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...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

New cover for RUFUS

Coming online shortly, the new cover for RUFUS, the short story taken from my collection IMAGINARY COMPANIONS, available as a stand-alone e-story, on Amazon, B&, etc.

After being subjected to a relentless bullying campaign, watching his dreams of being a professional footballer being mercilessly taken away, young Londoner Jamie Cleary is approaching the end of his rope.
During a rainy night in his local playing fields however, he will have his world changed by a small Yorkshire Terrier.

RUFUS is taken from Andrew Hawcroft's collection, IMAGINARY COMPANIONS.