May 3rd 2018

Not much to report today. I’ve written 426 words tonight on a short story but haven’t done much else. I had errands to run during my lunch break so got nothing done then.

I did start listening to Never Forget by Lisa Cutts. I’m really loving this book so far. I’m a good 60% of the way through and it’s pretty much hooked me and I’ll be getting the rest of Cutts’ books over the next few months.

Reading wise I am trying to up my game a bit. I’ve got such a big ‘to-read’ list I’m never gonna get though a fraction of them if I don’t start now.

Speaking of which, I’m off to do some reading. My main book I’m reading is Bleeding Empire by CL Raven, I’m also still reading the Bug Hunt anthology as well as a couple of other books.

 

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Horror That’s Getting Under My Skin

Up until recently I’ve rarely seen a horror movie that got under my skin. I say movie because I’ve only started delving into horror novels recently.

Aside from being grossed out by the odd scene here and there I’ve never really felt uncomfortable in a way that I now know horror should do. The first I noticed this was last year when I saw The Ritual. This is a film that was based on the novel by Adam Nevill. When I watched that film in the cinema I remember feeling a long way out of my comfort zone, but I still got through it and really enjoyed the movie (I’m looking forward to reading the book itself soon as well).

This week I’ve started listening to The Silence by Tim Lebbon. Tim Lebbon is a name I keep seeing pop up, and after meeting him at Bristol horror con last year and hearing him on a couple of podcasts (Three Guys With Beards & The Horror Show With Brian Keene) I knew I needed to check out some of his stuff. At the con I brought off him his book After The War, but knowing what a slow reader I was and that The Silence will be released as a movie sometime this year I believe, I wanted to read that one. So I got it on audiobook and although I’m only half way through it, it’s got under my skin. I thought The Ritual had an unsettling affect on me, but The Silence has gone deep. I almost stopped listening to it a quarter of the way through. It is so carefully crafted to trigger the readers own fears, even to the point where it feels like Lebbon’s written it just for me. Some of the elements here feel personal in a way I’ve not felt from a book before. That’s not to say books haven’t had an effect on me, because they have. Hell, a few have had me chocking up while others I’ve been punching them air in triumph and celebration.

As I was listening today I was thinking I’ll be finished it by the time I finished work at 3pm tomorrow, but I had to leave a day between the quarter way point of it and where I got to today, so I might resume it Monday and let the events in it sink in a little.

This book is really getting under my skin, and although it’s making me feel this way that’s what I feel is good horror. For horror to really work it has to make you feel how this is feeling. If I had to give this a rating right now it’ll easily be five stars.

I don’t have any ideas how this book will end, but I’ll be going in headfirst to find out.

Sunday 22nd October 2017

This last week has been great, Sparks An Electric Anthology came out from Burdizzo Books. It’s got my story ‘The Last Charge’ in it, and all of the proceeds go to Resources for Autism. You can find it on Amazon here. Yesterday we had the first of two launch parties, you can see the readings from some of the stories at the Burdizzo Books Facebook page. The second launch party is on the 3rd of November, here’s the details. If it’s half as much fun as yesterday’s then it’ll be a lot of fun.

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I’ve been up and down with writing this week. I’ve not got a whole lot of words done but I haven’t done bad. Today I’ve knocked out about two thousand words, despite feeling extremely wiped out.

Life does settle down a little from here on out, I think. I’ll no doubt be off to the cinema one night this week, a NaNoWriMo prep Write-In on Wednesday. This weekend is pretty clear though, I have friends over on Saturday but that’ll be nice and chilled out.

As I wrap this up, I’ll end by asking that everyone please check out Sparks. I’m really proud of this story, and happy to be in this anthology with some fantastic writers.

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Myself, Pippa Bailey, Matthew Cash and David Court.

The Devil’s Servants by CL Raven

The Devil’s Servants is a story set during the 1649 Edinburgh Witch Trials and tells the story of Nessie and how she gets wrapped up in the trials.

Now, I am a big fan of CL Raven. Not only are they great people I LOVE their writing. Their previous release, Silent Dawn, blew me away and I had high expectations for The Devil’s Servants, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s very easy to feel like you’re in Edinburgh while reading this. CL Raven give just enough to fuel the imagination, I felt like I was there in the graveyard, or the market. Or in Nessie’s room. Especially the Gaol. Cat and Lynx know a lot about the subject of the witch trials from this era, and that came through in the book.

Not only is it beautifully written, its gripping. I’m really not a big fan of historic fiction in any form. It’s just not something that catches my attention, The Devil’s Servants really hooked me though. The amount of times I thought I’d only read one chapter and end up reading two or three instead, I can’t even count.

With each book, Cat and Lynx Raven are getting stronger and stronger with their writing. I haven’t read all of their work, but each time I read one of their stories I see the strength there is in them. With each new release I see a new strength to their work. One of the elements I loved in Silent Dawn was the relationship between the main three characters. What I love in this book is what Nessie goes through and her whole arc. I felt a lot of her conflict throughout the story and really liked how her story wrapped up.

A quick little shout out for the cover(above image) by David V G Davies. It’s awesome!

I strongly recommend The Devil’s Servants, it’s a page turner and one that got me interested in a part of history that I’ve never really paid much attention to. Please check it out.

End of Day Post: 23rd July 2017

Just a quick little post to wrap the day up. I wrote 1957 words on the fanfic piece and I’m getting near where it wraps up. I think from here on out there will be more editing than writing.

I have begun typing up my notes for my zombie story this evening. The rest of this week will be focused on getting this draft of the fanfic piece done.

Now, I’m going to finish watching this episode of Doctor Who, and then get stuck into The Devils Servants by CL Raven.

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Today started fast, with a 1000 words and a digital edit on a short story by 9am. I did this because I woke up in a really bad mood, and writing seemed to be the only thing that made sense. It put me in a good mood before going down into Rochester for a bit of lunch and to pop into Get Ready Retro, a local comic book shop. I managed to pick up the next volume of Wilds End (The Enemy Within) by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard. I really liked the first one and I’m looking forward to reading this one.

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Those thousand words I wrote this morning was on the fanfic piece and the short story is for one of the story submissions I’ve got coming up. I’ve printed it off and will red-pen it tomorrow.

The rest of the day has been spent with my feet up playing video games and binging some shows on Netflix. Aside from having to shoot into work for forty-five minutes, that was my day.

April 4th 2017

A much less productive day, today.

I managed to finish off the basics of the character details on the zombie story I’m outlining. It may seem a simple thing but each character now has a name and a fair few details about who they are and what their backgrounds are. I’ve just now figured out the next stage in this outlining and that is to decide what each character’s role in the story will be. I know what three characters will be doing in the story for definite, the rest I need to sit down and figure out how they play their parts.

No words today though. I went to the cinema to see Free Fire (an awesome movie) this evening so that took up a chunk of my time.

I’m going to call it a night now, and read a chapter or two of David Wellington’s Monster Island.