Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ein Wispern unter Baker Street Wins Award

Ein Wispern unter Baker Street has won second place in the fantasy catagory of the Leserpreis - Die Besten Bucher 2013.

I'd like to thank all the people who voted for the book and more importantly handed over their hard earned cash for a copy in the first place.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Rivers of London Rap

You see my nephew Mikis is a composer and musician of some note(1) and he works with Doc Brown on their hugely successful 4 O'Clock Club for the BBC. Anyway Doc Brown read Rivers of London and asked if we could meet up. So we three sat down for a big lunch, very nice, and we decided that a Rivers of London rap would be a fine thing to have. You can listen to the result here.

Music and lyrics by Doc Brown and Mikis Michaelides.

(1) he's got shiney metal coloured disks on his wall and everything - I've seen em.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Coming Soon: Broken Homes auf Deutsch

Der böse Ort
Magische Architektur in Südlondon

Seltsame Dinge geschehen im Skygarden Tower, einem berüchtigten Sozialwohnblock in Südlondon. Dinge, die eine magische Anziehungskraft auf Police Constable und Zauberlehrling Peter Grant ausüben. Zunächst geht es nur um ein gestohlenes altes Buch über Magie, das aus der Weißen Bibliothek zu Weimar stammt. Doch dann weitet sich der Fall rasant aus. Denn der Erbauer des Tower, Erik Stromberg, ein brillanter, wenngleich leicht gestörter Architekt, hatte sich einst in seiner Zeit am Bauhaus offenbar nicht nur mit modernem Design, sondern auch mit Magie befasst. Was erklären könnte, warum der Skygarden Tower einen unablässigen Strom von begabten Künstlern, Politikern, Drogendealern, Serienmördern und Irren hervorgebracht hat. Und warum der unheimliche gesichtslose Magier, den Peter noch in schlechtester Erinnerung hat, ein so eingehendes Interesse daran an den Tag legt …

Details here.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

PC Grant: Now In A Box

Worried about what to buy your loved ones for Christmas? 

Are they short of reading material perhaps? 

Tired of the same old literary fiction? 

Want to give genre a go?

Then look no further than the PC Grant boxset - containing not one, not two but three whole volumes of crunchy PC Grant goodness. Not only is each novel a police procedural but it also contains 90% of your recomended daily dose(1) of Fantasy.

Available November the 21st in all good book shops and some bad ones as well.

 (1) The World Health Organisation's recomended minimum daily fantasy intake for adults is 300 milligandalfs (48.7 microdresdens). Chidren under the age of 14 may well require twice the adult dose to maintain a balanced childhood.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Japanese Release Day!

Whispers Under Ground Released in Japanese

At least I think it's today, not being able to read Japanese it can be hard for me to tell.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Space, Time, Machine and Monster

Space Time Machine Monster Poster

Saturday 19 October 2013
3.00 - 4.00 pm

The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre
In Newport the beating cosmopolitan heart of 21st Century Wales.
NP20 1HG

Making Sure You Know Which Story You’re Telling
Yes I shall be imparting this crucial piece of writing wisdom, plus rambling anecdotes and answering questions on whatever it is people want to ask questions about.

Tickets: £5.00

Details are here.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Locations, Locations, Locations; Whispers Under Ground

 Whispers Under Ground

Everytime I do one of these maps I find myself having to revise it as I remember new locations. Still here is the current Whispers Under Ground map. The map for Broken Homes will be posted to coincide with the US publication of same - along with a useful glossery for those that don't speak English proper.

View Whispers Under Ground in a larger map

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Currently Reading: The Hairdresser of Harare

The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu

Vimbai is the star hairdresser of her salon, the smartest in Harare, Zimbabwe, until the enigmatic Dumisani appears. Losing many of her best customers to this good-looking, smooth-talking young man, Vimbai fears for her job, vital if she’s to provide for her young child. But in a remarkable reversal the two becomes allies, Dumi renting a room from Vimbai, then inviting her to a family wedding, where to her surprise, he introduces her to his rich parents as his ‘girlfriend’. Soon they are running their own Harare salon, attracting the wealthiest and most powerful clients in the city. But disaster is near, as Vimbai soon uncovers Dumi’s secret, a discovery that will result in brutality and tragedy, testing their relationship to the very limit.

