Thursday, 12 November 2015

TV sci-fi pilot GLADLY complete

I have completed the pilot script for GLADLY, a half hour sci-fi drama.  Outline below.


Written and created by Andrew Hawcroft

                                                          Episode One

   “A Day In The Life...”

Cameron Callendar has just reached forty, and it’s all gone wrong.  At this point in his life, he was supposed to be a successful writer of fiction, a happily married family man, fulfilled and secure, and he certainly came close to these things in the past, but somehow it never came together. 

He barely makes a living with sales of his early novels (back when he had an agent, publisher, optimism, ambition, confidence and a future) as e-books, but it’s not enough.  His days are spent trying to get the career that never came, and hopefully the richer, fuller life that was supposed to come with it.

And then one day, at 3.17pm at June 7th, everything changes.  It changes when his doorbell rings and, like a good chap, he answers it.

Standing there is a bizarre-looking girl. Thin as a nail, bright blue hair that might not be hair at all, dressed in the most garish and odd mish-mash of clothes.
She seems barely to have the energy to stand upright, but seeing him seems to make whatever trials she has clearly gone through to get here, worth it.  She regards him as a door-stepping Jehovah’s Witness would finding Jesus in jeans and a Blue Harbour jumper.

Whatever she is, (and Cameron quickly suspects she might be mentally troubled) she is clearly on the limits of her physical strength.  A large glass of milk in his kitchen later, she seems restored enough to start talking.

She says she is from the year 2372. That she has come on a one-way journey to find the man whose books she discovered on an electronic book-reader lying in junkyard.  He is apparently her idol, her hero...her reason to keep living.

Because 2372 sounds like hell.  A world ruined by the Corporation Wars, she, and the other 33, 000 humans left on the Earth (colonising other planets never worked out) live dire, purposeless lives.

The only reason Cameron doesn’t call the police, is when he casually asks her what her name is.
Gladly Higgins, she says.

The thing is, Gladly Higgins is the name Cameron has recently come up with for a string of trashy, quick-sell novels he reluctantly plans to write to make some money.

Only he hasn’t told anyone that name.

As the day passes, Gladly will tell him more and more of her story, and these conversations will begin to convince a lonely and jaded man that perhaps....just perhaps...something incredible has come into his life.

And not a moment too soon....

Thursday, 6 August 2015


TERRITORIALITY is my teen fiction-themed tribute to every blessed B-movie creature feature I subjected my impressionable mind to as a kid. Not that I still watch them today.  Of course not.  Naturally it's all DOWNTON ABBEY and REMAINS OF THE DAY...being a grown-up. (Ahem.)

RUFUS short story

Being a dog lover, I have a soft spot for RUFUS, hence the stand-alone publishing of a short story. Dogs change...and save peoples lives on a daily basis, and by no means just physically.  


Hi All.

I've just (re)published on Kindle, a new polished edition of KETTLESTONE DIARIES.  

Best wishes.


Sunday, 16 November 2014


Just a note to say I have completed a new, low-budget romantic drama screenplay; THE HAPPY ENDING PROJECT.   Outline below.


 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....

Monday, 1 September 2014

Irish dance-themed film script BORN AGAIN seeks producers

The script for my low-budget Irish-set drama, BORN AGAIN, is complete.   A full outline is below, but it features a frustrated and lonely middle-aged male Irish dancer, who has a final shot at happiness when a Russian woman and her son comes into his life.

                                                      BORN AGAIN

                                               A Screenplay by Andrew Hawcroft



Red dawn.  Saturday.

15 year-old John Nolan wakes up alone in his tiny bedroom.  The calendar on the wall has days crossed off until today, circled in black.  The Big Day.  The day when John finally becomes worth something.  Today, John will get his first crack at an Irish Dancing World Title.  Then he will matter.

