Thursday, 9 July 2020

An interview with the Script Sirens

As you might be aware, I'm one of the Script Sirens.

Click here to watch an interview with me and the rest of the Sirens. But be warned  - I gurn!

Monday, 22 June 2020

Full steam ahead!

With a bit of luck I will have lots of news soon. But for now, all I can tell you is that The Owners Volume VIII: Sophia, is coming along really well.

Because for the last few years I have been concentrating on writing scripts for film and TV, I'd forgotten how it felt to write a book. How much weight is carried by each and every single word you commit to paper.

I've also realised that the list of finished works I was compiling, ready to publish, is rather long... so do bear with me just a little while longer.

It's taken me about five years to get on with writing the next volume in the Owners series. During that time I wrote a book about a trans person trying to find their way in the world, a family trying to deal with autism, loss and grief and several sci-fi/dystopian novels, as well as the film and TV mentioned above. So I've been kind of busy...

Sophia's character is only touched upon in Volume I of The Owners. There she is an adult, a leader of her people. In Volume VIII we see how her strength of character came into being, what it was that moulded her into the adult she would become.

I can't help feeling sorry for her. Her life is filled with hardship and loss and yet she herself fills me with hope. Hope for the world, hope for humanity. Because regardless of what he goes through, it doesn't taint her soul. I wish we could all be like that.

And I guess it makes me wonder about how I would have turned out without all the things that served to define my life. If I had stayed in Glasgow... or London, even. This division of pathways, I have already looked at in my novel Spit Decision (Amazon, Waterstones, etc.,) and was looking at further in the screenplay I'm also currently working on. I'll let you know how that goes.

So if you find yourself at a loose end and are looking for something good to read, pick up one of my books and remember - there will be more on the way, very soon!

Happy reading! x

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

The Owners Volume VIII

I'm very excited to announce that I have today started to write the eighth volume of The Owners series. 

I actually intended to write this a few years ago, but I was so busy with films and TV, that I didn't get a moment to get started on it. But today I woke up and it was on my mind. 

I've always known what this volume would be about - it was merely finding the time to commit it to paper that was the issue. Somehow right now is the perfect time. 

If you've read The Owners books, you'll know that there are many core themes running through them - what it means to be human, how humanity can be so easily lost and what belonging really means, to highlight just a few. 

So because of what's going on around the world right now, it seems the perfect time to write this next volume. 

The Owners is all about misplaced intentions and about how sometimes there is no right answer. Sometimes what is wrong, has been wrong for so long, that even once rectified, hatred, anger and resentment still burn for past misdeeds. 

In this volume there is a return to some of the characters you met in Volume I: Alone, such as Sophia, who will one day be leader of her people. And of the tragic Louisa. 

I'll keep you posted with how the unfolding of the story goes. 

In the meantime, why not check out The Owners series. I'm hoping that Volumes IV - VII will soon be released. 

Happy reading! x

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Friday, 12 June 2020

Episode 3: Dinner at Ate...

Here is the episode I wrote with the lovely Louise Osbourne, as part three of the short series, #GoingViral. I hope you enjoy it!

Hopefully, as we come out of lockdown I will have more news. 
Until then, happy viewing! x


Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Script Sirens

Just a quick post to tell you about something I've got coming up, starting next Monday, 8th June 2020.

#GoingViral was created in response to the lockdown situation. You can read all about it here.

And don't worry if you're not free when we launch - as the videos are online, they will be accessible for some time to come.

If you watch and you like what you see, why not drop us a comment and share our content with your friends and family?

I will have more news for you shortly, I hope, when normal filming can resume around the world.

Until then - keep safe, and happy viewing! x

Thursday, 26 March 2020

Fiction versus reality

What a strange situation we find ourselves in: spring is here, summer well on its way, and we are confined indoors for fear of dying.

Meanwhile the very people we are counting on to save us, are packed like sardines into public transport, expected to do their jobs, exhausted, and without the protective equipment that could ensure their safety - the world really has turned on its head.

There are a lot of phoney soothsayers around, telling all and sundry that they or someone else they know, prophesised this, that it is God's will, that it's all in the great plan. Believe that if helps you - I'd personally rather stick to the science.

