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TV or Not TV; That is the Question

TV or Not TV; That is the Question

Hello All!
Today is my stop on the Kill Me Twice blog tour and I have Simon on the blog with a guest post about TV!

I also have a giveaway going on over on Twitter – head there to win a copy of the book!

First though, here’s information on the book.

About the Book

Karl Savage is dead.

He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.

So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn’t matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she’s petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.

Then he walks past Morgan’s window . . .

Goodreads. Amazon.

TV or not TV: that is the question

By Simon Booker

I’ve been writing prime time TV drama for more years than I care to remember – murder mysteries, thrillers and rom-coms for BBC, ITV and American TV. Shows I’ve worked on include The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries, starring Diana Rigg and Neil Dudgeon, and Perfect Strangers, a romantic comedy starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel, a mismatched couple who fall in love without ever having met.

Having spent the last year or so launching my debut crime novel, WITHOUT TRACE, and with the imminent publication of its follow-up KILL ME TWICE, I now have a fairly good idea of the main differences between writing for the screen and writing for publication in book form.

First and foremost, writing for TV is much more of a collaborative experience, involving so many people from the beginning of the process until the (sometimes bitter) end. Producers, directors, script editors, commissioning executives, channel controllers, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all – they all make their feelings about a script known at a very early stage, especially when you’re writing on a long-running show, like Inspector Lynley or Holby City. You’re expected to take their views on board and to make changes you often don’t agree with. With a book, the process is much more solitary. Yes, you’d be wise to listen to suggestions from your talented, smart agent, editor and other trusted people, but the bottom line is: the book is your work. (There are exceptions, of course, and more than one best-selling author has had ‘his’ or ‘her’ work virtually ghost-written by unseen and uncredited talents. We won’t talk about them. It’s a matter between them and their consciences (and their bank balance).

Another key difference concerns matters of a practical nature. If I’m writing a book and decide that the story calls for the invasion of an alien planet (don’t worry, I’m not that way inclined) then I can make the action as grandiose and extravagant as I like with vast spaceships, alien planets and spectacular hi-tech weaponry – the only limits are those imposed by my imagination – whereas if I’m writing for TV, budgetary considerations are uppermost in the mind of any producer or commissioner and necessarily restrict what’s affordable.

In writing my two thrillers WITHOUT TRACE and KILL ME TWICE, I allow the scenes to unspool in my mind’s eye, just as I would if writing for TV, so I hope the story is visually arresting for the reader, and exciting too. My series character, Morgan Vine, is a single mum and investigative journalist obsessed with miscarriages of justice. In both books, she finds herself fighting formidable adversaries while operating from her home, a rundown shack on the eerie beach at Dungeness. The books have been optioned for TV, so watch this space!

In the meantime, if you’d like a FREE 26-page chilling short story in which Morgan must somehow outwit a dangerous escaped prisoner who holds her captive in her isolated home, please go to

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