Tag Archives: Classic Movies

Dear Reader #14

Dear Reader,

I took a break from my Spanish Civil War research this week to research classic movies of the Golden Age. I intend to write a mini-series about the Golden Age, but I will use a pen name because it will be different in style to my mystery series.

My main writing activity over the past week was centred on translations. During the week, I received fifteen offers to translate my books. Unfortunately, I couldn’t accept all the offers because some were duplicates. Also, I have a team of translators already in place and some of the titles have been promised to them. The standard of the applications was high and it was a shame to disappoint some people, but I hope we will find a way to work together in the future.

Also this week, I’m back in audiobook mode. Suzan Lynn Lorraine, who has narrated twelve of my books to date, started work on Escape and Victory. I am looking forward to hearing Suzan’s interpretation of these stories and to making them available to listeners sometime in the autumn.

When an author writes a book, he or she has no idea what the reader will make of the story or the characters. Sometimes, in Saving Grace for example, my characters are based on real people. However, most of the time they are totally fictitious. So it was interesting this week when I received a message from someone along with a request to meet Sam. To this reader, Sam is real, and I can think of no higher compliment.

For entertainment, and research purposes, I’m working my way through the entire series of M*A*S*H on DVD. Is this the best television series ever made? It’s hard to think of a better one.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Dear Reader #11

It’s been a summer of ideas. Initially, my goals for the year were to publish Victory and write Snow in August. However, in May I had an idea to write about the Spanish Civil War, a subject I had never considered writing about before that moment. I hesitated, because it is a big subject, but the ideas kept coming. I believe there is truth in the saying, ‘Subjects choose their authors, authors don’t choose their subjects.’

Since May I have had ideas for five books in my Spanish Civil War series plus three ideas for Sam Smith mysteries. Today, I developed ideas for a Sam Smith mystery and got stuck around chapter twenty-three. That’s because one of the characters proved elusive to me. Then I realised he didn’t really fit into the book because his involvement dragged the story away from the central character and complicated the theme. So I returned to the theme and the central character and the full story unfolded naturally. 

This story, so far untitled, will see Sam get very angry on behalf of her client. I love writing Sam when she’s angry and, believe me, she’ll be tearing up some trees in this one. The source of her anger is a woman who does something that is beyond the pale. Furthermore, the story is based on reality.

I’m delighted and honoured to be featured by the Fussy Librarian this week. You can read my interview with Sadye of the Fussy Librarian here https://www.thefussylibrarian.com/newswire/2019/08/02/author-qa-hannah-howe

This week, my Spanish Civil War research led me to Dorothy Parker.

During 1936-9 the Conservative government in Britain, plus the governments in America and France, adopted a stance of ‘non-intervention’ in the Spanish Civil War. In fact, this amounted to support for the fascists because of the various outcomes these governments desired a fascist victory over a victory for the Spanish people. Of course, Britain, America and France paid heavily for this stance because it encouraged Hitler and Mussolini, and this led to the Second World War.

With no support from overseas governments, the Spanish people relied on individuals and organisations for support. Dorothy Parker held her hand up and stepped forward as one of those individuals.

A celebrated poet, writer and wit, Dorothy Parker was one of the founders of the Anti-Nazi League in Hollywood. She helped to raise $1.5 million ($65 million at today’s value) for Spanish refugees. For her trouble, she was blacklisted during the McCarthy era, ‘the time of the toad’, as she called it. However, history smiles on Dorothy Parker while McCarthy’s name is associated with all that is dark about humanity. 

While in Spain, in October 1937, Dorothy Parker said, “It makes you sick to think of it. That these people who pulled themselves up from centuries of oppression and exploitation cannot go on to a decent living, to peace and progress and civilisation, without the murder of their children and the blocking of their way because men want more power. It is incredible, it is fantastic, it is absolutely beyond all belief…except that it is true.”

I have added lots more to my website pages this week – the pictures offer a clue – so please take a look around. I hope you will find something of interest.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #12

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #12, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

Mind Games has been uploaded to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords. Book eleven in the Sam Smith Mystery Series, Mind Games is available as an eBook for $0.99/£0.99/€0.99 and for £2.99 in print. Many thanks to everyone who has pre-ordered a copy; your support is greatly appreciated Amazon Link

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In Digging in the Dirt, a story about archaeologists, Sam ventures into a cave. One of the most remarkable archaeological discoveries in Wales was unearthed in a cave, Goat’s Hole Cave, on the Gower Peninsula. In January 1823 the Rev. William Buckland found The Red Lady of Paviland (pictured). Buckland identified the remains as female. However, later analysis established that the bones belonged to a man who lived in Britain 33,000 years ago. The skeleton, dyed in red ochre, represents the oldest known ceremonial burial in Western Europe.

