Getting ready for print
Publication date: November 2018
108% funded
105 backers

3 noir novellas from the director of Get Carter and Flash Gordon

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honour."
So wrote one of my heroes, Raymond Chandler. Trouble is every time I start to write a script or novel and try to find this guy - I fail. The streets stay mean - but the heroes resolutely flawed.


BAIT

Slippery PR man, Mark Miles, is unaware he’s being manipulated and dangled as bait by an investigative reporter until he’s swallowed by a sadistic mind-expanding cultish course from America.


GRIST

Best-selling American writer, Maxwell Grist, ruthlessly uses real people as fodder for his crime novels before finding himself living up to his name and becoming grist for his own murder.


SECURITY

Mega American star, unhappy with the movie he’s currently filming, refuses to leave his five-star hotel for the studios, while in the corridor outside his luxury suite mayhem and murder take over.


Mike Hodges is best known as a filmmaker (Get Carter, Pulp, The Terminal Man, and more recently, Black Rainbow, Croupier, and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead) but has also written and directed for BBC Radio (Shooting Stars and Other Heavenly Pursuits, King Trash) and the theatre (Soft Shoe Shuffle). The theme of all these works is a bleak and blackly humorous take on the world as he sees it. His lighter contributions to the cinema include Flash Gordon. He lives on a farm in England. Appropriate as hodge (in Middle English) means farm labourer.

Summer is Hell here.

Winter is the only time to be in this place. On a wet night preferably.

Like tonight.

The dark sea, flattened by rain, laps against the long curving beach. White painted iron railings and ill-lit weather shelters recede into the mist. An amusement arcade, boarded up, sits like a blind man watching nothing. The Grand Atlantic Hotel, a vast corroding edifice, looms over the deserted esplanade. A torn canvas banner flaps over its darkened entrance announcing the presence of the Brotherhood of Magicians Conference. Bedroom windows stacked up to the murky sky are but black patches.

The magicians are long in bed.

They’ll need steady hands in the morning.

The clock tower strikes on the hour.

Twice.

An approaching motorbike cuts through the sound of rain water smacking the tarmac. The red Yamaha rounds a corner slowly, ominously, powerful as a shark. A metallic titanium flip-front helmet glints under the street lamps. Moulded gloves with visor wipes, grinder boots, cowhide jeans and a leather jacket embossed with a bloody knife embedded in the occupant’s back. The occupant steers his machine along the esplanade before circling a traffic island housing the public urinals, all the while constantly scanning the empty street.

A municipal shelter with a notice board advertising local events for wet winter nights stands beside the amusement arcade. It’s here the bike comes to rest. The rider leaves the engine running as he nervously pulls posters from a saddle bag.

He works fast, skilfully.

Soon the forthcoming amateur operatic production of Annie Get Your Gun is no longer forthcoming. But The Personal Improvement Institute: A Course in Leadership Dynamics is. The etched face of some wild-eyed mountaineer intending to give a slide lecture the very next evening is replaced by the well-fed features of Dr Hermann P Temple who will show you the QUICK way to the TOP! during his impending weekend course on SUCCESS-POWER GETTING!

A similar fate is accorded Pinkie and Barrie, the Comedy Duo; Diana Barnham playing Bach on the Clavichord; and the providers of Merrie England Banquets. Book now to avoid disappointment. All disappear within seconds to be replaced by five identical images of Dr Temple. A quintet of pointing forefingers, quiffs and eyes that would make a cobra back off.

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Sara Davies
Sara Davies asked:

Hi Mike,
I've just pledged - these stories look great. I'd be interested to talk to you about whether they might work as radio readings. Perhaps you could get in touch with me at sarabdavies@btinternet.com

Mike Hodges
Mike Hodges replied:

Good to hear from you, Sara. I think BAIT and GRIST would both make good radio. Which channel? Look forward to more info.
Best, Mike

Michael Nesbitt
Michael Nesbitt asked:

Dear My Hodges,

My name is Michael Nesbitt and I was wondering if you could help me. I am a crime author and write my own true crime magazine called “Britains Gangland”. I write the magazine, format it and published it myself. I have a healthy passion for the crime genre, especially for anything pre 1970s. Your movie “Get Carter” was the catalyst to my passion and I would like to say a big thank you for being an inspiration for what I now do. It is without a doubt the most iconic British gangster movie of all time. It holds even more of a special place in my heart as I am a Gateshead lad and lived in St Cuthbert’s Village, since being born in 1973 to around the age of eleven years old.

I only just come across your funding page for your new book which I have just made a pledge towards and can’t wait for its release. I was wondering if it would be possible if I could interview you via email. There would be around 15-20 questions, and it would be such a great honor to include the interview in an up and coming issue of my magazine. I have over the years interviewed and known many old school villains, and actors including both Dennis Stafford and Michael Luvaglio, both men who were convicted of the Angus Sibbett murder. Unfortunately with me being a self-publishing magazine, I can’t really afford to pay for interviews as the magazine I release is more about releasing quality than trying to make money, its more for the love of the genre, and any proceeds that I do make go straight to a children’s charity that I donate to at Newcastle RVI Hospital. If it is possible I could however add another £100 too my pledge to go towards your book, if that would be ok.

The questions would mainly be about Get Carter and there would be no rush in doing them as the magazine doesn’t come out for another two months. I will of course also send you a few copies of the magazine and share your funding page on my three Facebook groups which have around 20,000 members in total. If this is not possible I fully understand, I just thought I would ask with “Get Carter” not only being so close to my heart but also the favourite to many others out there. Either way you are still a legend in my eyes and have my total respect and admiration.

Sending you respect and the warmest of regards, Michael Nesbitt.

Mike Hodges
Mike Hodges replied:

Thanks for that, Michael, and the pledge. Only too happy to do the interview. My email address is: mikehodges@logic-net.co.uk. I'd be grateful if you'd keep it to yourself. Mike

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