21-5-17

I’ve managed to get this edit pass on The Space Watch done and dusted. I’m now waiting on Owen as he wanted to re-write the ending. I’ve also got a list of details we need to clarify and we’re going to have to do a huge continuity check as well.

I didn’t do any outlining today though, now I’ve cleared this up on The Space Watch I can get stuck into that.

I did receive my copy of Dark Cities from Titan Books and edited by Christopher Golden. I primarily brought this because it’s got a Scott Sigler story in it, but when I saw the rest of the line-up it’ll be a no-brainier to buy whether Sigler is in it or not. Speaking or which, here’s the line-up: Nathan Ballingrud, Amber Benson, Kealan Patrick Burke, Ramsey Campbell, M.R. Carey, Nick Cutter, Tananarive Due, Christopher Golden, Simon R. Green, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale, Tim Lebbon, Jonathan Maberry, Helen Marshall, Seanan McGuire, Cherie Priest, Scott Sigler, Scott Smith, and Paul Tremblay. Now that’s a damn impressive line-up and I’m looking forward to diving into it. Although I’m not sure where on my ‘to-read’ stick it’s going to slip into!

Right, I’m off to read for a while, but I’m back at it tomorrow, I want to get this outline done. 

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Perspective 

Since last weekend I’ve been watching Hells Kitchen on Netflix. There’s three series on there and I’ve got to admit, I wish there was more. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy this show. I think I probably watched the first three, maybe four seasons of the show before drifting away from it, as I do, and as I was watching it last night while I was doing a little editing I realised that to the people aiming to win, Gordon Ramsey is what Dan Abnett and Scott Sigler are to me.

When I used to watch the show it used to amaze me how often they screwed up something they’d claimed to have done countless times before. This time round though, I can Appreciate the pressures they’re under. I’m not going to say I understand it, because I’m not there trying to reach these goals, but I feel I can see how much pressure they have in those kitchens. As I was walking to work this morning I realised that for the contenders working with Gordon Ramsey is a dream come true, and would I be any different if I was working with someone like Dan Abnett or Scott Sigler? I’ve been lucky enough to have met both of my writing idols, and I wasn’t quite a gibbering wreck when I met Dan Abnett but I don’t think I was far off. I would probably have been the same with Scott Sigler but we were in a pub, his business partner A Kovacs was there, along with twenty to thirty other Junkies (that’s what us Sigler fans call ourselves).  And what would I be like if either Abnett or Sigler asked me to work with them on a story! I think I’d be a gibbering mess till it had sunk in, and then I’d be second guessing myself half the time.

If I’m honest I’m not expecting that to happen, but if I am not writing and trying to get my work out in the word then I stand no chance at all. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.

Good Morning, Sunday

This is going to be a bit of a bulky post as I just sum up what’s been going on in the last few weeks.

It’s been a slow couple of weeks with writing, I’ve literally written no new words for pushing a month now. In that time though I have been  working on an outline in much more detail than I have done in the past, and I’ve been working on getting last years FanFic piece read through. With the FanFic piece it’s a little complicated as I have to figure out what I’m going to need to connect the various pieces together, as well as figuring out what I’m going to re-write to make it all into a coherent story.

I have got my vampire collection all sorted out though. This is one of the files that I’d done beta note adjustments on, but I’d lost the file and have had to do them all over again. As I was doing the changes I couldn’t help but think it might just be an idea to rewrite the whole thing as (I’d like to think) I’m a better writer now. Aside from the time it’ll take for me to rewrite another story I’ve written (50k plus words), I’d also loose some of the subtext that is in those stories. I listen to Armand Rosamilla’s podcasts (Armcast and The Mando Method) and he has said that he has thought about rewriting some of his older work, but he isn’t now who he was then, and they’d loose something if he rewrote them. I can’t help but agree. I also don’t want to be that writer that keeps working on the same things and never moves forward. I do suffer a little of that but I’m trying to pull away from it. Now that I’ve got this done, and ready to go off to other beta readers, I’m feeling like I am moving forward.

We’re also moving forward on The Space Watch. Owen is working his way through, putting his stamp on it and I’m looking forward to sitting down with him to go through it in detail and see what he thinks needs working on.

I did have a massive highlight last Saturday (18th March) and that was meeting Scott Sigler. Scott is one of my writing idols and he’s having a small European tour and as soon as I heard him announce the two London dates I immediately booked the 18th off so I could go and hang out with a writer who I’ve been following since 2007. I also got to meet his business partner, AB Kovacs. Both Scott and A are really fantastic people. They are both very engaging, passionate, hard working, and genuine. They’ve also got a great deal of appreciation for the fans, we call ourselves Junkies, and that was very clear to see on Saturday. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the best moments of my life, and has opened my eyes a little to how much of a rut I’m in. Both with writing and life in general. I am taking steps to change that, but I am quite an introvert and it’s not easy for me to step out of my comfort zone.

