• monstrous women are rarely rewarded

    I’ve been meaning to write something for Women in Horror Recognition Month, which is a campaign to promote women who work within the horror genre during the month of February. I’m going to look at two films that I think deserve some attention and discussion: Ginger Snaps (2000) and Jennifer’s Body (2009). These two films serve as a useful balance, since the first is smart and thought-provoking, while the second is interesting but muddled. Ginger Snaps is based on a story by Karen Walton and John Fawcett, the screenplay was written by Walton, and directed by Fawcett. It’s a film about two sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigette (Emily Perkins),…

  • death and taxes

    It’s been a strange week. There have been two deaths, and I’ve attended one funeral (neither of the deceased were close to me, so don’t proffer sympathies), and a major row erupted in the Irish sf scene that involved a lot of people I know. My mother had been away on holiday, and she called me on Tuesday evening and asked if I wanted to go see a film. I couldn’t really spare the time. Not only did I have a funeral that was going to take up most of the following day, I was really late on sorting out my taxes. I’d been brooding on the Internet fracas going…

  • blogging screenwriters

    I’ve been busy lately working on a new project. This coming November the frst World Conference of Screenwriters will be taking place in Athens, Greece. I’m running the official blog for the event on behalf of the Federation of Screenwriters Europe, who are co-organising the event with the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds. I’ll also be liveblogging from the conference. It’s already been a fun challenge, and I’m looking forward to travelling to Athens, a city I’ve never visited before. Although, I suspect I’ll be too busy working at the conference to sample many of the city’s phenomenal historic attractions. I would love to see the new Acropolis Museum, however.…

  • a weekend of horrors

    I’m back from my trip to London for the horror film festival FrightFest, and I had a lovely time. The weather was great, mostly, and I avoided the occasional showers. When I wasn’t watching movies, I strolled around Soho in the sun, bought a bowler hat, and met up with mates who’ve moved to the city. This year I tried a new strategy in relation to the festival: don’t watch everything. There have been FrighFests in the past where I have attended every single screening over the five days. It’s not recommended, and impossible now since there are two streams of programming. This year I skipped all the late films,…

  • d day

    On this day in 1897 a book called Dracula was published for the first time. In a strange bout of synchronicity my screenwriting group is looking at three screen adaptations of Dracula: Dracula (1931), the BBC mini-series Count Dracula (1977), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Afterwards, we’re going to a screening of the marvellous Swedish vampire film, Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In – 2008). I’d been tipped off about the 1970s BBC version while doing research for the public interview with Kim Newman last month. Everyone who’d seen it heaped the adaptation with high praise, so I was interested in watching it. The series was…

  • get some direction, quick

    Before I inflict my weekly tiny piece of prose upon the web I’ll mention a couple of items that might be of interest to some of my readers. First off while perusing the films appearing in the forthcoming Spanish and Latin American Film Season at the IFI in Dublin I noticed that on Monday May 11th it’s showing a Mexican science fiction film called Sleep Dealer. We don’t often get opportunities to see sf films from other countries in Ireland, and it looks like it will be at least entertaining. Also, I’ve posted an entry over on the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild’s Blog about a new screenwriting conference, called…

  • catching up

    The past three weeks have been hectic, and my weekly Thursday Twitterfic lapsed during this period, but as it happens a bunch of my twitter stories hit the web so here are links to them: There are two stories, here and here, on Thaumatrope, and a pico story on Outshine. During Easter my poem “Exchange” went live on the fabulous Goblin Fruit. Finally, issue 10 of British horror magazine Black Static is now on sale, and it contains my short story “Vic”. I had a brilliant time at Eastercon in Bradford. I thoroughly enjoyed all the panels I was on, and moderated tightly for the two I shepherded. Generally, I…

  • something for the weekend

    Another Thursday, another piece of micro-fiction in under 140 characters: The rooms of this great house are as familiar as the chambers of my dead heart. I walk in echoes, stir dust, and pine for the key’s rattle. Last week was busy, but very enjoyable. The question and answer session on “Writing Horror” last Thursday with Kim Newman, for the benefit of IPSG members, went well. I provided Kim with enough prompts to keep the discussion of the history and development of horror cinema going for well over an hour (not that Kim needed much encouragement), and the members’ queries kept us there for another hour. The audience was fuelled…

  • a Dublin weekend

    I’m travelling to Dublin today. I’ll be interviewing Kim Newman on the subject of “Writing Horror” for members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild later in the evening. I’ve been prepping for it this week, but since Kim is an authority on the genre I expect I’ll only have to nudge him with the occasional question. There’s been strong interest in the talk, and I expect the room will be full. Yet, I haven’t forgotten it’s Thursday, so here’s my weekly piece of fiction in under 140 characters: We nibbled crumbs of data first – a byte filled us – then chomped and gobbled mega. Now, we swallow banquets…

  • spending time with a master…

    The Galway Film Fleadh will be on next week, which means I’ll be watching lots of movies and not blogging or writing as much. Each year, the Fleadh hosts a director’s and actor’s masterclass, but this year, in conjunction with the Huston Film School, it’s having a screenwriter’s masterclass. Even though I don’t have any “industry experience” I threw together a CV detailing my film-based education and applied for a place. There were more applications than places so I didn’t rate my chances. But yesterday I got a phone call and was informed I’ve been given a place! The masterclass is with Paul Laverty, who has worked closely with director…