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Great news…Suzan Lynn Lorraine, narrator of my Sam Smith Mystery Series, is very keen to narrate Ann’s War as well. So we are aiming to publish the Ann’s War stories in print, as eBooks and audio books 😃

World War Two. England. 1938. The family at home, tuning in to hear the news on the radio news. They have gas masks at the ready.

The Third Man is arguably the finest British film ever made. Orson Welles dominates the film even though he only appears in ten percent of the running time. You can read more about that in my article on this cinema classic The Third Man

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From the Illustrated Police News, 8 February 1896, Saucy Burglar Robs Amorous Honeymoon Couple! Read all about it!

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Sam’s Sunday Supplement #10

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #10, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

Mind Games has been edited and proofread, and the manuscript will be uploaded to Amazon next week. The book is currently available for pre-order and will be published on the 3rd June 2017. A print version will also be made available. All my books are in print and available at discount prices through the Goylake Publishing link on the Amazon product pages.

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I have been having fun this week casting actors and accesses from the 1940s in roles for my 1944-5 mini-series. So far, I have found parts for Gene Tierney (pictured), Joseph Cotton, Dana Andrews, Judith Anderson, Mary Astor, Vincent Price, Trevor Howard and Clifton Webb 😃

One of the chapters in Digging in the Dirt is set in Victoria Park, Cardiff (pictured). As the name suggests, the park was named after Queen Victoria and was created to celebrate her sixty years on the throne. The park also contains a sculpture of Billy the Seal who lived from 1912 to 1939 in what is now the paddling pool. Apparently, Billy got tangled in a trawler’s net and was rescued at Cardiff Docks. Billy was popular with the locals and they were saddened when he died in 1939. However, upon Billy’s death it was discovered that he was a she, and maybe should have been called Billie.

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There are several Second World War strands to Digging in the Dirt. One of those strands is loosely based on the life of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade a remarkable woman who in her early thirties became head of the French underground intelligence network, “The Alliance”. The Alliance’s assignment was to gather information about German troop and naval movements and logistics inside France, and transmit this intelligence to Britain, using a network of clandestine radio transmitters and couriers. It was extremely dangerous work. Many of Fourcade’s closest associates were captured, tortured and killed by the Gestapo. Some, however, escaped, including Fourcade herself, on two occasions. On the first occasion, 10th November 1942, she was arrested with her staff, but escaped to London. After returning to France she was captured a second time. Her second escape was more harrowing: in the small hours of the morning, she forced her petite body between the bars of a cell window. At the conclusion of the war, Marie-Madeleine Fourcade was decorated for her outstanding contribution in the fight against fascism.

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In general, I tend to prefer books to movies. However, with the Maltese Falcon I prefer the movie to the book. One of the finest detective films ever made.

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #8

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #8, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

Another exciting week. This week Sam’s Song reached #2 on the Amazon.com private investigators chart and #11 on the Amazon Germany mystery chart. Many thanks to everyone who has read the book.
This week I completed the storyboard for Digging in the Dirt, Sam Smith Mystery #12. The archaeological dig that will feature in Digging in the Dirt takes place at two sites, Kenfig and Stormy Down. During the Second World War, Stormy Down was an airfield for allied airmen, including airmen from Poland and other countries in occupied Europe. One of the archaeologists, Jana, has Polish ancestors, so the dig is especially poignant for her. Pictured, a Miles Martinet, foreground, and Avro Anson, two of the aeroplanes based at R.A.F. Stormy Down.

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I’m looking into the possibility of writing a number of mini series alongside the Sam Smith Mystery Series. These series will feature private detectives from different eras, from Victorian times and the Second World War, for example. Each series will include five individual stories, each containing a mystery, while the complete story arc will reveal the main character’s story. I hope to make these stories available FREE to subscribers of my newsletter. In the coming weeks I will be upgrading my newsletter through Author Reach and will post details here.

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Recently, I came across this movie poster for Laura, one of my top ten films. As you can see from the poster, Laura is an elegant movie, which tells an original and absorbing story. Highly recommended.
As ever, thank you for your interest and support. More news next week.