Every now and then it’s good to stop and look around you, and check out what your friends/colleagues are doing the utter bastards for inspiration. Or ‘frolleagues’, as I like to call them.
First up, Jason Arnopp has written a fiendishly entertaining book called The Last Days of Jack Sparks about a celebrity journo who sets out to debunk an exorcism like the total gobshite that he is. It’s a brilliantly funny and scary book, and not just because I say so – it’s been much heralded since its release and looks set for even bigger and better things. Read all about the book here and/or check out Jason’s site here. Prior to publication (and indeed, the merest whiff of a book deal), I much admired Jason’s writing schedule he set himself. ‘Coming for a pint, Jason?’ ‘No, I’m writing’. WHATTHEACTUALF? But hey, that’s focus and dedication for you, and look where his hard work paid off. Brilliant.
Also brilliant: James Moran. He’s so positive and proactive, happily trying out new things and seeing how they fit or feel, like his ‘writers on writing‘ interview series (feat Jason Arnopp!) or his ‘not guilty pleasures’ podcast (also feat Jason Arnopp, hmm, people will talk). James has gone one step further than his vidterviews and podcast to make a new web series called Mina’s Journal; a fun adaptation of Dracula. CHECK IT OUT!
Bringing it back to book deals, writing heroes Nick Ostler and Mark Huckerby have recently published Defender of the Realm “a superhero adventure for 9-12 year olds and everyone else”, which (to no-one’s surprise) is brilliant (and they won an Emmy earlier this year!). Long standing queen bang2writer Lucy V Hay only just got herself a book deal for her new crime novel; congrats! Plus, Lisa McInerney won the Bailey’s Women Prize for Fiction with her debut book, The Glorious Heresies, which I urge you to read (I first heard of Lisa via her Arse End of Ireland blog which was great but alas no more). (Turns out Lisa’s friends with Kevin Lehane, who worked on my short film Origin and I helped him a little with Grabbers, and Kevin’s been really inspiring of late, having written Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories for Sky, and has a host of other exciting things on the go.) There’s news of other frolleagues being shortlisted for writing competitions and prizes, but they can’t reveal anything yet; needless to say it’s all very inspiring and exciting stuff all round. Enough to keep your motor going when your writing engine seems to stall.