The Hairdresser of Harare is a stylish, funny and sophisticated first-hand account of life today in Zimbabwe’s capital city, confounding stereotypes and challenging injustice with equal fearlessness. This is an upbeat, charming, but at times heart-breaking, story of friendship, prejudice and forgiveness from the heart of contemporary Africa.

I've almost finished this one and I heartily recomended it.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Like Goldy or Bronzey...

My mother was a woman of fiercely expressed opinions - that the state should seize the commanding heights of the economy, that the Hungarians had it coming in 1956 and that she didn't know the meaning of the word sarcasm. The problem with the last one was that we, as her family, were never sure she wasn't lying when she said it. Certainly she often said things that sounded suspiciously sarcastic - 'I love it when everyone argues around the table' for example - but she continued to deny, until her dying day, that she even knew the meaning of the word. 

I found myself in a similar quandary when reading the excellent and hilarious Dairy of a Fleet Street Fox. In one chapter the Fleet Street Fox (in character) goes into an extended diatribe about how, in modern society, nobody, not politicians or members of the public, will take responsibility for their actions. There is at least a page and a half (it's hard to tell with a kindle) of this with named examples and how this trend to 'twatishness' is growing worse. 

Then, practically one page later, she does an equally long diatribe about how if journalists are racist, misogynistic, misanthropes it's not their fault because these traits are forced on them by repeated exposure to the venality and stupidity of the public. Now if the irony of this juxtaposition is lost on you then I commend for the Order of the Baldrick and suggest you probably read something else. 

My problem is I can't tell whether the Fleet Street Fox is being ironic or not or whether she totally wrote the passages without being aware of the hypocrisy that underlies them. Now I think she's being ironic but like with my mum I suspect I'm never going to know for sure.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Where did you get the idea for Peter Grant from....

I was just asked this question again and I thought, haven't I already answered that - so to make it easy to find all the bits I've consolidated all the links.

Start at the top and work your way down...


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Currently Reading

Fallen Heroes by Barry Nugent

A computer disk no one can read but everyone wants. An orphan whose visions of death and destruction hold the key to his past and future. A pair of master thieves hunted for a crime they did not commit. An investigator of the unknown, a stalker of demons. A government agent whose murder investigation will bring him face to face with a tragic mistake from his past. 

All connected, all unwitting pawns in a plan set in motion over nine centuries before their birth. Pursued across the globe by enemies both human and supernatural they must overcome their mistrust of each other and uncover the truth before it destroys them and unleashes a malevolent and ancient evil upon an unsuspecting world.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Alpha Papa's Cuddly Toy

Went to see ALPHA PAPA at the cinema with the Evil Monster Boy(1) and while I don't really like the comedy of embarressment I was happy to make an exception. As we were on our way home the EMB pointed out that the filmakers had avoided the main pitfall when turning TV into cinema - that of trying to big everything up. Instead Alan Partridge continues to be, in his own imagining, a big man in a small world. Recomended.

(1) And he's sodding enourmous these days so probably I'm going to have to stop calling him that - in  public at least.

UK (2013)
Writing credits
Peter Baynham, Armando Iannucci, Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons and Rob Gibbons

Directed by
Declan Lowney

One sequence that had me in hysterics was Alan lip syncing to Roachford's Cuddly Toy while driving into work. The EMB couldn't understand why I was laughing so hard and singing along to the chorus but you really have to be sad white boy in your late forties/early fifties to understand why it was both joyous and heartbreaking.

So to prolong the moment here is Roachford's Cuddly Toy which I also declare to be Peter Grant's official theme tune...

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Currently Reading

Now that the launch is done it's back to the writing of book 5 and that means - research!