He really is alone in this though.  His father, Arthur Nolan, a cleaner, cares nothing about it.  His vague daily aim is to finish work and get to the pub early and join his surrogate drinking ‘family,’ of similarly broken and hiding men.   
His son, through sheer grit and focus, is showing character traits that Arthur never bothered to develop. He’s becoming something Arthur can only sit in the shadow of, and that rests badly with Arthur.  Thus he rarely misses a chance to complain about, or take a crack at, his son’s ambitions and achievements.  Yes, John is going to do it quite alone today.

But the hardest childhoods often make the most interesting children, and John is driven like no other.  He finds the money for his dancing, his fees, his shoes and his transport himself. He disciplines himself. Trains by himself. He will become Somebody in his life by himself.   When he turns 16, he will be out the door and into a bedsit.  He will live alone and he can’t wait.

Then, on the journey to the World Irish Dancing championships venue, riding with a friend, their vehicle is blind-sided by a drunk driver.  Both his legs are broken, an arm, his collar bone...

End of. 
For a long time...


A red dawn.  Saturday.  

John Nolan wakes up alone in a small flat in a small Irish town. Eerily similar start to the day perhaps, only this time John is 45 years old.

The last 30 years have been a cavalcade of drive, huge ambition, hard work, near-misses, almost-success, failed ventures and failed relationships.   Somehow, incredibly so given his great self-discipline and determination, John has not managed to achieve any of those childhood dreams and ambitions of a global dancing career, and is ending up effectively living his worse-case scenario.

John owns a very small Irish dancing studio high in the Connemara hills.  This Saturday morning will involve a series of junior classes, teaching (too) young children baby steps while hard-lipped parents look on.

And there aren’t even enough of those, as the bills on his studio doormat show.  The economy has played its part.  Too much of the town is on Welfare, including his father, who remains alive but is just a vacant shell of a man whom John doesn’t speak to at all.

But before the day’s responsibilities take over, John will have precious hour or so to himself.  As he warms up, he struggles to recall, and to return to, that primal thrill that Irish dancing gave him as a boy.  The creativity, the expression, the venting of things repressed,  the drama, the adventure and pleasure that came from choreographing his own steps.   As he dances more and more, we see the barest hints of this fire begin to flicker in his eyes.
Then too soon, the cars begin to pull up and the classes begin.

So John Nolan’s life goes on, day after day, living for those stolen hours of expression until two things happen.

1)       A giant, gleaming glass-and-chrome monstrosity of a dance school opens up in town, All styles catered to.  Kid’s cr├Ęche.  In-house Starbuck cafe.   

2)      A 13 year-old Russian boy, Kasian Karalli, and his mother, Tatiana show up at his studio.

The first of these occurrences is a punch to the gut for John’s business.  

The second, following shortly after, will go a small way to remedying his pain.    The reserved, wary, but quite stunning beautiful Tatiana Karelli would like to pay private lessons for her son to learn Irish dancing. They have recently arrived from St Petersburg. Although she remains tight-lipped about their background, she has come to live in Ireland just to help her son advance.  It seems her son’s passion for Irish dancing means as much to her as to him.

Whatever.   John now needs the money badly, and God knows, proud mothers pushing their ‘talented’ children forward is nothing new to him.   But he will soon find out how wrong this cynical presumption is.  In fact he will find out he is wrong about a lot of things concerning this quiet, polite, and strangely compelling mother and son.

For one thing, Kasian is a prodigy. An incredibly gifted dancer, blessed with a natural musicality, athleticism and dedication that no teacher can instil.  Entirely self-taught from video-tapes in Russia (it transpires,) he has all the drive, discipline and focus that a young John Nolan had (has?) but without the over-reaching need to prove himself, coupled with the love of a devoted parent.

As Kasian progresses alarmingly quickly, John finds his own passion for dance...and for life... being re-ignited.

But things are not all that they seem.   Tatiana and Kasian have their own shadows to run from, and shadows have a bad habit of sculking in the background until somebody turns on a bright light. 

John Nolan is going to be that bright light to Kasian and Tatiana, and in the process, certain things he might have once called ‘impossible’ are going to happen...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hungarian review of 13th YA novel, FORCES.

