Grant’s screen and TV literary agent is David Kayser at Casarotto. Waverley House, 7-12 Noel St, London, W1F 8GQ Tel +44 (0)20 7287 4450
He was recently commissioned to write a short story, The Upper Hand, for the collection He Played For His Wife and Other Stories… It also features contributions from Patrick Marber, Jennifer Tilly and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The book will be published in November by Simon Schuster.
About the collection: ‘Poker has grown into one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions playing online, while the drama it creates has made it a natural subject for film-makers and writers such as John Steinbeck. Now Anthony Holden, author of the poker classic Big Deal, has brought together some of the best original new writing on poker in this wonderful collection of superb short stories.
As a long time resident of Soho Grant has written and voiced an audio guide, for Audiocompass, describing the notorious artistic figures of the area and touring you round their haunts. The link to hear a sample is here. He has also contributed to a forthcoming book by Conrad Gamble – For the Love of London – to be published in March by Cassell. Other contributors include Stephen Fry, Sir Paul Smith and Dame Zaha Hadid.
The screenplay of the The Cuckoo Boy – written by Grant and actor/writer Kate Ashfield – can be requested from their agents. Kate and Grant have also written the thriller/horror movie/tv series, Kensington Gore, about Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairemont, Doctor Polidori and the birth of vampirism. They’re also collaborating on several other film and TV projects for the UK and the US. Grant is concurrently working on a sitcom, Skin Deep, with actor Preeya Kalidas.
Also available from his agent: Forsaking All Others – a modern gothic horror; a film adaptation of Tibor Fischer’s comic novel, Good to be God; a TV series, Portland Place, adaptated from a Katherine Mansfield short story and several treatments for TV series.
Below are some excerpts from The Cuckoo Boy novel reviews:
The Guardian, Catherine Taylor
‘Enterprising new publisher To Hell With states its intent with Gillespie’s emotionally visceral debut. The spectre of Lionel Shriver’s Kevin is omnipresent, particularly in the black comedy and ambiguous aspects of the tale. Yet this is a confident, impressive work in its own right. First Novels
The Observer, Mary Fitzgerald
‘Through James and David, Gillespie explores the chasm between how children and adults perceive the world, and the devastating consequences of falling through this gap. The Cuckoo Boy is a savage indictment of hypocrisy and forced social convention.’ Debut Fiction
Irish Examiner Review, Dan MacCarthy
‘With strong parallels to Golding’s Lord of the Flies which demonstrated the savage nature of humanity detached from civilisation, Gillespie’s superb debut avers that such isolation is possible within our own societies and that the consequences can be tragic. In this case, the mob rules.
Inside Books, Simon Quicke
‘Very clever…this book is both relevant and provocative. It might not be comfortable reading but as a way of taking a reader on a journey, which good books should do, into the mind of a unloved and desperate child it delivers.’
Farm Lane Books Blog Review Jackie@ Farm Lane Books Blog
‘Many episodes are quite chilling. It reminded me of The Fifth Child and classic Gothic ghost stories. It’s gripping and thought provoking, but also contains many of the amusing observations that only young children can get away with. There were so many talking points that I’m sure I could spend hours discussing it – making it a perfect book club choice.’
JustWilliamsLuck.blogspot.com, William Rycroft
‘It would be easy to expect an actor to be good at writing dialogue or creating a narrative voice (in fact most actors are terrible at improvising dialogue that sounds real – never underestimate the skills of the playwright!) but Gillespie deserves genuine credit for what he achieves with all his cast and particularly with James and David.’
The Bookbag, Louise Laurie
‘Fine comic lines throughout. It is a fine piece of writing. Who is right? Who is wrong? A deeply thought-provoking book. Recommended.’
Dovegreyreader.co.uk, Lynne Hatwell
‘Grant Gillespie is a wizard, an absolute natural at dialogue and inner voice with an omniscient narrator who sifts out all those perceptive angles.’
Forbidden Planet International – Best Books of the Year, Doug Wallace
‘To Hell picked up the amazing Grant Gillespie’s debut. The unique thing about this book is that Gillespie is able to step inside the head of the main character, his mother and his father and make you really feel like he was there.’
Dovegreyreader.co.uk, Lynne Hatwell from the first of two articles:
‘A fabulous concoction of emotions and observations, lots of nature versus nurture ponderings and a razor-sharp narrative voice to die for, which all adds up to my first truly un-put-downable new novel of the year to date.’
‘This impressive debut is a parable that deconstructs the ‘perfect-family’ model with eerie tension. The spirit of Gillespie’s novel lies in penetrating suburban conformities. Through a mixture of pathos, humour and sparse prose, he deconstructs the model family with care, wrestling with weighty topics like nature over nurture.’
Evie Wyld, author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice and All The Birds Singing:
‘A dark and elegant story of childhood, The Cuckoo Boy is horrifying and disarmingly funny. A book to keep you awake at night.’
You can watch a video of him talking about the book with Laurence from To Hell below: