New Release Coming Soon!

Good evening folks! I have good news. I’ve had a story accepted for a charity anthology of drabbles (100 word stories).

Here is the blurb:

It Came From the Darkness is a unique collection of drabbles (stories of 100 words exactly) and artwork, compiled by Red Cape Publishing and Philip Rogers 101 PR in aid of the Max the Brave Fund. A huge number of horror writers, poets, artists, and film makers have come together to support the cause and offer the reader something special. Each piece of writing begins with the same five words, but the stories themselves are all wonderfully varied. So dig in, take each tale one bloody bite at a time, and beware of what comes from the darkness.

Includes stories from David Owain Hughes, Matthew V. Brockmeyer, Tim Lebbon, Lou Yardley, Cortney Palm, Lee Franklin, MJ Dixon, Singh Lall, and many, many more.

Cover artwork by David Paul Harris (www.davidpaulharris.com)

Please click this link for the announcement post.

I was very honoured and incredibly flattered to have been invited to submit to this one, and even more so when I got accepted. The Max The Brave Fund is very worthy and I hope we make a nice amount of money for them.

Seriously loving this cover!

The pre-order should be up on the 23rd of October, with a release scheduled for the 30th of October. So please keep an eye out for it, but if you miss it I will be posting about it here. Also, follow the hashtag #ItCameFromTheDarkness on social media to keep up to date as well.

Reading (or lack thereof)

I mentioned my bookcases in my post this morning, and that’s something that I’m not doing well with. Reading.

It has been months since I properly sat down and read anything. Each time I’ve tried I’ve not had the attention span or been able to shut my mind off enough to get immersed properly.

Luckily I’ve had some audiobooks I’ve been listening to on my commute but I need to get back to a point where I’m reading before bed again. That was when I’d really enjoy the act. It would also put me in a good place to be able to sleep better.

Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

The two books I’ve been reading are Clickers Forever, which is the tribute anthology to J.F. Gonzalez. The other is Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty.

I’m further into Clickers Forever than Six Wakes, which I’ve only just started.

Clickers Forever: A Tribute to J.F. Gonzalez

I’m going to dive in hard with these two this week and hopefully I’ll get through the rough and start getting back into the habit and routine of reading again.

4th September 2020

Good evening, Folks. I have had a day where I’ve not done much writing. Which I’m feeling shite about. I had time to get more done than I did, but I chilled out. I wrote 338 words on a short story, but that was it. I wanted to get nearing a 1000 words, despite not having a lot of time, but I just crashed out.

Running errands 😎

I ran errands this morning, including getting a couple of bookcases for my office, and then gave my parents car a quick once over (I gave mine an even quicker wash, I really need to get some bits and pieces and give it a damn good once over). I haven’t put the bookcases up. Partly because I’ve pulled something in my elbow and need to save it for work over the next couple of days, and I crashed out because I’m beat. I’ve been working my backside off over the last few weeks and I’m feeling it. I’m really enjoying my job, and the last few weeks have been a lot of fun there but I need some down time. One of the aspects of my job that I love is it being shift work. So I’m getting a nice chunk of time even when I am at work to get some words done.

Next week I’ve got to dive into something non-writing related. Something that I can’t go into here, but it’s the most important part of my life and it’s time for me to dive in and get rolling.

I will make time to get the spaces clear for the bookcases, and get them built. Then I’ve got to get the books onto the shelves, which I’m going to do properly……….

But I will be getting words written and edited. I’m feeling goof about this short story I’m working on, I think it’s going to be a nice piece once it’s done.

I do need to get back on track, I know this. The next week will be one where I’m getting back on track. I’ll have the time, I’ve got the work to do. I’m going to write a to-do list and try and do my best to start ticking the bits off it. I’m gonna do the list just after I’ve put this post up.

I’m going to end this post with giving a mention for the Elements Of Horror series from Red Cape Publishing. Four books in the series, I’ve got a story in book two: Air. All three books deserve checking out though. I’ve listened to the first three and am currently on book four: Water, and I’ve got to say these stories in these four books are damn good. I know I’m biased, I’m in one. So I get it, but I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. Please check them out, they’re all out in audio as well as ebook and paperback.

Earth – https://mybook.to/BookOneEarth

Air – https://mybook.to/BookTwoAir

Fire – https://mybook.to/BookThreeFire

Water – https://mybook.to/BookFourWater

Very proud to be in this anthology 😊

Right folks, I’m off to get that list done and then I’ll be getting my head down.

Have a good one, folks 😊

Good Morning, 3rd September 2020

Good morning folks! Yesterday I wrote 764 words on a new short story, that I’m going to scrap and start again. I’m not liking the format of the story and I need to add something to it which I think will make it work better and be a little easier to write.

This is a good time to make this decision because the story is only 1319 words long and I can easily sacrifice that many words to make the story stronger. If I had been further along I think I would have been reluctant to do so.

Where I’m standing on projects at the moment seem good. I’m behind on edits(busy at work), but thats worked out quite well because I’ve been thinking about the zombie book for example and how I can improve it. I think it’s doable with small tweaks here and there. I’ve got a paper copy here that I’m going to go through and red pen the tweaks in.