But whatever your beliefs, there are some things that are undeniable. One is that all of us are going to suffer some loss - a family member, a friend, a colleague... The other is that our world will be forever changed.

There are some fears that don't just ever go away - the bogeyman under the bed, the mad axeman in the woods... Covid-19 will remain in our collective conscience long after it's claimed its last victim. Like the bogeyman, it will alter our perception of what's safe and what isn't. Probably forever.

When I wrote The Owners series and in particular Storm Clouds and the subsequent volumes, it was this sort of scenario I had in mind.

Set in the almost present, it depicted a world in panic over a series of devastating superstorms and the damage to the whole structure of civilisation which ensued. But more than that, it was a tale of humanity - of the people who were elevated by their situation and of those who used it for their own selfish needs. Isn't that exactly what we're seeing now?

Of course Storm Clouds is an apocalyptic tale and the volumes which follow it therefore, post-apocalyptic, and I hope with all my heart we don't follow that into reality but the motives of the people in my stories and in real life are the same...

Keep safe everyone and please be respectful and considerate. And hopefully we'll come through this together.

Happy reading. xx

Tuesday, 17 March 2020


What a sad state of affairs - a pandemic is terrorising the world and all the sad little trolls have taken to Twitter, stating their hope that the 'Boomer' generation will be wiped out. 

Clearly we have raised many sociopaths alongside our otherwise well-adjusted population. Protected by the anonymity that  social media offers, they try to prey on our social weaknesses but in truth it only serves to highlight their own miserable existences. So for that reason, I'll have done with discussing them here - they're not worth a nano-second of our time. 

I think we are all shocked to be in this position... there cannot be one person who doesn't have family and freinds who are very vulnerable to this virus. 

And even if we self-isolate, I genuinelly can't see how we can do that for more than a month at a time. And what happens during that month? It's too scary to contemplate. 

Meanwhile the heros amongst us - the doctors, nurses, police and army, as well as the supermarket workers, the hospital cleaners, the fire and ambulance services, the lorry drivers who transport our foods, the electricity engineers, the sewage plant workers - they will continue to work, keeping the rest of us going. 

And I'm a little embarassed to be just a writer - a woman whose work is of no real value, serving only to entertain. But that's who I am. 

The world will keep turning whether I write another film or not. But if these heroes above stop doing what they do, the world will indeed grint to a halt. 

So from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you to all of them!

Stay safe and well. xx

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Oakhill Productions

I am currently working with Oakhill Productions on several exciting new projects, which I hope to have news about very soon. 

Unfortunately, in my line of work, there is often much to tell, and at the same time, a restriction on what I'm actually allowed to say. This can be very frustrating when what you really want to do, is shout things out from the rooftops...

So, in the meantime, why don't you take a look at the Press Release of one of Oakhill's other projects. (And no, I wasn't involved in this one.)

Watch this page for more news, coming shortly...

Until then - happy reading!

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Men In Sheds and other news.

Hello everyone!

Well we're still in January... doesn't it go on? Cold, dark drizzly days almost without end.

So we all need a bit of cheering up, right? Luckily I've got lots of news!

As you know, I've always got lots of different projects on at once, so to save me typing a long list, and you trudging your way through it, I'll update you only on the things that are moving more swiftly.

I have an eight part podcast coming shortly with brilliant co-writer Alexandra Taylor. Beneath The Waves is based on a true and current situation and is set in Wales. It's a drama but has humour there too and just the tiniest possibility of a blooming romance... you're gonna love it.

I have also been asked to write a TV/Netflix series set in the 80s so I'm currently researching this (and yes, I was around then, thank you, but not in the location the series is set in).

My BFI Network supported film is currently with the director and I hope things will soon be moving on that, and yesterday I signed a collaborative agreement with the very lovely and visionary Michele Lammas, in order to turn her children's book into a screenplay.

On top of that I have another big project with director Ben Bloore which is coming along really well.

As well as the zillions of other TV/film/animations I have ongoing...

But what I really wanted to mention in this post, is men. Older men. Things have changed a lot since I was a child, and now there are as many men as women who take and collect kids from school, make dinners, load washing machines.

