This is the official website of Danny King, author of The Burglar Diaries, Thieves Like Us and co-writer of Wild Bill.
As you can see I'm hardly a prolific blogger but I'll try to update it as often as I can barring anything good on the telly
LATEST NEWS & DEVELOPMENTS
WELLS FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE 2016
I’ve not published many books over the last five or six years but that’s not been
for a lack of trying. I’ve written a few novels and submitted these to dozens of publishers and agents but had no luck so far. Perhaps (maybe?) this
might help. My [unpublished] children’s novel, Amy X and the Great Race, won a
prize at this year’s Wells Festival of Literature. The competition was open to
anyone who’d completed a full-length children’s novel and was judged by
acclaimed author Jeremy de Quidt (he’s especially acclaimed by me since picking
me as the winner). The prize was awarded by HRH The Duchess of
Cornwall, who was there in her role as patron of the charity, Beanstalk. How they let me share a stage with our future Monarch is anyone's
guess but I’m happy to report we managed to keep the scandal to a minimum. All
in all it made a lovely change from collecting rejection letters and has helped rekindle my love
of novel writing, so watch this space. But not literally.
Me at the prize-giving (far left) together with fellow finalists Eliose Williams and Jim Edmiston. Also picking up prizes were Daisy Pruden and Emily Trotman, winners of the Wells Journal Competition and budding authors for the future (if only they knew!), Judge and author Jeremy de Quidt (grey suit),
competiton organiser Jenny Smith (centre left), the Duchess of Cornwall (you all know which one she is) and I’m sorry but I missed who the other three were as my attenton was sidelined by a fog of self-involvement.
EAT LOCAL UNDERWAY
I'm pleased (and somewhat relieved) to announce that my writing career isn't quite as dead as many feared. Yes it came as a surprise to me too. My vampire film, Eat Local, is currently underway and filming in sunny Hertfordshire with top man and miracle maker Jason Flemyng at the helm. It's been ten years in the making and Jason has been there from the very beginning. I'd all but given up hope of ever seeing it make it on to the big screen but Jason is a true force of nature and really brought home the bacon this time (literally, with Jamie Oliver's crew doing the catering). For details of cast and crew go to the Eat Local page in TV & Film. Or click here. Or something. I'll try to post a few pictures as and when I can.
LACK OF UPDATES
Okay, so it's been quite a while since my last post. In fact I forgot I had a website for several months but I've not had much to report. Some writers like to make a public announcement after they've finished each paragraph (and sometimes before they start the next one) but I'd rather only post when I've got something to say. I've still got several projects in the pipeline including a possible US TV adaptation of The Hitman Diaries, a School for Scumbags feature film and a British vampire movie but it's turned out to be such a long pipeline that I've given up predicting when (or if) they might see the light of day. It would be nice if they did, if only to give me something to post on here about. It's been pretty quiet on the book front too. I keep writing them but I've slipped between the cracks of the publishing industry and climbing out is proving harder than I could've guessed. If I have any news I'll try to remember to post it here. But in the meantime I just wanted to let you all know that I was still alive and well and working as hard as ever. Cheers!
22 STAGES OF THE BURGLAR DIARIES
It might have been a quiet year on my website but like a swan there's much activity beneath the surface. Some authors like to notify the world whenever they finish a sentence but I've never seen the point. You don't get greengrocers blogging when they sell a banana so what's the big deal about writers writing? I thought that was what they were supposed to do. So in future mate/love, finish the book and get it published then you'll have something to blog about. Until then... you don't. Talking of which, I had an article published in Cultured Vultures detailing the history of The Burglar Diaries in 22 bite-sized stages. Click HERE or on the logo below and by the magic of the internet you should be instantly transported. Otherwise it's out there on the web somewhere.
THIEVING THIEVES LIKE US
I'm constantly asked (at least once every leap year) if it's possible to get a copy of Thieves Like Us on DVD. Unfortunately the BBC never released it and aren't likely to repeat it as they're still working their way through a backlog of Dad's Armys so the answer is no. However, it has been since pointed out to me to be that several episodes have been uploaded onto YouTube. Not by me, I should add. Not only would I never break the sanctity of the BBC's copyright, I also don't know how to do it (otherwise I would've done it years ago). So if you never caught the show and would like to check it out you should be able to find it by clicking the picture below. But you'd best hurry before the internet Old Bill hear about it and take it down.
I didn't do it
NEW YEAR UPDATE
Yes it's been a while. Unfortunately there's not been much to report work-wise. My vampire film was back on for a while then fell out of bed again. And several other projects came and went taking with them a hefty chunk of my precious life. I'm currently working on several film scripts, a play and possibly another book, but as of this precise moment there's very little I can report. Except...
