Here's lookin at you kid...

Here's lookin at you kid...
The eyes are the windows to the soul...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Spooky Stuff at The Stone Shoot!

Slightly off-topic for this one but I've been lucky enough to have been invited to visit (and help on) Phil Gardiner's Movie: The Stone link this week.

Day 1

All going well until Phil left his phone switched on (or was it switched on, as he doesn't normally have it on?) and it started ringing as they were shooting. Phil was puzzled as to why one of the actresses was ringing him when she was not only on set, but being filmed at the time - Layla's name came up on his phone screen, but Layla's phone was also switched off and in her bag - out of the way of filming!

Day 2

All batteries in cameras keep draining inexplicably, a full battery may not last all day, but it should last more than mere minutes! Nik also had a whole batch of batteries go into melt-down. They all leaked and were ruined. These were brand-new batteries.

Simon took a few atmospheric stills of The Hall and saw 'something' in one of the images. He thinks it may reveal itself to be a person when he gets the pics sorted on his computer. We wait with bated breath!

Day 3

Nik was filming upstairs in the Hall and his FULL battery went from Full, down to Half then Quarter in an instant! He replaced the battery, but the camera had moved from being set up for shooting the next scene, he had to re-set the whole shot again. I had been standing right behind him and saw that the shot was in line - before the battery died - to being way too high for the shot after the battery had been replaced. The battery also died without warning - something that never happens on that particular camera, he assured me.
The hairs on both my arms stood on end at one point during the filming and wouldn't lay down even when I rubbed my arms to warm them (I was not cold).

I have been to this location before and was showing Simon the differences between two rooms, both on the front aspect and right next to each other. One is lovely and sunny, warm and inviting even though dilapidated. The room next door had the hairs on both my arms standing on end! It also 'feels' uninviting, even hostile.

There is also a few of the Extras that know of other film shoots that have happened there, their batteries have died inexplicably too... amongst other weird happenings - scenes which were filmed have disappeared once filming has finished... can't be found! I hope it doesn't happen this time, especially after all the hard work everyone has put into it!

Some of the Actors have decided to have a seance this evening, to which I'm invited... I'll keep you posted.

Day 4

One of the lovely Actresses - Jojo, sent this:

Also if your logging weird happenings my mobile wouldn't work all day, people could hear me but I could not hear them, then since I got home its been fine, just thought my phone was broken at first.....spooky

Jojo x

It's getting weirder!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A little bit more... Hazel's first Full Moon!

The atmosphere in the ballroom was charged with tension. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath, paused and waiting. Hazel did not realise that it was her that they were waiting for.

Luke gently positioned her in the centre of the floor, then, instead of leading her in a dance; he left her on her own and melted into the crowd. The eyes behind each mask were focused on Hazel. Just then, the chandelier started to dim. The crowd started murmuring with controlled excitement.

Suddenly Hazel was aware of growling and snarling. She wondered if there were real animals here in the elegant ballroom, surely not. It took a while to realise that the snarls and growls were coming from her throat.

She felt her skin begin to tingle, the sensation started at her left hand, spreading quickly up her arm, across her chest and down the other arm as well as radiating through her whole body. The sensation was quite pleasant to begin with, but quickly became more intense and very soon was unbearably painful.

She was confused. She rubbed her arms trying to alleviate the tingling, burning sensation as she looked for Luke. She could not recognise anyone under these masks. She turned around and around, trying to find someone that she could distinguish or at least someone who would help her.

Her gown was becoming constrictive, she clawed at it and it tore right down the bodice. She shook herself and the ruins of the dress fell away from her. The mask was pulled off. Hazel could not think straight. Why were all these people surrounding her, crowding round? They were making her angry and defensive.

Hazel snapped at hands and faces that were too close. She was a full Wolf now, on all fours.

The people surrounding her were laughing and taunting her. She did not – could not - understand. She dearly wanted to be outside so she made a break for the glass doors. Unfortunately for Hazel, many hands restrained her. Ropes were put around her neck and were pulled from different directions and so she felt herself trapped, held secure. Still she snapped at anyone that got too close.

After what seemed an age of frenetic fury, Hazel appeared to calm down a little. She allowed the crowd to get closer to where she had lain down. One of the young men who had been taunting her from the start got a little close and, quicker than he could react, she snapped at him without warning. She didn’t go for his hand or face, something that could be pulled away quickly and on instinct, but she went in low and hard, biting almost clean through his calf muscle.

