Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Still Writing

Notes for a story I'm working on for an exciting charity anthology:
 
"He's a ghost, a whisper, a rumour from the dirty streets. Tall, unbearably thin and deathly pale; a slow-strutting figure dressed in a dusty black suit, his white, slicked-back hair glistening like ice in the moonlight. With rotting clown make-up plastered to his face, he is the embodiment of long-dead laughter in the dark.

He is said to follow in the wake of the broken monsters. Is he their keeper, their hunter, or simply an observer of the brutal acts they commit?
 
The Narrow Man: The ghost that haunts itself."
 
This story will be set in the same fictional universe as There's a Bluebird in My Heart.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Grieve No More

I'm delighted to announce that my novella The Grieving Stones has found a new home. Graeme Reynolds has bought it for his ambitious Horrific Tales imprint. The novella will be published in simultaneous hardback, eBook and audio editions around the middle of 2016.

More news when I have it.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Grieving Stones

My novella, The Grieving Stones, was due to be published by Spectral Press early this year. Sadly, due to the serious financial problems the imprint is currently experiencing, I've decided to withdraw the novella and try to find it a new home.

I'll post more details once I have them.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October

Since I started writing again, I've deliberately kept the number of new projects I'm taking on down to a minimum. I don't want to tempt fate; it feels as if another creative block is always just around the corner. I've had to turn down a few things I really wanted to do, but I need to be realistic about what I can achieve in the small amount of writing time I have available in my daily life.

Recently I accepted a couple of anthology invites. One is for a tribute antho dedicated to a geniune legend in the field and the other is for a book based around the theme of "industrial horror". Yesterday I also got talked into writing a new novella. This novella project is an interesting one: I'm to use a specific piece of (abstract) art as inspiration. How the hell could I possibly turn that down? Ideas are already firing in my brain, and I think I'm going to enjoy tackling this one.

Work on the novel has taken a back seat while I work on those two short stories, but even when we're not writing something we're working on it - plotting and planning and thinking in that small space at the back of our heads we reserve for such malarky.

Back in the real world, we're getting closer to our planned house move. This one's the 20-year house, so if we ever move again it'll be when we retire. We can't wait to get in there.

I think the end of this year is going to be absurdly busy, but busy is good. Busy means you're still moving forward.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September

This weekend was a Bank Holiday - that curious British tradition where most people go to the pub and get drunk all day, drive to B&Q warehouses to buy gardening and DIY supplies, or drag caravans along the major motorways and sit in traffic queues with complaining kids,  while the rest of us just stay at home and relax.

This weekend, however, the wife and I went to view a couple of houses we liked. One of them we like enough that we think we'd like to buy it. On Saturday we accepted an offer on our place and have arranged a second viewing this week...after four months of zero movement on the house front, this is exciting news.

Next week my son starts High School. I'm terrified how old that makes me.

On the writing front, I've now handed in the final edit of There's a Bluebird in My Heart, and hopefully the chapbook will get an October release. I'm very excited about this project.

While I was writing the story it occurred to me that I'd like to write more tales set in the same fictional world. Perhaps a sequence of loosely-linked stories, going under the title of Invisible Monsters. We'll see.

I've started thinking about submitting a proposal for a new short story collection to a few publishers, but I'm not in a hurry. I have a couple of new short stories on the boil that I'd like to finish first.

I've been thinking a lot about the novel at the minute - the one I've now been working on, on and off, for about three years. Later this week, now that I've got Bluebird settled, I plan to dive back into that beast and crack on to the end.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Restoration



Three days ago I returned from a family holiday. We spent two weeks in a huge villa in Dalyan, Turkey - a small, laidback place at the edge of a beautiful river close to where it meets the sea. We swam, ate wonderful food, spent a glorious day on a boat touring the coastline, experienced a restorative mud-bath and bathed in the thermal, enjoyed a Turkish Bath and full body massage...in short, we had an amazing, relaxing time. I read 8 books while we were there. That's almost the same number as I read it total all of last year. And something curious - something good - happened.

I regained my creativity.

I wrote most of the first draft of a story in a notebook, and all that reading fired up my creative furnace. Most of all, I started to once again believe in what I was doing. I've realised that was the problem, the reason why I was suffering from such a horrendous case of writer's block: I'd stopped believing in writing, ceased to have faith that it meant anything more than just another deluded arsehole writing yet another genre book that would vanish from the shelves a few months after it was published (if it was even published at all).

All that is still probably true, but the crucial difference now is that I don't care. I believe in my writing again, and that, my friends, is priceless. It's the one thing that keeps any creator going.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Idle Musings

Not  too long ago writing came pretty easily to me. My head was bursting with ideas, I was prolific, and often there seemed to be a direct link between brain and keyboard; all I had to do was sit down and type. I remember my late friend Joel Lane saying to me that he sometimes felt I was simply transcribing the tales that sat fully formed in my mind.

These days it isn't as easy. Something happened, the connection frayed. Now writing is dificult; I struggle to get the words onto the page. I have two deadlines this month: an essay about a Nigel Kneale scripted film and a short story for a chapbook. I'm scared that both of these projects will turn out to be shit, or that I'll simply fail to finish them. I never used to worry too much about the latter, just followed the muse and believed that every piece of writing would be finished in time. But now that fear is a barrier between me and the completion of a project. One I must either navigate around, climb over, or kick the fuck down.

I'm still too afraid to resume working on the novel. It sits there mocking me, laughing at my procrastination. Maybe getting those other two projects finished will give me the energy to wipe the smug smile off its face. Perhaps writing this blog is in itself an act of defiance and will bolster my armoury for the battle. I hope so. The little bastard is starting to annoy me.