My new daughters, Scarlett & Frankie
CHERUB: THE RECRUIT
I've had a few emails over the last couple of months asking what book I'll be releasing next but unfortunately I'm not working on any books at the moment. Instead I'm focussing on screenplays and besides a few originals of my own have been asked to work on a script for The Recruit, the first book in Robert Muchamore's best selling Cherub series. The first draft's all written and with the producers, so fingers crossed they're able to push it into production. I tried to stay true to the book where possible, the only really change I made was changing James Adams from a handsome, superfit 13-year-old into a short-sighted, slightly chubby, wheezing author (aged 44 or thereabouts). Wish me luck at the auditions.
Blimey, has it really been almost five months since my last post? I'd better stick something else up I guess, if only so that I don't have to face Bart and Dimitri topping the news every time I open my website. Which brings me to The Henchmen's Book Club. I did a promotional push last last and some 19,000 copies were downloaded in the US (for free unfortunately). Still, it led to a lot of nice reviews on Amazon.com, one of which was from a new book blogger, ebookescapes.com, so I thought I'd point you in her direction, seeing as she has such impeccable tastes.
AND THE BAFTA GOES TO...
... these guys. Dimitri Doganis (left of pic) and Bart Layton won the award in the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer category for their documentary thriller, The Imposter. If you've not seen it, check it out, it's a good film. Almost as good as Wild Bill I would say. Almost. Still, they were nice lads and we shared a beer before and after but it's back to the day job for all of us now. Or at least it would be if I had one. All in all a great experience and hopefully the nomination will help me get my second film into production. More about which later.
I'm very pleased (and slightly stunned) to announce that me and Dexter have just been jointly nominated for a Bafta Award for Wild Bill. The catagory is Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer and we've got our work cut out if we're to stand a chance of winning. But it's just lovely to be asked. The ceremony is on February 10th and I think it's even televised, so I will be sure to give myself a vicious shaving cut that morning. For a full list of other award nominations check out Wild Bill's page. We're doing alright.
WRITERS' GUILD AWARD
Days like this don't come around very often so please excuse the trumpet blowing, but Wild Bill won best first feature film at the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards last night. Dexter and I shared the award for the screenplay and Dexter kindly let me keep the trophy when he realised he'd have to wrestle it from my cold dead hands if he wanted it.
Left: Me and Jeannie at the ceremony last night
I've finally got around to creating Facebook pages for each of my books. In doing so I found pages for the The Bank Robber Diaries and The Hitman Diaries already existed, but neither of these pages were set up by me so I still did my own pages for these books. You can find links on the book pages of my website, meaning if you check out The Burglar Diaries page on my website, you should find a Facebook link towards the bottom of the page that you can click on. The same for most of the rest of my books. Please come 'Like' them at your leisure. I promise I won't bombard you with self-promotional crap. I'll probably just stick a few songs and clips up that somehow link in to the books before forgetting about them altogether for several years.
UPDATE 04/09/13: It's pretty obvious now that this one fell at the final hurdle. No news for ten months and none expected. It's a shame but these things happen I'm told.
Some exciting things are under way at Chez King. My second feature film is picking up momentum and could possibly go into production as soon as this autumn. I can't say too much as nothing's yet been confirmed, but having had half a dozen films in "development" for going on tens years I can tell when something's actually happening. We've got an experienced producer in place, a director bursting with ideas and more and more crew are signing on every day. The screenplay has been sent out for casting and the responses we've been getting back have been great. No title as yet, there's still a decision to make on that, but if you go to my pipeline page you can read a short synopsis under the working title of Reign of Blood. ps. the picture I've used here is not part of our production, I've just borrowed it off the internet. Looks great though doesn't she?
A FOUR-KING EXCLUSIVE
I'm pleased to announce the release an anthology of short and no-so-short stories, exclusive to Kindle. A 4-King Cracker features a chat with Bex and Ollie of Burglar Diaries fame, a ripping yarn about a time-travelling benefits cheat, a cathartic vignette about a sitcom writer and a dark little tale of rape and murder on the London Underground. The collection is published by Byker Books and available from Amazon.co.uk for £1.54 and Amazon.com for $2.43.
SCUMBAGS ON KINDLE
I'm very pleased to announce the release of School for Scumbags on Kindle. Serpent's Tail had originally retained the e.book rights to this one but new publisher Hannah Westland was kind enough to revoke these to make this release possible. Priced £1.99 from Amazon.co.uk, $3.23 from Amazon.com or €2.68 from any of the Euro Amazons. Go to the Scumbags page for further details.