With a triumphant howl she yanked her head back and a piece of flesh came away in her teeth.

In an instant, she was face-to-face with another Wolf. He had changed in front of her eyes. Hazel’s hackles rose even more than they were already. She would not back down.

Friday, 9 July 2010

I'm wondering...

Should I or shouldn't I post a little of one of my other stories here?

Here goes...

Though he loathed rushing an experiment, he knew that tonight was the optimum time. The full June moon was beginning to wane; it was the last night that he would be able to conduct this experiment for twenty six days.

Thinking quickly as he spied a lone woman, he had to make his move. She seemed to be very drunk and she staggered along holding onto her shawl with one hand and the wall with her other. Her gait was unsteady and her clothes were dirty, shabby and dishevelled. He took one swift look about him to assure himself that there were not many others close by and none that were within a number of yards of her. Steeling himself now that he had made his decision, he stepped out of the shadows. He approached the woman with confidence and took her arm. He led her, unresisting, out of the alley and through another.

“Are you available dear?” He asked her as soon as he was certain that he had not been noticed.

“Eh? Yeah, yes sir, I am at that.” She grinned up at him and he realised that she was older than he had imagined and by God, she smelled rank.

“Good,” he forced his voice to sound amenable, his special and practiced tone - the one that he used on his better class of patient. “But not here, I know a place not far from here.”

“I gots me a place, lovie,” she began to lead him in another direction.

“No, this way, I have the perfect place,” he did not have the perfect place, but he could find it.


“Are we ‘ere then lovie?” The crone asked.

“No. Shut up.”

She looked up at him and something about his concentration must have cut through her gin-sodden brain. She pulled from his grasp. “I ain’t stayin’ ‘ere. You’re up to summink. Be off, let me alone!”

In desperation, he drew the cane from its sheath and as she turned to stagger off, he sliced at her back, cutting through the clothing and into her flesh. The blade was as sharp as his surgeon’s tools and for a moment, she thought that he had just grabbed for her and missed. Then with a small groan, she fell to her knees, dropping her ragged shawl as she tried to reach around the back of herself. Blood was soaking her clothes and she was whimpering as she sank onto her front. Her hands were still fluttering around her sides, trying to get to her wound.


Then he saw the beast. It was watching him, sitting in a puddle of moonlight as though by intent so that he could see it better. The light slanting from over the rooftops, made almost palpable by the smog which was beginning to thicken. Then the wolf - which he knew to be a Werewolf - spoke. He almost jumped out of his skin. He never imagined that they could speak.

“Well finish it then. Do not let it suffer so. Do not worry; I shall not steal your kill.” The voice was deep and velvety. He could imagine that voice talking to him whilst he allowed its owner to tear out his throat; it was almost hypnotic in the alluring timbre. He thought of deep silky fur enveloping him as he sunk into unfathomable depths to meet with ecstasy, delight and blood. He stayed silent but he did move closer to the beast.


This one was a woman. He gasped but waved for the wolf to go forward.

The wolf looked puzzled - and he was bemused at how an animal could look puzzled. Then it shrugged and moved on past him. She positioned herself on the opposite side of the woman’s body so that she could keep a wary eye on him as she devoured the unexpected prize.

“I do not recommend that you stay too long to watch, my friend. I shall be finished here very soon and my appetite is but whetted. Of course, I much prefer the easier prey such as you have kindly furnished me with but rest assured that your blade is no match for my weaponry.”


He took the hint and fled. He became happier once he had reached a populated area and he slipped inside the first public house that he came to, to imbibe some spirits to steady his jangling nerves. He was thankful that all he got from the barman was a glass of whisky and an odd look. Jack did not want conversation and the barman seemed to share that sentiment. He did not trust his own voice to be steady at this moment.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

This is disturbing...

There's no wonder that new writers are finding it so very difficult to get even a sniff of a ladder, let alone one foot on the thing!

This article disturbs me.

I think that this practice needs to be seriously looked at! How on earth can new Publishing Houses compete with those kind of shenanigans?

As a writer that is going to Self-Publish, how can I get my book into those shops? The answer is, I can't.

My book may not make the Best Sellers lists but would it have made it there if this kind of thing wasn't happening?

How many really great books are not getting a fair crack of the whip just because the Publisher simply cannot afford to purchase this kind of advertising - and that's exactly what it is - Advertising!

It's like the 'Infomercials' on TV - They should be clearly labelled that they are NOT independently reviewed but bought and paid for!

