My latest book, Nina Nobody, is out on Kindle now. And, to celebrate, I've made it available to download for free for five days.
Here's where you can get it:
This story first showed up in my life in patched form in mid 2007, and then written up in early 2008. I blistered through it as a screenplay - tapping it out on a keyboard in just six days. It seemed to flow so easily, that I almost didn't know where it was coming from. That's the best way for a writer, I think. Just to tear through it with no real time to contemplate every beat, pause or lyrical stunt. Sometimes, you can get in the way of your own words if you're not conscious of it.
The story quickly found itself growing in stature, and there's a well-trodden history of the film project as I took it from the page to being something (hopefully) more. From being a fresh-boned filmmaker and writer, new to Glasgow, through to sitting down and talking details with a variety of producers, and a handful of false-bumps on the way, getting the film made has been my own baptism in the lessons of the film business.
Most recently, I tried to get it made in the spring of 2012 - a little over four years since I'd first wrote it. Of course, such is the way, that, after crowd-funding the project and trying my hardest to secure financing from other sources, the project was killed dead literally in its eleventh hour. The day before we were set to roll the cameras and I were to call action on the first scenes, the project fell through my fingers. It was one of the toughest blows I've ever had to deal with both personally and professionally, and I know that everyone on the shoot, who had themselves poured so much in, felt the same way.
In the end, I took off to Paris for a few days and tried to lick my wounds; a total proxemic move to put distance between myself and the world in which I was meant to be shooting my long-loved road story. Sometimes, I suppose, we need to be full-of-shit artists. Or maybe we just don't know how to be anything other than confused by the blunt reailty that, for the most part, we're doing this for our own selfish reasons.
I stepped away from Nina Nobody as a project for a few months, got over it, traveled some more, and just did the things you do, I guess.
But then, in August 2012, I found myself back in Glasgow, and I remembered how much I missed living there. I thought about Nina Nobody all over again, and how, as a heady-young-punk filmmaker just a few years earlier, I had felt invincible when everyone had wanted so bad to see this story told. Of course, hindsight always has the best vantage points. So quietly, I decided to revisit the story one last time, only, alone. That might sound odd, but making a film, by its very nature is all about the collaboration. It takes people to say your words, to shoot your images, to record your sound. But when you write, it's just you and the page and the ideas you're planning to communicate. It's the perfect remedy for somebody who needs to prove that they can get their story told.
So after a few months of writing on this and a couple of other projects, I'm happy with where Nina Nobody is. But revisiting the story that I've pored over an innumerable amount of times, with a different intent, I seem to have discovered new things about the characters I always thought I knew. I hope that it translates on the page, and that you get to know them too.
The film? I wondered when you were going to ask about that. Well, soon. That's all I can say. I think the best lesson I learned in trying to make the movie over and over (and coming so close), is that actually, sometimes we talk too much. Oftentimes, in this hyper-connected-society, we overshare our entire working lives, all because we feel compelled as bullshit-artists to funnel every idea we've got, every quarter-baked concept. Maybe that's just a truth for me, but what I do know now is, get it made, then you've got something to race your horses with.
But for now, I hope you get to enjoy the simplest story I ever wrote, in a voice I managed to find all on my own.