The Letters of the Younger Pliny
A prominent lawyer and administrator, Pliny (c. AD 61-113) was also a prolific letter-writer, who numbered among his correspondents such eminent figures as Tacitus, Suetonius and the Emperor Trajan, as well as a wide circle of friends and family. His lively and very personal letters address an astonishing range of topics, from a deeply moving account of his uncle's death in the eruption that engulfed Pompeii, to observations on the early Christians - 'a desperate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths' - from descriptions of everyday life in Rome, with its scandals and court cases, to Pliny's life in the country.

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
Roger Deakin's "Wildwood" is a much loved classic of nature writing. "Wildwood" is about the element wood, as it exists in nature, in our souls, in our culture and our lives. From the walnut tree at his Suffolk home, Roger Deakin embarks upon a quest that takes him through Britain, across Europe, to Central Asia and Australia, in search of what lies behind man's profound and enduring connection with wood and with trees. Meeting woodlanders of all kinds, he lives in shacks and cabins, travels in search of the wild apple groves of Kazakhstan, goes coppicing in Suffolk, swims beneath the walnut trees of the Haut-Languedoc, and hunts bush plums with Aboriginal women in the outback. Perfect for fans of Robert Macfarlane and Colin Tudge, Roger Deakin's unmatched exploration of our relationship with trees is autobiography, history, traveller's tale and incisive work in natural history. It will take you into the heart of the woods, where we go 'to grow, learn and change'. "Enthralling". (Will Self, "New Statesman"). "Extraordinary ...some of the finest naturalist writing for many years". ("Independent"). "Masterful, fascinating, excellent". ("Guardian"). "An excellent read - lyrical and literate and full of social and historical insights of all kinds". (Colin Tudge, "Financial Times"). "Enchanting, very funny, every page carries a fascinating nugget. Should serve to make us appreciate more keenly all that we have here on earth ...one of the greatest of all nature writers". (Craig Brown, "Mail on Sunday"). "Breathtaking, vividly written ...reading "Wildwood" is an elegiac experience". ("Sunday Times"). Roger Deakin, who died in August 2006, shortly after completing the manuscript for Wildwood, was a writer, broadcaster and film-maker with a particular interest in nature and the environment. He lived for many years in Suffolk, where he swam regularly in his moat, in the river Waveney and in the sea, in between travelling widely through the landscapes he writes about in "Wildwood"

Tales of the Country by Brian Viner
Brian Viner and his family had enjoyed much about their nice little middle-class patch of north London, but gradually realised they were suffering from a severe case of 'metropause' - the desire to swap the hassles of London life for the serenity of the countryside. After a long search they found the house of their dreams in rural Herefordshire. But is the quiet life all it's cracked up to be? More importantly, where does one go to get a decent cappuccino? 'A Year in Provence' with less sunshine but more laughs, "Tales Of The Country" is a wonderfully entertaining and heart-warming account of the Viners' adjustment from town to country. Full of anecdote and character, it is a superbly beguiling book about what is really important in life, and the joys and trials encountered along the road towards it.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

My Events at NIne Worlds - the Bare Facts!

Nine Worlds is a brand new convention here is it's website... it will be held on the weekend of the 9th to 11th August at the Renaissance Hotel near Heathrow.

I shall be making several appearances - here is the list.

Saturday 9th August 2013

3:15 PM to 4:30 PM
New House, Old Ghosts: Reinventing Mythology & the Supernatural
On the panel will be me, Kate Griffin, Barry Nugent, Lou Morgan and Jo Fletcher

NEW HOUSE, OLD GHOSTS: REINVENTING MYTHOLOGY AND THE SUPERNATURAL FOR THE 21ST CENTURY Monster-making and mythbreaking: a panel discussing how and why we use myths, legends and folklore to tell stories about ourselves today.

5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Signing: Ben Aaronovitch, Lou Morgan
...well me and Lou Morgan obviously. Signing stuff.
At the Forbidden Planet table in the Vendors Room.

