Bella! Bella! 'Gregory's Girl' star lands deal to write crime novels
Paul Bignell is an Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has previously been the acting News Editor of the i Paper, a home news reporter for The Independent for one year and a reporter for the Independent on Sunday for six years.
Sunday 23 October 2011
To many, he will be for ever remembered as the gawky teenager Gregory Underwood, in the 1980s coming-of-age hit Gregory's Girl.
So his fans may be forgiven for blanching when they hear the name John Gordon-Sinclair now being whispered in the same breath as gritty crime writers such as Elmore Leonard.
The star of the romantic comedy has signed a five-figure, two-book deal with Faber & Faber, home of other crime writing luminaries such as P D James and Nicola Upson.
His first book, Seventy Times Seven, is set in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Newry, Northern Ireland. Due out next September, it follows a hit man sent to the southern US state by an IRA boss to kill a former IRA mole.
Even Gordon-Sinclair, 49, is surprised at his new career. He says: "I can't believe it. I keep pinching myself. I've just done this film with Brad Pitt – World War Z – and now with this book... I seem to end every sentence with 'no, seriously', as nobody believes me."
He began researching the Northern Ireland "Troubles" in the 1980s, but he insists the IRA only forms a backdrop to what is, essentially, a human story.
"I've never read crime fiction that's made me cry. So I thought I'd like to write the kind of book I'd take on holiday, but which has some emotional content as well."
Although he now works alongside Hollywood A-listers, the Glasgow-born actor says he would give it all up to become a full-time writer. "My dream life would be sitting in a house in the south of France writing another novel. It wouldn't be sitting in a flat in LA waiting to do another movie."
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