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VIRO – Proposal for TV Series – Introduction


Introduction And so the task begins, as I start to turn the highly successful VIRO book series into a proposal for a TV series. Over the coming weeks, I will be sharing insights and updates as to how this process is going.  So let’s begin at the beginning. VIRO – The TV Series Proposal GENRE: Horror/Science Fiction – Post-Apocalypse TAG LINE: Four Kids, One Apocalypse LOG LINE: As a viral pandemic turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum. VIRO tells the story of Jake, a boy born with special needs who wakes one morning to find that the world has been catastrophically overrun by a deadly virus and his mum has not come home after work. Det...
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VIRO – ‘a new take on the zombie genre’


‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, VIRO packs a punch. Sad and haunting, VIRO is a new take on the zombie genre.The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’ Get Your FREE copy of Book One HERE Original link
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VIRO – the Book Series – NEWS FLASH


As a viral outbreak turns the world into bloodthirsty creatures, a boy with special needs looks for his missing mum. ‘The writing style is beautifully compelling, and after the first couple of pages I couldn’t put it down. The author very skilfully creates a world and characters through deceptively simple prose that draws the reader right in. It is a fascinating blend of one-after-the-other edge-of-the seat scares, alongside a haunting narrative about what it is to be human.’ ‘Capturing the voice of a young character with special needs (I spent 25 years as a special education teacher/administrator), Taylor’s story of a group of young people coping with a world disintegrating in front of them...
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Is Book Collecting Just for Freaks?


Rick Gekoski is an American book collector who now lives in the UK. To be precise, he makes a living by collecting rare books and selling them on at a considerable profit. He is also a writer of some repute, an academic and former university lecturer (and the ex-husband of a therapist I consulted briefly when my son was long-term ill – I feel almost a family connection!) Despite his love of old books, he is puzzled by the obsessive nature of some book collectors, particularly those who will pay huge sums of money for old books that are still pristine and have clearly not been read. After all, old paintings and furniture are enhanced by the patina of age, why not books? A not so pristine copy...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 50 ‘a merely malevolent whim’


An old man wearing a ragged tweed suit and broken brogues stands at the side of Front Square. He has stood here every day for as long as anyone can remember. When Trinity College teemed with tourists this old man and his daily vigil was a noteworthy addition to the guided tour of the grounds. Now that the College, like the city, the country, and the world, is about to be finally destroyed this old man is no longer remarkable, is no longer anything. He is just someone else about to die like everyone else. Since the very beginning it has always been considered that the most likely cause of the final downfall of the human race will be plague or flood or pestilence or virus or war or blast or he...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 49 ‘the chaos and the screaming’


Amidst the chaos and the screaming and the suffering and the hatred and the horror and the hopelessness and the gunfire and the pleading and the taunting and the sheer futility of it all, a small child works alone in Front Square. A small child with a broken nose who works all day, using a household hammer to smash bricks until her arm burns and she cannot lift it any more. Spent and close to collapse, this small child then falls asleep near where I am laying. No one pays her any mind. Original link
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 48 ‘even in the darkest darkness’


And yet existence can live alongside the very destruction of the same and though the notion of life here is clearly finite in its duration it is the same life that resolves to sing as the firing squad takes aim or signal eternal defiance with a shout from the scaffold and until there is no-one left to hear the song or hear the shout then there is always the hope that even songs and shouting might actually signal something more than simple silent resignation. And even in the darkest darkness ever to have descended from way beyond on-high there are still voices to be heard. They may be single. They may be strangled. They may be shortened. But they are voices all the same. Original link
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 47 ‘an invisible ink’


The evil of the NotBeSpeak would make great art, were both things possible of existing in the same space. Which, of course, in this instance, they are not. New and dizzying depictions of Hell and human suffering to be captured with oil and gauche and mechanical reproduction. Images capturing earthly contortions and the agony of existence with a clarity and ferocity not witnessed since the Renaissance. But much like an invisible ink designed to disappear during the very act of writing, any recording is doomed and must likely die in the same second that it is born. Original link
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The tale of Charlotte’s slippers


In 1848 Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre,  travelled to Scarborough, a seaside town on the north east coast of England, to look after her younger sister Anne who was very ill with tuberculosis. After her sister’s death she returned to her home in the parsonage at Howarth, leaving instructions that a box of personal items should be sent on to the parsonage after her. It never arrived and eventually found its way into the hands of a Bronte enthusiast who, in 1983, sent the box to the parsonage that was, by then, a museum. The museum curators were puzzled because among the items in the box was a well-worn pair of moccasins. What on earth were they doing in the possession of a nineteent...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 46 ‘coffee, committee and conversation’


None of this is to suggest or even suppose that the evil of the NotBeSpeak is founded on coffee, committee and conversation. This evil is very different altogether. It is of the random. The indifferent. The deliberate. Mechanical. And other words now. Cold. Impassive. Indurated. Wholly detached from reason and emotion and therefore alive in the heart of other words. Unfathomable. Bottomless. Abysmal. Illimitable. Original link
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 45 ‘What claim the Earth over any other?’


