Good morning, folks! I hope you’re all doing well? I am a little tired. It’s been a busy weekend so far. Out with my girlfriend on friday night for a meal and a little shopping and then yesterday afternoon and evening I was in Whitstable with my Burdizzo Books family. We took over the beer garden of The Prince Albert pub (very nice pub by the way), and sat and drank (I was on the soft drinks as I’m not much of a drinker, and was driving back), and talked. I’m a big advocate of writers getting out and talking to other writers. Being a little socially awkward and nervous I can find this hard at times, but aside from Christopher Law and Jonathan Butcher I’d met everyone who was there and have had conversations with both Jonathan and Christopher via social media.
It was a good few hours of laughing and talking about everything and anything. There was no attitudes or egos. No dramas or general idiotness. It was just a group of friends who hadn’t seen each other in too long and was a super good time. These people are my tribe. I rarely feel more comfortable in a group of people than when I’m with my horror community, and when I’m with people from this group in particular, I feel like I belong. Now for me that’s a big thing. I do have a few social anxieties. I rarely feel as comfortable as I am with these folks. Not once last night did I feel out of place or that I didn’t belong. It was great. It does make me sad that we can’t do this more often, but I think we’ll be making it an annual thing.
In an hour or so I’m off to a Write-In for my local NaNoWriMo group. Although I’m a touch tired, I’m looking forward to that.
I’ll pop up word counts later on this afternoon as I don’t have them to hand at the moment.
Good afternoon folks. I’ve been trying to write for a couple of hours and have got about twenty words written. I’m back to being a little stuck on the story I’m working on for the vampire book which isn’t helping. I also don’t have another active story I’m working on either. So I need to figure out a short story idea to get cracking with.
I have been doing some social media stuff today as well. A little promotional stuff mainly. It’s something I’ve not really sussed out yet but I’m getting there. The reason I’ve been doing some pimping is because tomorrow we have the launch party for an anthology of stories that are 84 words long. This is from one of the writing groups I am in, and this book is now live on Amazon. So if you can’t make the launch(check my social media for the details please) then please check out the book here.
One of the anthologies I’ve been published in, Under The Weather, is also now available as an audiobook. I’ve not read this yet, but I was lucky enough to read a couple of stories from other contributors and those are very good, and when you look at the table of contents its an impressive list of fine writers Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books gathered for this collection. So please, check it out.
That’s all for now. I’m hoping writing this will open my brain up a little and let me get some fiction sorted.
So, today didn’t go to plan. I finished the post I wrote this morning, just about to start writing and power cut. It came back on early evening but throughout the day we had nothing. I did get 922 words on the vampire story done as my laptop had a decent charge on it. I did some of the out loud read through on the zombie story and read Judge Dredd: Origins.
I’d hoped to get more done on the vampire story but that sidetracked me. Aside from that it’s been a decent day. It was nice just chilling out a little. I don’t do that enough.
Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books is now out in ebook and paperback.
In this weather-themed anthology we have stories from C.H. Baum, David Court, Paul M. Feeney, Paul Hiscock, Kitty Kane, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Christoper Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman, Mark Woods, and myself.
It’s compiled and edited by Matthew Cash, Em Dehaney, James Jobling, and Jeremy Peterson.
When I saw the call for this anthology it really ignited my imagination. I think I had a good half a dozen decent story ideas which after brainstorming I got it down to one that really hooked me and I had a lot of fun with. (I’ve since written another short story from elements of one of those ideas).
This is a charity anthology, so all the proceeds go to Resources For Autism.
So, Please check this anthology out. I’ve put UK and USA Amazon Links at the bottom of this post so please check this one out.
Under the Weather from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books will be released on the 26th of August 2018.
Featured in this anthology are: C.H. Baum, David Court, Paul M. Feeney, Peter Germany, Paul Hiscock, Kitty Kane, Dave Jeffery, James Jobling, Lex H. Jones, Christopher Law, Adam Millard, Dale Robertson, Nathan Robinson, Phil Sloman, and Mark Woods.
It is compiled and edited by Matthew Cash, Em Dehaney, James Jobling, and Jeremy Peterson.
All the proceeds go to Resources for Autism.
Please look out for my story ‘The Snow’ in this anthology. I’m really excited about this anthology, it has such an amazing line-up and I can’t wait to see what stories they’ve crafted for this weather-themed anthology.
Under The Weather is available for Pre-Order so please pop over to Amazon and check it out.
This short had an interesting story that it told, one that I could see having a foundation of truth to these groups and how toxic I’d imagine some can be.
Matthew Cash paces this one well, and although I’d have liked a little more detail and background here and there it does move along at a healthy pace, that more of that detail and background might have disrupted.
I really enjoyed how the ending played out and was written, anytime a writer can make me go ‘ewwww’ is always a win for me.
Overall, this is short, and fun, with just a pinch of brutal to balance it out.
This last year has been a tough one. As a family we’ve had a lot of crap thrown our way this year. We’ve lost loved ones, and had issues of health pepper us amongst other difficulties life has a habit of throwing in our paths.
It has been a hard year, it’s not been harder than anyone else’s year. It’s been what it is. We’ve taken each day as it comes and in my opinion that is the best way to take life at times.
These things I won’t go into detail on. They are things that affect my family as well as myself and I don’t think it’s my place to talk in-depth about these events on my public blog.