ON YOUR BYKER
Rough and tumble Byker Books have finally splashed the cash and dazzled up their website. Publishers of Brit Grit classics such as Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Dumb Luck and the internationally acclaimed Radgepacket series have produced a straightforward and user-friendly site that even Geordies can understand. Check it out at bykerbooks.co.uk and spread the word, Byker Books are now up there with the big boys – or at least they would be if the other publishers' mums let their editors play with them.
For THREE DAYS I will be giving away copies of The No.1 Zombie Detective Agency on Kindle. Starting Friday May 4th and going on throughout the weekend you can download a copy of my new book FREE from either Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.it, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es or Amazon.de. Hurry while stocks last! Huh? You what? Don't they? Oh well er... hurry anyway, the offer ends Sunday 6th at midnight.
I'm pleased to announce the Kindle release of my final book (certainly for a while anyway), The No.1 Zombie Detective Agency. I've been a zombie fan ever since seeing Dawn of the Dead some 30 years ago, and the utter proliferation of zombie movies and books in recent years shows I'm not the only one. Weirdly though, despite the massive popularity of this sub-genre, it seems it's always the same old plot that gets wheeled out time and time again – ie. civilisation has collapsed, zombies have overrun the cities and a band of plucky survivors are eating free chocolate bars and coming to blows behind the barricades.
So I wanted to write a new kind of story, one set in this very familiar world (post apocalypse New Orleans), but from a different perspective – namely one of the zombie's. It's primarily a detective novel with private detective Jake Trundle determined to solve the case he's working without realising the world's already beaten him to it and ended. Slightly bizarre but good fun nevertheless, at least I enjoyed writing it. Priced £1.99 from Amazon.co.uk or $2.99 from Amazon.com.
WILD BILL IS OUT!
Catch it if you can but Wild Bill is now out in cinemas nationwide. I'm told it opened at 108 theatres in the first week and will hopefully be playing in a cinema near you. If not, don't worry, DVD and On-Demand releases are scheduled soon, followed eventually by a TV screening for those of you who've yet to invest in a video recorder. It looks quite punchy from the poster but don't be deceived, it's actually a big soppy date movie so treat the missus to a night out at the local multiplex if she's been on her best this week. Or, if you haven't got a missus, go with your mates, because inspite of what I just said above, there is actually some punching in it. Certainly enough to come away looking for trouble afterwards. I did.
PORN FOR THE STAGE
I had originally released this one a few years ago but withdrew it shortly afterwards for contractural reasons. Those issues have now been resolved so once again I'm able to make the text of my play available to either download on Kindle (for 99p) or buy as a printed booklet from Lulu (currently discounted to £4.72 + P&P). The play is also available to perform should anyone be interested. Just drop me a line first to make sure there are no further scheduling or contractural clashes, as the original book is currently being developed into a feature film by Formosa Films.
Here's one a did earlier, as the saying goes – seventeen years earlier to be precise. I wrote The Executioners (originally entitled Do Killers Dream of Angels?) way back in 1995 and spent several years trying to find a publisher for it. Three dozen rejection letters and one crushed dream later I put it to one side (got hammered) and found more success with my next book, The Burglar Diaries. The Executioners has sat on my hard drive ever since, unread and forgotten, but I dug it out last year, gave it a good edit and am happy to finally see it leave home. In contrast to my other books, The Executioners was my one attempt at straight fiction (no humour), so please don't judge this one by them or vice versa as they're quite different (hence the DM King author name). Priced at just 99p, surely it's worth buying just to see if your Kindle's still working. I did.
PRINT COPIES OUT NOW
When paper was invented in China some 2000 years ago stone tablet merchants everywhere dismissed it as a passing fad but I'm out to prove them wrong with my latest book,
Infidelity for Beginners now available in this revolutionary new-[ish] material.
Priced a mere £6.99 (plus a shocking £2.99 P&P unfortunately) you can order Infidelity along with my other recently released titles, The Henchmen's Book Club and The Monster Man of Horror House from Lulu.com (*buyers will need at least 12mm of shelf space for storage). All of these titles are also available on Kindle, priced £1.99.
IT'S A MONSTER!
No, not my post-Christmas yuletide log but my latest novel, The Monster Man of Horror House. It's a homage to the old portmanteau horror novels and films of the 60s and 70s, such as Tales from The Crypt and Vault of Horror etc, and is made up of four inter-linked tales of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and serial killers, as spun by a creepy old neighbour who's encountered them all. It's available on Kindle (£1.99) and in paperback (£7.99 + P&P) and is probably the truest reflection of the kinds of books I used to read as a kid instead of the ones my teachers kept sending me home with. But hey at least I used to read. Not like kids today (insert meandering diatribe here) etc...
