Saturday, 20 February 2016

ATLANTIC IN OUR BONES Chapter 3 of my Scottish thriller.

Pasting here third chapter of my new Glasgow-based thriller ATLANTIC IN OUR BONES which I'm currently in the process of revising. If you want to HEAR me read the chapter on Soundcloud, them here's a link: L I N K

And here's the text of the third chapter....

3./ "You sure you're alright?" the man in the driving seat asks.

Mhairi, gaze searching the mountainous darkness for any hint of Loch Lomond, is slow to turn round.

"What?" she asks.

"That bump I gave you."

He looks kind enough, a wee bit sagged and rumpled and middle-aged; maybe, she surmises, a bit sad about something at the far back of his mind.

"It wasn't much," she shrugs. "I’m okay."

"The guy in that other car, he was hasslin' you?"

She roves her stare past the flashings-by of headlit trees.

"He gave me a lift. Got a bit creepy."

"I bet," says the man. "What you doing, taking lifts off creeps?"

She faces him again, sees him show a lop-sided grin. "I exempt myself, of course, from classification as a creep," he says.

"You sure?" she asks.

"Absolutely. Took the blood test for creepiness last month. Got the all clear. Want to see my certificate?"

"I trust you."

His grin hardens past humour. "Really?" he asks. "How come?"

She shrugs again. "People's hearts aren't so hard to see into."

"Yeah... well... I’d look extra close if you're going to make a habit of hitch-hiking."

"I don't plan to."

“You know anyone in Glasgow?"

"I’ll be okay," she mutters.

"It's not the best place to be stuck without a friend."

"I know someone," she says. "Don't worry."

"A someone who knows you're coming?"

"A someone I can trust."

"Well, I hope that someone doesn't go to bed early. It's going to be the wee small hours by the time we hit town."

He sounds as if he cares. A trick? The closer she lets him take her to Glasgow, the better placed she'll be if she has to make a run for it. The hand furthest from him checks the weapon in her fleece's pocket.

"I’m not gonna drop in out of the blue. I’ll... I’ll sort something else out tonight."

"Yeah. Glasgow's full of parks. You'll find an empty bench, I’m sure."

"Maybe..." she ventures, "...maybe you know somewhere I could...?"

His eyes fix upon her, so tightly she fears he'll forget the road ahead and kill them both.

"What island did you come from?" he says.

"Island - ?"

"Your accent. It's - what? - from the Orkneys, the Hebrides, someplace like that, huh? And your general approach to getting by in this big bad world, which floating rock of hopeless naivety did that swim in from?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, sweetheart, watch what suggestions you make with that lilt and them fluttering eyes, when you're sat in a car with a guy who could be anyone."

"What suggestion was I making?" she says.

"The fact you don't know makes it makes it all the more dangerous."

"Was I making it at all?"


"Maybe it's something you made up inside your own head."

She twitches down the first couple of notches on the zipper of her fleece's pocket.

"Guess what, darling," he says, "there's worse heads than mine in Glasgow. So the point is... take care."

"You don't trust that place, sounds like."

"Bitter experience."

"What sort of experience?"

"Too bitter for talking about this time of night. Listen, we... um… I
do hate to think of you sleeping rough.... I, um, I live just north of the city. Got a spare room. You could kip there for the night. I could drive you into Glasgow in the morning. Strictly innocent, I assure you."

"I believe you," she says, staring past the shadows of the branches as they stream across his face.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

ROMEO & JUDE - my new drama from Audible & Wireless Theatre

This week sees the release of my biggest audio drama yet, the five hour epic of love against the odds, ROMEO & JUDE, which has been produced by Wireless Theatre Company for the audiobooks wing of Amazon. This is one of the biggest opportunities I've had to show what I'm made of as a dramatist, so I'm hoping it's well received. In effect, it's exactly what Audible asked for in the first place, a contemporary gay version of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet - and I've taken my key inspiration from the fact that, of course, in the original production Shakespeare himself would have overseen, Juliet would have been played not by a female actor (heaven forbid a woman should set foot on the Elizabethan stage!), but rather by a beautiful feminine young man. In my own storytelling, I'd directly experienced the power of performance to liberate one from conventional boundaries of gender or sexuality and really wanted to celebrate, the get under the skin, of this process. 

Directed by David Runacre Beck, who also directed my Buxton Festival play THE WOMAN ON THE BRIDGE, now available as an audio download from Wireless Theatre's website, the drama features performances from the likes of wonderful Welsh actor Owen Teale, currently best known for Game Of Thrones, seriously talented newcomer Matthew Tennyson, Nick Moran of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels & Telstar fame, plus Ricky Norwood from Eastenders, stormingly nasty as the play's equivalent to Tybalt, and wonderful Sarah Whitehouse who was so brilliant in the lead role of the above mentioned Woman On The Bridge and is equally sensitive and moving here. 

Here's a link to the appropriate page on the Audible website.....

And here below is the 'behind the scenes' trailer for the play on YouTube...

Hoping the world loves it like I loved writing it!