But for the 60 plus generation, this wasn't something that came naturally. Consequently, these men, once their working lives are over, often feel misplaced in society, redundant - useless. Women, the lynchpin of most families, continue generally to do what they always did - care for children, emotionally support the family... but their men folk are being left behind.

That's why The Shed is such a great concept. Providing a place for men to meet, share expertise and help each other over a cuppa, it gives men not just somewhere to go, but a support group to turn to.

As a woman myself, I've seen what happened when my own parents retired from work. My mother found numerous new hobbies (and indeed a new husband along the way, but that's a different story entirely)  while my dad became isolated and lonely.

So take a look at the clip below. And if either yourself or a loved one fancies popping along to see what it's all about, I'm sure they'd be very welcome.

Until then - happy reading! x

Men In Sheds - Bromsgrove

Monday, 16 December 2019

Merry Christmas!

Hello again readers!

We are fast approaching Christmas and it's going to be a very different one for us. Not only do we have a different dog in the house ( one who despite all her nervousness and strangeness, is weirdly indifferent to the Christmas tree and decorations) but I'm feeling as if we are a little thin on the ground.

As you may know from reading my blog, we have had lots of losses over the past two years, and with my eldest now away at Uni, I feel somewhat diminished, smaller in myself. Having taken my third child to some college interviews recently, and with the middle one starting to think about universities, it's clear I'll soon have to face 'empty nest syndrome'.

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was dropping my youngest at nursery, and I wonder what happened to all the intervening years. Inside my head I'm still a young woman. The exterior of me tells a different story, I'm afraid.

So I've made some major decisions. I'm the sort of person who likes to take stock of their lives and I've come to realise that I need make a move towards vegetarianism. I was veggie for two whole years about 28 years ago. I'll admit I found it hard going.

But back then there wasn't the choice of vegetarian foods there is today. Back then it was soya mince or nothing. The other problem was and still is, that I don't like potatoes and I actually don't like many vegetables, other than salad leaves and broccoli... kinda makes it difficult to have any variety.

Nevertheless I'm going to cut down on meat with a view to becoming totally vegetarian in time. So - wish me luck. I think it's the right thing to do, especially as my body gets older and needs more nutrition and less rubbish, and from a moral viewpoint.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A time to heal...

I haven't blogged for a few months. To be honest I've been  too raw. 

The last time I posted on here, things were looking great. One of my latest films had garnered BFI Network support, and we were just about to go on holiday to Crete for a family wedding. The future seemed rosy...

But like all things in life, there were events lurking around the corner - things I wasn't yet aware of. One of them was that my beloved Rottweiler had terminal cancer. 

She'd had a limp for a few weeks before I had it investigated. Earlier in the year she'd tripped over her own paws when chasing a squirrel, and had limped for a week or so. Second time around, I assumed the previous injury had flared up, even though I hadn't witnessed her doing anything to cause it. 

But the x-ray told a different story. There was a huge tumour on her left shoulder and shadows in her lungs, indicating that the cancer had already metastasised. My shock and horror on hearing this was profound. I couldn't believe that my sweet dog was so bravely and uncomplainingly suffering through this horrific disease. 

The vet was right when she said the particular type of cancer she had was aggressive - within the week we were making another visit to the vet's to give Roxie a dignified end to her life. I held her and comforted her,  and knew that she had loved me just as enormously as I had loved her.  

We entered a period of grieving. I couldn't look at her beds, her toys and bowls... but I couldn't get rid of them either. To have lost my dad and both dogs within just less than 18 months, seemed too cruel. 

I came through the front door and there was no lolling tongue, no wagging tail to greet me. Just silence and too-clean floors. 

I came to hate the way the floors stayed clean when I vacuumed; to be repelled by the echoing silence in the kitchen when I entered first thing in the morning; to be heartbroken that I no longer got to kiss her goodnight before I headed up to bed. My heart was broken. 

And then something happened. 

I decided to foster. Not to adopt, but to take on and try to heal a dog that was as broken as me, one whose spirit had been crushed by the sheer force of its former bad luck. 

So I contacted a rescue centre. After the home check, I explained that I would take the dog that cowered in the corner of its kennel, the dog that would greet no-one, the one that no-one wanted because it was just too broken...

