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Hackwriters The International
Writers Magazine
Editorial
June 2024

Welcome to this edition of Hackwriters. 25 years on-line, 7,995 + articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on. June 2024 - Previous Editorial here

By the time of our next update you'll know the election result in South Africa (it will be fraught). Meanwhile, India's election process will end just as the UK begins it's weeks of political agony until July 4th. Everyone in the UK wants 'Change' but beware what you wish for. National Service is a good idea but sadly won't be implemented. Events will rule the day. There may be surprises. We're taking a week off to go to London.

Editorial - June 2024

You know how people tell you to declutter to make your life ‘simpler’. What they don’t mention is that it can lead to depression.
scripts

I decided to clear out my garage this week. This involves unstacking lots of boxes and making ruthless decisions about what to keep and what to pile into the recycling bin. Books – no problem – charity (Goodwill) shops will still accept books.

The harder pile was all those plays I wrote (most were broadcast but then the tapes wiped) and movie scripts with reject letters still attached. One tries very hard to not think about the decades of work and the struggles to get anything read - the struggle to get agents and when you did how useless they were. I don’t mind so much about the radio scripts because at least they had an airing, but the movie scripts reflected many months of work for each. Some were optioned, but never made. All now lie ripped up in the bin. I was going to leave this task to whoever will deal with my affairs when deceased but since I haven’t found anyone who is prepared to deal with my affairs, I had to face the ordeal myself.

With each manuscript I ripped up, I thought of the passions and thoughts that had accompanied each work, the hours of research, the hopes for success each project and the disappointments. It’s hard reliving your life through slightly damp piles of paper. You remember where you wrote them, who you were with at that time.

I think it's different to deciding which objects or pieces of furniture you can dispense with before someone else gets to decide this. I suspect all the contents of my home will either be sent to auction or a skip. But tearing up words, some dating back to the late seventies is brutal. You know no one will ever want to read them, after all they aren’t digital, you’d have to actually sit down and make the effort and to be honest scripts aren’t as rewarding to read as novels. At least some of my books are still available in print. Occasionally someone buys one. Yay. But ripping up the radio scripts (usually 45 mins long) brings back many emotions. Didn’t get paid much, just enough to pay my rent if I recall. Thirty-five were broadcast but I only managed to tape 16 of them as I was travelling when others were broadcast.

I remember the first radio play. I met the producer on a Wednesday following a personal recommendation to him. A writer had let him down and he needed a play by Monday, 9 am. Had to be a thriller. They always had a thriller on after the charts on a Sunday. Had to grab an audience immediately. Those were my instructions. Although I had written screenplays before and had already had four novels published at that time, I had never written a radio drama. You couldn’t Google how to do it in those days. No one had computers or mobile phones. I managed to get a sample play for layout and then sat down to think of a story. It was called 'Copycats', about a murderer killing lookalikes. It was a very stressful weekend. I had my mother and sister do a read through with me, made some changes and got it to the producer by 9am Monday. No time to even photocopy it.

He cast it immediately (they had come in expecting a different play) and rehearsals started at 11am. It was recorded at 2pm and I was now a radio dramatist. There was one technical hitch when the murderer kills a Marilyn Monroe lookalike in a hot tub. Getting that to sound right took a while. (Lesson quickly learned on what works and what doesn’t on radio). At the end they asked would I sign up to doing one play a month going forwards?

Ripping up those scripts this week brought back that tension as I learned my craft. And each script I tore up was accompanied by a whole set of disparate emotions. The first twelve were easy as I had a pile of short stories I’d written, the next twelve got a lot harder and the last twelve were murder. I had to resort to imploring waitresses at my local restaurant for their life stories or asking total strangers, ‘what’s the worst thing that ever happened to you.’
My rent got paid. (I was also working as a small magazine editor at the time). But this was a very ephemeral existence. As mentioned, the plays got broadcast once and wiped to reuse the tapes. I recall one hour-long drama ‘Final Accounts’ a rare comedy from me, did win an award – probably best make-up (joke) and I have it on tape, but who cares, right. On radio it’s in one ear and out the other. (Audience figures were around two million in those days – yes two million - hard to believe now.)

So, that was just one box in my garage. The books I can give away. The memories die with me.  Upstairs I also have many boxes with thousands of photographs that document a whole life. I’m pretty sure no one will even look inside them, and it will go straight to trash.

