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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - Spring Editorial 2010

March 2010
Welcome to Hackwriters - a place for writers to share their writing with the world.

Easter approaches - this is the Spring Issue covering March and April as we are going to Cape Town March 25th (subject to strikes on BA). So no emails will be answered, no submissions will be read. We shall be travelling and escaping the e-world - just enjoying nature before the soccer hoards arrive to sack and loot the countryfor the world cup.

Caught 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' last week. All the more interesting for us as this was the course book for the MA in Creative Writing last term. A pretty solid adaptation and well worth seeing. It's a hard task to adapt such a difficult book and full praise for what has been achieved. We also saw Crazy Heart to get into the spirit of awards season. Let's hear it for Oscar winner Jeff Bridges and a film where no one actually gets killed - for once. Funny that Sandra Bullock wins a Razzie and an Oscar in same 24 hour period. Now we can get down to watching films more seriously for the rest of the year without wondering who will win anything.

We had the award winning childrens’ writer Marcus Sedgwick in to speak with the students at the end of February  (Revolver, Book of Dead Days, Witch Hill) and it was great to have someone who believes so strongly in research and planning before he writes. Something we do try to instil into the students here. Marcus told us how he researched the Colt handgun and from that a story emerged. He showed us how he imagined the actual characters, what they looked like or wore. Fascinating stuff.   Nice to be so comfortable with your profession. He made it all look very easy.

Beyond that, it’s the hard grind of teaching, maintaining a magazine and writing a new novel for me. I have reached that difficult bit, the three-quarters section. I was interested to discover that Marcus dreads that section too.  If you have ever written a novel you’ll know what I mean, mid-point is fine, it means the story changes direction. Three quarters is the bit where you can’t seem to resolve anything and its way too early in the story to do so.  It’s like arriving at an unsignposted crossroad. All directions are wrong, all are potentially right.  I feel like that every time I watch Heroes of late. Gone is the exuberance of discovery and now they are grinding down the characters to nothing and pointlessly repeating and bickering. Kill the show now guys. It’s over.

I digress. March is when we all get depressed, there is still so long till summer. Students get depressed because they haven’t done the work they faithfully promised to do and on top of which we have an election coming when the choice is one lot who will fire as many people as they can versus another lot who will fire as many as they can.  Call the election now Gordon and get us out of our misery.

Right now we are watching Chile in the aftermath of that enormous magnitude 8.8 earthquake. It’s a miracle so few have died given the immendse destruction. But the misery has only just started for them and the newly homeless. By the by whatever happened to the Richter scale?

Caught ‘MicMacs’ from Jean-Pierre Jeunet the other night.  I guess he has reached that point in his life when he has to reference his old movies. Sure I laughed but it did feel contrived and a tad unsatisfying. (rather like watch a madcap Three Stooges movie) and if you really want to see something brilliant and funny and dark and special, watch his first feature Delicatessen instead.

cherryblossom This is the Spring issue of Hacks. We’re taking a break at the end of the month to go to Cape Town and so the next issue will be May  (with updates throughout March).

Check out this month’s magazine. As ever our writers come from America, Australia, Africa, Europe. Hackwriters spans the globe and there’s a lot to read already with reular updates

© Sam North March 20th 2010
Editor –
Previous Editorial

You probably need cheering up now, especially as headlines say that 2 Million people in the UK have probably had Swine Flu and two billion have been exposed to it in the world. - As of 28 Feb 2010 , worldwide more than 209 countries and overseas territories or communities have reported laboratory confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, including at least 14711 deaths (WHO figures). WHO have said it is too early to think the Swine Flu pandemic is over. What effect this cold winter on the virus? I have said before but say again, download my book Another Place to Die if you want to be ready for when the flu pandemic goes critical and mutates. They have announced that this variant of Swine Flu is resistant to Tamiflu, who is to say this vaccine they are now giving us will work on the next variant? There is plenty of milage in this virus yet. For most it is mild, for some it is a very painful assault on the respiritory system indeed. *Many thanks to those who have ordered my book recently. It is selling pretty well now. (Over 1750 copies sold to date- not too shabby for a book only available on-line. Thanks too to those who spread the word on it. I really appreciate that. Often being a writer, especially for one whose books are only mostly available on-line it is very isolating, but now I know it is selling every month it really feels as though the two years writing it were worth it.

If you want to help Hackwriters keep going, buy my children's novel Mean Tide. A young adult ghost story set in Greenwhich, London.
All receipts go into the magazine.
Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic awakening'

Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'

Sent to live with his psychic Grandma by the river in Greenwich, Oliver (12) discovers a whole world of disturbed people who are probably even crazier than the ones he left behind. When he finds a dog with its throat cut on the beach, everything changes.
The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North

ISBN: 13: 978-1-4116-3748-1
302 pages - Lulu Press USA
'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble
& Waterstones
Book also available from The Nineveh Gallery, 11 The Pallant Havant, PO9 1BE. UK 

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