All these people have been working with some of the big names in showbiz and have written for some of the most well-known tv dramas and talked about what they have written for, their favourite moments and how they began. Each have now also added the title of author onto their talents.
Simon started his career writing a collection of dramas for Radio 4. He has written for Prime Time for the BBC, ITV and the US. He wrote the screenplays for Just William, The Inspector Linley Mysteries, Holby City and the Mrs Bradley Mysteries. In the US he wrote a couple of romantic comedies starring Anna Friel and Rob Lowe. He has also worked in the field of Journalism.
Simon reckoned his favourite moment was when working on the Mrs Bradley Mysteries, he had lunch with Dame Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon. It was a very happy time and then a seagull went and, to put it as politely as possible, did its stuff over the table. This, as Simon was recalling this minute, seemed to make him (and his audience laugh).
He touched a bit on his latest book – Animal Instinct. His protagonist is a traumatised ex-cop, who prefers animals to people. It is available in physical book form and on Audible, where Brendan Coyle from Downton Abbey and Lia William from The Crown narrate.
Charles Harris has been writing, for what he says, is forever. He had also been making home movies from a young age. In fact he was still at school when he began this. It opened doors for him to be able to do amateur work, which in turn gave him opportunities to work professionally within the industry. He said of success, that “it came in increments.” He directed the soap Brookside and directed, wrote and produced Paradise Grove, amongst others. He won a number of accolades for Paradise Grove.
Charles also likes Fringe theatre (of course the largest example of this in the world is in Edinburgh, Scotland). He likes it because it gives a platform to try things out.
Having been to Edinburgh many times myself, it is true to say many actors, writers, directors, producers, comedians (both established and those starting out) have tried new material out there before taking it anywhere else.
Charles Harris worked with Rula Lenska and Ron Moody on Paradise Grove and reckoned his favourite moment was bringing them their lines.
Charles Harris said he may create a screenplay. He has written books teaching about screenwriting, short stories for anthologies and a novel, which can be found on Amazon. It is already broken into the Amazon “Genre Bestselling List” and has been nominated for “The Wishing Shelf” book awards.
A little about the novel “The Breaking of Liam Glass – experienced journalist, Jason Crowthorne. He is desperate – his career’s in tatters, his love life on the rocks and his finances a disaster. In one frantic last bid to turn it all around, he cheats his way onto a secure hospital ward and stumbles on the scoop of his career – one that could get him onto front pages across the country.
M.J. Arlidge worked on the soap Eastenders and dramas such as Monarch of the Glen and Silent Witness.
He has written many books and is possibly most notably known for the very successful Eeny Meeny. His latest book, published this year (2018) is titled Down to the Woods.
Mr Arlidge said he already knew someone in publishing, which helped when looking for literary agents.
His Detective Inspector of his serial killer series is D.I. Helen Grace He sets his books in and around the English coastal city of Southampton. D.I. Helen Grace is a tough, determined police officer who rides a motorbike and prefers to travel through life alone, she nevertheless has her personal demons to contend with. She lives alone but takes occasional lovers and is also deeply committed to her work of tackling crime within the pages of these darkly written books.
He later went on to say that he writes in short chapters, as that is how he structures screenplays.
His favourite moment came when he had to choose between actors Hardy and Fasbender.
Paul Finch is a former police officer. He later went on to write a screenplay and then landed a job writing for ITV drama The Bill. He later told me that he introduced Mickey Webb.
Paul learnt the ropes from the Script Department on the Bill and he has been writing ever since. He said in his work there, he wrote the dialogue first and interestingly he writes his books in a similar way.
His favourite moment was reviving a script for audio.
Paul Finch has written many novels in many genres from horror to fantasy to crime.
His most recent crime novels feature Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenburg, known more commonly as Heck, is Paul Finch’s main protagonist. He encounters all kinds of creepy killers, including those who seem to like to keep the chase going. The ones that are slow hunters who patiently plan with their complex tasks at hand. Heck is a Sergeant who has done a fair bit of living and had his fair amount of trauma. His work has taken him from the Lake District to the Serial Crimes Unit at Scotland Yard in London. His boss is Detective Superintendent Gemma Piper (also his ex girlfriend) and then there is Detective Constable (D.C.). Gail Honeyford.
Stephen Gallagher was the moderator for this panel. He has written for Radio 4 and for tv, he wrote for Doctor Who and several others, including Rosemary and Thyme, which he sounded like he enjoyed. He has written several novels and is currently writing another Sebastian Becker novel.
All the books sound like they are full of twists and turns, a human touch and have enough action to keep any reader turning those pages. They can all be found on Amazon, bookshops and there are libraries out there that will stock these authors too.
These authors have clearly got lots of experiences to talk about, which makes for an interesting panel, so they are worth spending the time to see.
*With thanks to Stephen Gallagher, Simon Booker and Charles Harris for allowing me to take a photograph of them and for giving me verbal permission to use it for my blog.
This concludes my Morecambe and Vice posts for 2018. So, I thank them for making blogging about the event a very pleasant experience.