Friday, 12 January 2018
I suspect that, for most - if not all of you - this isn't the first time we've said hello. A Murder To Die For, the prequel to The Diabolical Club, isn't even in the shops until 25th January, so I imagine that most of you have pledged because you read the first book. And, presumably, liked it enough to come with me on this damnable crowdfunding roller-coaster all over again. Thank you.
Well, the good news is that - if our luck holds - you won't have to wait so long this time. It took 16 days to reach the 10% funded level with 'Murder'. And as I type this at the end of the working day on Day 2, I'm a gnat's pizzle away from 12%. Wow. You guys!
I've been delighted by feedback to the promo video. It was so much fun to do. Having made a couple of such videos in the past, I know that you need to get your sales pitch across in around 90 seconds while trying to be as entertaining as possible. So I wrote a script, then hacked it back, then re-wrote it, then hacked it back and kept doing that over and over again until it was succinct enough. An elevator pitch, you might say (click on image to see it larger).
Then I rehearsed what I'd say; the daily dog walk proved invaluable for this although I probably looked like a loon as I yammered away to myself. Mind you, I could always have claimed that I was using a hands-free set. It's hard to tell the tech-savvy from the possessed by demons these days.
Anyhoo, I knew that I'd be working with Mark Bowsher of Rabbit Island Productions, which was great news. Mark is a funny guy and a great director and he got it immediately. In fact, he even moved the shooting schedule forward to take advantage of a cold and foggy day (the original date was all sunny and bright - blech!). I'm not so sure that the weather suited our camera operator, Elena, though. Being Spanish, she's used to warmer climes.
We filmed on a cold and drizzle-wet hill top in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire - not far from where I live - and took advantage of the wonderful buildings there. Featured in the video you'll see the Dashwood family mausoleum and the church of St Lawrence (with its famous golden ball observation station). There's also a distant, misty view of West Wycombe park and the Dashwood family home. The shoot went much as scripted but several things were ad-libbed on the day. I'd brought along a selection of hats from my ridiculously extensive hat collection, and rather than choose between them, we used five. And the discovery of two very tall headstones in St Lawrence's churchyard provided an opportunity for some fun...
The hill itself is riddled with tunnels cut into the chalk and it's here that the infamous Hell Fire Club once met for sexy and profane shenanigans back in the 18th century. Lord of the manor, Sir Francis Dashwood, was the naughty boy behind it all.
But wait! There's something of a similarity between the names 'Hell Fire Club' and 'Diabolical Club' isn't there? And, sure enough, the exploits of an 18th century South Herewardshire secret society do have some bearing on the plot of this new book. Intrigued? I hope so!
So, here we go again! Expect the usual mix of updates, photos, puzzles and quizzes as we go along.
And thanks for joining me on the journey.