They gave me Beauty. A street dog from Bosnia that's terrified of people and who refused to come anywhere near me or anyone else. 

With only one eye and a large scar on her side that looks like a burn mark, it's easy to imagine that she lost her eye through some deliberate act of cruelty. But she can't say and I'll never know. 

What I do know is that she has a lot of love to give, now that she's becoming so used to us. And I think that as much as I'm helping her, she's helping me too. 

Who knows, maybe we'll both emerge stronger from this experience. Whether we do or not, I know one thing. There's a happy face and a wagging tail in the house again, and my heart is filled with hope. 

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Big news, medium news.

I'm aware I haven't told you my big news... my latest film is being supported by BFI NETWORK. If you're not sure what that means, here is the logo, which I'm sure you'll have seen elsewhere.

I'm obviously thrilled about this development and can't wait for you to see it. But there's a lot of hard work to do in the meantime. 

In addition to this, I have several other films in development, as well as a couple of TV series, but since it's all hush-hush, I can't disclose any more than that. 

So what can I tell you? I can tell you that the BFI NETWORK only fund and support films they truly believe in, so to have them behind one of my films is incredible. And thrilling.

I've also been involved in top-notch discussions regarding a new TV series. I even had to sign a non-disclosure agreement in front of a witness. 

Although cloak and dagger stuff is fairly commonplace within this industry, which is worth billions in viewing figures, I've never had a situation which was so tightly sewn up. Let's just say MI5 has nothing on this lot!

I'm aware too that you've all been waiting patiently for a new book... well there are several on the way, but I'm sorry to say the wait will be a little longer. And hey, it's not like I've been sitting around doing nothing. I'm working flat-out!

In the meantime, if you want to catch up with me for a chat, I will be at the Space Day at The Hive in Worcester on October 5th. It's something I've been involved with for the past six or seven years, as a writer of science-fiction as well as thrillers, psychological and otherwise. 

So until I can actually reveal more, happy reading and have a great summer. x

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

LYV - a short film, coming soon

Goodness me, we're halfway through the year - how did that happen? 

I'm aware that I haven't posted in absolutely ages... but there is good reason for that. I have been working on several very different film and TV scripts, so much so, that I haven't had a moment to myself. 

So, here's how you can help me get back on track. On Twitter, search for @Lyv_shortfilm. If you follow it you'll be able to see how things are progressing on this short, written by yours truly. 

I'll be filling you in on all the details as soon as I can. 

Happy reading! 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Yes, but what's your real job..?

In my experience most people automatically assume that being a writer isn't actually a real job. Even when I tell them I write every day, for at least six hours a day, more than half the people I talk to, will still ask what my real job is. 

In fact the reaction is often akin to what it would be, if instead of saying I was a writer, I claimed to be a fairy charmer or a dietician for frogs. On the whole, people just don't get it. Perhaps because of the fantasy (excuse the pun) surrounding the concept of being a writer (see previous post) or perhaps because it seems a tenuous way to make money...

And in truth they're not far wrong. With royalties literally only pennies on every book sold, it takes thousands of sales to be able to buy a round at the pub, and yet, there is money to be made. 

One of the ways is in ghost writing, or in writing commissioned articles for magazines, either online or in print. There are well paid jobs in copy writing and/or editing, so if you're not fussed whether you write about a new-to-market car, or the latest restaurant, or how to rid yourself of the misery of piles, or any number of things that magazines publish, you can have a job for life. 

The trouble with this sort of writing however, is that it's all slanted towards making the average consumer lust after the subject of your article. This sort of writing is rich in flashy adjectives which often imply that a person will be sexier, more beautiful, richer in life, thinner, sleeker, more intelligent, if only he or she will buy/use/spend /try/give,  etc., etc., etc... And come on, we all know the reality of that, don't we? 

Another problem that writers can face is in connecting with others. It's a dog-eat-dog world in writing, so chatting to another author can become a bit of a competition. They tell you how many books they've written and how successful they are, and you reciprocate. 

You're both cautious when discussing your WIP (work in progress) because there's a chance that 1. this person might steal your idea, 2. this person might ridicule your idea, 3. this person might suggest there is no value in your idea, since the concept has already been written about in a book they will name by an author you've never heard of, and 4. this person might actually like your idea and therefore tell others about it, leading to numbers 1-3 above. 

