November 26, 2017
Writing a book and seeing it published is quite a feeling. I remember vividly the buzz I got from holding a copy of my first book. Twenty books later I still get the same sense of excitement. These days, not every book goes through the traditional route of publishing and self-publishing is now a very respectable way of getting your book to the public. I am doing some editing for Tay Books, which helps people self-publish their books to the highest possible professional standards. Are you looking to get your book out there? Who knows? We might wind up working together.
November 2, 2017
As winter arrives and the weather turns cold here in Scotland, it feels apt that the next Commando I wrote is set in the icy north of Canada with a dip into a real bit of history - the British plan to build an artificial iceberg made of pykrete, a mixture of ice and wood pulp that's as solid as concrete. It was a genuine idea that was really looked into. The artificial iceberg would have acted as a sort of aircraft carrier, hosting squadrons of Spitfires in the North Atlantic. It's the sort of the I can help wishing had actually been built.
October 27, 2017
Here's a little book I did for Black & White Publishing. I have a fair bit of history with the Broons and Oor Wullie. When I was a kid we always went to my grandparents' house on a Sunday. When it rained, us kids were shoved into the house's hall to play or read or whatever and we often read the Broons and Oor Wullie books which my grandfather - our Papa - collected. Since then my sister has collected the books and in 2005-2006 I handled the pages for the Sunday Post newspaper, occasionally writing scripts when needed. Since I went freelance I've written for the characters as well. I'm hugely fond of them and am delighted to have a connection to these Scottish icons. This book is full of art by the legendary Dudley Watkins and is on sale now, I think.
October 15, 2017
I'm back in the land of Erimem next year, writing the novella, The Egyptian Falcon, which is set in 1940s Hollywood. Later in the year I also have the Erimem novel, The Final Frontier, which may sound a bit Star Trek-y... the reason being that it's a full on space opera novel. Space battles, alien races, galactic war... with a bunch of characters in the middle of it, most of whom admit they love Star Trek and love that they're getting to live it.
October 08, 2017
Well, lookee here, I have another Commando story published. This one started life in my head way back in about 2013 when I was actually working on the editorial staff of Commando. However, I never got the chance to write it at the time. But I have now... it's meant to be a bit Jack Higgins or Alistair Maclean. It's a thriller that starts during WW2 and finishes with the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Target: Armageddon was good fun to do, I must admit.
October 04, 2017
A collection of scripts from Imagination Theatre's Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series will be released to go alongside the ongoing MX Sherlock Holmes anthologies. They're for the good cause of the repair and upkeep of Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former homes. None of the writers or actors involved are picking up a penny for this. Everything is going to the good cause. It's being crowdfunded through Kickstarter. You can read more about it here. The story Claire and I contributed is The Beast of Hyndford, which may just have won an award at the Moondance International Film Festival. Did I never mention that before? I'm so modest, you see...
September 14, 2017
OUT! is now out! My new Young Adult book is published by Badger Learning. It's a tale of a teenage girl coming out to her family and dealing with the repercussions.
From the intro page of the book...
This diary belongs to Jacqueline Harrison Jax
(nobody calls me Jacqueline and lives)
P.S. If you are reading this and you are not me, you’re in trouble. I know who you are and I know where you live…
September 7, 2017
I've got another Commando out today. This one's a WW2 espionage tale. One of my favourite TV shows from the late 70s/early 80s was Secret Army. I dipped into the atmosphere of that when I was thinking about some Commando plots... Fatherland more action based than Secret Army was but that show was a big influence on me when I was plotting and trying to come up with the atmosphere of this story.
September 4, 2017
The latest Erimem novel, Three Faces of Helena, is now available. It's written by me - even though it wasn't meant to be. This book ties up the backstory of Helena and features legendary explorer Allan Quatermain. It's available in hardback, paperback and large print format from Thebes Publishing.
August 31, 2017
Over at Imagination Theatre's Youtube channel you can listen to Curse of the Mummy, a Hammer-esque horror I wrote with the splendid Claire Bartlett. There's one very obvious Doctor Who gag and you can play the game of "Which Hammer stalwart did they have in mind when they wrote this character?" Just imagine it was being made around 1971 or 72, and then wonder who Hammer would have cast.
August 30, 2017
The first of my Commando scripts is now available. It's not the first thing I've written for Commando. I worked on the staff there from late 2013- early 2014 and wrote some short text stories for the back cover flaps, but this is the first full-length Commando script I've written. I have to say it's a real joy to write these stories. They're roughly the length of a movie script and you've got 135-140 pics to tell that story in. I also remember my grandfather - my old Papa - reading Commando, sitting in a deckchair in his garden back when I was a kid. I hope Papa would have approved of The Battle to Britain.
July 21st, 2107
So here's a thing. I've written a novel based on The Omega Factor for Big Finish. It's called Spider's Web and you'll be able to get your hands on it in February of 2018. The novel is set during the 1970s series. All I'm saying is that I've tried to make it feel like an episode of the show, and root it in that 1979 world. Beyond that... ask me later. And if you haven't seen The Omega Factor, go and find it on DVD and listen to Big Finish's audio revival which is also excellent.
July 17, 2017
So, this is the new face of the Doctor. To quote the Ninth Doctor... FANTASTIC!
