Debbie Moon is a BAFTA award winning film and television writer. She has had over fifty short stories published in the UK and US, and her novel, Falling (Honno Press) was shortlisted for Welsh Book Of The Year.
She has written for The Sparticle Mystery, Hinterland, and is the creator and lead writer of the CBBC fantasy drama series Wolfblood. She also has several feature scripts and television series currently in development. Debbie has written one of the episodes for season 4 of Twisted Showcase which will premiere online in 2016.
Tell us where you got the idea for Wolfblood and how long did it take to get to screen?
The idea for Wolfblood actually came to me in a charity shop. As I was glancing at a shelf of second-hand books, my eye skipped from half of one title to half of another, combining “wolf” and “blood’. That’s interesting, I thought: what’s a ‘wolfblood’? And from that came the idea of people who were not quite traditional werewolves, who live among us and have their own culture, and who work hard to keep their existence secret…
I submitted it to a BBC writersroom open call for new children’s drama scripts, and it was accepted for development. From there, it took about 15 months to develop the idea, write a strong pilot episode, and find co-production funding that would allow us to realise the special effects the way we wanted. Then there was another few months of developing the first season before filming finally started...
Does its success surprise you?
I always knew we had a fantastic show with a great cast, but the scale of Wolfblood’s success – selling to dozens of countries around the world, winning two BAFTAS and a number of other awards – took everyone by surprise I think!
Why did you want to write for Twisted Showcase?
I love writing for television, but it’s a low, slow process, and being able to write a self-contained story and see it realised so quickly. And Twisted Showcase is a fantastic opportunity to reach an engaged, passionate audience who love horror, who love the short film medium and enjoy a good scare!
What can you tell us about your Twisted Showcase episode?
I’m not sure I should say too much, I’ll get in trouble! It’s a story of an accident that isn’t an accident, and two people who aren’t what they seem…
Do you like scaring people?
I think I like surprising people. And we all love to be surprised, don’t we? Whether it’s comedy or horror, all drama revolves around taking a situation that appears to be one thing and actually turns out to be another…
How different is it writing for adults rather than children? Which is the more challenging?
I think the two are surprisingly similar, actually. You should certainly never underestimate a child audience – they’re incredibly demanding and perceptive, always trying to figure out what’s going to happen next. And they engage passionately with their favourite shows and their favourite characters. A television show can mean a great deal to a young audience, and it’s a wonderful responsibility to write for them.
Any tips for writers wanting to get into the fantasy/horror genre?
Always have a strong concept, and make it original. “Just another” vampire or ghost story won’t cut it, no matter how well you write it. Have a new angle, a new approach. And remember, all the great fantasy and horror stories are really about human nature and human failings – greed, lust, anger, all the big emotions. They’re the things that create true monsters.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing another episode of Hinterland at the moment, and I’m also developing a number of TV projects, one for children but mostly for adults. And I really want to find time to get back to writing movie scripts…
Debbie's episode for Twisted Showcase, entitled Muscle Memory, will feature in season 4 of Twisted Showcase in 2016. A crowd funding campaign to raise funds for the production of the series was launched last week, and has already reached three quarters of its target. If you'd like to help them achieve their goal then please click here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/254498199/twisted-showcase-series-4