It's a huge pleasure to have the lovely Damian Dibben here with us today, telling us about how he became an author. His newest book, the second in the amazing History Keepers series, has just come out, so to celebrate: here he is! I hope you enjoy the guest post as much as I did and check out The History Keepers site and also my little added extras on the end! Anyways, I'll shut up now, so enjoy! :)
I have always loved books, since I read my first adventure stories when I was young (The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe and Treasure Island were two favourites) but I never imagined I would write a novel - I was not particularly good at English at school. I worked originally building and designing sets for theatres and film studios and soon developed a love of epic and visual storytelling. After a stint as actor in my twenties working in a handful of TV shows and films, I found myself writing a screenplay. To my amazement, my first attempt, Seventh Heaven, an uproarious love story set against a fictional apocalypse in 1820, was bought by Miramax and John Madden, the director of Shakespeare In Love, was attached. This led to a number of high profile commissions here and in Hollywood, working with directors as diverse as Danny Boyle, Mike Radford and Gillian Armstrong.
Screenwriting, though glamourous and well paid, can also be very frustrating. A staggering 90% of scripts that get commissioned, do not end up being produced. (Seventh Heaven has still not made it to the screen despite being in pre-production three times!) It was when I was working with the producers of Shrek on an animated film about Santa Claus, that I started to feel I could write my own children's story.
Something epic, full of adventure, danger, romance and humour. I came up with The History Keepers, about a boy who discovers is parents are lost in history and the secret service he has to join to track them down. Ironically the film rights were the first thing to go, being snapped up by Working Title, the producers of Notting Hill, Billy Elliot and Bridget Jones. This year I have written the screenplay as well as finishing the second book in the series. And the stories are getting bigger and more exciting as I go. With research trips to Rome and to China (where the second and third books are set) I surely have the best job in the world!
Thank you for stopping by, Damian! Guys: Ok, I'm really sorry for this next bit, but Lauren from RandomHouse sent me loads of different links and, well, my will power sucks. Therefore, I've chosen three different videos about the series and alos an extract from the newest book. I hope you enjoy them all - just as much as I did!! ;)