HENCHMEN IN PRINT
In response to popular demand (three emails counts as popular demand in my household) I've sourced print copies of The Henchmen's Book Club through lulu.com. Lulu is a Print-On-Demand (POD) publisher who will process orders, print and despatch copies as they receive them. I've used them before (for printing copies to proof) and they're good and reliable. There's obviously a sliding scale of delivery charges ranging from £2.99 to however much you want to blow on postage but I've always gone for the cheapest myself and got my books within a couple of days, regardless of what the estimated delivery date has predicted. So if you're stuck for that last minute gift for dad or the garage has run out of logs for the hearth, order while stocks last (not that there's any danger of them running out if they're printing on demand).
INFIDELITY FOR BEGINNERS
And so some seven years after I wrote the first chapter here is Infidelity for Beginners. This book was originally called White Collar and was actually written before Blue Collar but it had a few problems and has been hacked about more times than Mrs King's Christmas turkey before I finally settled on this version. I don't know how it'll go down because it's quite different from my other stuff, but I guess everyone's entitled to one slightly leftfield book so here's mine. I promise it'll be guns and villains and monsters from here on in though. Infidelity is available on Kindle from the usual places. Just go to this book's page for details. And if you enjoy it please post a review for it on Amazon or elsewhere. Every recommendation really helps. Thanks.
MILO on KINDLE
And finally we have Milo's Marauders and Milo's Run, now out on Kindle. These are the last two book in my back catalogue I'll be releasing. Serpent's Tail retained the e.book rights to School for Scumbags and Blue Collar, so they'll be releasing those ones themselves, but it was great that they allowed me the Diaries and Milo books, so my thanks to them for this. Each book again is £1.99. And the various links can be found on the Milo pages. Next out will be an all new book, Infidelity for Beginners.
PORN ON KINDLE
Amazon have just launched their brand new Kindle (three weeks after I bought the old model obviously) so now there's no excuse (other than the obvious) not to buy one of my books on Kindle. The latest to hit the e.shelves is The Pornographer Diaries. Now available for immediate download from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.de for just £1.99, $2.99 and €2.99 respectively. It tells the story of Godfrey Bishop, a hopeless and hapless lump who's landed "the best job in the world" – working on a top shelf porno mag. I spent some time in this industry myself so a lot of the stories and anecdotes are based in truth, as are the disturbing readers' letters Godfrey has to trawl through by the sack load. A slight departure from my crime stuff but still in the same throbbing vein. Any mention you'd care to give it anywhere, even if it's just in a police report, all helps spread the word.
HITMAN ON KINDLE
Next out of the e.printers is The Hitman Diaries. Now available for immediate download on the Kindle from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.de for the "how does he do it?" low price of just £1.99, $2.99 and €2.99 respectively. There will now follow a short break while I sit on my laurels for few weeks and try to finish those shelves I started last year, then I'll get cracking on the next Kindle release, The Pornographer Diaries. As ever, tell your friends, leave a review on the web or spray paint the side of a bus for me if you can. Every little helps. Thanks.
WILD BILL AT THE LONDON FILM FESTIVAL
Wild Bill will be competing at this year's London Film Festival in the New British Cinema category. The film will be screened on October 21st and 23rd at Vue Leicester Square and tickets go on sale to BFI members on September 19th and to the general public a week later on September 26th. Don't ask me how much they are. Me and Dexter get to go for free although we do have to buy (or sneak in) our own popcorn. The film will also be shown at the San Sebastian and Chicago Film Festivals and is up for Best Director (Dexter) and Best Foreign Film respectively. Click here to go to the BFI's site or check out my own Wild Bill page.
BURGLAR & BANK ROBBER NOW ON KINDLE
Following on from the success of The Henchmen's Book Club, Serpent's Tail have very kindly allowed me to make the rest of my back catalogue available on Kindle too. I've started with The Burglar Diaries and The Bank Robber Diaries and given them a slight polish on the inside and a couple of spanking new covers on the outside –
I know most of you thought I'd doodled the old covers myself (in five minutes whilst hammered) but seriously they were designed by a proper graphic artist (in five minutes whilst whilst hammered, I think). Both of the above books are now available to download in the UK from Amazon.co.uk for £1.99 each, in the US from Amazon.com for $2.99 and in Germany from Amazon.de for €2.99. The Hitman and Pornographer Diaries will follow shortly.
You can now sign up and follow me on Twitter if you are cutting edge techno communicater like wot I am (where do I stick the stamps again?). I've resisted the urge to join the online gabber until now because I couldn't really think of anything to say but after eight years of listening to my witty asides my wife has begged me to take it out on someone else, so find me by clicking here (hopefully – although I may have done it wrong)
FRIEND MY HENCHMEN
I've just done a (technical term) Facebook page for The Henchmen's Book Club and will be updating it initially with all the latest Henchmen news and later Chelsea transfer speculation when I run low on Henchmen news. If you can't buy my book because you don't have a Kindle, iPad, Android phone, Ceefax or want to part with £1.71 you can still play along by joining my Henchmen page and helping me spread the word. Click here and sign up today or hold out until the end of August, just like Luka Modric will.
