It’s been all quiet on the blogging front again recently, sorry about that. Don’t blame me, blame this movie that we are making! I knew film producers didn’t exactly have dull, uneventful lives, but I had no idea quite how much work went into organising a movie shoot – and we’re still six months away! It’s all one great big juggling act, with money, people, props, sets, locations and a million other things all up in the air at once, and it takes so much concentration to keep them all going that you forget about your real life! I do love it, though.
I’ve spent the last week designing logos, and we’ve gone for the gruesome one above. I’ve also built a website, which IS NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED as it has a number of (fake!) severed limbs and the like. But anybody over 15 years of age is welcome to pay it a visit!
The rest of this week will be devoted to Furnace, especially the edit of book number two, Solitary. The lovely new publicity person at Faber, Laura, has been sending me lots of requests for interviews and things, which is wonderful, and there are a few school visits and festivals lined up too. I can’t wait!
And right now I’m off to buy a World War II gas mask and leather overcoat from Ebay so that we can do some photo shoots and video with the terrifying Wheezers…
I could have been shot with tasers the other day, but that would have been a walk in the park compared to what might have happened yesterday! I had to go down to the American Embassy in London, which sounds exciting but it was only to get a tax number for any payments coming from the US. Anyway, Edina at Ed Victor (my literary agency) warned me that security was very tight and that they’d do searches and everything to make sure no weapons of any kind get into the Embassy.
So I went down, walked anxiously through the main gates, which were surrounded by armed police with HUGE guns, and handed my bag to the security guards who proceeded to put it through the x-ray machine. I knew something was wrong when their expressions went stern and they started pointing at the monitor. ‘That’s a knife,’ said one, looking nervous (although not anywhere as nervous as I was looking by now).
‘A what?’ I said. ‘A knife?’ Had I actually brought a knife into the US Embassy?!?
I was expecting the police to come racing in any second to splatter me all over the walls, but fortunately the other guard on duty was a little older, and had obviously done some DIY in his time, as he pointed out that it wasn’t so much a knife as a utility kit. It was basically my leatherman, which is essentially a pair of fold-up pliers with other tools attached, including a knife. It’s less a killing weapon than a fixing one.
Or a bomb-making one.
I must have put it in my bag for some reason and totally forgotten about it. Anyway, after a little spluttered explanation on my part they took it away with all my other metal objects, and my phone, and locked them away, ushering me through into the main building.
So all was well in the end, but it was pretty scary!
After much negotiations with the police and the security up at the University of East Anglia, we finally got round to organising a photo shoot for the movie. Kate, Simon, Jen (the director) and I drove up to the UEA broad at 11 and met with security. It was a beautiful day, and even though the lake was half frozen the sun was shining and it was perfect photo weather.
Unfortunately it was perfect dog-walking, kid-taking-outing and jogging weather too, which meant that the broad was absolutely choc-a-block! Which is fine usually, but when you’ve got a model in a fake-blood-stained wedding dress holding a very real machete it can cause problems! Fortunately we had a great security man with us in a fluorescent jacket, who kept the passers-by calm! Most people were curious rather than alarmed, to be honest, and quite a few snapped their own pictures. There was just one student who seemed terrified at the sight and scampered off in the other direction with no small amount of speed!
We spent about an hour taking some shots and got some really good ones. We’ll be making a website this week, hopefully, so at least we’ll have something to show investors! It was a great day anyway, and it left us all feeling really positive about the movie. The pic above is my sister posing between shots!
I’m back doing Furnace stuff this week as there is loads that I need to catch up on after Christmas. I have just written some copy for Death Sentence, the third Furnace book. Have a look and let me know what you think!
Furnace: Death Sentence
In order to escape them, I must become one of them…
We were so close. We had one last shot at freedom and we failed. This time the warden will show us no mercy. This time, our punishment is a death sentence.
Only death won’t come for us here, not in Furnace. It wouldn’t dare. No, our fate is something much, much worse. Because in the bloodstained laboratories deep beneath the prison lies the horrific truth behind the warden’s plans. Down here, monsters are made.
I can feel myself changing, something ancient and evil pumped into my veins. I’m forgetting who I am, and if that happens I’ll become one of them, a creature of Furnace. But they are also making me stronger, faster, tougher. If I can control it then I might stand a chance, I might be able to fight my way out. I just have to remember…
My name is Alex Sawyer.
They framed me for murder.
And I will have my revenge.
Only two months to go until Furnace Number One, whoop!!!