Jodie Whittaker is a terrific actress. Anybody who's seen her in anything will tell you that, I(f she didn't break your heart in Broadchurch, you probably don't have a heart.
Some people don't like the idea of a female Doctor. Personally, I think it's great. I had been hoping for Hayley Atwill. The Doctor has changed height, he's changed hair colour, he's changed from top to toe. I don't see any downsides to this - and I think it'll be a big boost for the show. The Doctor will always be the Doctor. She's going to be great.
July 7, 2017
Before Imagination Theatre closed its doors I had written a script for their Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes radio series which was never produced. The episode, The Strange Case, is a two-hander focusing on just Holmes and Watson. It has now been produced and is available on Imagination Theatre's youtube page. Imagination Theatre has been an important part of my life for a long time now. I was saddened when they closed up shop, though at 90 or 91 the owner, the legend that is Jim French had more than earned his retirement after spending seven decades making radio, the last twenty something of those making radio drama with Imagination Theatre. I hope the company has a future of some kind. Radio drama is beginning to thrive again. Jim French, Larry Albert and Sable Jak at Imagination Theatre fought hard to keep radio drama alive during rough times for the medium. They deserve to be at the heart of its revival.
June 16, 2017
Okay, so this little beauty seems to have been announced today. It's a collection of tales told by characters from the Holmes canon other than Dr Watson. There are some really great writers in this book - as well as me. My story is called The Unfortunate Guest and is told by... oh, just grab the book and you'll find out whose telling the tale. There are more details of the book here.
May 7, 2017
A couple of people have been in contact asking about the future of Kerides the Thinker, the show Claire and I did regularly for Imagination Theatre. With IT closing its doors, it seemed that Kerides may have solved his last case. That's not the way of it. One way or another we will be returning to Kerides. We may do it as a novel or a collection of short stories, we might just release the scripts that were written or plotted but never recorded or... well, if there's an 'or' I'll let you know. Bottom line, though, is that we'll be coming back to Kerides one way or another. And a huge thank you to those who have been in touch about the series. We really appreciate it.
March 13, 2017
It's always nice when a new project gets announced... especially when it's one that means a lot to me.
I've written one of the stories in Big Finish's Doctor Who box-set The Churchill Years Volume 2, which will be available in February 2018. It looks like a cracking set of stories. You can see a bit more about them here at the Big Finish website.
My story, Human Conflict, is set in 1941 and has weapons, secrets and guilt all coming to the fore. If you're very good I'll tell you more about it closer to the time.
As for why it means a lot to me... obviously Doctor Who is my favourite TV show, but Churchill has been someone I have been fascinated with for years. It's not just his war-time leadership that interests me. He was the MP for my home town of Dundee for more than a decade and managed to fall out with more or less everybody there, including the local publisher... who I incidentally used to work for, and indeed still freelance for on occasion. So this feels quite personal for me and I had a hoot working on it, and I really enjoyed working with Script Editor Matt Fitton.
March 04, 2017
So, it's time for a new Doctor Who... everybody has their favourites and their opinions on this. Paul Bettany has always been somebody I would love to see as the Doctor in my fantasy world where budgets and schedules don't matter but right now I think it's time for a more diverse choice so my pick would be Hayley Atwell. (I found that pic on Facebook and if feels right - and major kudos to whoever Photoshopped it together.) She has the same kind of sparkle about her that David Tennant and Matt Smith have. She can do drama, she's funny and she's smart. I think she's perfect for it. Adrian Lester would be a good pick too. Whoever it is, the new Doctor needs to be somebody who can engage existing or lapsed fans, and attract new generations of kids... because there will be generations who say "That's MY Doctor." Whoever blags the gig... good luck, be brilliant.
December 14, 2016
Not really written by me, this. For the most part it's a story written by the brilliant Simon Forward. However, it also contains a story credited to 'Authors Collective' for which I may or may not have contributed about a thousand words. I'm neither denying nor confirming, just flagging this up because The Xmas Files is free to download from the Candy Jar website. Not bad, eh? Merry Christmas, Brigadier.
December 11, 2016
For anyone feeling Christmassy, the Christmas Erimem book, All I Want For Christmas is available from Monday 12th December. It contains stories by the respected (and terrifying) horror author Daniel McGachey, Beth Jones, author of the forthcoming Erimem novella Churchill's Castle (which will be available at the end of December), Claire Bartlett and me. The stories are all Christmassy in one way or other and it's available through Amazon from Monday 12th.
December 2, 2016
Available soon from Candy Jar Books is Mind of Stone, my novel for the Lethbridge-Stewart series of novels featuring the Brigadier. It's a thriller with some science fiction overtones and, I hope, some good laughs as well. The Brigadier is a long-time favourite of mine. It's a pleasure to have written for him again.
November 25, 2016
Coming in January 2017, is Last Year, a novel in Badger Learning's Young Adult Reads range. Told in diary form it's the story of a teenage girl coming to terms with her mother's life-threatening illness and its repercussions. It's not a comedy but it's not as completely downbeat as it sounds either. It's a very honest look at illness and bereavement.
October 25, 2016
This year's Halloween play for Imagination Theatre is Behind the Masque. For various reasons I won't go into their version is, I believe, a variation on my script. My version will be performed on stage in 2017. The scripts of both my theatrical script and my original radio version are available in this book which can be picked up from Amazon.