THE HENCHMEN'S BOOK CLUB
I'm very happy to finally be able to annouce the release of The Henchmen's Book Club initially available on Kindle through Amazon's Kindle Store. For those of you who have no idea what any of that means you might as well stop reading now because it's not going to get any clearer ("you want woofers and tweeters with that Grandad?"). The novel tells the story of a lowly supervillain's foot soldier who starts a book club amongst his fellow henchmen only to see it take off and become so much more than the sum of its parts. It's a corking summer read full of spies, guns, gadgets and book mark scores and available to download instantly for just £1.99. For more information go to the Henchmen page or buy it direct from Amazon.co.uk now (also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.de).
27/06/11 MORE BURGLARS ON KINDLE
Great news for those of you not rooted in the past. More Burglar Diaries is now available to download on Kindle for just 99p. The jokes aren't any better but at least now they're cheaper. Kindles are the must-have 2011 bit of kit that allows you to carry your entire library with you wherever you go and leave up to 3,000 books at a time in the back of a cab after the Christmas party. They're ideal for people who like the thought of reading in theory, but would really rather play Gameboys on their way to work. I'm thinking of getting one. Are you? So if you do decide to take the plunge and go electronic why not kick off your e.shelf with a copy of Bex & Ollie's most recent adventures? Published by Byker Books (and still available in good old fashioned paperback too), More Burglar Diaries is now just a few clicks of the curser away.
It's been a quiet year from me so here's a round-up of what I've been working on and where things are:
BOOKS: Unfortunately, Serpent's Tail announced they were no longer able to publish my books earlier this year, which knocked me off my stride a little. All power to Serpent's Tail, they've published eight of my books to date, so I've nothing but respect for Pete and the gang. So
now my new agent has two manuscripts INFIDELITY FOR BEGINNERS (formerly White Collar) and THE MONSTER MAN OF HORROR HOUSE and he's sending them out to potential publishers as we speak. Fingers crossed we'll hear something soon. I've had to put THE HENCHMEN'S BOOK CLUB on hold to give the other books a chance, but if things pick up I hope to find an outlet for it at some point. And I've just started a new book, THE NO.1 ZOMBIE DETECTIVE AGENCY, which I hope to have completed by next summer.
FILMS: TOP SHELF (film version of The Pornographer Diaries) is still ongoing. I've completed the latest draft of the script and Formosa Films are putting a financing package together for next year. SCHOOL FOR SCUMBAGS and THE HENCHMEN'S BOOK CLUB are still under option with DM Productions, and in fact David recently renewed SCUMBAGS and hired a new screenwriter to develop the screenplay. REIGN OF BLOOD is still under option with Coracle Films, and they are working hard to put a financial package together. THE HITMAN DIARIES is still under option with Stella Nova Films, who report they are hoping to start filming next year, although the option expires before they say they're able to start so there will need to be some talking before then. The options have expired on the MILO books and things have gone quiet on that front. But I've just completed the first draft of a screenplay called THE DEVIL & ME for a Latvian/Russian production team who are very keen on the project (this is the same team who produced the stage version of The Hitman Diaries). More details to follow. And finally I co-wrote a screenplay with actor Dexter Fletcher called WILD BILL which is to begin filming next month, with a cinematic release date penciled in for 2011. Dexter's directing with Sam Tromans producing. Once everything's confirmed I'll post a cast list and synopsis, but suffice to say, it's good news and after a year of huff and puff it's nice to have something to show for the year – other than the lovely Katie King, of course. Cheers.
17/11/10 BACK ON-LINE
Apologies for the temporary black-out, but a quick trip to the pawn shop sorted out the technical glitch (well, what's Jeannie need a wedding ring and an engagement ring for?). My thanks to eagle-eyed Steve Pickwell for letting me know I had the shutters down. I've renewed the domain for another five years now so hopefully I'll get around to posting another news story before it expires again – I know, I'm hardly prolific. That said, watch this space as I should have some exciting developments to announce soon. Thanks for watching (Steve).
27/10/10 ZOMBIE BEARS
A quick plug for a couple of friends of mine. Nat Saunders and Chris Hayward (aka. Worm Hotel) have been making comedy sketches for the BBC's Website for the last year or so featuring a character called Misery Bear. Misery Bear is basically a miserably teddy bear who has a rotten time going to the seaside, London, dating and so on. They've done a whole bunch of them and have just finished the latest in time for Halloween so please check it out if you've got three minutes of your life you can spare. To view Dawn Of The Ted either go to the BBC Comedy Website (click this link), along with all the other Misery Bear videos or visit Worm Hotel's website (click this link) and see a whole load more. It's all FREE and it's better than actually working so park those insurance claims for three minutes and watch a teddy bear being chased around a cemetery by some zombies instead.