Notebook porn 😊

The August stats are: 14641 words written, which is an average of 472 per day. 55323 words edited, which averages out to 1784 words per day. I’d like to get the average words written up over 500, as for words edited I’m not sure what’s a good target to hit on that yet. So I’m going to take the average for the next few months and see how that works out.

I’m listening to the last in the Elements of Horror series Water, from RedCape Publishing.

Good Morning, Sunday 6th of October 2019

Good morning folks.  A later start to the writing day for me this week. I’m going to be interspersing writing with general tidying up. I’ve got a lot going on in the next few weeks and squeezing writing into that is going to be a fun challenge, especially seeing as NaNoWriMo is right around the corner.

I did get my contributor copy of Elements Of Horror:Air this week. It came out on Tuesday and I loved writing this story. It was one of those stories that kind of wrote itself when I knew how the story was going to end. This is book two of four, each one focused on an element. The book is from Red Cape Publishing and the contributors are: Jaq D. Hawkins, Daren Callow, Dale Parnell, Theresa Jacobs, Peter Germany, P.J. Blakey-Novis, Nils Visser & Jovannah Bär, Ann Fox, R.C. Rumple.

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I did listen to Highway To Hell by Armand Rosamilia, which is the first book in his Dying Days series. I loved this book. I felt for the protagonist, he spoke to me a lot. I saw myself in him a lot. There’s some damn good gore in it, the characters are fantastic (I was particularly fond of a character who owned a car sales). Highway to Hell is a damn fun zombie story with depth along with the vile zombies and the humans who deserve to be zombies.

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That’s it for now. I’m going to get some writing down, and some tidying around it.

4th of September 2019

Good evening folks. It feels like it’s been a busy week, and in some ways it has. The day job is always busy but with writing I don’t feel like I’ve really got my teeth stuck in at all. Part of that is I feel like I’ve ran dry on the couple of short stories I’ve been working on. One I feel could be something a little bigger, while the other just died out after a couple of hundred words. So I’ve gone into editing mode again and have started on the CS1 edit. I’m planning on rewriting a lot of the ending and adding a lot more detail in the early stages that’ll make things later on work better. As I was writing it sub-plots came about that have no base in the early stages of the story. There’s also a few elements which I let drop accidentally as the story moved forward. So I’m going to pick those up as I go. I’m glad I’ve left this story for a while as I feel like I’ve got a better handle on it now I’ve let it simmer.

I’ll end up by sharing the link for my next story release. I have a story in the upcoming Elements of Horror: Air: Book Two. (Click the link for the pre-order). It’s released on the 1st of October. This story was one of those that came very easily and I knew where I was going with from quite an early part of the writing process. This is book two of four of a series from Red Cape Publishing. There’s a few more details here.

That’s it for tonight. I’m wiped out and my bed is calling.

Book Review: Four: A Novella by P.J. Blakey-Novis

I liked Four: A Novella. I liked the format of slipping from the main characters to the stories they tell while sitting around a camp fire. It felt smooth and wasn’t over done. P.J. Blakey-Novis kept these transitions simple.

The characters are established quickly, and again smoothly. We don’t get hit over the head with too much unnecessary information.

The use of gore is not overdone and fits in nicely with the feel of the story.

I found the layout of the story very pleasing. I don’t get much time to sit and read, so most of my reading is in bite-sized chunks. This book was written for someone like me in mind. P.J. Blakey-Novis breaks the scenes down into nice sized sections that were just the right length for the whole. I’d be interested to know how many drafts this went through because it’s tightly written book.

Definitely worth checking out.

Book Review: Skinzz by Wrath James White

Skinzz is a brutal ride that doesn’t let up and builds to an ending I really didn’t see coming.

Wrath James White crafts this story with these characters with a stunning amount of skill that puts you into this world and makes you feel what the characters are fighting their way through.

This is one of those stories that isn’t going to fade away with time, it’s going to sit with me and I’ll be thinking it through for some time to come yet.

Book Review: Empty Graves by CL Raven

The story of the grave robbers of that time isn’t something I know much about. I knew it happened but getting into the why and how was really interesting and CL Raven put in characters who have their conflicts they’re dealing with.

The Grayfriers Gang was fun and the banter between them is fantastic. I would happily read another book with them in it!

CL Raven do a lot of research for their books, and with these historical ones (The Malignant Dead, The Devils Servants, and this one) they really manage to put that research to good use and you feel like you’re in Edinburgh, whether in a graveyard or an inn you feel part of the city. Edinburgh is now definitely on my to visit list.

Empty Graves is a page turner. The characters are fun and have depth to them that leaves you wanting to know more, and I learned a little about our past that I hadn’t known before.

Book Review: Soul Asylum by CL Raven

Aside from a couple of places where it felt a little slow I liked this book a lot. The atmosphere created sticks true throughout and CL Raven give you a good feel for the Asylum. I think if they hadn’t then it would loose some of its impact because the Asylum feels like another character.

The characters are in part a little annoying but also engaged in trying to discover the secrets of the history of this Asylum.

I did find the protagonist, Phineus (yeah I know I’ve spelt that wrong!) particularly annoying, but in the way that makes me want to turn the pages and get to the bottom of the mystery.

I did suspect one of the big reveals, but not the other one. That one was bigger and I didn’t even have a clue, but it slots everything into place once you’ve realised.

This is one I’ll read again in the future so I can connect all the clues now I know the secrets of Raven Retreat.