Devils and forgers

Just racing to complete a deadline – I’m working on the follow up book to Hell Ship.  But I managed to take some time off last week to sneak off to the Gollancz office party.  This was a fancy dress Halloween affair, with devils and demons galore, and a few guys wearing white lab coats soaked in blood.  Instead of hot dogs, Hell Hounds were served.  A delightful evening all round, and a chance to catch up with old friends and encounter new friends.

Mike Carey was there…as was Suzanne McLeod, Robert Grant from Sci-Fi London, my agent John Jarrold, and a gang from Orbit Books – Anna, Rose, Jo, Sam, and Bella Pagan, whose steam punk outfit (complete with bandolier) complete stole the show. 

I went dressed as Palaeo, who is the little known older brother of Neo.  After a while however I had to abandon my shades because I couldn’t see who I was talking to, and without those, I looked like a renegade priest. 

Tomorrow I enter a different reality entirely…I’m at Broadcasting House for the recording of my new radio drama The Art of Deception 2.  This, as you may have guessed, is the sequel to The Art of Deception 1, and tells the tale of arch forger, liar, cheat, and (possibly) murderer Daniel Ballantyne. It’s a serial written in 5 x 15 minutes which is a tricky but a wonderful format.  Each episode has to be SO precise, tell a story, recap the story that has come before, and yet not be expositional. 

I’m paired up once more with the wonderful Toby Swift, director & producer & Yorkshireman, in that order.  And the cast include David Schofield (who you will have seen in Pirates of the Caribbean), who reprises his role of Daniel Ballantyne, and Hattie Morahan, daughter of the great director Christopher Morahan.  I haven’t met Hattie yet but I’ve seen in quite a few shows, including Outnumbered, and she’s a fab actor.

The scripts I’ve written are very intense – several of the eps are two-handers for David and Hattie.  And it’s a world I love, and a tone that feels very special to me.  Ballantyne is evil; but he is articulate.  And I do love that in a villain….

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