Friday, 16 May 2014

New one-hour version of FRIENDLY DEMON TV drama pilot script

Hi all.

I have just completed polishing the pilot script for FRIENDLY DEMON, family fantasy TV drama series, originally written in 2009.    Series synopsis below.

                                   FRIENDLY DEMON

                                                        By Andrew Hawcroft

                                                              Pilot Episode:

            ‘A FETISH FOR BACON FAT’

In the Sheffield borough of Bluegate, in a charming little semi-detached on Merrydale Street, it is a very special day in the lives of the Leader family.

Gladys and Gordon Leader, and, to a lesser extent, Crumpet, the unmotivated family mongrel dog,(sleeps on his back, legs apart) await the appearance of their eighteen year-old son for breakfast.  Not only is it his first day at Bluegate College of Further Education (“The first college man in our family!”) but eighteen is traditionally the age when a Duman (human with Demon aspect) can first manifest his Demon side.

With great embarrassment, the pleasant and handsome John Leader does indeed Manifest for his family and the couldn’t-give-a-hoot-so-long-as-he’s-fed-and-walked Crumpet.

Proud Mum and Dad have waited a long time for this moment, for there has been doubt as to whether their son actually is a Duman, as Gladys herself is a one but Gordon is not. (Theirs was one of the first inter-species marriages in Sheffield, but then that’s Gladys for you.)

Then it’s back to life as normal as Gladys heads off to her ‘Slice Of Paradise’ cake shop, and Gordon heads off to Consolidated Dairies, where he labours eternally in Sales, never quite getting that promotion.

John has been schooled in his unique heritage since he was seven, and knows how dumb most of the myths involving Demons are.   Demons are no more good or bad than regular people, depending entirely as it does on the nature of the Duman himself.  There are Friendly Demons ( a la The Leaders. Red skin with golden markings,golden Hellfire) and there are Unfriendly Demons (blue skin with green markings, green Hellfire.)   
 John has a dream that the day will come when the numerous Dumans of Sheffield (there’s quite a solid little community there,) along with Dumans of the world in general, can come out of the global closet and integrate fully into society.

John starts College as an Art Major, being a naturally gifted artist all his life. Although he is an outgoing and personable chap, his closest friend is a withdrawn Goth, Kelly Burton, who he has known since her family moved to Bluegate when they were both eleven. Her family are a world away from the loud-but-loving Leaders.  The upper-class Burtons are an unhappy marriage, too afraid to separate and go it alone, and the near-silent and troubled Kelly is their only offspring.    Introverted and rebellious, Kelly has dark purple hair, tattoos, piercings, industrial-strength eye-liner, and a preferance for wearing black. She projects a tough exterior but John knows she is anything but. 
In fact, it is John’s friendship and the affection of his family for the painfully-thin Kelly that has probably saved her from numerous serious teenage afflictions.   Certainly she gets no support or encouragement from her parents. Both work in banking. Both are rich. Both are cautionary tales in terms of parenting.

Kelly herself is studying Biology at Bluegate College to pursue her quiet hope of becoming a veterinary surgeon (and because John is going there.) Her love of animals shines out through the black leather and make-up, and she has a part time job at a local dog-kennels, where the adoring animals give her the affection she doesn’t get at home.

This is good for John, as dogs are the favoured pet of Dumans.  Cats on the other hand, seem to have a natural negative reaction to Friendly Demons, and are instead the preferred pet of Unfriendlys.   Both cats and dogs can sense the Demon quality in any Duman by some primitive instinct.

Life begins to take a strange turn almost straightaway for John as he embarks on his new life as a ‘College Man’.  A very becoming girl named Stephanie Stilton, who models for his Still Life art class, seems to be more than she appears.  Her attempts to befriend John mask a deeper motive, one that will hint at a darker underbelly to the Duman culture itself.   

John, mercifully protected from Unfriendly Demons all his life, is about to understand what growing into a man can really mean when, with a focus on the word ’Ignite’, the golden flames of a Friendly Demon’s Hellfire (which burns nothing that the Duman doesn’t want it to) flare into glorious golden being…

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

New review of NICOLAI'S PLANET

The following is a very kind review by Ms Gincy Heins of teen fiction review site LITPICK.


