Well… thanks for buying Fall Out and or listening to the Audio Book. I thought I would try and do this letter with me thinking of the kind of questions you might ask. At least it breaks up what might be a boring monologue!
What can you expect from an evening in with Fall Out?
You can expect a late night firstly as I hope you can’t put it down! It’s a fresh look at the thriller genre. In the same way as Dick Francis wrote stories with horse racing as the backdrop or Grisham used the law, I have used my experience in film and TV to write a thriller with an Entertainment Industry backdrop
The story starts out with the murder of a successful screenwriter who has just completed his latest script Fall Out, destined to be a huge hit and the best work of his career. However, we discover it is much more than that; for a select group of people he has sent it to it’s a death sentence with a reveal of one of the last centuries greatest crimes. As the quote on the top of each screenplay reads:
The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed'. HONORÉ DE BALZAC
Fall Out gently lifts the veil on not only how films get made but on the true story of one of the greatest crimes of the last century.
What’s true and what isn’t?
The story has a number of characters from a Talent Agent, Completion Bond Executive, Stunt Men, a designer of parties and stands in Cannes, a writer, a Producer, a sixty-year-old Filipino and the last person you would expect as a hit man… I’d get sued if I told you whom they are based on!
In addition, I have used both well researched historical facts laced with a healthy dollop of fiction to create a hybrid book where hopefully you the reader finds it difficult to separate reality from fiction. There is action, exotic locations, Da Vinci code type clues and I hope some fascinating glimpses at art, food, and organized crime.
Who are the main Characters?
It has two leads… Producer Marcus Riley and Designer Melinda ‘Mako de Turris’, who spark off each other. I hope there is a lightness of touch and humor which I believe is missing from thrillers today. As a film and TV Producer, dialogue that crackles and descriptive scenery are important to me. It’s a very visual read with a number of spectacular locations that I hope are both fascinating and different.
What’s my background and am I qualified to write about this?
After a brief stint in Kidnap Ransom and Extortion Insurance at LIoyds of London, I started my TV and film career working for Jim Henson and the Muppets. Over the years I made a number of movies, mini-series and series for worldwide TV, with productions for both US and UK networks. Somehow in the mid noughties, I also ended up being a channel owner buying the international version of The Hallmark Channel. That was sold to NBC and I returned to producing. The last project was Treasure Island for SKY and NBC Universal with Eddie Izard, Donald Sutherland, Elijah Wood, Philip Glenister and Rupert Penry Jones!
This all gives me an insider’s view to the workings of the Entertainment Industry to give verisimilitude to the backdrop of Fall Out. On that front, I hope I succeeded. Already the book has enjoyed some very kind endorsements from people in the industry. These include a number of award-winning Producers of Oscar nominated movies and Emmy Award winning drama shows, home grown support from the CEO and owner of Hammer Films, the founder of Talk Radio, Broadcaster Emma Forbes and former CEO of Channel 5 and Senior Exec at ITV and Sky, Dawn Airey.
Why this book?
Well, I unearthed a dark side of history on a visit to Asia. On its own it lacked a real story that is relevant today to wrap around it. So, I chose the movie business; something everyone is fascinated about, yet the Industry itself keep so may secrets to itself.
And on a personal basis, making movies by nature is a very collaborative business. I just wanted a chance to do something where I am in complete control! So, if it’s a success I will no doubt be insufferable!
I have been very lucky with support. From the Publishers, my wife and friends and even from bestselling authors including Damien Lewis. I hope I have succeeded blurring the lines between truth and fiction with a fast paced but very different kind of thriller. As well as imparting some knowledge about how our business really works. Most important is you the reader enjoy the ride!