Sunday 10th August 2013

11:45am to 1:00pm
Doctor Who: The Ones You Love To Hate
Jonathan L Howard, Adam Christopher, Ben Aaronovitch, David McIntee, James Swallow, Abigail Brady and Lesley McIntee

Nothing's more fun than a really hissable villain, and Doctor Who's had more than its fair share of dastardly dudes and dames over the years. What makes a perfect villain? Is it the megalomaniac schemes? A catchphrase? Or just a natty line in sinister clothes? We talk all about the nastiest people in history.

In George II & III, Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel

1:30pm to 2:45pm
Nightmare Fuel: How to Scare your Audience for Fun and Profit
Me, Kim Newman, Will Hill, Jonathan Oliver, Deborah Hyde and Rebecca Levene

We invite you to 'enter freely and of your own free will' and find out how these authors manage to terrify readers without the benefit of CGI and buckets of red corn syrup.

In George I, Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel

3:15pm to 4:30pm
The Evolution of Blake's 7
Ben Aaronovitch, John Medany, James Swallow, Andrew Mark Sewell and Alastair Lock

A REBELLION REBORN: The Evolution of Blake’s 7
In the last decade, Blake’s 7 has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance – first with a successful audio reboot and now with a possible major new television series. The audio reimagining featured Derek Riddell as Blake and Colin Salmon as Avon, with a host of top name actors in other roles. Now, a forthcoming 60-minute documentary reveals how the new Blake’s 7 audio series came about.

In a special item on Sunday, Ben Aaronovitch and James Swallow, two writers of the new audio series, will join producer-director Andrew Mark Sewell, and Alistair Lock – the new voice of Zen – to discuss the original series and its influence, the production of the audio reboot, and what the future holds for Blake’s 7.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Useful Notes for Broken Homes III

The Island of Silence

Aldernay is a small island off the coast of France which became attached to the British crown at the same time William of Normandy did. In the 13th century it remained attached, along with the other channel islands, when Normandy was Incorporated into the Kingdom of France.

From that point on the island's economy was principally driven by the building of fortifications, by the English and later the British against the French, then by the Germans against the British and, since 1945, the rich against the tax man.

With the rest of the Channel Islands Aldernay was occupied by the Germans after the fall of France in 1940. The Germans set up four concentration camps on the Island housing Russian and Polish POWs, Jewish slaves and forced labourers from occupied Europe. It was while working their prisoners to death that the Organisation Todt and the SS pioneered the brutalist(1) style of modern architecture. A style that became much admired by post war modernist architects who went onto inflict it upon the people of Europe in the 1950s and 60s.

(1) The beauty of brutalism is that the building bears no external relationship with its function so whether it is a theatre, a housing estate or a gun emplacement is almost impossible to determine frrom the outside.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Oh no my ego has explo.....wait that was last year!

Now my ego has expanded to become coterminous with the known universe - so there!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

New American Covers

These are the covers of the new Del Rey editions of Midnight Riot and Moon Over Soho.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Useful Notes For Broken Homes II


In 1977, faced with the prospect of having their area ‘developed’ in the style that has made the 1970s a byword for architectural brilliance, the good people of Coin Street formed an action committee and dug their heels in. By 1984, with the aid of the GLC who owned some of the land, they’d seen off the developers and formed Coin Street Community Builders. 

In the years that followed they redeveloped the 5 hectare site with an emphasis on making it a good place to live for locals. A pair of world famous restaurants being an optional, but very tasty, extra.

The lesson of the Coin Street Action Committee is that when they arrive in your neighbourhood and try and push you around – resist. No matter what they tell you it’s possible to win. 

The Coin Street Community Builders website is here.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Bed and Breakfast

I've been out researching the great unknown for book 5 and have been seeking shelter in hostelries around the great County of Herefordshire. I'd like to recommend a couple of places because I really enjoyed my stay...

Mount Pleasant Bed and Breakfast.

Aymestrey, Aymestrey HR6 9SU , England

Let's start with the defining characteristics.

