Harking back, moving on

  • I have writer friends who, more than occasionally re-read books they’ve published or, worse still in my opinion, watch stuff they’ve written for television whenever it’s repeated. I do neither. When a project is finished, filmed or published, I let it go and move on to somethong new. To hark back, to revisit the past, is a bid to go and live there in that foreign country where they do things differently (L.P.Hartley, roughly).
    That said, there’s an exception to my own rule. Back in the last century I wrote an episode of a BBC series called The Onedin Line and it was the first thing I was ever paid for. It’s being shown, sometime in the near future, on the mausoleum of film and television, Talking Picture. It’s an episode called The Upright Man and I’ll watch it just to see the man I once was. Not that I can remember much about it except that the ‘upright’ bit refers to a piano. But I do recall loving The Onedin Line for several things. The main one was that while it’s a tale of an ocean going merchant adventurer in the late 19th century, it was all taped in rattling old BBC studios. Anything to do with the sea or quaysides or Victorian warehouse was filmed at Gloucester docks, miles inland. The other thing I remember, along with anyone else who watched it, was the music.
    After that I’ll go straight back to work. I’ve been held up a little by these two.

  • The bloke (on the left) suffered from an attack of ‘old age’, the girl from a ruptured eardrum. Both are back to full health, I’m pleased to say, behaving like two year olds and pretending to help me with work again. And to getting down to a seventh in the NATHAN HAWK MURDER MYSTERIES. The latest, number six, is called WHITE CRANE and we’re talking murder, bloodshed, deceit, revenge, ¬†frayed tempers and caustic wit. Some say it’s the best Hawk so far.


  • There’s also THE OCCASIONAL JONAS KEMBLE which has has nothing to do with Hawk and everything to do with the name in the title. We’re talking family shenanigans, leading to a possible murder, and it’s dedicated to all parents who have gone, or are still going, spare about their grown up children.
  • If you fancy knowing where Hawk started, then HAGGARD HAWK is a must. It’s had hundreds of brilliant reviews. Note: the house in this post title is where Hawk lives. And so do I
  • Here’s a note to finish with: I’ve been reading Oliver Crocker’s Witness Statements: Making The Bill, published by Devonfire Books. The Bill’s an ITV drama series I wrote for – in fact I wrote the very first half hour episode of it called They Say We’re Rough, something else I’d forgotten until Oliver reminded me.
  • Meantime why don’t you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, which I’m new to but slowly getting the hang of, thanks to the guys at Spiffing Covers and Qartermain Press


Douglas Watkinson is an English novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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