Cemetery House you can probably guess editing is going spectacularly well. The story is shaping up and will be somewhat of a departure from the first one as much as a continuation. Of course I plan on developing characters and giving answers to the readers along with linking this all in with the Darke Blood universe in which a crossover will follow. If you liked the first one, you will love this one, trust me.

 

All I can really say now is thank you for the continued support, reviews, likes and shares. This whole indie author thing only works if awesome people like you who use their right and left turn indicators help me!! 

 

 

IT Review

 

Remakes/ reboots in modern day cinema are as common as a rainy day in the UK and so the Stephen King classic gets the same treatment from maybe his most famous book adaptation, but every so often there comes a remake that stands out above the rest…

it.PNGYes I’m talking about what may be the best and most sought after film of 2017, last night I took full advantage of Empire Cinema’s ‘cheap day’ to check out new release ‘IT’ and I give you my word, not a pair of seats were empty. People were filing in after 20 minutes of the film beginning which tells me people wanted to check this out, and nobody left disappointed. Not that I can speak for the masses but in a word this film was Fantastic!

As some of you know I try my best to avoid spoilers and give most films a review that looks mostly at the good parts, in fact there were hardly any bad at all but we shall get to that..

It’s late 1980’s small town america, Derry to be precise and immediately we are introduced to a harrowing set of eyes glaring out of a storm drain up into the grey rainy suburban street.”Pennywise’ is shown in all his quirky and sinister style with actor Bill Skarsgård bringing a departure to Tim Curry’s version of the clown in which I couldn’t help be fond of in a weird way. To me he was just interesting to watch with his aura of mysterious evil and of course the ability to produce a mouth full of shark like teeth in which he uses right away.

What impressed me the most about this clown character was his psychological element. Pennywise manipulates the minds of children through their own fears and lures them to a horrific end. Hence why the town Derry has 6 times the national average of missing persons.

The main characters of ‘IT’ are made up of a close nit group of friends who eventually self proclaim themselves as the ‘losers club’. They are your typical middle of the road school kids who all have different problems of growing up. Eventually they band together in what is a perfect mix of chemistry between a wide variety of kids all bringing something different to the table, all with a light comedic mix to lighten many of the tense horror moments. Their portrayal impressed me and didn’t feel pushed at all, this was a group that all individually played a part in the team which set out to discover more about this clown. In a way they reminded me of Stand By Me, the Goonies and of course more recently Stranger Things which ticked a box in a big way.

Personally, I felt this film wasn’t that jumpy, now everyone has a different tolerance but I probably flinched once of twice and that’s a good thing. Too many films rely on jump scares where as this one played with your mind more, true Stephen King style. Yes it’s scary but there are too many other good things going on to write it off for just being a horror film. And yes Pennywise isn’t the only horror in this film for the ‘losers’. You’ve got passive aggressive and somewhat violent bullies, abusive or over protective parents along with the many missing children that all fit in and play a part.

I enjoyed this film all the way to the end and to me it didn’t drag or get boring at all. The pacing for such a story felt just right and the modest surprise at the end told us that this was just part 1.

Overall the scary sequences were scary and unpredictable, the cinematography looked great and the effects were consistently real. It wasn’t that scary and definitely worth a look even for some of the laugh out loud moments in dialogue between the kids. I’m looking forward to Part 2 and IT is easily a candidate for film of 2017!

 

 

Introducing my next book… The Teleporter

‘In a world where every super hero has been rebooted more than once comes a new hero…’

 

My next book’ The Teleporter is a ‘super hero’ comedy arriving in 2018 and is going to be a short story/novella! By that I mean it wont be of standard length for my books, it’s going to be shorter. This book will still have the same amount of girth in terms of story. 

What’s it about?

Some of you will have seen the official announcement via my FB page and you can see a snippet of it below.

This book is predominately a comedy with fourth wall breaking elements and a genre aware story telling style very much seen in Open Evening. But is also a departure from horror and moves my work into a more lighthearted area of reading. Having written comedy only once before for a live action play I am already having a lot fun putting together the pieces that will make up a promising project.

Why ‘super heroes’ ? 

The main character of the Teleporter will tell you very early on that ‘super’ and ‘hero’ are both dirty words in his story and to me they are also. Even though they describe the genre to an extent this book wont be the standard guy trying to save the world. Cinema and television are inundated with comic book hero types and there seems to be no signs of that slowing down anytime soon. Both Marvel and DC are juggernauts in producing these stories which seemed to be unlimited, taking that into account and the success of more comedic swaying stories I have decided to make my own.

The Teleporter is a character I have explored before and it didn’t really get very far. After producing other books I have found some more material and background for this story of a guy who can teleport and that’s about all. Back when I devised this character I did it because there doesn’t seem to be someone who can just teleport, it is a pretty useless super power which will just add to the comedy.

The influences are many in the Teleporter; Deadpool and Hancock come to mind along with Kick Ass and even the Hangover. This is an internet age hero who finds himself no choice but to fight for what is right in a situation.  That is even if he has a slight drinking problem.

You can catch the Teleporter on Facebook and even like his page for support, so check it out.

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Free Facebook Book Giveaway and New Book News!!!

Yes you read that title right, I’m giving more of my books away and I just finished drafting another, but this time I’m doing something I have never done. Both Darke Blood and Open Evening are up for grabs together…

This special one time promotion is driving towards my efforts of reaching the 400 like milestone on my facebook page.

That page and the many loyal likers over the years have been there for me through everything! Thank you to everyone for the support, this has been a wonderful journey with all of those who have joined me since 2012. Old and new, you all rock!

And so as I cruise hopefully soon towards the big Four hundred I have set out to pay that loyalty back.

The details… This Giveaway is closed as of the 12th of July 2017…

 

So if you are interested in entering for a chance to win both of my books signed and sent directly to your door then head on over to my page. I have a post which requires liking and commenting on (below). I will also suggest that you like my page but this isn’t mandatory but will end the giveaway sooner as the closing date is reaching 400 likes! 

giveway

CLICK ON ME TO ENTER!!

 

The other huge news is….

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Yes If you follow me on instagram and of course Facebook you will know that yesterday I crossed another enduring milestone. My next book is officially drafted! Right now all I will say is that yes it is the sequel to Open Evening and it is called CEMETERY HOUSE. 

Those who have read Open Evening all the way through will know a little something about where the story will go next. This time around instead of introducing a universe I have taken that ball and gone all out into a sprint with it! Hopefully after some extensive work before even taking it to a professional edit, we will have an awesome sequel which carries on the story.

And yes this book is also linked to Darke Blood and will follow into the Darke Blood sequel! 

That wraps up this weeks news and now I need to lie down. Peace out, don’t text and drive and thank you new/old followers/likers/readers/fans/cats….