Edge Lit #4

The Derby QUAD [External Link] is hosting Edge Lit #4;
11th July, 2015;
Derby, England

There’s a Facebook event page here: [External Link]
Tickets are available here: [External Link]

Fran Terminiello and I are hoping to continue our Edge Lit success of last year and should be presenting a little something about historical fencing for writers if all goes to plan don’t fit on this year’s programme but I’ll definitely be hanging around.

Sunday 25th January, 2015

Yesterday was the first Sheffield Fantasy and Science Fiction Social Club meet [External Link] – and it went very well. We were a decent sized crowd, everyone laughed in the right places when I did my reading from 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf (“Pick a number between 1 and 25!”), and Adrian Tchaikovsky [External Link] gave us an exclusive advance reading of his book out in February (Guns of The Dawn, on Goodreads here: [External Link]). New people were met, books were raffled, and swords were discussed. Basically, I had a lot of fun.

Which is just as well because I survived a rather nasty week at work to make it there! Never mind, there’s a new week coming.

In pack news: This week I’ll be putting up a page for my new-to-me Hellhound Dora (yes, The Explorer. I picked the name for a reason). She found me just before Christmas and so far nobody has stepped forward as her original owner. She’s still unchipped but that will change with a trip to the vets this week when I get her chipped and innoculated. I am now officially outnumbered and outvoted by dogs…

Sunday 18th January, 2015

Right, I missed a week. Basically because real life got in the way. Nothing major (I can’t even remember what I got up to) but I didn’t get around to writing an update.

So that means I didn’t get around to announcing / reminding people about:

So, see you on Saturday in Sheffield or see you here on Sunday!

The Lost Kingdom: Story Background

I have a confession to make: The Lost Kingdom was inspired by the call for submissions for an anthology other than the one it actually ended up in. here’s a litte bit more about that.

Publishing Details

The Lost Kindom is one fo the short stories in Missing Monarchs (Fox Pockets #4) from Fox Spirit Books [External Link], which came out in December 2014. So far, its available on Amazon as a Kindle … Continue reading

Sunday 4th January, 2015

Welcome to 2015. Only another 2 to 6 months of me writing the date wrong to go!

Not much to report, seeing as the holiday period generally means things are slow but here’s a couple of things for you:

  1. The Ink Plan closed at the end of 2014. Well, officially. It’s resulted in a £20 donation to NAS [External Link] and, if nothing else, is a good excuse to donate a small some every year, so I shall be counting up again next year.
  2. Fran Terminiello [External Link] and I did quite well at Alt.Fiction 2014 with our HEMA for Writers presentation so we’re planning on doing it again – and not just at Alt.Fiction. Although our part in it hasn’t been confirmed, we’re both now members for this year’s EasterCon, which will be Dysprosium, and this has gone up under my events posts. This time, we’re focussing on a couple of eras / styles of fencing.

    (We shall probably be at Alt.Fiction, although tickets have not yet been bought and our time slot is not confirmed. We’re also aiming for another couple of SFF cons in the year, so fingers crossed.)

January 2015 Summary

Here’s the offical end of the Ink Plan – with final numbers and money owed!

The Ink Plan

I said that if I sell 1,000 books, I would get a journeymouse tattooed on my arm. Of course, this hasn’t happened. I haven’t managed to sell anywhere near that number of books, even including the anthologies I’ve been in over the last few years. Hoever, I will keep working on this (a little more privately) and eventually get my ink!

I can, however, make a donation to the National Autism Society (NAS) [External Link]. I’m donating 10p per each copy of 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and 5p per copy of an anthology sold before 31/12/2014. Anything with an ISBN counts. We’re being a bit fast and loose with ebooks, which don’t technically have ISBNs but have been counted (where reported) for the purposes of raising money and getting me closer to ink.

ASIDE: I’ve decided that I shall donate similarly (10p for sole authorship, 5p for a shared project) next year and any books that have escaped this count-up will be included next year. The money will continue to be donated to NAS. Next year’s count will (otherwise) cover 01/01/2015 to 31/12/2015.

