THE SANTA MONICA SUICIDE CLUB

The roots of this novel are wrapped around the time when I kicked a heavy smoking habit. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Naturally it did not take place in Slough or Pinner but in the Pacific Palisades in 2000. To stay sane I wrote a short story about an English priest seconded to Santa Monica and coming up against gangsters in nearby Topanga Canyon.

I wrote two stories and along with many Trebor mint wrappers stuffed them into a drawer. Seven years later, I dug them out and put them in the blender and the S.M.S.C unfolded. Father Tony the priest is still there but has been nudged off the centre stage by a new character. M is a failed British actor turned private investigator based in Santa Monica. Hooked on Trebor mints, he drives an expensive old Swedish car and is desperate for cash, a decent case and female company. Like buses, three things come along at the same time.

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO NED

Good things take time to come to fruition. This is a story about a Russian cat living in London who is the only witness to a grisly murder and kidnapping. Grandson of a genetically engineered cosmonaut cat, Ned is not an ordinary cat- which is highly convenient considering the nature of the villain he forces himself to pursue. The book is being developed as a graphic novel.

THE CHARLIE WALLER MEMORIAL TRUST

Due to co-writing ‘You don’t have to be famous to have manic depression…’ I was very fortunate to be invited to speak at a seminar on depression earlier this year. The event took place at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and was titled Depression and What You Need to Know. The other excellent speakers were Professor Roz Shafran and Doctor Brian Marien. To be among such great minds was a fascinating and humbling experience. Anyone in need of good practical help regarding depression and what to do about it, should check out www.cwmt.org. I am going to be giving more talks entitled ‘How to Stay Sane in an Insane World’ later this year.

TWO STEPS FORWARD

A play about an Englishman and American sharing a condemned cell in Afghanistan. They have been together in the cell for three years and become used to an amusing daily routine until one day they hear some bad news about their long term future. Plans are underway for a London production in 2011.

TALES OF ECCO

Jane with EccoDevastated to be bumped out of the leadership contest for the Liberal Conservative Coalition government, Ecco has enrolled in the London 2013 First Dog on Mars programme….A keen space enthusiast, Ecco has agreed to accompany Boris the Mayor of London, on a trip that will take in visits to Mars, the South of Saturn and of course, Sirius the dog star. Her training has already started…by accompanying HRH on a charity run on July 8th for Cancer Research RUN FOR LIFE… a highlight of the event was meeting the definitive Truman Capote actor, Toby Jones.

FILMS

To be recommended:
THE WHITE RIBBON
LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO
I LOVED YOU SO LONG
FANTASTIC MR FOX

BOOKS

To be recommended:
HARUKI MURAKAMI –South of the Border, West of the Sun.
IAN RANKIN- Exit Music
BERYL BAINBRIDGE- The Bottle Factory
WENDY MOORE- Wedlock
RICHARD COLE- Stairway to Heaven.

HBO EUROPE HIJACKED BY MR MURDOCH

I did appeal to HBO to set up HBO Europe in my last posting here. Now it appears that Sky TV has grabbed the opportunity by backing the entire HBO back catalogue.

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