BED! Big, comfortable, situated in large clean rooms with beautiful views.

BREAKFAST! Enormous fry up with locally sourced produce or scrambled egg on toast or just fruit, cereal and coffee. I tried them all and I wish I was still there so I could have them again.

The owners are friendly, the wifi is good and the location is perfect for walking, cycling, driving or just getting a night's rest in the middle of a busy travelling schedule.

Their website is here.

Plus down the road is....

The Riverside Inn

Aymestrey, Herefordshire HR6 9ST
Phone:01568 708440

Which has 21st century amenities in a 16th Century house and while the bedrooms are brilliant the main attraction is the....

FOOD! Which is five star gourmand locally sourced meals to die for at very reasonable prices.

Plus a warm welcome from the host and fast and efficient service from the serving staff.

So remember the name Aymestrey (pronounced AIM-stree) next time you happen to be far from the Smoke.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Support Your Local Bookshop: The Owl

The Owl Bookshop
Growing up this was where most of my books came from and it shaped my idea of what a bookshop should be(1). Not only did I work my way through their science fiction section but I was occasionally subjected to high culture at one of their events. The one that sticks in my mind is poet Adrian Mitchell reading from 'The Apeman Cometh.'

So not only is it an excellent bookshop but it is guaranteed to be carrying Broken Homes on the 25th.

(1) A big shop full of books.

Owl Bookshop
207-209 Kentish Town Rd
London NW5 2JU
Phone:020 7485 7793

Friday, 12 July 2013

Horray for Idependent Bookshops

The following shops will definately be stocking Broken Homes on Thursday 25th July - I know because I asked them - I will be listing other independent bookshops in the run up to the 25th.

The Big Green Bookshop

 Unit 1, Brampton Park Road
Wood Green
N22 6BG
020 8881 6767

The Notting Hill Bookshop
13 Blenheim Crescent,
Notting Hill,
W11 2EE

020 7229 5260
Monday to Saturday – 09:00 – 19:00
Saturday – 08:30 – 19:00
Sunday – 10:00 – 18:00

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Moon Over Soho - Japanese Styleeeeeee!

顔のない  魔術師 Faceless Magician

I have no idea who this is supposed to be.

Currently Reading

Beekeeping: A Seasonal Guide 
by Ron Brown
A charming and practical guide for anyone wishing to keep bees, accompanying the would-be beekeeper through every season of the bee-keeping year. From spring awakening and summer swarms to the autumn honey harvest and providing winter protection, this essential resource guides you each step of the way. There is extensive advice for beekeeping beginners, from siting and smoking your hives to rearing a queen and controlling your swarm. There is also in-depth information for improvers and more experienced apiarists who wish to experiment with different hive-management and queen-rearing techniques. Troubleshooting tips on protecting your hives and keeping your bees healthy are also covered. The book is also packed with practical advice on using beeswax, as well as, of course, extracting and making the tastiest honey.

Finding Shannon: The Inside Story 
by Richard Edwards
On 19 February 2008, a little girl was reported missing. The same thing happens somewhere in Britain every day. Usually they turn up a few hours later, unharmed, having stayed with relatives or slept over at a friend's house, but a few do not. Shannon Matthews did not return and as the days and weeks went by, her whereabouts and her fate became front page news throughout Britain and around the world. And when Shannon was eventually found 24 days later, it was in circumstances that were more shocking and starling than the most lurid tabloid speculation. Now, for the first time, the inside story of the Shannon Matthews' case is told by the one man granted access to the closed world of Shannon's family and the Dewsbury Moor estate on which she lived. In "Finding Shannon - The Inside Story", Richard Edwards reveals the full, inside story of the case that gripped the entire nation and also casts a searching light on what the often vicious media coverage of the estate and its inhabitants says about Britain today.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Useful Notes For Broken Homes I

St. Savoir's Docks 1795

St Saviour's Dock

You leave monks alone for five minutes if they’re not developing the foundations of the modern scientific method(1) or throwing peasants off their land they’re developing the mouths of innocuous tributaries of the Thames into major dockyards.