The public are being shepherded into buying books that are 'great reads' and 'unputdownable page-turners' when in reality they haven't even been read in some cases!

How many times have you bought a book on a store recommendation or because the author is well-known and published lots and then read it, and thought "What a load of rubbish! I could do better!"? I know I have - I did!

It's WRONG and it should be stopped!

Rant over... more later.

Friday, 21 May 2010


I'd like to introduce you to the first Werewolf in my book 'Deadlier'

"Fuck this," he growled, "you need a fright to get you going!"

With that, he let go of her coat and stood upright, away from her and the wall that he had been trapping her against. He half hoped she would try to make an attempt at escape now that he had let her go.

His full height of six feet, two inches was impressive, as was his body which was sleek and toned under his silk shirt. Her eyes were locked on his as his entire face began to alter. The skin and muscles were independent of the bone structure beneath yet were following the same path. His features rippled as his skin then began to change its texture. He knew what he looked like, he'd spent time practicing this - just like a wanna-be pop star does.

Though rather than dancing around the bedroom with the obligatory make-believe microphone, he had instead watched his own transformation. He had studied this process, studying his own face in the mirror countless times until he had perfected this elaborate and terrifying metamorphosis. He had worked hard for each of his victim’s benefit, making their ordeal as shocking as possible – after all, it would be their last experience.

His forehead changed and flattened - as did the slope of his cranium - the hairline moving forward. At the same instant, his mouth began to protrude from his face, bringing the nose with it and elongating his jaw. The teeth moved by themselves to fill the new jaw, they became longer and pointed – a visible and lethal sharpness as his lips drew back from them. His hairline was continuing forward - like water burbling over shale - down his face, changing texture as it enveloped skin. It passed over his jaw line and down his throat on into the open collar of his shirt. His eyes turned from dark brown to preternatural yellow as the hair sprouted along his lengthened nose. Then as the transformation of his face had finished, his tongue, glistening with saliva, touched the tip of one front fang in a final and theatrical gesture.

The face of the full moon watched over this horrifying tableau and still the woman’s gaze never faltered.

He stood still and quiet for a moment and then, pride and arrogance gleaming in his eyes, continued to set the scene for her.

"I need no introduction; you can see exactly what I am. I belong with the dark terrors that reside in the back of your mind. I am the embodiment of what you humans hope does not exist and try to convince yourselves so, yet still fear is real. I am a Werewolf! My kind have inhabited your stories and nightmares for centuries, you delight in the telling and re-telling of stories which scare you to death and what happens when you encounter such a being? Do you revel in the experience? No, you scream and plead and beg for it not to be so. Well, I fulfil my part of the bargain; I want you to honour your part. All you need to do is make a break for it; your flesh will taste so much better if you pump adrenalin into it." His voice sounded deeper because of his distorted vocal chords.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

One more taster...

A man and a woman arrived at the bar just as Red turned back around. Claire spoke to Red before she did the couple, as she knew Red had been waiting, albeit with her back to the bar.

“Oi! We were here first!” The woman shouted at Claire. Then it was Red’s turn to raise her eyebrow in surprise. “You fucking served her before us last time!” She continued her tirade.

Again, Red shrugged, combined with a gesture that said to serve them first – just for the sake of peace, but Claire didn’t suffer fools gladly. The man barked his drinks order at Claire “Bottle of Bud, Vodka ‘n’ Coke, two Aftershocks!”

“Please.” Claire helped him with his manners. In answer he sneered at her.

Claire arrived back with a bottle for Red before getting their drinks, but Red was still watching the dancing, only half-aware of the fuss at the side of her. Claire tapped Red’s shoulder with the bottle and turned to get Mr & Ms No-manners their order. Red had her hand in her front pocket getting the money out for when Claire got back when the woman at the side of her said to her boyfriend “That arrogant bitch needs pulling down a peg or two!”

Red glanced in their direction as he nodded his agreement. Claire handed them their drinks and took a tenner from him. She collected Red’s money at the same time. Claire watched astonished as the woman tipped her drink down Red’s arm.

The first Red realised of this was that her arm was cold and wet. Red was incredulous as she looked at her dripping arm, then at the woman. She could see by the look on her face that it was no accident.

“What the fuck are you looking at?” The woman said, jerking her head forward with blunt aggression.

