Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday 7th July

Not much to report on the writing front. Still working sporadically on the novel, feeling it out and trying to get a feel of what shape it might take once it settles.

Last Friday, I had a decent idea for a short story, and managed to write nearly 3,000 words over the weekend. It's inspired by my mother's recent move to sheltered housing. If it turns out well, I'll probably put it in the ToC for the next collection, which I'm trying to put together before approaching a few indie presses.

Next on my list is pulling together the short collection I'm putting out through a UK small press possibly late this year, or early next year.

At Home in the Dark will feature the following stories:


  • The Chair
  • The Table
  • The Cabinet
  • The Viewings


The stories are loosely connected and form what I've always thought of as "the domestic sequence." The last two stories in that list are brand new, previously unpublished pieces.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Monday 9th July

I'm trying to get back into the habit of using this blog. I plan to write something here every Monday, even if it's just a short entry to keep the pot boiling.

Over the last couple of days I've been picking away at my work-in-progress, Little Red House. This story has been on my mind for a couple of years. I've prodded and poked and written a few hundred words, but not really gone at it with any real conviction. But yesterday a couple of revelations struck me and I've started working on it with a new sense of purpose.

I have some stories to edit and a new one to write for a short collection provisionally titled At Home in the Dark, hopefully due out early next year. A publisher has approached me about the possibility of publishing a limited hardback omnibus edition of all three Concrete Grove novels.

So things are happening. Slowly, but they're happening.

In other non-writing-related news, England have reached the semi-finals of the World Cup. I love football, so am enjoying the hell out of this.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Darker Companions


This came out a little while ago from PS Publishing but I've only just received my author copy. It's a fine-looking book, and published to celebrate 50 years of Ramsey Campbell's fiction being published. And here's to another few decades of the same!

Ramsey's work has always been a huge inspiration to me, and everything I write carries his influence. he's my favourite writer. His work has always shaded how I see the world.

My story "There, There" combines my personal experiences of house-sharing in London with the influence of Ramsey's short tales upon my own work. I didn't try to ape his prose or literary ticks - I'm not capable of doing so without the result being weak and hollow. Instead, I just sat down and thought about the man's work, how it influences my own writing, and tried to tell my own story but with Ramsey Campbell in mind.

I hope you enjoy the result.

Here's the table of contents:

  • Introduction: Hymns from the Church in High Street by Scott David Aniolowski 
  • Holoow by Michael Wehunt 
  • The Long Fade into Evening by Steve Rasnic Tem 
  • Asking Price by S.P. Miskowski 
  • Author! Author?  by John Llewellyn Probert 
  • Meriwether by Michael Griffin 
  • The Entertainment Arrives by Alison Littlewood 
  • Premeditation by Marc Laidlaw 
  • A Perfect Replica by Damien Angelica Walters 
  • There, There by Gary McMahon 
  • We Pass from View by Matthew M. Bartlett 
  • Meeting the Master by Gary Fry 
  • Saints in Gold by Kristi DeMeester 
  • This Last Night in Sodom by Cody Goodfellow 
  • The Whither by Kaaron Warren 
  • Uncanny Valley by Jeffrey Thomas 
  • The Dublin Horror by Lynda E. Rucker 
  • The Sixth Floor by Thana Niveau 
  • The Carcass of the Lion by Christopher Slatsky 
  • The Granfalloon by Orrin Grey 
  • Little Black Lamb by Adam L G Nevill 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

April 2018

Wow. How is it April already?

I've spent the past three months suffering from health problems - severe colds, followed by a full-blown case of the flu that put me out of action for about five weeks. So naturally my writing and fitness goals have suffered.

I've had three stories accepted for publication in forthcoming anthologies:


  • Guising - The Alchemy Book of Horrors
  • The Hanging Boy - The Black Room Manuscripts
  • Outside - as-yet-untitled anthology project


More on these projects as and when information becomes available.

I'm slowly limbering up to restarting work on a novel called Little Red House. I have a lot of ideas and some good notes. I just need to get my aim right and find an interesting way of telling the story.

It isn't strictly horror, but it isn't not horror either (if that makes any sense). It's a dark-edged tale of absent fathers, human trauma, and the stories we tell ourselves to get through the night. Hopefully I can do it justice and finally get some words down on the project.



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Writing Update

This month I've submitted three stories to different markets:


  • "The Hanging Boy" to Black Room Manuscripts (accepted). 
  • "Guising" to The Alchemy Book of Horror (reading period isn't over yet).
  • "It Only Hurts on the Way Out" to Black Static (sent today; confirmation of submission received).


I'm hoping this strong start to the year signals a return to some kind of prolificacy for me in terms of writing short fiction. I've been too quiet for too long; it's time to get back into the game.

I'm also working on a novel, "Little red House", which seems like a summation of where I'm at creatively right now. It's a tough one to write. I've changed a lot in the past few years and my writing - at least the way I write -  has changed more than anything. It's been no secret that I've struggled for quite some time now to write with any kind of sustained routine. But at least now, I want to write. That wasn't always the case in recent times.

So, onward and upward. I hope.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stories

Writing stories. It's a funny old thing. A contradictory thing, really.

My personal take on it is that writing stories is childish and self-indulgent, yet it's also serious and important and pretty much vital to our species.

Because writing stories is how we collectively dream; it's how we try to make sense of the world.

Sometimes art is all we have. When society is collapsing around us, and we're pinned like insects beneath the weight of the decisions of those who run the world, art is often the consolation, the solace, and the way to find a gap in the great wall of idiocy and glimpse through it someone who thinks and feels the way we do.

Writing stories. Making paintings. Shaping sculptures. Creating music.

Sometimes these things are all we have to fight against the darkness.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Time

Sometimes it's hard to stop life passing you by. The flow of time becomes like a silent river, washing everything away before you even get the chance to watch it floating past.

My son is nearly 14, on the cusp of being a young man; the last time I looked he was a child.

We've been in our current house for two years; the last time I noticed, we were still moving in.

It's been over three years since my last novel was published; the last time I thought about it, I was still an up-and-coming British horror author within touching distance of "breaking out".

They say time flies, but that isn't entirely correct. It doesn't fly, it rushes through us and over us at high velocity, like river rapids. It leaves us drenched and shivering and wondering what the hell happened.

I'm 48; the last time I noticed, I was 31.

I'm tired and middle-aged; the last time I checked, I was still an angry young man.