The Life of a Writer

keep calmIn my various writing guises I currently have (in what I think is descending order):

* one book being prepared by the publisher – proofs due any day now

* one thriller I am ghost-writing half-finished – I’m overdue on this

* one film script with an agent and being touted around now

* one children’s book with an agent

* one e-book version of a former print title ready to go

* another e-book of a print title in development

* two, three, maybe four things just under half-finished

* and other files I’ve tucked away deep in sub-folders on my computer. One day, one day…

And then I have my day job.

The writer’s life. The best life.

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Classic paperbacks#7… Navarone revisited…

The Guns of Navarone
      The Guns of Navarone

Could not resist ending on this version of The Guns of Navarone (see also #3).

It made me chuckle.

Great cover. But in the book the raiders don’t climb the cliff on Navarone in German uniform, do they?

And, when they do, there is a storm raging. This German soldier is making the climb in the blazing sunshine.

I wonder if the photo is actually a genuine one from WW2?

Classic paperbacks#5: The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed
The Eagle Has Landed

A truly wonderful book which has thrilled since its first appearance in 1975.

Although the author had been already writing for many years, The Eagle Has Landed established Jack Higgins as one of the great thriller writers of the modern day.

His is a style I absolutely love.

The film starring Michael Caine came out the following year.

The above is the paperback version I first read in the early 1980s.

As a bonus here is the original cover:

TheEagleHasLanded

Classic paperbacks #4: Where Eagles Dare

Where Eagles Dare
        Where Eagles Dare

The novel version of Alistair MacLean’s Where Eagles Dare is not all that it seems.

It’s a classic thriller made into an explosion-filled, action-packed film.

Well, not quite.

In fact, the book started out as the film.

Producer Elliott Kastner approached MacLean directly and asked him for an original script.

MacLean wrote the script and then the book to coincide with the movie’s release.

Years later, Kastner remember the moment he first approached the author.

“I rang Alistair MacLean at his home in Surrey, and told him that I would really like to meet with him.  He refused; he didn’t wanna meet without my telling him more details.  So I told him:  I wanted him to consider writing an original story, directly for the screen.  There was a moment of silence, followed by ‘Hmm, nobody ever asked me that before…’

“ ‘So’, he said, ‘What is it you want?’  ‘I want a team of five or six guys on a mission in the Second World War, facing enormous obstacles.  I want a mystery.  I want a sweaty, exciting adventure movie.’  That’s all I told him, just that.”

And in the book and film that is exactly what we got!

Spitfire down: The WWII camp where Allies and Germans mixed

James Blennerhassett

Found this interesting article by Dan Snow while trolling through BBC archives about Ireland during “The Emergency”!

An attempt to recover a Spitfire from a peat bog in Donegal will highlight the peculiar story of the men – both British and German – who spent much of World War II in relative comfort in neighbouring camps in Dublin, writes historian Dan Snow.

In Northern Ireland in 1941, a routine Sunday afternoon sortie by a pilot flying one of Britain’s Spitfire fighters runs into difficulties.

Returning to base after flying “top-cover” for maritime convoys off the coast of Donegal, the Rolls Royce Merlin engine overheats and fails.

The pilot yells into his radio “I’m going over the side”, slides back the bubble canopy, releases his seat straps and launches himself into the air.

The Spitfire is one of the most vaunted examples of British engineering’s history. The greatest ever single-seat, piston-engined…

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