10-23-2012 12:02 AM
Today's guest blogger is possibly the first guest we've had who has been honored by the Queen of England. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's 2008 Birthday Honours.
This is from Wikipedia:
La Plante's father was a salesman in Liverpool. She attended RADA and began her career as an actress, mainly on television. As Lynda Marchal, she appeared in several popular series including Z-Cars, The Sweeney, The Professionals and Bergerac. However as an actress she is perhaps best remembered as the hay-fever suffering ghost Tamara Novek in the BBC children's series Rentaghost.
Her first TV series as a scriptwriter was the ITV children's sitcom The Kids from 47A in the early 1970s. However she did not find fame until the six part robbery series Widows was produced in 1983. The plot concerned the widows of four armed robbers carrying out a heist planned by their deceased husbands.
In 1991 ITV released Prime Suspect which has now run to seven series and stars Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison. (In the United States Prime Suspect airs on PBS as part of the anthology program Mystery!) In 1993 La Plante won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for her work on the series. In 1992 she wrote a TV movie called Seekers, starring Brenda Fricker and Josette Simon, produced by Sarah Lawson.
She formed her own television production company, La Plante Productions, in 1994 and as La Plante Productions she wrote and produced the sequel to Widows, the equally gutsy She's Out (ITV, 1995). The name "La Plante" comes from her marriage to writer Richard La Plante, author of the book Mantis and Hog Fever. La Plante divorced Lynda in the early 1990s.
Her output continued with The Governor (ITV 1995-96), a series focusing on the female governor of a high security prison, and was followed by a string of ratings-pulling mini-series: Trial & Retribution (ITV 1997-), Bella Mafia (1997) (starring Vanessa Redgrave), (ITV 1998), Killer Net (Channel 4 1998) and Mind Games (ITV 2001).
Two additions to the Trial & Retribution miniseries were broadcast during 2006.
Her latest novel, Blood Line, was released in summer 2011. It is another Anna Travis novel following Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia,Clean Cut, Deadly Intent, Silent Scream and Blind Fury.
10-23-2012 12:05 AM
From Lynda's website: http://lyndalaplante.com/
I was born in Liverpool and trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).Worked with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company led to a career as a television actress with regular roles in dramas such as Fox, Minder and The Sweeney.
While filming The Gentle Touch as an actress, I wrote four plot outlines and sent them to the show’s producers. All were returned as unsuitable, but on one someone had written ‘this is wonderful!’ That was all the encouragement I needed, and that brief synopsis eventually became the phenomenally successful TV series Widows.
My original scripts for the highly acclaimed Prime Suspect (starring Helen Mirren) garnered many awards and set a new standard for television drama.
Prime Suspect (starring Helen Mirren) garnered many awards including six British Academy Awards (BAFTA), the British Broadcasting Award, the Royal Television Society Writer’s Award,the Edgar Allen Poe Writer’s Award and an EMMY for Best Mini Series.
In 1997 Liverpool Echo Arts Award for best television writer for Trial & Retribution and the series was nominated for an Indie and a Royal Television Society Award.
Widows was nominated for a BAFTA award in 1982.
I bestowed John Moores University with a creative writing scholarship in my hometown of Liverpool and I am a honorary member of the British Film Institute.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awarded me with the Dennis Potter Writers Award.
On 14th June 2008 I was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity).
On 3rd October 2009, I was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for my television adaptation of my novel, Above Suspicion.
Later the same month (21st October) I was inaugurated into the Crime Thriller Writer’s Hall of Fame; an event that was televised by ITV3 in the UK.
My penned books include:
The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined,
Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart,
Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion,
The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream,
Blind Fury and Blood Line have all been international best-sellers.
My Anna Travis novel; Blood Line (released July 2011) entered the UK Sunday Times Bestsellers List at number 1 having sold 9,500 copies in its first two weeks, hotly followed by the paperback of Blind Fury achieving 38,000 copies sold in it’s second week in the charts.
Lynda La Plante is published in the UK by
Lynda La Plante is published in the US by
10-23-2012 12:08 AM
10-23-2012 12:10 AM
Still reeling from the death of her fiancÉ, Detective Anna Travis has thrown herself into her new role as the chief inspector for London's murder squad. When Scotland Yard's missing persons bureau is unable to locate the son of a court employee, the superintendent—James Langton, Anna's former lover turned sometimes friend—urges her to take on the suspicious assignment.
But is this new investigation purely a missing persons case—or a full-blown murder inquiry? An ominous pool of blood with no locatable victim leads Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without a trace. With no body, and increasing pressure to make an arrest, Anna becomes obsessed with the smallest details of the case. Now, one man has vanished, a killer may be loose on the streets, and, as Langton looks on, Anna Travis may be losing control of the investigation—and of herself.
10-23-2012 12:11 AM
Guest Post by Lynda La Plante
Having completed research on missing persons in the UK, commonly referred to by the police as ‘Mispers’, I felt that a story /novel searching to identify whether or not a blood pooling could identify the young man reported missing would be a strong starting point. The fact that the dense pool of blood was discovered in his apartment beside his bed, and his girlfriend denying any knowledge of how it came to be there, gave not only a strong suspect, but the possibility a murder had taken place.
I wrote the first four chapters, introducing the possible victim’s parents, before I realised I had shot myself in the foot. It would be very simple to prove the blood was their biological son’s by familial DNA . Furious that I would need to backtrack all the written chapters I called my forensic advisor and asked if she could give me any advice on how I could retain some of the blood but not have DNA proof. She told me that it would be impossible. The lab could from a pin-size drop prove the identity of the missing man. However she suggested that there was a way around my problem. She said that if the mother had IVF treatment and had used both a sperm and egg donor, even if she gave birth there would no blood connection, no DNA to link to the parents.
I am sure many people are fully aware of this, but I was not. From having a major hiccup the information gave me a fantastic platform and room for emotionally charged scenes. I think this underlines the way I advise writers to work, and the fact I had not done so in this incidence made me realise even more that it is imperative to go to source. It is interesting to see how from the information gained from a forensic scientist it opened many avenues in the novel that would not have been written.
Lynda La Plante
10-24-2012 07:00 AM
I enjoyed your blog and will definitely have to check out your books. You certainly have accomplished a lot in the field of TV and writing.
Thanks for visiting with us!
10-24-2012 12:15 PM
* bowing low* "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"
Congrats on your CBE, Dame Lynda, and thank you for joining us here at Barnes and Noble in the states!
10-24-2012 01:26 PM
Wonderful blog, Lynda. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for being here on the Forum.
10-24-2012 06:16 PM
I love Prime Suspect, I can't wait to read the novels they are actually in my TBR pile.
So being an acomplished author, and someone who has been honored by the Queen, what is one thing that is on your list of things to accomplish that you haven't had a chance to yet?
Hope you are having a great night
10-25-2012 12:28 AM
10-26-2012 11:47 AM
I just wanted to say that I read the three Prime Suspect books earlier this year and I loved them. I just got Blood Line for a blog tour and I'm really looking forward to it.