Alternatively, these explorers might just leave this planet and cross it off as ‘dead’ on their maps and never wonder how Humanity lost its light. After all, the universe is scattered with countless stars all vying for the attention of anyone capable of exploring them. So in this way, why should the Earth be any more privileged than any other dead rock floating in the endless void? Imagine a list complied somewhere and then put before a committee and each item on the list was a planet being considered for further investigation. What claim the Earth over any other? Original link
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Beat the Beatific Beatnik.


The word beat has been getting quite a bit of use recently, what with the British Prime Minister announcing ‘world beating’ this …, and getting that pesky virus ‘beat.’ It hasn’t had such an airing since the late 1950s when Jack Kerouac epitomised the beat generation in his novel On The Road. So much so, in fact, that he originally thought of using this phrase as the title of his book. A notion thoroughly approved of by the novelist and book collector, Rick Gekoski. In his short essay about Kerouac in his own book Tolkien’s Gown and other stories he states: ‘The Beat Generation […] seemed, properly, to suggest an amalgam of rhythm, aggression and fatigue.’ And anyone who has read On The Road...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 44 ‘each single set of bones’


When these same explorers broaden their archaeological investigations further from their landing site, they will probably be perplexed by the layers and layers of intertwined skeletons they will find surrounding every half-buried ruin for miles around. Skeletons that will likely take decades to separate so that the story of each single set of bones might be better understood. Perhaps one of these skeletons will find itself painstakingly rebuilt one day in some distant museum somewhere and maybe the NotBeSpeak might somehow become aware of this rebuilding and be momentarily amused by the wondrous possibility that this very skeleton now on display might once have belonged to one of the humans ...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 43 ‘The simple song of the NotBeSpeak’


Once the pride of the city, Stephens Green Shopping Centre is now a festering pile of broken glass and looted shops. Pulled to the ground by a frenzied mob while shots were fired over their heads and water cannons set upon them, this site of civic consumerism now resembles a Renaissance painting depicting Hell in all its profane glory. In millennia to come when brave explorers from another solar system land upon a non-responsive planet and start to look around they will find the Shopping Centre long-buried and over-grown and perhaps marvel at the possibility that a significant battle was fought at such an important-looking archaeological site. The simple song of the NotBeSpeak is not somethi...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 42 ‘the by-products of Terminal Transit’


Carry on up to Stephens Green itself and the many ornamental ponds in this famous urban park that were once graced by ducks and swans and ringed by generations of families who set out to feed them are now simply silted with the by-products of Terminal Transit – corpses, broken shoes, empty prams, more corpses, crazed people who are trapped in the mud, splintered wood from ancient trees that stood tall but are now felled. The end of the world is always a messy event and even once people no longer exist, the planet is still going to be cluttered for the rest of time. Original link
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Parts of Speech – a reminder.


A poem is doing the rounds on social media at the moment about parts of speech. Perhaps it is because so many parents and children have been ‘home schooling’ (or trying to) over the past few months. It is certainly a useful reminder of those English lessons about grammar those of us of a certain age sat through in school. You may have seen it already but, if you haven’t, it’s well worth reading. I dare you to muddle your prepositions with your conjunctions (or your adverbs with your adjectives) after this! Original link
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 41 ‘a battered, beaten, broken shell’


With the Provost’s House in front of you, turn right and head up Grafton Street itself towards Stephens Green and all along the way there are now the shells of the shops that lined this prestigious thoroughfare. Once smug Brown Thomas, the department store of choice, is now a battered, beaten, broken shell – four hundred and seventy-eight people are still unaccounted for when the foundations gave way and the walls fell inward. Grafton Street was once lined with public entertainers seeking money for their performances now it is simply choked by the dead and the dying and the spectacle that they offer is of a very different kind. Original link
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 40 ‘The Provost’s House’


The Provost’s House sits at No.1 Grafton Street, where the city’s main shopping thoroughfare meets College Green and Nassau Street. Built in 1789 this splendid piece of Georgian urban architecture has hosted the visits from countless dignitaries from all around the world. Now, however, this once proud building has suffered the utter indignity of being pulled apart pilaster after cornice after Venetian window after round-headed arch. Where parties once gathered in the grounds for receptions and celebrations these same grounds are now filled with the scattered detritus of the three thousand people charged with the building’s destruction. Original link
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The Power of Reviews


I have read quite a lot about book reviews in various social media groups over the years. One theme has been that even bad reviews can help sell your book. (I believe that JK Rowling has more one star reviews than any other writer, and they don’t seem to have held her sales back! Mind, she’s probably also received more five star reviews than other authors too.) To date I’ve only had a single one star review when I contributed a story to an anthology (Mary’s Christmas in Festive Treats): Mary’s Christmas by Margaret Egrot relates the highly boring Christmas of an OAP in a nameless British town. Nothing of note happens. It is related in excruciating detail. This Amazon review came straight aft...
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Inteachán – Book Five: The Tallest Tower Crane 5: 39 ‘churning crowds and bloated cadavers’


As vast crowds of slaves set about removing the walls of the College, thousands of others filled Front Square and proceeded to remove the cobblestones and decorative borders. As you can imagine, such massive acts of cultural vandalism forced a new chaos to settle heavily on all proceedings and the already flooded parts of Trinity College soon came to resemble a hellish estuary as stinking mud, churning crowds and bloated cadavers now began to hinder the progress of Terminal Transit. Original link
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