Red turned her whole body to face her, she was cool and calm as she switched the bottle from her right to her left hand. She looked again at her wet arm then brushed the liquid from it with her right hand. She brought it up again as if to repeat the motion but instead she snapped her hand back to catch the woman a back-hander across her mouth. The woman staggered a couple of steps towards the dance floor and her boyfriend didn’t miss a beat and punched Red in the face. He caught her below the eye, just on the top of her cheekbone.

Red dropped the bottle and grabbed hold of his throat with her left hand. Her right hand was pulled back, claws already replacing fingernails; instinct was too close to the surface because of the alcohol and caution was abandoned. The music didn’t stop but the dancing did, or at least it moved away from where the trouble was starting. The toes of the man’s shoes were now barely touching the floor. Both hands were scrabbling on Red’s hand, trying to break her grip. His eyeballs were starting to protrude. The doormen had responded to Claire hitting the panic button and were running in. Red registered all of this yet she was taking no notice of it. She was just ready to strike with her right hand when…

Saturday, 15 May 2010


This is an excerpt from Deadlier.

She stood with her back to the closed doors of the club; it was very late, almost three in the morning. The last punters of the evening had been persuaded to leave through those same doors less than twenty minutes before her. She asked herself, not for the first time; why did she work here of all places? Her feet hurt and she was forever on a knife-edge, waiting for the next incident to go off. Her weekends were never her own and her sleep patterns were shot to pieces and that was after only a month of working at the night-club.

As she looked around, she saw that a prominent police presence was very obvious in the hope that by being there they could prevent the majority of fracas. Paramedics were also in abundance, in case the preventative measure was not enough. The two groups of professionals were the only visibly sober people in the vicinity and they were vastly outnumbered by drunken civilians.

She knew that the market place of this medium sized town would be bustling with late-night revellers, queuing for a late night snack at the burger vans, waiting for the Night Bus or a taxi or just walking home. The weekend started a few hours ago for most of these people and they seemed intent on making the most of it.

The sky was crystal clear, sprinkled with stars and accompanied by the luminous glow of the full moon, giving a stark, sharp feel to objects and shadows alike. The streets were filthy and littered with debris from the multitude of fast food outlets which flanked the clubs and pubs. She decided as she gazed up at the moon that she didn’t want to have to mingle with the drunks when she was sober. She had had enough of them for one evening and so on impulse she went against going the shortest route to her car and took the road less travelled.

Looking both ways, up and down the street, she dodged in front of a slow moving taxi and crossed over at a trot, bearing right. As the majority of the crowds continued straight on towards the hill down to the market, she swung left at the corner where only a small minority were walking. Even so close to the crowds still milling about on the street behind her, she felt an instant ease with the change of pace. She walked fast, overtaking a small group of young men who she remembered being at the same club where she had been working.

“G’night love!” One of them shouted as she had passed, his reactions delayed by the alcohol he had poured down his throat in the few hours he had been out. She didn’t turn back but shouted a cheerful “Goodnight” and waved her hand at them. She walked down the slope, alongside the high and curved retaining wall which supported the railway embankment. The alternative way she had taken was peaceful and she was calming down after the stress of being on the lookout for trouble all the time at the club. Once around the corner and out of sight of the group still behind her, she cut right, taking an unusual route up through an isolated car park which led nowhere at this time of night. In the darkness caused by absence of any working street lights, the moon’s glow cast deeper shadows than the sun and blanched the colour from everything, but the tranquillity she found only added to her calm.

Looming above the car park was the ancient and sturdy brick arches which made up the viaduct for the railway, she once again gazed up at the moon gleaming above the brickwork. Her attention was diverted by movement to the left of her focus. Some fool was playing about on the railway lines, perhaps fulfilling a drunken dare. She figured that unless he was unlucky and fell, he should be ok because the passenger trains didn’t run this late. The only thing he’d have to watch out for was the freight trains which ran all night, albeit at a slower pace. Still, it was not her problem.


As some of my FB friends will already know, I wrote a book and I'm now at the stage where I'm ready for it to be published - even if Agents and Publishers aren't.

Because of my impatient persona (I'll never change) I have decided to take this down the Self Publishing route. I have a number of people to thank for helping me out here.

Trev - Of course, my support for decades now.

Marianne - For constant encouragement - we shall meet up one day, I promise.

Nick - For pointing me in a few directions - some good, others not so good but all with learning curves and that's always a good thing.

Netti - Proof reading and sourcing artwork etc.

Right, before I start to sound like I'm accepting an Oscar, I'll leave off, but I'll be adding thanks as and when necessary.

More later,