22/04/10 RADGEPACKET 4
Ray Banks, Ian Ayris, Andy Rivers, Tom Arnold, Paul Brazill – need I say more? Well I guess I'd better if you're to understand what this is all about. Yes, Radgepacket 4 is published and available now, featuring stories from all the aforementioned, as well as my good self and some 20 others. Edgy, vibrant writing at its best (and one from me, as I said), Radgepacket is the urban anthology straight from the mean streets from gals and geezers who know them like the backs of their partners' hands. A steal at only £5.99 (you can't even get a large doner and chips for that these days) and bigger than ever, with 174 beer-reeking pages of burglars, nutters, chavs and dregs. Published by Byker Books and available from Amazon by clicking HERE or HERE. Or even HERE. Get Radge!
17/04/10 KATIE KING
Once again, forgive the indulgence but I'm happy to announce me and Jeannie had a little girl last month. Katherine Marie King joined our clan on March 23rd and a very welcome addition she is too. Older brother Charlie's quite taken with her, but this is just because he's too young to understand his life as he knows it is over and all his favourites toys are suddenly forfeit. Still, in sixteen years time, when Katie's got all her little mates around with all their hair and hormones flying about in different directions, I'm sure he'll forgive her.
17/04/10 BLUE COLLAR NOMINATED FOR PRIZE
Anyone wondering why I'm not on Twitter, just check the dates on these postings and that should tell you. Still, when I do post a new story, it's usually a good one, as you can tell from the above, so here goes with another: I'm delighted to announce that Blue Collar has been short-listed for this year's Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance. The Award is the UK's only literary award dedicated to comedy romance and was set up, along with the Melissa Nathan Foundation, to commemorate the life of comedy romance writer, Melissa Nathan, who sadly died in 2006 at the tragically early age of 37. This year's judging panel features writer and comedienne Jo Brand, mega-selling novelists Joanna Trollope OBE and Sophie Kinsella, actor and comedienne Morwenna Banks, and actor and television presenter Liza Tarbuck. The complete short-list looks like this:
I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk (HarperCollins)
Wedding Tiers by Trisha Ashley (Avon)
Tug of Love by Allie Spencer (A Little Black Dress Book)
Love Letters by Katie Fforde (Century)
Moon-Light in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles (Bloomsbury)
Blue Collar by Danny King (Serpent’s Tail)
Previous winners have included Marian Keyes, Lisa Jewell and Farahad Zama. This year's winner will be announced at a plush gala evening in London on June 15th, so hopefully I'll be able to tell you all about it when my wife bails me out of the cells the next morning. UPDATE: Alas, I didn't win. First prize went to Janet Skeslien Charles. Congratulations and any chance you can lend us a tenner Janet?
That's right, the headline says it all. More Burglar Diaries is now priced just £5.99 through lovereading.co.uk. Those smooth-talking Geordie Arthur Daley salesmen at Byker Books have wangled an almighty discount from the UK's no.1 literary website, so now there's no excuse not to buy a copy – unless of course you hate me, my books and everything I stand for. In which case what are you reading my website for? To see me fall flat on my arse and fail, huh! Well fair enough. But for those of you I didn't used to date or go to school with, click HERE to find out more.
08/11/09 RIGHTS SAID FRED
In response to several recent emails, I've drawn up a list of the rights available to my various books, scripts and scribblings, from publication rights, television, film, stage, audio, large print and radio etc. These can be found on my contact page or by clicking here. If you wish to enquire after a certain right, please drop me a line at the usual address. And if you wish to acquire a particular right to a particular book, I accept all currencies, including pounds, euros, dollars, blood diamonds, heroin and filipino ladyboy child brides (in units of ten only please).
31/10/09 MORE BURGLAR DIARIES
After two months away from the office, I'm back on-line, so apologies if I've not responded to any of your emails over the last few weeks, but life kind of got in the way. We've now shipped out to the cathedral city of Chichester, so for those of you stalking me, I should be a lot easier to find as the town's only got one Wetherspoons. Which brings to my first bit of pub-related business; MORE BURGLAR DIARIES is will be available to buy on Amazon.co.uk from November 9th, thanks to the world's hardest publishers, Byker Books. Priced £7.99 and delivered for FREE with Amazon's Super Saver Delivery scheme, the book's now much more affordable than when I was punting it out myself, so my sincerest thanks go to the Byker lads. So, to mark the occasion (and this is the pub bit), we will be launching the book on Saturday, November 14th, in The Buck and Bell in Banbury, Oxfordshire from 2pm to 4pm (50-52 North Bar Street, OX16 0TH). Copies will be available, so will drinks and peanuts presumably, and I'll be there in the flesh along with big Andy and a pint pot full of empty pork scratching wrappers, so if you're free that afternoon, come along and say hello. More details can be found on Byker Books' website, or on their Facebook page, if you're one of them cyber types.