4:28 AM (14 hours ago)
to me
Hi, Andrew!

I didn’t want to e-mail you today until I could write this, I finished it! It was great! I really, really liked it! It moved at a good pace, the storyline was unique, I liked the characters, the descriptions were great, the planet was terrifying, it was exciting, parts were funny such as the manual of how to build a rocket in your living room, parts were moving like when Nicolai was in the aircraft by himself and everyone was waiting to hear if he was okay and told him to wake up and the ending. Really, Andrew I thought it was great and I really liked it!

How in the world do you think of a story like that?

Thank you so much for sharing your book with me!!!


Saturday, 22 February 2014

LITPICK interview re "I FLY"

Below is the 6-Question interview conducted by LITPICK regarding my teen fiction novel, "I FLY".  Find it on their Facebook page.   Many thanks to LITPICK's Gincy Heins for her kind efforts regarding this novel.

1. How did you get started writing?
I started writing aged 7,writing short stories, but became a 'serious' writer at 13, when I wrote my first full-length novel and submitted it to a publisher.  I still have that first rejection letter in plastic. It was very kind and supportive, the kind you don't get as an adult.  It was also some time ago!  It ended with those magic words 'If you don't publish this novel, you will certainly publish something in the future.'  I'm 39 now. Still waiting...

 2. Who influenced you?
I have always loved authors who treat fantasy with a very realistic tone;  my favourite authors include John Wyndham and M.R. James, although the BBC TV adaptation of John Masefield's children's classic, THE BOX OF DELIGHTS had a huge effect on me as a child.
I'm not sure if it was ever broadcast in America, but I think you can find it in parts on Youtube.  I have the DVD and find it genuinely magical to this day, but I dread any Hollywood remake. Hollywood doesn't do children's book adaptations very well.  They seem to be all cold, synthetic CGI, and cast with bland, interchangeable 'hunks' with abs and Justin Bieber hair. (Shudder!)

 3. Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
Tough question.  What did I ever do to you?  John Wyndham's THE KRAKEN WAKES and CHOCKY would be two.  (Again, the BBC did a terrific adaptation of CHOCKY. See Youtube.)    My favourite subject would be the fantastic played out in a real environment.  I have repeatedly described my style of teen fiction as gritty 'reality-based fantasy.'  

 4. What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Understand that the writing industry has never been weaker, more frightened, and ultimately, more fickle and silly than it is right now. You as a writer, must have the courage and strength to stick to what you feel is right about your own work, especially if an agent or editorial committee at a publishing house starts leaning on you to make changes that feel wrong.  You have to live with yourself at the end of the day, and unfortunately, in the past, I went down that road many times, trying to please various people; agents, publishers, editors, film producers, TV producers, theatre producers...  It has, without fail, been a painful and degrading experience.  There is always an invisible yet definite line in the sand during this part of publishing or producing.  Yes, it's good to be reasonable, but don't sell out (ie mangle) your own book, just to get it published.  It's a sickening feeling to live with, it disrespects yourself, often imparts far too much respect for 'professional' industry people, who simply don't deserve it. Also, it often doesn't work anyway.  With many projects, I ended up with people who basically wanted 'cat' changing to 'dog' or similar meaningless arbitrary changes. Either that or they wanted me to change half the book. All the time, months of my life were passing.  Bottom line; either a person loves your book/script/play, and really wants to publish/produce it, or they don't.   You can sense it after a couple of decades!   Protect your integrity, and don't be part of any cheap and tacky 'trend-publishing', eg writing something in a certain genre just because it is selling well right now.  The last thing the world needs is more TWILIGHT and FIFTY SHADES OF GREY knock-offs.  Think of the trees, people! My God, it feels good to get that off my chest!

 5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I like to write in cafe's.  I am, at time of writing, single. (Ffffflip it!)  Writing is a very solitary career, and I like to write in the bustle of cafe's.  I also am a coffee snob, and love writing with a good cup of coffee to hand.   There a couple of cafe's n Galway, that I like. 

