Roger Short

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I'm Anglo-Italian and live in Turin. My dream has always been to write or paint, but my working life turned out to be completely different!    

I am a passionate reader: fiction, non-fiction (politics, economics, and human rights). I love humour, and I am a member of the Slow Food Movement. Having been born into a family with over 80 years of working on the railways, I am interested in railways and railway journeys linked to sustainable tourism. 

My primary writing project, a trilogy (I'm editing 1600 pages), has evolved over many years. From the outset, the theme has been deception linked to the morality of the privileged and entitled class in British politics. I am adapting the story to a screenplay for a TV Pilot. I entered a competition last year. Although I only reached the quarter-finals, I received positive feedback on the story idea and the main characters, suggesting that I adapt it for a TV series. Subsequently, I followed a screenwriting course, and I am working on a rewrite of The Silent Russian

I enjoy cooking for many friends and then consuming good food and wine in pleasant company discussing the day's politics. I frequently take periods of solitude in the nearby Alps, rural Tuscany or a farm in Umbria to concentrate on my writing. The above picture is a view from the farm that includes some olive trees two thousand years old.

I find relaxation and moments of creativity through cooking and preserving seasonal products (jams, marmalade, chutneys, passata, etc.) and the occasional alcoholic concoction!

If interested in the more boring stuff, you can find out more about me here:

Twitter @rogerwshort

Pinterest rogershort969


Roger Short Discussions
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I've been so inspired by the various webinars, especially children's books, the video webinar and Jo…
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Here is an introduction to Charles Kane. My second main character. Comments welcome for those who ha…
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  •  · Thanks - his surname has already been changed several times!
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In the Forum "Writing with Purpose," we seem to be drifting into the issue of research with the risk…
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  •  ·  I am a stickler for location authenticity, so I either write about places I know well, or spend far…
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One of the leading (Italian) characters enjoys eating. In one of my earlier drafts, I mentioned the …
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  •  · And the food James Bond eats is interesting. Though how he gets through so much scrambled egg I don'…
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I'm interested in obscure little known writers. When I watched the thoroughly enjoyable film "Budape…
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  •  · Libby, thanks for the information! I tend to read as broadly as possible. Enjoy the webinar!
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I know that a book must start with a big bang. The Trilogy I am writing has clusters of characters, …
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  •  · Wow Roger! I think some of that exposition could go into the description in your novel. You are like…

Sarah, I love your description!  The year after my second NaNoWriMo, I followed the Jericho self-editing course. Thereafter, I went into isolation in Tuscany, the nearest village 4 Kms away. I worked (writing/editing) for almost 14 hours, interspersed with pilates, short walks and a diet of artichokes, carpaccio and fruit. Whenever, I reached 10,000 words of editing, I would treat myself to a good meal in a restaurant. I haven't watched TV for more than ten years, so that was not a problem. I didn't achieve all that I had planned at the outset but I lost six kgs. I wondered about writing a book on writing, exercising and dieting.

Keep on hanging on in there

I agree. It is an incredible feeling of immense satisfaction. I managed to break the 50,000 mark for two successive years (Parts II and III of my trilogy).  The difficult part is then getting it all into shape!  Apart from the concentrated writing experience, I learned something about the importance of routine and discipline. I can now relate very much to those who advocate isolating themselves from their families to focus on writing creativity combined with productivity. When I entered NaNoWriMo, I became a hermit in a mountain recluse!. 

Good luck with the remaining days!

Hi Victoria,

Thanks so much for the feedback. Since the version you have read, I'm rewriting parts to "slow the pace" and not to make the first episode so hectic. Partly the advice from the competition last year and also the people I am talking to at the moment to develop a full series.

As to your questions.

1. Young Kane and Young Pavlov: why do they switch languages?  -Partly to plant the suspicion that Kane may be a double agent e.g. they talk like old mates (which he is not). But he has all the background to fit the stereotype Cambridge Spy.. Working class family, family trade union members and a PhD from Cambridge.

2. Ludmilla is Russian and I am in the process of changing her surname as in subsequent episodes a Federov appears and I need to avoid confusion. Having said that, any suggestions on names would be useful. My ex-Soviet names are drawn from the various Republics (business cards from my work!!)

3. As to Oligarchs. When I started working with the Soviet Union (1987).- during  the beginnings of Perestroika we talked about emerging entrepreneurs. I also visited Minsk and Moscow to help start entrepreneur organisations. Suddenly, when many of these entrepreneurs appeared in the west, they were called oligarchs. I don't want to go into a deeper discussion on this issue/interpretation. 

What is important is that I am writing fiction. I won't deny that I attended in Moscow a meeting very similar to the one I described. The rest is fiction but based on what Young Kuznetzov says. Let them believe they have won the Cold War. And we will exploit their avariciousness. The oligarch propaganda is a product of those who have made money from selling services to these groups. 

I learnt so much about Russian/Soviet culture during the transition years travelling to many Republics and working on closing Chernobyl that I find difficult to eradicate, especially in relation to culture in the broadest sense. I was not a business man. My work was to analyse the situations, talk to stakeholders understand their fears and dreams and then to arrive at what might be a sustainable solution to provide financial support (United Nations, European Union).

I agree on the issue of characters, I'm trying to reduce, The problem is that I've got to know them so well over the past years! I am writing fiction but the approach I am taking (maybe naive) is that everything is interlinked. In all of what I have written for the trilogy I have slowly tried to how the inter-linkages between the "respectable world" (Politicians, finance, lawyers etc), conflicts within those groups e.g. faction in Russia on the vision of the Motherland, the underworld (Mafias) and past and emerging idealists. Very complex in a series; but I wan to try; and am being encouraged to do so. 

Thanks again for your positive comments.

Have a productive week


Maggie, this is excellent. I agree with Shane on the elevator pitch!

Thanks, Maggie. Sorry for the late response, I've been travelling around quite a bit this week.  You have hit the nail on the head. We are talking about the present and precisely the reason for Kane returning. I am also working on a screenplay for a TV pilot. Again, thanks for your input.

Great story, clean flow and as Ian mentions, interesting characters and plot. The end is just perfect. I love endings with a twist! 

Thanks, Ian. It can be challenging the first time around at tackling fiction. As I am writing a trilogy, I could easily have had more!!

Great piece of work. However, I do agree with Sally and Jordan re the length of the pre-murder, some slip-ups on POV. A session with Debi would certainly help in shaping a piece of work with great potential.

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