So connecting with other authors has to be done carefully. 

Quite recently I found myself in one such scenario, and on exiting the building where we had met, I let out a huge sigh of relief ,and then allowed my self to laugh at how silly I felt at having to skirt around the topic of my WIP, whilst she did exactly the same thing. 

We were like boxers in a ring who never landed a single punch. 

But funny as it seems, it's deadly serious too. I know of two production companies who are adamant that their productions have been ripped off by another company. Easily done, when agents, publishers, film directors, producers and TV companies insist that they want to see a whole script before making a decision. 

Of course you can pay for copyright and registration of your work, but like everything in life, that requires money. Whilst relatively inexpensive per script, try doing it with thirty books or scripts. And of course, should you be plagiarised even so, it takes seriously big bucks to drive these cases through court. 

So remember, as they used to say in the war - "Loose lips sink ships," and keep those great ideas to yourself!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

The Pros and Cons Of Being A Writer - Part One

The reality of being a writer is usually far from what people expect.

Generally, people assume that it's a glamorous job, that my days are filled with excitement, my evenings star-studded. 

It's seldom like that. For me, anyway.

The path to being published or produced is a hard and rocky one. There is more rejection than acceptance, and there are times when you will want to quit, and times when the idea of quitting seems impossible. The publishing industry is a hard nut to crack and the TV and film industry is a daunting thing to attempt to infiltrate.

And I choose my words carefully. There are helpful people in  these industries but there are also many who will rip you or your idea off, at the slightest opportunity. 

Most days, you will tread the slim line between quitting and persevering at least forty or fifty times... depending on what your latest review has come back saying; whether your agent is free to take your call or not; and generally, whichever way the wind is blowing...

From this, I think you will get my point. In an up and down world, being a writer is one of the most fragile of mindsets you can possible hold and not go totally insane (if you're lucky, and if you have people at your side to hold your feet on the ground).

So let's take each point one at a time. 

DREAM  - well you'll have plenty of those. Both in the sense of actual sleeping dreams and hopes and aspirations. 

Of the actual sleeping dreams, expect these to be peppered with all your fears and anxieties, not only about your own life, but about everything and everyone you encountered that particular day. 

My dreams are so vivid that often I wake up, convinced that the world really has been taken over by aliens; that I can fly; that I did win the lottery; that I've entered another reality… etcetera, etcetera...

These dreams have to be taken with a pinch of salt, and unfortunately, although they might have seemed riveting when your unconscious brain was rolling them out on the widescreen of your sleeping inner mind, they will be so riddled with plot holes and weird inconsistencies, that there's no way they will make interesting books or films. 

So dreams are not the lazy way into writing. 

As for the sorts of dreams that are hopes and aspirations… well these can also be problematic. 

It's possible that you will be  a billionaire upon the launch of your first book. Possible - but highly unlikely. 

What you might be, is a few pounds better or worse off, depending on your publishing situation. 

Readers will not flock to your door, demanding more of the same... indeed your readers many not even leave you a review, even if they loved your book. 

That is of course, assuming that any readers manage to stumble upon your book in the first place. There are now millions of books for sale on Amazon, with the growing popularity of the idea  that everyone has at least one book in them. 

You can call me a pessimist if you like, but I stand by my belief that there are many people who don't even have one book in them, let alone more. 

And why should they? We are all different and  our experiences within life are all different, ergo why should we all  have the same story telling skill?

So when it comes to hopes and aspirations, being grounded is the key. 

If you want to write, you must ask yourself why. And you must be truthful in your answer. 

If it's to get famous, then forget it. If it's to give yourself enjoyment and perhaps spread that enjoyment to others, then maybe test the waters. But don't ask your family's opinion of anything you write. They love you, so can't be objective. 

If, on the other hand, stories and characters burn bright inside your mind, then you really have no choice but to write and let them out. 

So, before you put pen to paper, think hard - it may just save your sanity!

Next time we'll cover Not A Real Job, and Connecting With Others. 

Happy reading! x

Thursday, 10 January 2019

2019 already!

Hello again readers. 

