Sunday 28th of June 2020

Good morning! Not a lot of of writing recently. Life’s been busy and there’s a lot I’ve been having to work on that’s away from writing. Things that are important and are the priority.

I have still been thinking about the writing though and what I am aiming for over the next few years. Originally I was thinking about focussing on shorter pieces for the year but that’s kind of gone by the wayside. I’ve been looking back at the Penal Earth world and think I can get it how I want it now. So I’ve been plotting it out chapter by chapter, scene by scene. I’ve got more noted about background details and done some more character work. All little things that were missing from the previous draft. I have written a short story set in this universe that was submitted to an anthology but it didn’t make the cut. This popped up a fair few ideas that have helped with filling out the universe and giving me a new feel for it.

One of the big problems I had with previous drafts was getting my main character right. Now I think I have him down. There’s a sequence which includes him that I fear I may have to cut but I’m going to try and keep it in. It’s the one element of the story that I’ve kept in from the earliest of drafts. I really want to keep it, but will cut it if I have to.

I wasn’t expecting to get such a kick of joy as I did when I saw my name on the screen as my story was playing.

In other news, another anthology I’ve been published in has now come out as an audiobook. Elements Of Horror Book Two: Air is now live on Audible and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty well done. I’d not got around to reading this one yet and I’ve got to admit I’m impressed with the stories included. It makes me a little more prouder than I already was that my story is in there because its in good company. The narrator, Michael Brusasco did an amazing job. He really managed to get the main character of my story spot on. I don’t think I could have wished for a better portrayal of it.

I’m going to wrap this post here. I know it says good morning and I’m posting it past midday but I started writing it this morning, so I’m sticking to it.

Have a good one, folks!

Saturday 15th of February 2020

Good evening, folks! Let’s get straight into it shall we? This month I’ve written 4824 words. I need to step up to try and get to my 500 words a day average but I’ve lost a little writing time each day so I need to compensate and find time to make that up.

The story I’m working on started out as a short story that was about something totally different to where it’s gone, but there are times we have to flow with the story. It makes me think of some TV episodes. The Simpsons especially. They’d start off with an episode where Bart gets obsessed with a yoyo and events lead to Mrs Krabappel confiscates it and gives Bart detention (by the way, I had a school assembly where people came in with Yoyo’s to impress and take our cash when I was at school in the 80’s). This leads to Bart sneaking into Mrs Krabappel’s desk to retrieve the yoyo and he finds a dating column that his teacher had posted. Futurama did this a lot as well. But it’s what I’ve ended up doing with this story in a way. The only difference is I started off with the intention to tell one story but didn’t even get into the meat of that one before I went off in a totally different direction. It’s a direction I’m really happy with and can see things slowly coming together.

It also started off as a short story and is now over 16k words. I’m not sure where it’s going to top out at but as usual, my gut is saying it’ll be about 30k.

Again, tomorrow I’m going to try and write a thousand words. I’m tempted to start working on another story as when I’m jumping to and throw between pieces I seem to get more done, but we’ll see.

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My self pimping for today is for the Under The Weather anthology from Burdizzo Books and Back Road Books. This is one of my favourite stories I’ve written. I just let myself go and had a lot of fun with it. The story, The Snow, is about a man who goes to collect his wife from work in a shopping centre as a vicious snow storm hits. When they go to leave things begin to go very wrong.

There are a lot of other amazing stories in this collection to, including one that still freaks me out to this day (try to guess which!), and I’d be super grateful for anyone checking it out. Here’s the link. It’s also the first of my work that’s been made into audio which thrilled me big time.

Good Morning! 8th January 2020

Good morning! How many people are still writing 2019? I did on the title for this post, twice. I’m using the excuse of its earlier than normal for me to be writing a blog post for the second one. That first one was all on me though.

Yesterday was the first day since the first of the month where I haven’t written. Unlike the first though, I did get editing done. That’s now two short stories at the point where I need to print them off and do an out-loud read before that final edit pass.

I listened to The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum last week and damn that’s a good book. Incredibly well written and incredibly hard to listen to. Definitely one I’d recommend and already one that’s going to be hard to top for best reads of the year.

I’ve got to get to work now. So I hope everyone has an awesome day!

11th of November 2019

Hey folks! Most likely a quick little post tonight. Writing has been slow, which means I’m super behind on NaNoWriMo. Life has been incredibly busy of late and if I’m honest I’m not expecting to hit the 50k by the end of the month, but I’ll persist and see what I have when the 30th is drawing to a stop.

As I said, a quick post. I’ll just end with a mention that I’ve started listening to a complete works of H.P. Lovecraft audiobook. I’m not far in yet but it’s not bad. I still think of myself as a newbie with horror so felt that I needed to check out some of the history of the genre. Where else to start but the godfather of Cosmic horror.

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: Forever and Ever, Armageddon: A collection of 24 short stories

This is a fantastic collection from David Court. I’ve read some of his short fiction before and knew I liked his work and this collection has confirmed that.

There is a good variety of stories here. There’s a few that made me think, one of which made me stop what I was doing and say “oh sh*t”, and a couple that are just the written version of a gut punch. There was a couple of the stories that had me grinning like a kid!

Kristina Fitzgerald does a fantastic job of narration. Great range and delivery.

This one is definitely worth checking out.

Good Morning Sunday, 9th Of June 2019

Well, my week off from the day job has not been as productive as I’d have liked. I had a couple of days out, a couple of chill out days and a day where I knew I’d be able to get some words sorted didn’t happen because of internet problems that took some time to identify the cause of the problem. Overall it’s been a good week and a little part of me is looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow and getting back into the routine of everyday life once more.

One of the day’s out I had was to Brighton yesterday for the Brighton and Hove Book Fayre. This was a lot of fun. I got to meet a few people I’ve been connected to on social media for a while and meet some new people. Needless to say, I brought books!

 

As you can see Dizzy had to get in on the act! 

Whenever I go to something like this it always pumps me up and inspires me. So today I’m going to be aiming for a 2k word day. I don’t have all day to do it either. Come mid-afternoon I need to be done. So I need to get my arse into gear and get cracking!

Have a great day, all! 🙂

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.

Good Evening Sunday 17th February 2019

Good evening everyone!

I had an awesome weekend. It started at 5:30am yesterday when I got up and was leaving the house at 6am to drive a couple of hundred miles to visit my friends CL Raven and support them at their signing at their local WH Smiths. In my opinion this is really big, indies getting into a chain like Smiths is awesome.

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CL Raven and their display in WH Smith Cardiff. Cat is on the right and Lynx is on the left. Photo credit: CL Raven

They had a good turn out and sold a decent amount of books ( I finally got my hard copies of Bleeding Empire and Empty Graves).

I spent most of the weekend in Cardiff and hung out with Cat and Lynx. It was somewhat of a flying visit as I had a few bits and pieces to do at home and an early start with work tomorrow morning. I’m looking forward to going back in the future as it seems like an awesome city.

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Myself with CL Raven. Photo Credit CL Raven.

Needless to say I’ve not written this weekend. I have very much so taking a break from writing. Obviously I thought about it and hanging out with Cat and Lynx means we talked writing but I haven’t really thought about it much. Its been quite some time since I had a break from doing anything writing wise. If I’m not writing I’m editing. Even if it’s only a few words its been rare that I’ve gone more than a day without writing a single word. I think the break will have done me a bit of good.

Tomorrow, back at it!