06/09/09 ROCK N' ROLL PUB TOURS
Excuse the blatant plug, but my esteemed mate, Kev Molloy, is one of London's best official tour guides and he's just established a walking tour of Soho pubs with infamous Rock 'n' Roll connections. Kev will take you around seven or eight pubs of note and dazzle you with an array of anecdotes. It's the perfect way to celebrate a social-occasion, birthday-bash, or plain old jolly up.
The cost is £120 per group (so 20 people £6 each – very cheap).
Phone 070 222 12345 or e-mail email@example.com for more details! And tell your friends. Tell them old Kev's alright by me. Kev also does loads of other fantastic walks and tours for party groups, and can collect smaller parties in his London Black Cab, so visit his website www.yourlondontours.com and take a look for yourself. And because we used to work together, he's got lots of dirt on me too. Hence the free advert.
29/06/09 IT'S A REET GOOD READ
Football might be more popular now than it's ever been before, but for those following the black & white stripes of Newcastle United it's been a tough last half a century. One such long-suffering fan is my esteemed friend, Andy Rivers of Byker Books fame, who attempts to off-load some of his own private misery onto the book-buying public through his excellent publication, I'm Rivelino. Charting a life of despair, hope and then yet more despair, Andy takes us on a tour of the pies and lows, and through 30 years of shattered dreams (I've got news for you Andy, it ain't getting any better). Forward by former Magpie Lee Clarke and priced £6.99, I'm Rivelino – A Life of Two Halves is available from either Amazon or Byker Books from August 1st (pre-order now). It's the book Fever Pitch was trying to be and packed with anecdotes and incidents that fans of all teams will be able to identify with – except obviously fans of Brazil, Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal etc.
12/06/09 RADGEPACKET THREE
Yes that's right, Radgepacket – Volume Three is upon us and it's harder than ever before, mixing it up on the shelves and beating the crap out all those high-brow, snooty anthologies who dare look at its ISBN number in a funny way. Featuring stories from some of Britain's best unsigned authors, Radgepacket's pages are packed with tales of giant rats, bent politicians (no these are two separate stories), teenage car thieves and violent vigilantes. There's even a story from me about the birds and the bees, so don't delay, buy yours today, either direct from Byker Books (FREE P+P) or from Amazon. What else are you going to do with £5.99? Have your moat cleaned?
09/05/09 BLUE COLLAR IN SHOPS
If you don't already know (and why should you unless you were stalking me or married to me or both) my next book will be in all good bookshops as of June 4th. Don't panic, there should be more than enough copies to go around, or you can just do what I normally do when one of my favourite authors brings out a new book and wait until somebody makes a film of it (then download it for free off the internet). Blue Collar is a slight departure from the beaten track for me in that nobody gets killed or robbed in it, but it's still in my usual style with silly gags, sub-GCSE spelling and English-as-a-second-language-style grammar. Published by Serpent's Tail and priced £7.99, unless you're able to find in on the 3 for 2 tables. If not, do us a favour and look in the back of the shop for it, grab a big handful and stick them out front for us will you? That should help shift the fucking thing. Cheers.
09/05/09 HOLLYWOOD HENCHMEN
I'm pleased to report I've just optioned the film rights of my future novel, The Henchmen's Book Club, to DM Productions in Los Angeles, USA. The book's finished, though not due for publication any time soon, but DM's exec, David Matalon, was keen to see an early draft after he also optioned School for Scumbags. Those are all the details I have for the moment, except of course how much I got paid, but I ain't posting that, so watch this space for further developments.
05/02/09 RADGEPACKET 2 – NOW WITH EVEN MORE PUNCTUATION!!!
After the knock out success of Radgepacket – Volume 1, those enterprising boys from BykerBooks are back up off the canvas with Radgepacket – Volume 2. Packed with great stories from the seamier side of life, Radgepacket is the perfect showcase for some of Britain's premier unsigned authors. So, for all those interested in taking a detour off the beaten mainstream, this is the tome for you. There's even an interview with, and story from, the best-selling literary phenomenon that is Sheila Quigley, so if that's not worth £5.99 of your PayPal tokens (includes FREE P&P) I don't know what is. Available direct from BykerBooks at http://bykerbooks.co.uk/ourbooks.aspx or from Amazon.co.uk from March 2nd, 2009. Pre-order now. Oh, and I forgot to mention I've got a previously unpublished story in there too. I knew there was some reason I was writing this news piece.
