Thursday 18th May, 2017

Let’s start with the deadline. If you’re attending ChapterCon in London at the end of August, you can pre-order some of the writers’ books through various Google forms. I have linked them on my ChapterCon mess o’links. This includes being able to pre-order a number of my books: 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf, A Pack Of Lies, Fool If You Think It’s Over, all the Fox Spirit Monster anthologies to date and all of the Fox Pockets. At a slight discount.

I am making a big deal out of this because a) the deadline for ordering is the end of this month (i.e. Wednesday 31st May) and b) I’m going to be a bit of a miser about lugging books around England, so I’ll otherwise have limited numbers of the Elkie books with me and only my own copies of the others so that I can show off some signatures and persuade those of you who missed out to order them on-line.

Somewhat closer on the horizon, I shall be on (local) radio on Saturday, North Manchester FM between 2pm and 4pm to be precise. The lovely Hannah Kate has invited me to talk on Hannah’s Book Shelf and there’s a post with all the details here [External Link]. I may be mildly nervous. OK, a lot. Mainly because I’m terrible at remembering names and titles so you can expect me to tail off at least once in the two hours while I struggle to remember who or what I’m supposed to be mentioning. It might even be often enough to make it into a drinking game. But not while I’m actually there, obviously.

Finally, here’s your reward for being patient people. I remembered to put up the opening paragraphs of my current Greenwood WIP set (as promised). They’re at various stages of draft, so what I’ve put up may not be exactly what they read like by the time they’re published – if they’re published. Feedback, as always, welcome!

Monday 5th September, 2016

Welcome to September. It’s not so much that time flies past as it sneaks away behind me before I manage to get a grip on things. Last week, for work, I attended an ITIL Foundation course. That was an exceptionally good way of letting time sneak past me. A few times I think I might have spotted it but it’s all a bit of a blur.

That said, I have two new flash pieces for you that came out of the the “oh gods, I really ought to try creating something just so I can still prove I can do it” feeling that hit me every evening after “homework”. These are Insomnia and Once, Upon Reflection. I have to admit I’m not too certain of the latter one. It didn’t come out quite the way I expected and my POV character feels… not good. I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend more than 500 words with them.

The Fox Pocket party was two weeks ago, now, but it seemed to go very well – much fun was had by all – and it was quite nice to spend an evening somewhere else.

There are other bits and pieces in the pipeline but I’m not in a position to tell you anything concrete, so that’s it for this week!

Tuesday 23rd August, 2016

I’m doing this getting distracted thing far too much. I’m also doing far too much “What day is it?” to just about everyone. My apologies for being a terrible correspondent. Basically, more reading and more Civ V since the last time I wrote here.

That said, I’ve written the first draft of that final Alex & Conn story. It may or may not be the last one I ever write about Conn or Alex but it’s definitely the last one in their time-line.

Other than that, I am off to the Fox Pocket party on Thursday so maybe see you there!

Monday 8th August, 2016

I got a bit distracted last week, so here’s a round-up of the last two weeks.

I’ve read the six nominees for the British Fantasy Society (BFS) [External Link] Award for graphic novel / comic. I’m not going to tell you what my thoughts were other than it was pretty clear why they were all picked. (You can find the shortlists here: [External Link]).

I have read a fencing acquaintance’s WIP through – and she was kind enough to send me through a novella she’s published along with the works of a couple of her writing friends / fellow writing acquaintances. Worth a look if you’re into that kind of thing:

  • Mab Morris’s The Red Khemeresh (Goodread’s page here: [External Link]) is a fantasy set in a very large world she’s building but this corner of it bears some similarities to the Steppes. I was taken with the way the shamnism and magic of the world were described.
  • Kathryn Hinds’ The Healer’s Choice (Goodread’s page here: [External Link]) is closer to a late iron age / Roman invasion of Gaul or Britain parallel. The story has a flow that grabbed me – but it’s the first in a series so be prepared to wonder what happens next (in a good way).

    ASIDE: Incidentally, Kathryn is a historian. She’s got an interesting back catalogue of history books, too!
  • Claire Ryan’s The Melding [External Link]) is a world without the parallels – and a strong romantic plot. Again, it’s the first of a series.

I’ve read through my feedback on my Feathers WIP and had a crack at the next draft. Next thing is to let the Alex & Conn idea that seems to percolating come to boil. Maybe it’ll in time for a short story first draft for next week.

Final thing to mention: Fox Spirit Books will be celebrating the complete set of Fox Pocket anthologies in a(bout a) fortnight. See you there if you can make it!

Fox Pocket Party (done)

Fox Spirit Books [External Link] present the Fox Pocket Party [External Link];
25th August, 2016;
Leicester, England

Fox Spirit are having a little party to celebrate the Fox Pockets anthology set completing. Not only was I in the Missing Monarchs pocket but I shall be in attendance.

There’s also a Facebook event page here: [External Link]

Sunday 31st May, 2015

I have to be honest. This week is well and truly a “nothing to see here” week. I got the stuff I was working on finished off, but you’re not going to see the results for a while. Except for in the case of The Finishing School [External Link], where my next post is scheduled for Wednesday 3rd. If you fancy reading last month’s beforehand, you can find it here: [External Link]

Oh, and the cover for A Pack Of Lies is currently being worked on. I have seen (awesome) preliminary versions and it should be sorted for a big reveal soon. It’s designed by Sarah Anne Langton [External Link], who also designed the cover for 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and for the Fox Pocket books from Fox Spirit [External Link]. Fingers crossed for an official cover reveal soon. All I can say is it’s going to look fantastic on my desktop background alongside Elkie’s first outing.

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 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