In the 17th Century it became a favoured place to execute pirates. The poor blameless river who’s misfortune it was to have a gibbet hung at its mouth became known as the Neckinger after the slang term for the noose – The Devils Neckcloth.

By the 19th Century it was a horrific rookery where thousands of the London poor were forced to live in horrifically overcrowded and dirty accommodation. It was here that Charles Dicken’s played out the drama of Bill Sykes death and in honour of that great work of literature Doctor Who threw a Dalek out the window in 1984.

More information on the dock can be found here and a description of the course of the Neckinger is here.

(1) Friar Bacon – I mean Fry-er Bacon, did he not want to be taken seriously?

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Арка́дий Струга́цкий & Бори́с Струга́цкий

Never in a million years would you guess they were SF writers would you?
Famous Russian SF writers who wrote, amongst many other things, Roadside Picnic (Пикник на обочине) and Monday Begins on Saturday (Понедельник начинается в субботу). The first was turned into Stalker by that cheerful bugger Andrei Tarkovsky and the latter is important to Broken Homes because of SPOILER not to mention SPOILER and SPOILER.

Actually I don’t know why I brought them up. Look into my eyes this blog never happened, you were never here… buy more than one copy of Broken Homes.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Launch Events

On the 25th of July I shall be seeking to flog as many copies of Broken Homes as is humanly possible. To this end the 25th will mark the start of a three day jamboree of concentrated self promotion.

Thursday the 25th
- in Nostalgia as we kick off the 25th of July at Covent Garden Waterstones where the whole Rivers of London thing started off. For it was at this very location that I, a humble bookherd, was given the sacred task of writing a novel.
Lunchtime Signing
Thursday, 25 July 2013, 12:30PM
Join us for a lunchtime signing of Ben Aaronovitch’s magnificent new novel, the latest from the series featuring DC Peter Grant, and his brilliant policing team, who are keeping London safe from the supernatural. Indulge in cake and prosecco, and there will be copies of an exciting limited edition of Broken Homes, which includes a short story set in the Covent Garden branch of Waterstones. Further details: 020 7836 6757

- in the radiant glory that is Kobna Holdbrook-Smith who will be reading extracts (with all the correct accents). Then we shall asking each other probing questions such as... so how much did you enjoy reading my book out loud? Fortunately members of the public will be allowed slightly more interesting questions.
An evening with Kobna Holdbrook-Smith & Ben Aaronovitch
Thursday, 25 July 2013, 6:30PM
Tickets £5/£3 Waterstones Cardholders available in store, via 02078512400/ 02078512419 or events@piccadilly.waterstones.com
Kobna, who reads the DC Peter Grant audio books will be in conversation with Ben and giving an exclusive reading from Broken Homes, before an audience Q&A and book signing. Further details: 02078512419

 Friday the 26th
- your guilt at missing the last two events by arriving at the historic Leadenhall branch of Waterstones where, by tradition, every single member of staff must belong to a secret society (which particular secret society is irrelevant).
In Store Signing
Friday, 26 July 2013, 12:30PM
Ben Aaronovitch will be in store signing copies of his new book ‘Broken Homes,’ the fourth book in his fantastic Rivers of London series. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you cannot attend the event and would like to reserve a signed copy, please phone the store. Reservations may be limited and dedications cannot be guaranteed. Further details: 0207 220 7882

- a trip into the Forbidden Zone and dscend into the bowels of London's premiere Science Fiction book shop Forbidden Planet.
Forbidden Planet London Megastore
179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JR
Friday 26th July 6 – 7pm.

Saturday the 27th

- at the number of posh people who swear blind that they always loved Doctor Who as we go slumming at the BFI for...
Which is sold out but...
Afterwards I will be signing books at the BFI bookshop...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Currently Reading: The Killing Moon

The Killing Moon
By N.K. Jemisin

The city burned beneath the Dreaming Moon.