One moment this year that hit me harder than I thought something of its nature could was the death of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. Although now I am really out of date with most music, I was a huge fan of Linkin Park when they first hit the scene. Their first two albums are two of my favourite albums ever, I didn’t even listen to that type of music until they came along. It’s music that speaks to me, but I didn’t realise how important it is to me until Bennington’s death this year. I mourned his death in a way that I haven’t for other public figures. I read a lot of Tom Clancy when I was in my late teens. I was a huge fan of Alan Rickman as well, and although it saddened me when they died it wasn’t like when Chester Bennington died. I immediately binge listened to the Linkin Park albums I had, and blitz their YouTube channel. It was only a month or so ago that I’ve stopped getting a lump in my throat when I hear his vocals. I realised a few weeks after his death that I felt like this because it was the first death of one of my icons. Someone who not only did I look up to and admire, but someone who spoke to me. I didn’t know the death of someone I didn’t know would hit me as hard as Chester Bennington’s death did.
I’ve had highs and lows with writing this year. A few projects I put a lot of time into have crashed and burned pretty badly. In particular I was quite demoralised by a zombie story I thought was going to be something good but it just didn’t pan out how I was expecting it too and it kind of gave me a bit of a confidence hit. I had done a lot of outlining for it, characters had been thought out and developed, but it just didn’t go right. I tried to rewrite it for NaNo, and it’s not bad. I’m happier with it now than I was initially but it’s not how I was expecting it to go. I think I can roll with how it’s changing, I just need to do some re-thinking on it.
Something I have learned is that it doesn’t matter whether I write with a pen and paper or straight into a word processor the words are the same. I wrote a first draft of a story I’ve got a lot of hope for by hand but was writing something else at the same time digitally and realised quickly that it didn’t matter how I wrote something, if I was in the mood to write it all came out the same. With this story in particular I’ve got to change a lot for the second draft. Like the zombie story I mentioned it came out different to how I envisioned it. The biggest problem is I’ve written it from only one point of view, and to tell the story I want to I need to do it from multiple POVs. I don’t think it’ll be difficult, but I want to let it sit for another month or two before I return to it. I’d like to get some more planning done for it as well.
The work with Owen is a little up in the air at the moment but I’m expecting to find out what’s happening early in the new year.
The highest points of this year for me have been getting two stories published. Both through charity anthologies from Burdizzo Books. The first one, The Final Charge was in Sparks: An Electric Anthology in October. The second was my take on The Three French Hens in this years 12 Days of Christmas 2017 Anthology. I am incredibly proud of both of these stories. They were a lot of fun to write and knowing the proceeds from both books go to good causes makes it feel even better than it does. The folks at Burdizzo Books are fantastic people as well, along with the group of writers they have around them.
It’s great to finally have my writing in print and has really fired me up and shown me that it’s not impossible. There is nothing stopping me except myself.
The last item I really want to talk about are a few of the people I’ve met this year. I attended a book launch for Sparks up in Walsall and met the head honcho and editor Matthew Cash as well as a couple of the other contributors. We later had another launch in my home town as Burdizzo Books’ other editor, Em Dehaney, is from Gravesend as well. Both launch parties were fantastic, I did a reading at both, although with the Gravesend one I was hit with a severe cold a few hours before and was incredibly unwell. I thought I was going to pass out during my reading, but it was still an amazing experience.
I also went to a few cons this year. Unfortunately DemonCon down in Maidstone has now come to an end. I was pleased to be at the last one in February, but will miss it. It’s the con were I first me Dan Abnett and his wife Nik, who are lovely people. I went to Birmingham Horror Con around that time as well, that was incredibly fun and I got to see my friends Cat and Lynx Raven again as well as Dave from From The Shadows. I also went to EGX with my buddy Stefan from Stefan’s Daily Gaming. Although I’m not a huge gamer this was a lot of fun as well. It was good seeing some great games and a lot of people who were in their element. Bristol Horror Con was my favourite of the year though. Not only did I see CL Raven and Dave (From The Shadows) again but I also went to a couple of panels. I spent a little time talking to Adam Millard and his wife in the VIP room. Seriously lovely people who were very encouraging of my own work and just fun to talk to. I also got the chance to speak to Tim Lebbon as well. Again, another awesome and encouraging person. I just hope the more of these I go to the more at ease I get speaking to all these fantastic people.
The horror community is really welcoming and seems to have a lot of heart to it. It’s definitely a place I feel at home it.
One night in particular that was both fun and tiring was an all-night ghosts hunt I went on with Boleyn Paranormal down at a True Crime Museum in Hastings. It was a lot of fun, very interesting and I met more awesome people, but I’m not doing another all-nighter. I was shattered for a few days after that. Cat and Lynx Raven were there as well, and they popped back to my home to meet my animal army before they returned to Cardiff. En Route to my house we stopped at the site of the Battle of Hastings. Although not far from my home I can’t recall ever going there and it was quite a surreal experience that I’m glad we took the time to do.
A massive highlight of the year for me was meeting Scott Sigler and AB Kovacs. I’ve been a fan of Sigler’s work for a decade now and when he announced he was coming to Europe, including the UK, it would have taken the zombie apocalypse to have stopped me from getting there. It was a great evening in a pub in London just hanging out with Scott, A and other fans of Sigler’s work (AKA the Junkies). It was good chatting to them both and seeing the love they have for the fans of the work. Both Scott and A have a lot of charisma and energy and clearly love what they do, and it was one of the highlights of the year.
With Scott Sigler
With AB Kovacs
2017 has had a lot of downs, but its had a lot of ups as well. That’s what I’m focusing on, I’m not ignoring the low points, just choosing to look at the positives. Most importantly I appreciate those important people I have in my life. My friends and family mean the world to me and I’m very grateful having them all.