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Scott Sigler and myself
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AB Kovacs

Back to Saturday night though; in addition to meeting Scott and A, I got to hang out with a good twenty to thirty other Junkies who were an awesome group of people and were all so passionate about Sigler’s work. I also got to meet comedian, illusionist,  and writer John Lenahan. John was podcasting back when Scott started off, and is such a cool dude. What made him even cooler was that he did the voice of Talkie Toaster from the TV series Red Dwarf!

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John Lenahan

Elsewhere, I’ve been getting back into the cinema. I’m a huge movie fan and it’s getting to the time of year when the movies I want to see are coming out. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been to see Lego Batman, Logan, Kong:Skull Island, and Beauty and the Beast. Lego Batman was a lot of fun, silly and over the top, which is what I was expecting. Logan was just brilliant! Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine with such commitment, understanding and passion over the years it’s going to be a shame not seeing him playing the character again. Kong was surprising good. Action right from the start and never did it feel like it was slowing down. It just kept its pace, and the action didn’t disappoint. It’s also the first time I’ve really seen Brie Larson in anything. She’s been cast as Carol Danvers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I was really impressed with how she was on screen. Beauty and the Beast is probably one of my favourite Disney movies. I saw the animated version a couple of times at the cinema when it first came out, and it’s always resonated with me. The live action version was good, but I think it doesn’t quite match up to the original. This is one of those times where I’ve realised this film was going to find it hard to impress me because of my love for the original, that said there was a lot I liked about the live action remake and I will definitely be buying it on Blu-Ray when it does come out.

TV wise, I watched The Expanse, and really dug it. It was a little bit of a slow start but once I’d gotten to about episode three I was locked-in. I’m looking forward to seeing the next series. It’s also reminded me I’ve got to get through the rest of the books in the series. I’m now getting stuck into Iron Fist, and am really enjoying it. It’s just taken a turn I wasn’t expecting. I could quite easily go and binge the last four or five episodes but I’d like to get some work down today.

Reading wise, I’ve not got Terror Byte by J.R. Park finished yet. I’m enjoying the story but I’ve let myself get distracted by movies, TV and comics in the last couple of weeks. I’m going to aim to get back to reading before bed each night, again and will hopefully have it finished by this time next week. Speaking of comics, I’ve just finished House of M, and really loved it. I’ve been curious as to what led up to Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment and I brought House of M simply because the cover looked cool and I was intrigued by the title. So seeing Scarlett Witch’s ‘No More Mutants’ moment was an added bonus. I’ve now moved onto Secret Invasion. I also listened to Alone by Scott Sigler. This is the third book of his Generations Trilogy and really ended the series well. The audiobook was narrated by AB Kovacs and she smashed it! A really impressive performance, and very easy to listen to.

Well, that’s about it. Sorry for the chunky post, it’s not often I break five hundred words, let alone a thousand! I am trying to focus my attention and energy better. I’m not being overly successful with it, but I’m trying. Hopefully I’ll have a productive week.

Update 15-2-15

I’ve had a week where I’ve been fighting a cold and it’s only been the last 24 hours or so that I’ve began to feel a little more like myself again.
I managed some writing this morning and was just getting into a rhythm when I got interrupted.
The rest of the day has seen me fighting a pretty aggressive headache that is only now abating.
So today feels like a bit of a dead loss to be honest. I was feeling good and motivated this morning but after about midday things jut seemed to descend and they never really picked back up again.
I was planning to do some ARC reading today, along with some work on Project Apollo and maybe a couple of blog posts too. If I was really on a role I would have done a little comic book reading too.

The only good things that I’m taking from today are what I wrote this morning, I think it’s pretty good, and I started reading Scott Sigler’s Pandemic. This is the first chunky book I’m diving into this year and I’m itching to get into it and see how Sigler wraps this trilogy up.

I know I’ve been really slack this month. I’m going to change that this week and work on upping my word counts for each day. I’ve not got a set target in mind but I’m going to try and do more words then the previous day

The Champion by Scott Sigler

I was going to give a quick summery of the start of this story but if I did that then it would be a spoiler for the previous book. This is book five of Scott Sigler’s Galactic Football League series and it follows the life of Quentin Barnes as he tries to lead the Ionaith Krakens to a Galactic Bowl title, and deal with his family, team mates, his coach, team owner, Gods and the various people who want to kill him.

