Tuesday, 30 December 2008


I get asked quite a lot whatever happened to the movie version of Cycle of Violence - Crossmaheart. Despite some good reviews and festival appearances, it never got a proper release in the cinema or appeared on DVD or video. It's more than ten years old now, but surprisingly enough it is still turning up on TV - albeit on a channel you might not be a regular viewer of. It you have Sky (I'm not sure how many of the other services have it) you'll have access to a movie channel called Movies for Men. It sounds like a porn channel (and late at night, sometimes is), but at least half a dozen times in the last month Crossmaheart has cropped up there, usually in the wee small hours. So keep an eye on the schedules, you might see it again soon.

2009 and all that.....

.....oh my God, it is nearly five months since I last updated this, despite promising myself I was going to chat happily away on a regular basis. I suppose part of the problem has been that last time I passed comment on something here it got lifted by a tabloid newspaper and turned into a big story along the lines of 'Bateman Blasts BBC Bosses'. As an ex-journalist I should have known that opening my mouth, even though tongue was firmly in cheek, might have had consequences. It is also, I suppose, a lesson to everyone who looks upon blogging as something akin to a diary which is only read by a few privleged friends. It's not, anyone can read it and steal it and twist it. Paranoid? Moi?

Anyhoo, a new year and what is there to look forward to?

Well, Mystery Man, the next novel (two chapters below) is published on April 30. There will be launch parties for sure in No Alibis in Belfast, and I think probably in Bangor Library - that's my home town. I'll also be reading from it at two events in Paris in May. There should be other events lined up nearer the time, and I'll keep you posted on those.

I enjoyed writing Mystery Man so much that I'm already half way through the follow up - The Day of the Jack Russell.

This month also sees me start work on an original television script called 'Alice Glass', which I'm quite excited about. Can't tell you much more about it as yet; if it doesn't go as a television series I may turn it into a novel.

The reason I say 'if it doesn't go' is that the chances of any script being made are ridiculously small, there are only a very limited number of outlets and an awful lot of competition for them. Plus you can spend an awful lot of time working on something which ultimately doesn't get made and can't be used anywhere else. For example - I spent six months just passed working on a script based on a series of crime novels by another author, only for the project to be suddenly dropped. Obviously my script was FANTASTIC! Problem is if a project I've created myself doesn't work out I can use the material else where, but when it's based on somebody else's work I can't. At least Alice Glass will be all my own, so I'm free to turn it into that novel, or at least a very long narrative poem if the telly doesn't work out!

After Alice then, the plan is to concentrate on National Anthem, a play I've been commissioned to write by a young Belfast theatre company. (They produced Hurricane, about snooker legend Alex Higgins, a couple of years ago, which transferred to the West End). This'll be my first attempt at something for the stage. I've written about a third of it already and am really enjoying the change of scene. If all goes according to plan that'll be on the boards some time in 2010.

Radio Copeland, the sitcom pilot I've written for BBC Radio is due to be recorded shortly. We're just about to get into casting that.

Although my documentary on Belfast for BBC NI never actually got made in the end, for a whole host of reasons, I'm now talking to them about another project which would be VERY EXCITING, but let's not count those old chickens just yet.

Is that enough to be going on with? As ever I have half a dozen other things I WANT to be writing, but for now......