The following is a coped-and-pasted review from a Hungarian lady, Tunde' Nagy, who very kindly went to the trouble of painstakingly translating her review into English for me. (Her idea. I wouldn't dream of asking her to do such a thing.) While a few language errors are obvious, her points and feelings are clear enough, and my deepest thanks for her consideration and efforts.
- Andrew Hawcroft

HAWCROFT, Andrew, Forces.

"What does it take to change the nature of a person?” (3) – asks the narrator right on the

first line of the novel. It is not easy to answer to this complex question and we can find many

similar questions in Forces. Hawcroft wrote his novel for teenagers, but I am sure that adults

will not be bored during reading his artwork either.

Forces takes place in the time of BBC News, Wikipedia, Youtube, in the time which is

known by everyone, in the time, when the technology, television, mobile and smart phones

conquer the human mind in such an extent that people hardly can make relevant decisions,

keep a family together or simply be happy for their life. It is not a coincidence that the author

uses and emphasizes those channels, since the narrator not just place his story in a relevant

decade as a background (which is close to us and we know it as the back of our hand), but he

uses their functions at the same time. The BBC for example helps to show, what is happening

in the wide world, out of the Red Corners.

The main character of the story is John Clay, he looks like an ordinary hero. He lives his

early adult, late teenage life and this two „lifes” perfectly reflect in his behaviour, since he is

the leader of the Red Liners and also the son of Sherry and Ted Clay. He is absolutely suited

for the leader position both phisically and mentally, however sometimes we encounter the

vague and desperate little boy who feels the danger of this lifestyle and he knows that people

cannot live like this forever, because there might be serious consequences. This is one of the

reasons why John has a huge fear of getting into jail. He even consideres to join the police

which would provide him safety and protection, but he is too afraid that they might discover

his past and in the end his nightmare would become reality.

John has two families and as a matter of fact he has a leader position in both. His

biological family is somewhere at the bottom of society, their house smells from cigarette and

alcohol, they might have never seen healthy food and they entertain themselves in front of

the television watching idiotic tv-shows. They literally live next to each other. Despite of all

John’s reprehensible acts, he seems to be the most normal character, since he is not interested

in tv-shows, he likes to think about more important things, hundreds of thoughts crosses his

mind constantly and he would like to break out of the bubble. As the leader of the Red Liners

he takes care about the gang and he always finds something to do with them. Even though

they steal and rob, they never hurt anyone and avoid any drugs. He chose this „family” and

they stick together instinctly, protect and watch over each other, even when they make jokes

or tease others in the gang.

The story has an interesting turn of events when the members of the Red Liners break into

the Carrington’s museum and all of them steals certain things. Not just the life and destiny of

the gang changes but whole London becomes a part of an apocaliptic vision and everything is

on the bum. John, the confident leader slowly becomes a desperate teenager, his weeknesses

show themselves and that is when PC Haines and Rupert appear. They are the completely

positive representatives of the adults, John himself is also suprised by them, since he is not

used to normal adult people. The officer and Rupert help John to pull through the crazy events

and find a solution to the problems.

Forces examines many important questions which appear in all areas of our lifes, but I

think, the most crucial subjects are the ones regarding lifestyle. Readers encounter many

times with people’s comfortable life which simply got used to the triumvirate of „work-sofa-
television”. Due to the apocaliptic events this picture starts to change. Joe’s diatribe shows

this, when the members of the Red Liners start to slowly disappear. He shouts to John that he

would like to do nothing else but calmly sit on the sofa watching the television.

I could underline many valuable thoughts from Forces, since both the genre and the story

shows the complexity of the novel. In this fast-paced world, in the tangled web of events,

we might really need an apocaliptic boom to see the important things in our life and what we

need to appreciate and value day by day. Andrew Hawcroft reveals the importance of the tiny

things which we just go by every single day and if we had a chance to understand and notice

them we might never let them out of our hands.