It’s been two years since book four came out and I’ve got the limited edition hardback and I’ve been listening to the podcast as Sigler is, like pretty much all of his work, is giving it away for free but after this weeks episode I realised I couldn’t wait each week for the story to continue. So I used my Audible credit this month to download the audiobook (I would’ve started reading it but I’m reading The Waste Lands by Stephen King). In two days I blitzed through this audiobook, getting through till about 10pm on Wednesday night as there was no way I could wait till the next day at work to finish it off.

I’ve been consuming Sigler’s work since about 2007/2008 and most of his work takes place in the one universe and theres a part in this book early on that almost knocked me off my feet, you’ll know it if you know Sigler’s work. That is something that I admire, writers being able to tie this stories together in this way, and it’s something that I’d love to be able to do myself one day.

This book had me laughing, it had me crying, it had me on the edge of my seat and it had me cheering on the Krakens.

The ending left a lot up in the air, but it didn’t leave me feeling short changed, not by a long way. Scott Sigler has said this is a seven book series and those last two books are going to be epic!

 

(over the next few months I’m going to be getting the previous four novels in the Galactic Football League series on audio because they are stories which get richer with each listen and from a writing point of view they are a great way to look at world building and character development and building a long term story.)

My First Submission, and Rejection

On Saturday, after a bit of a kick up the arse by Scott Sigler, I submitted a story to an online magazine. This was the first time I had sent a story out, and it got rejected. I was expecting that if I’m honest but I’m relieved that I finally got a story sent out.

I did learn a few things from this.

Firstly, I screwed up the cover letter big time. I’ve got a rough idea of what to put in a cover letter, and after looking at another place to send a story to I’ve got a better idea of what needs to be included. I am going to have a little look around the web and see what is recommended to include. I don’t want to make the same mistake twice and more importantly I don’t want editors thinking I’m wasting their time because I’m not prepared.

The second thing I learnt was that it doesn’t hurt. Yeah getting a rejection sucks but that is all part of the process and its something that we, as writers, have to accept. I know there is a lot of people who submit to these markets and to stand out amongst so many people and get accepted is a long shot, but not an impossible one. I already know where I want to submit the story next time but I’m going to look at the magazine in question and see if it fits.

I do need to get my finger out and get some more words written and stories finished. Most of my shorter pieces that I have almost finished are mainly in a set of stories I’m working on, my Vampire stuff, and I don’t really want to break them up. I like the idea of either merging them into a single story or into a collection, kind of like a continuing series.

So that’s a bit of a milestone for me, first story sent out, and rejected. That’s not something bad against me or the story I wrote (Okay maybe the story sucked 😛 ). There is always the chance that the tone of the story wasn’t right. Or the genre wasn’t right or a dozen of other reasons.

What’s next? well I’m going to try and find another home for the story and I’m going to get another one of my pieces polished off and get that one sent out.

 

Oh, and get some more short fiction written.

 

 

 

Good Morning

It’s Thursday, it’s early and I’m still half asleep so I apologise in advance for any typos 😃

Due to a little ill health, nothing too serious, I’ve not done much at all this week. Add in a trip to the cinema last night then I’ve really had a slack week with writing. Although I haven’t been doing too much physical work I’ve been working through ideas for some of my various projects and also how I want to get my work out into the wide world.
Although I’m not published yet I do feel part of the indie community. I have a lot of good people around me that are self-published and are white happy with being an indie. I also know people who are traditionally published who also are very happy with how they are getting their work out into the readers hands.
The way I’m looking at the writing industry, and this is from the outside, is that it hasn’t settled into this day and age quite yet. I think it is slowly but it’s more the smaller publishers that are being open minded. No I’m not saying I could go out and get a book deal a piece of cake but I’ve got to admit I would quite like to get published by a publisher at some stage. I’ve not mentioned him for a while but a big idle of mine, both in what he rights and how he is getting his work out is Scott Sigler. Mr. Sigler has just signed his second book deal after having five books published, at least one of those got onto the New York Times best sellers list. But he also publishes a series of novels himself. He is a good example of a new generation of hybrid author that seem to be emerging now and that is what I’d quite like to try and do.
I’ve got a story that I want to start submitting to the magazines and see what traction I can get with it. The only thing holding me back with that is me, I just need to break that psychological barrier and send it out into the world and see if someone bites and says it’s what their looking for.

That’s kind of the strategy I’m going to working with, I just need to start getting more work finished and either self published or submitted.

This strategy does not include the collaborations I’m working on with Chrystalyn and Owen respectively. As those are collaborations it’s something that I and my partners will decide how to sell when the time comes.