Knowing this, the only photos I take now are on my phone and will be of no interest to anyone at all. Think about the trillions of photos that exist in the cloud – they too will vanish one day or be recycled by AI.
*Although I’m not actually planning on dying, I was just trying to make the process of not being around anymore a tad easier for whomever. On the whole though, I don’t recommend decluttering. It’s way too painful.

© Sam North May 27th 2024
Editor
& author of Diamonds, Another Place to Die: The Endtime Chronicles, Magenta

*Sales of mine and Sam Hawksmoor's books help keep Hackwriters going. Sam Hawksmoor's Books below

The Restoration of Ami:
ASIN: B0CVQMH78C - Kindle
ISBN: 978-1-7385181-0-4 - Print
UK
Pub: Hammer & Tong/KDP 2.29.24

Remy has one last obsession – to complete the restoration of his ’57 Studebaker Golden Hawk.  He’s planned a road trip to Montreal to find a part he desperately needs. It’s a long way from Florida; his Chevy truck is almost as old as he is. There are doubts he’ll be able to make the drive, doubts about his bladder, his heart, but he’s determined to go.

At the very first urgent stop in the pouring rain, a dog appears from nowhere and jumps into his truck, quickly followed by a drenched teen. Scared, the girl, Ami, urgently needs a ride. She has escaped from a nearby religious cult and is desperate to find the mother who abandoned her there when she was just five years old.
One old man, a troubled teenage girl and Stan the dog are on a road trip into MAGA America. With each mile they travel Montreal seems to get further away.

The Restoration of Ami
A Road Trip Nightmare
by Sam Hawkmoor -

The Book of Ashes
Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN: 979-8-837434-952
ASIN: B0B85HFK86
Hammer & Tong - print and kindle


'an immensely satisfying story' -
Walli Leff on Goodreads.


'a fun read with unique elements ... exemplary in its voice and style'
'Judge, 10th Annual Writer's Digest E-Book Awards


An extract from the Book of Ashes

Book of Ashes The Book of Ashes -
Some secrets are meant to be kept forever

The Case:
Delaney and Asha run their own investigation company now. Hired to find a writer who stiffed a client of $10,000 - things go bad pretty fast.

"This was supposed to be a simple track and trace job. Find the writer, bank the money. Now it's a horror show."

'We Feel Your Pain'
by Sam Hawksmoor
ISBN-13: 979-8699087693

Published by Hammer & Tong

Print & Kindle
Book One in the Delaney & Asha series


We Feel Your Pain We Feel Your Pain –
So you don’t have to.


The Case:
Delaney (42) and Asha (22) run the Office of Berg City Oversight. Their role is to expose the scams, keep the city safe from unscrupulous people.  When something looks too good to be true – it’s a scam, right?  But what if the scam works?  What kind of scam is that?
Mission Longshot MISSION LONGSHOT:
how far will you go to save one life?

Gerry is convinced aliens are going to attack on Millennium Eve - Y2K night. Everyone else is preparing for the end of civilisation. That night only Gerry notices aliens land. He and his spacenut pals Jolene and Kali race to be the first to greet them...

'Climate change, lost alien civilisations, adventures in deep space. Great fun with endearing characters'. Kitty Thomas

The Sam North Novels - still available to order Amazon or Lulu

*Keeping Hackwriters archived is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
Magenta - A chilling story of kidnapping, burning and strangeness set in the wilds of Lincolnshire

** The Heaviness, & The Repercussions of Tomas D - 'best time travel WW2 story in a long while'

The new edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
There's no safe place to hide from a lethal pandemic

Print & Kindle - Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands.
a taster here The Last Ferry

Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die: Endtime will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...'
Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk

Another Place To Die

Girl with Cat (Blue) Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award

'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.

* Screenplay a quarter-finalist in the Creative Screenwriting competition 2023

'This book was amazing! I was hooked from the first few pages and couldn't put the book down.'
Judge, 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. - Honorable Mention

J&K 4Ever - A post-apocalypse love story
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect.  A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder.  No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted.  But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. 
 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
Marikka MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2

Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book

Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk
Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download

The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here

'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible '

*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
Repercussions
The Heaviness of Genie Magee 'The Heaviness'
betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity.

Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies

'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo - Bookish
Kindle & print

Thanks to readers who have been buying this title.
* Also published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge

Read Part Two: The Hunting of Genie Magee
- the fight for the right to exist
The Hunting of genie Magee
*December 9th: Sara Troy interviews Sam Hawksmoor on Self Discovery Wisdom

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