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt.

But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows. Someone, or something, is murdering dreamers in the goddess' name, stalking its prey both in Gujaareh's alleys and the realm of dreams. Ehiru must now protect the woman he was sent to kill - or watch the city be devoured by war and forbidden magic.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Television Production

Simon Spanton, my editor at Gollancz, caught me in the lobby of Orion House while I was sneaking in to sign some tip-in sheets and congratulated me on the news that my book had been optioned.

‘I want you to blog about it,’ he said.

‘What do you want me to say?’ I asked.

‘Just write about how you feel,’ he said as the lift doors closed in my face.

How do I feel about optioning Rivers of London for Television?

Frankly I’m terrified.

You see this is not my first time venturing into the gibbon infested wilds of television production and given the mauling I got last time I’m not in a rush to return.

And yet. I love television especially the long form, the 9-13 episode series, where a writer can take time to develop characters, explore sub-plots and occasionally take whimsical side-trips. I long for a chance to stand with the wind ruffling my hair on the shores of Lake Photography, to party with the happy but volatile actor tribes of the plain, to join a stalwart band of fellow writers as we hack our way through the plot thickets of the Forest of Outlines and, let’s not be coy about this, climb the treacherous upper slopes of the Mountains of Money.

Television drama production is horrifically hard to do. To anyone who’s had the most cursory brush with actual production the surprise is not that bad television gets made but any television drama makes it to the screen at all. That good television is made is a tribute to the hard work and professionalism of all the people whose names shoot up the screen in a mad rush at the end of the programme – these are the people I look forward to working with.

So if I’m lucky I will, along with hundreds of others, produce something worth watching and if I’m unlucky… well I don’t want to even think about that.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Upcoming Event

Waterstones Piccadilly
203/206 Piccadilly

Thursday, 25 July 2013, 6:30PM

Ben Aaronovitch and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

 It's WRITER versus ACTOR in a no holds barred knock out conversation death match! Plus exclusive reading of extracts of the upcoming BROKEN HOMES by a man who can actually do all the accent (ie: Kobna)!

For the low low price of £5 (or £3 if you're a Waterstones Card Holder) - tickets available in store or via 02078512400/ 02078512419 or events@piccadilly.waterstones.com.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Once More Into The Breach!

I swore I'd never go back to television!
But let's face it I was lying through my teeth.

Ben Aaronovitch(tm) is proud to announce that the Rivers of London series has been optioned by Feel Films.

Feel Films is run by Nick Hirschkorn and is currently producing Joanathan Strange & Mr Norrell for the BBC. Our aim is to produce a TV series that will blow the audiances's socks off and out via their earholes.

This is of course just the beginning of the process and there will be many many...many meetings and proposal documents and ideas being run up flagpoles etc but I'm hopeful we can not just get it done but get it done well.

Zeno Press Release here

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Currently Reading: The Living Landscape

The Living Landscape
How to Read and Understand It
by Patrick Whitefield

Being able to read the landscape whilst on a walk makes a huge difference. It is like suddenly seeing the world in colour after being used to a lifetime of black and white. The Living Landscape looks in detail at landscape formation: from rocks, through soil to vegetation and the intricate web of interactions between plants, animals, climate and the people that makes the landscape around us. Each chapter is interspersed with diagrams, sketches and notes that Patrick has taken over two decades of living and working in the countryside. Patrick will inspire you to reconnect with the land as a living entity, not a collection of different scenery, and develop an active relationship with nature and the countryside. This book invites you to actively engage with nature and experience it first hand. Understanding how landscapes evolve is a useful skill for landscape designers, farmers, gardeners and smallholders but it is also a life-enhancing skill all of us can enjoy. Patrick offers us the enduring pleasure that costs nothing and yet offers everything.

I bought this totally by impulse while in browsing through Stanfords, London's most famous map shop, and took it with me to Herefordshire. By just the end of the first chapter I felt a much better understanding of the landscape around me(1).

(1) admittedly I was starting from a very low base here.