Hasn't it been a long Christmas and New Year period? My children didn't go back to school until January 8th, and by then we were all so far removed from our routine, that it kind of came as a shock when it arrived. 

That said, I'm well into the three films I was planning to get started on. The truth is that I couldn't wait until January, and started them around Christmas. 

So far I'm loving them. You may remember me telling you that they are very different and I think that's half the fun, having so many different characters in my head, all offering their opinions on any given subject at one time. I swear, some days they have a party in there and don't even invite me!

Today I woke up to a wonderful message which was sent to me by a reader. 

" I have just finished reading your book, began and finished in one night! Incredibly hooking story and very well written, definitely hope you write more! Thank you for such a great read!"

Needless to say, I'm absolutely delighted. I do hope she leaves a review on Amazon. 

And yes, there are more books coming. To date, I have written 20 books and around 8 films, the first of which will be coming out this year. 

So if you haven't yet read any of my published books, you really should. 

Happy reading! x

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Christmas wishes.

To all my readers, I wish you a fabulous Christmas and a coming year filled with wonder and delight... and because I'm a generous spirit, even if you're not one of my readers, I still wish you the above. [See? I am generous ;) ]

Once the kids go back to school, I will be straight into my new works, one drama/ romance film, a horror film, and a dystopian science fiction film.   As you may know, I like a bit of diversity. 

I am also hoping to move some of my stack of  unpublished books forward. The problem with these, is that I have to make a decision and I've always been rather indecisive - ask anyone who's ever sat waiting for me to make a choice from a menu!

Where I can, I promise to keep you up-to-date with my projects, but this is harder to do with film than books, as so much is out of my control. 

So until then - happy reading! x

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Naughty or Nice?

With Christmas almost here, my thoughts have turned to the strangers who have been most helpful to me, this year. Or not.

It's only a bit of fun, but I do advise you to make your own list, as not only does it allow you to vent your angst over something, but it allows the wider picture to be seen, whether you reach a balance or whether you've had a year full of annoying, petty, problems.

NAUGHTY                                                      NICE                        
The man who shouted abuse at me,         All the fellow dog- walkers who stopped  
because I pressed the button                    to chat with me. 
for the lights to change. 

The woman who complained about       Glasgow Council, who helped me 
me placing things outside of my            dispose of my dad's old furniture, 
dad's flat for the council to pick up.       after he passed away. 
(The furniture was next to the bins as
I'd been told to do.)
The sales assistant at Charford Post       The OTHER sales assistant, who just did it 
Office, who sent me away with my           the next day, when I returned, 
heavy parcel unposted, as                       refusing all help from me.
'she wasn't allowed' to  lift it, 
( fair enough) but insisted that I
couldn't place it where all the other
large parcels waited to be collected
by the Parcelforce driver, as only she
could do that!

Beko manufacturers and AO for           Argos for replacing my broken vacuum  
making and selling me a dishwasher     cleaner, without the slightest quibble.
that broke the DAY AFTER the 12
month warranty ran out.

I could go on, but I won't, as I think you get my point.

Life is made up of the things that happen to us and how others help us through those times.

Going forward, I'm going to do my damnedest to be on other people's 'nice' side.

I hope to see you there! ;)

Happy reading.

Monday, 3 December 2018

A quick catch-up.

With Christmas fast approaching, I'm working hard to get the three films I have been writing, finished and signed off.

Of course in this industry, nothing is ever actually signed-off until it is made into film, and even then scenes may be lost to the cutting room floor, or new ones inserted.

Part of the reason for this, is because making a film is like asking a bunch of theoretical scientists to all agree on a particular theory. Everyone has their own version, no matter how minutely different that is from everyone else's ideas. So it is with film.

Even the most brilliant scripts will be moulded to fit a director's mindscape, diverging from the original idea as conceived by the screenwriter. It's inevitable. It's just a question of how much really.

But I am very lucky in the quality of the teams I am working with - top notch directors and producers - people who really know their stuff, and who are happy to let me get on with my side of things.

So, after Christmas, what are the plans?

I will be working on two brand new films. One of which is set in Cyprus.

I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into this one, not least because of the rich tapestry of the story I will create, but because of how different it is to things I've written before.

So until I catch up with you again - have fun, eat well and happy reading.

Carmen. x