The 2014 Total

I have (that I’m aware of) sold 371 books, which means I should have donated £19.55 to NAS – in practice, I rounded it up to £20. The breakdown of how I got this is below. If you would like to make your own donation, NAS have a really easy website donation set-up.

Note 1: Numbers for No Monsters Allowed and Amok weren’t made available – and isn’t that surprising as these sort of figures aren’t often made available to the authors of short stories in anthologies. I’ve included some numbers / copies I know about and if anyone wants to self-report for next year, please do so.

Note 2: Although European Monsters and Fox Pockets – Monarchs both came out in December, numbers aren’t out and about, yet, so these will be included in next year’s numbers.

The Eligible Books

25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf
Published August 2014 by Fox Spirit Books [External Link]
ISBN 9781909348615
(x 10p)
Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction
Published April 2014 by Solarwyrm Press [External Link]
ISBN: 9780980508444
Short story “Gone Fishing”
(x 5p)
No Monsters Allowed No Monsters Allowed
Published October 2013 by Dog Horn Publishing [External Link]
ISBN: 9781907133824
Short story “An Honest Woman’s Child”
? ?
(x 5p)
Outlaw Bodies Outlaw Bodies
Published November 2012 by Futurefire.net Publishing [External Link]
ISBN: 9780957397507
Short story “Good Form”
(x 5p)
Crossed Genres Quarterly 4 Crossed Genres, Quarter 4 (no longer available)
Published December 2011 by Crossed Genres Publications [External Link]
ISBN 9780615578637
Short story “Beaumains”
103 £5.15
(x 5p)
Crossed Genres Issue 17: Antihero Crossed Genres, Issue 17 (no longer available)
Published March 2010 by Crossed Genres Publications [External Link]
ISBN 9781451540963
Short story “Three Little Pigs”
27 £1.35
(x 5p)
Crossed Genres Issue 2: Dystopian Crossed Genres, Issue 2 (no longer available)
Published January 2009 by Crossed Genres Publications [External Link]
ISBN 9781441455376
Short story “Nesting Instinct”
11 £0.55
(x 5p)
Totals 371 £19.55

Sunday 28th December, 2014

Almost at the end of the year, so “Happy New Year!” for Wednesday night / Thursday morning. We’ve got a couple of things to go through, so there’s headings today.

What I Learnt About Writing in 2014

Well, time for that annual tradition that was first inspired by Foxie [External Link]. Here’s my stats for this year with last year for comparison:

  • Submissions = 20 (28, 2013)
  • Total pieces in circulation = 8 (8, 2013)
  • New pieces in circulation = 2 (3, 2013)
  • Rewrites = 1 (2, 2013)
  • Acceptances = 2 (5, 2013)
  • Published = 4 (3, 2013)

NOTE: These numbers are a combination of Duotrope figures and some notes for submissions to non-listed destinations but do not include stories written for the website or published here. Attempts to rehome stories published here elsewhere have been included.

So, I’ve been slightly less productive and less aggressive about getting work out there. While the numbers above include the publishing of my first accepted novel, 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf [External Link], they don’t include a number of works that are still in first draft, held there while I work on the first draft of the third Elkie novel (currently known as: Fool If You Think It’s Over) or getting European Monsters [External Link] up and running.

And I need a reminder to self: writing is just my hobby with potential to be a retirement plan. This was the balance of my life / paid work / procrastination / hobby work that worked this year. Ignore that little voice in my head that says I can and should do more.

Also not shown in the numbers but obvious from being around here, my blogging has fallen off a bit – to the point where I sometimes forget to do the site diaries as I basically have nothing to tell you that’s new – and I haven’t done much with the non-fiction pieces this year. I may or may not get back to that. Working on scripts has also been knocked on the head for this year with having to balance as much as I did (more on this later).

Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

This year, I’ll use this section to mention what the plans are for the immediate future of my writing and editing career. Let’s start with Elkie…

As mentioned, the first book in my Elkie trilogy, 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf [External Link], came out in 2014. The second book, currently A Pack Of Lies, has made it to the third draft and is with Fox Spirit Books- this will hopefully be out in 2015. The third book is approaching the end of the first draft, so that may be out in 2016 or 2017. (Yes, I know. A fantasy trilogy. Sorry.)

With European Monsters [External Link] having been organised and published, Fox Spirit Books has invited my co-editor (Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link]) and I to continue into a series. We’re in debate about how many there will end up being but the next book, hopefully due in December 2015, will be African Monsters.

Obviously, this means I have official commitments and deadlines, so this is the hobby work that gets the main focus. Anything I get done extra to this is basically just an added bonus. Fingers crossed that I will get more done as I have a load of ideas floating around, and a few that are all ready in first draft and need to be worked on.

The Ink Plan

I should be able to put together an update for the end of the month / just into the new year with totals. This year I shall be owing the NAS [External Link] some money (which I shall be donating in January) but haven’t got anywhere near a tattoo.

What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

This year started with good intentions but ended up being one of the most stressful in recent years. On the plus side, I didn’t need to take any time off due to stress but that was because I organised actual holidays when I knew I needed a break. For those who haven’t noticed, the other half experiment didn’t work out. I ended up working hard to keep both of us, both in monetary and housekeeping terms, and… well, bacon and egg sandwiches just don’t make up for it.

This year it looks like I will be having a new pet, though, as I found a wandering patterdale terrier just before Christmas and took her in. If her owners don’t step forward, she’ll become Dora (because she’s an explorer) and join the pack of Hellhounds.

One Last (December) Song

To finish off December, have some Morecambe and Wise:

Sunday 21st December, 2014

This week turned out to be surprisingly busy. There was quite a bit of bombing around for the day job but I’ve had two published announcements this week. Rather than type out all the link soup again, I’ll just give links to the two announcements here:

  1. European Monsters (Fox Spirit Books of Monsters #1), which I co-edited along with Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link] and which contains some fantastic stories and artwork. And I don’t just say that because I’m biased.
  2. Missing Monarchs (Fox Spirit Books’ Fox Pockets #4), an anthology with many lovely authors in.

And any sold before December 31st will count towards my Ink Plan total – I shall have to do a summing up for that in January to ensure numbers cover the time period properly. At this stage, it looks like I shall be handing a donation over to the NAS [External Link] but we didn’t approach Ink levels.

Anyway, here’s the last advent video. I give you a brass band (so we know it’s really Christmas. Well, Yule / Solstice / Midwinter) and my favourite carol (when played by brass bands).

(A reminder: I’m not Christian so my interest in Advent is purely secular.)

Finally, the usual reminder that if you want some free fiction, we have:

  • A Granted Wish, a novella, is up on the Fox Spirit [External Link] web-site under their Free Fiction page. There’s some background here with direct links to the right Fox Spirit page.
  • The first chapter of 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf available on the site. It has all the usual plug links at the bottom of the page so, if you like it, you can get your paws on your own copy.
  • You can find the archive of my freely available short stories here.

Published: Missing Monarchs (Fox Pockets, #4)

Fox Spirit Books [External Link] published the fourth of their Fox Pockets on Friday 19th December, 2014. Missing Monarchs is currently available in kindle edition and paperback – with an epub eventually due out from Spacewitch [External Link].

Here’s your mess-o’links:

The kindle edition can be bought from any Amazon site but here’s the UK version: [External Link] (Just look the title up in your more local version, if you have no objections to Amazon and aren’t in the UK.)
This has a Goodreads page [External Link] and a Booklikes page [External Link].

The paperback edition can be bought from Lulu: [External Link]
This also has a Goodreads page [External Link] and a Booklikes page [External Link].

Anthology, fantasy / horror / science fiction