16/12/08 FREE THE THIEVES LIKE US 6?
Earlier this week I was emailed by a fan of the Thieves Like Us. This came as something of a surprise to me as I didn’t realize Thieves Like Us had any fans. They asked if there were any plans to release the show on DVD and drew my attention to a message that phoenix-192 had posted on imdb.com’s message board. It reads as follows:
"If anyone is interested, I recently e-mailed the BBC about a possible DVD release and this is the reply I got:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding Thieves Like Us. I'm glad you enjoyed the programme. I'm currently unaware of any plans to release this series. However, if you'd like to make a suggestion for its release as a DVD, you can put it in writing to the Programme & Acquisitions Department who're responsible for the commercial DVD release of BBC programmes.
Please write to:
Programming & Acquisitions Dept
33 Foley Street
Please note that there must be adequate public interest before a release can be arranged."
I really enjoyed Thieves Like Us so I will be writing to call for a DVD release. If you know anyone who liked this, get them to write in!! – phoenix-192"
Like BBC matey above, I don’t know of any plans to release Thieves Like Us, but if anyone would like support phoenix-192 in their campaign to get the show a DVD release, they won’t hear me going mental in protest. And in case you’re wondering, no, phoenix-192 isn’t me or Jeannie.
Bex and Ollie chat with the Programming & Acquisitions Director about a mutually beneficial release deal
05/11/08 HAVE SOME OF THAT!
I'm a great admirer of folks with get-up and go, particularly when that same get-up and go allows me to lazily ride their coat tails. So it is with great pleasure that I bring you news of Radgepacket – Volume 1, an anthology of short fiction from some of Britain's most promising unknowns (as well as a couple of barely knowns like myself who need the exposure). It's packed with tales of armed robbers, funeral frolics, sexy shenanigans and drunken escapades and is brought to you by the boys from bykerbooks.co.uk, a bunch of surprisingly literate lager louts from the wrong side of the library who got fed up with wading through a mountain of chick-lit and worthy-unoriginals in their hunt for something to read and finally did something about it. Published 17th November, 2008, this strictly edition publications costs only £5.99, including FREE P&P, and can be bought on-line by clicking here. It's what Christmas stockings were invented for. Visit http://bykerbooks.co.uk/ourbooks.aspx.
03/09/08 TEN THOUSAND PICTURES OF YOU
If you managed to catch Thieves Like Us or have ever read the acknowledgements of any of my books, you'll know that my brother Robin is a fine up-standing thespian of the noblest traditions (ie. he's out of work). But unlike the vast majority of unemployed actors, Robin hasn't spent his time sobbing over a silent phone, wanking into a full-length mirror or loitering around the bogs on Hampstead Heath (at least, I've never seen him up there), Robin has spent his time making some rather excellent movies of his own. His debut, the live-action animated short, Ten Thousand Pictures of You, has been scooping up awards and has played in festivals all over the world, from California to Hiroshima. It's only three minutes long, so you can watch it free online at www.vimeo.com/2554266. Check it out, it's great.
18/04/08 CHARLIE KING MAKES HIS DEBUT
Forgive the indulgence, but I'd like to take this opportunity to announce the birth of mine and Jeannie's first son, Charlie Stewart Milo King.
Charlie was born at 5.19am at London's UCH on 09/04/08 and he weighed in at 7lbs 10oz. Just like his old man, he likes to lounge around the house all day while the rest of the world's at work and enjoys a liquid lunch.
I gave him the extra middle name of Milo as I've always liked it and reckoned it was all free advertising space anyway. Still, he was lucky, if the coin had come up heads he could've been called Scumbag. Again, just like his dad.
01/02/2008 CORACLE SNAP UP VAMPIRE FLICK
Coracle Films have optioned the rights to my comic horror vampire screenplay, Reign of Blood (see FORTHCOMING PUBLICATIONS page for details). Coracle producers, Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng are now in talks with a top line production company about finance and development but so far things are looking good. Watch this space.
09/01/08 SCUMBAGS GO TO HOLLYWOOD
DM Productions have optioned the film rights to School for Scumbags. DM producer, David Matalon, is the former President of Columbia Tri-Star. He left Tri-star in the late eighties to produce movies before becoming President and CEO of New Regency in the nineties. He returned to producing in 2007 and "is one of the most well connected guys in Hollywood." Negotiations were held up only slightly by the writers' strike, but the deal's now signed and sealed. Fantastic.
06/11/07 SCUMBAGS MAKE SOME NOISE
WF Howes are to publish School for Scumbags on audio book. WF Howes have already done a great job on The Burglar Diaries and The Hitman Diaries audio books and will publish Scumbags in 2008 on CD, cassette and download.