 6. What else would you like to tell us?
With the success of HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT, too many people have gotten into children's/teen writing in some pathetic attempt to become 'rich and famous'.  Writing only works in any meaningful way (in the end) if you write even if you were certain nobody would ever read it; ie purely for your own pleasure.   We all have to pay bills, and yes, it would be great to write professionally full-time, but not at any price!  Don't sell out your work, and instead write for the love of it.  Anything else should be a bonus, although reviews of my work from members of the public are a wonderful thing to read.   It's taken a long time for me to think this way, but better late than never.  Thank you.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

New screenplay THE HAPPY ENDING PROJECT complete

Just a note to say I have completed a new, low-budget romantic drama screenplay; THE HAPPY ENDING PROJECT.   Outline below.  At time of writing, it is being considered by Falk Henschel at Pay It Forward Films.


 By Andrew Hawcroft


A two-man documentary crew for a low-end American TV production company turn up at a motel room in Pasadena, California.

There they meet James Lantern, the Englishman with possibly only 5 days left to live before a potentially fatal heart transplant operation. The young man they have grudgingly agreed to document on his quest to try and meet a certain woman he has fallen in love with.

The woman in question, however, is a painted character on a science-fiction book cover.   A fantasy-figure by a local artist who has been known to use real-live models to paint from.

 The possibility that this beautifully painted character may be based on a real woman, is the flimsy foundation for this young man’s quest, a quest that seems as silly and impossible as the usual TV-lite tripe covered by the disillusioned two-man crew of Dan Prentice and Joe Chinelli.

Except, as the days and hours pass, and the two men discover that the woman in the poster does exist, it becomes a lot harder to remain coolly objective about James Lantern.


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Trailer for "I FLY" novel

Find  here the Youtube link to a brief video trailer for "I FLY", first of my 13 'reality-based fantasy' teen novels.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

New edition of EGAN'S PROGRAM finally ready

Hello everyone.

Some time ago I received a flattering review of EGAN'S PROGRAM, the 10th of my 13 (so far Young Adult fiction novels.)    The review also pointed out a number of typing errors, something which always bothers me badly. My only excuse is that at the time of downloading it, I was suffering from dreadful eyestrain from trying to convert 11 novels into e-books at the same time.     Thankfully, things have improved since then, and I have recently taken it on myself to given EGAN'S PROGRAM a full polish in many respects, both technically and creatively.    It should be online to buy and sample from Amazon, B&, Kobo, Easons, Smashwords, etc, in 24 hours from this post.

Best wishes for 2014.


Monday, 5 August 2013

DOCTOR WHO stageplay - poster and synopsis

In light of the terrific casting of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor, I will draw attention to my one-and-only (ever) fan fiction project, a full-length DOCTOR WHO stage play written late last year (I think.)

DOCTOR WHO: A LIGHT IN THE DARK was in my mind for years, and it was a real labour of love.  Sadly it will only ever be fan fiction, but fans of theatre (of all kinds) and Whovians are welcome to contact me and I will forward it for their consideration via email.    I mocked up a poster (below) as a visual/mood guide.

A couple of DW fans have already requested and reviews it.  (See REVIEWS page.)     A synopsis is below.

DOCTOR WHO: A Light In The Dark
A stage play
 (Fan Fiction Only)

Based upon the BBC Television series
Story and script by Andrew Hawcroft


Earth:  Present Day -  Eastern Europe:
At the end of the Carpathian mountain range, in the Romanian district of Orsova,
there stands a poorly-maintained, near-derelict orphanage amongst the jagged
rocks and frozen, unforgiving woodlands.   Inside, six children, led by the remarkable
14 year-old Romanian girl. Florina Pellea, attempt to survive the brutish  reign of
orphanage director Gregor and onsite ‘health care provider’ Nurse Vilani.
When things are at their ugliest, like an answer to their prayers, there arrives a strange
 man who travels in a large blue box.  He claims he is chasing a villain from another
world, but makes time to finally bring some hope and happiness into the lives of the
 children he finds in that ghastly place.
Unfortunately, that villain will turn the tables, and force The Doctor and Florina to
 travel to an ice-bound world to retrieve The Orborium, the most dangerous object in
existence, from the most dangerous location in existence.
And in the end, The Doctor, having travelled alone for too long, will learn from a
fourteen  year-old girl the importance of friendship in the least friendly place one          
could imagine...