Order of Play, Version 3

Given that the final installment of the Elkie Bernstein trilogy / series has been published, here’s the latest version of the Fur-Skins Order of Play posts.

Reminders:

  • There is essentially just a write up of my world-building notes with respect to what I would like to do here if I get back to it – while hopefully avoiding spoilers of what already exists and what could exist.
  • As well as the page linked above … Continue reading
  • Published: Fool If You Think It’s Over

    Fox Spirit Books [External Link] published Fool If You Think It’s Over (in paperback) on Sunday 29th January, 2017. You can buy copies from Amazon.co.uk here: [External Link] (Or your local version, just look the title up – if you have no objections to Amazon)

    When the Kindle format is available, I’ll but a link to Amazon.co.uk here (Other Amazon sites are available…)

    Goodreads page here: [External Link]

    Booklikes page here: [External Link]

    Novel, horror / dark fantasy (in the Fur-Skins world)

    Wednesday 28th December, 2016

    It’s here again, the end of the year post. I hope those who celebrate had a good Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year for Saturday night / Sunday morning. And, of course, Happy Hanukkah as I believe that continues until Monday.

    What I Learnt About Writing in 2016

    Well, time again 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 = 0 (6, 2015)
    • Total pieces in circulation = 8 (6, 2015)
    • New pieces in circulation = 2 (1, 2015)
    • Rewrites = 1 (0, 2015)
    • Acceptances = 1 (3, 2015)
    • Published = 3 (4, 2015)

    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 and elsewhere have been included.

    I think in wordage terms, I’ve been as productive as last year. However, I haven’t been working (so much) on short stories so things are staying in the “working on” queue a little longer and there’s no sign of submissions. Elkie hasn’t quite made the published numbers this year as her third outing, Fool If You Think It’s Over, is due out in January – although she was accepted in 2016. I never included European Monsters or African Monsters in my figures and I had to step down from co-editing duties this year for Asian Monsters (and the remaining works in the series). My excellent partner in crime, Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link], has picked up the slack marvellously.

    I’m in a much more regular job this year but I find it a very mentally absorbing in an enjoyable way. When combined with a number of issues (I still have a house 70-odd miles away and the hormonal influence of my implant finally became too much to bear), it means I’ve been spending more spare time soaking in books and movies rather than creating new work.

    Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

    So, here are the plans are for the immediate future of my writing and editing career:

    The work I long work I started first draft of in 2015, A Fistful Of Feathers, is now looking for a new home. Actually, it’s currently being used to help me find an agent who may then find it a new home. More news when I have something to share.

    ASIDE: This is not because of any issues between myself and Fox Spirit Books [External Link], and there may be further Fur-Skins related news from them for 2017 or 2018 but it’s a small press and the lovely Auntie Fox (Adele Wearing) is a very busy lady.

    My main work from 2016 was an attempt to craft a folk-tale that mimicked (but wasn’t identical to) existing stories. Redraft should begin fairly soon and I’ve apparently enjoyed it enough that the first draft I recently started is another one. I have a suspicion that I’ll end up writing – or starting – several before I get this out of my system.

    The adventures continue.

    The Ink Plan

    I’ll be looking at my book numbers soon and making a donation to the NAS [External Link]. “Soon” probably translates as end of January / beginning of February.

    What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

    Dora continues to be the source of adventure. She’s attempting to take over the role of Grand Dame. However, this can lead to fights with the somewhat more youthful Rosie to the effect of “You’re not my real mother and you can’t tell me what to do!” These occasionally get physical. In fact, I shall be dosing them both up with anti-inflamatories tonight so they don’t get stiff from today’s exertions (brought on by a young girl paying attention to ROsie, not Dora).

    Oh, and Lancashire isn’t that bad, after all. I’ve recently found a tai-chi club and I’m fencing most weekends!

    Elkie Bernstein: The Collected Covers

    So here you go, the reveal of the Fool If You Think It’s Over cover alongside the covers for 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf and A Pack Of Lies, marking the official completion of the Elkie Bernstein trilogy.

    Fool If You Think It’s Over is out now from Fox Spirit Books [External Link] as of 29th January 2017. Here’s a quick run down of the trilogy, including links to various background pages:

    Continue reading

    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!

    Monday 13th June, 2016

    I didn’t say anything last week as I had nothing to say. Until Tuesday when the British Fantasy Society (BFS) [External Link] announced the shortlists for this year’s awards (Full lists here: [External Link]). So, as well as being a juror for the novellas (for the third year) and the graphic novels / comics awards, Margrét Helgadóttir and I’s book-baby, African Monsters, is up for best anthology. Margrét’s book-baby, The Stars Seem So Far Away, is also up for best collection and our publisher is up for best indie press (again – they won last year). This means it is highly likely I shall be attending FantasyCon in Scarborough [External Link]. I intend to but I still have to book things so, just in case, let’s not say things are definite, eh?

    (I can also give you a hint of a rumour in that I have booked a train ticket to Leicester for 25th August. I can’t tell you what for, yet, but there will be a writing type announcement.)

    In a semi-related writing note, my current WIP (that Greenwood thing I occasionally mention) is crawling to the finish line. I’m currently at about 32,000 words and I expect it to end somewhere before 40,000. Of course, once draft one is done, I get to send that out to beta reader or two while I return to my Fistful of Feathers bit and knock it into shape for draft two from the feedback I’ve had on that.

    However, life got interesting for my word-processing last week. My old computer – parts of which dated back to 2004 and the youngest parts dating back to 2011 – started to rattle the Friday after Satellite 5. I bought a new box rather than work out what may or may not be compatible with the working parts and wrestled it into submission from Wednesday to Saturday. People who know me and talk to me in person, though, know I’m still sulking. I used to run my old box on Ubuntu [External Link]. However, the new box appears to have some kind of objection to this and I’ve had to install Scientific Linux [External Link] – basically because that was what I had to hand as it’s what I use at work. We’re gradually coming to an understanding but I may have to investigate what flavours of Linux my box will accept (easily, as I’m not interested in fighting, as oppose to at all) and find a better fit.

    Sunday 3rd April, 2016

    Continuing the theme of being an unreliable narrator (but not in TV Tropes / standard sense: [External Link]), I’ve managed to lose a few weeks to emptying out the old house. In theory, I shouldn’t lose any more weekends to this real life task as the house is basically empty now.

    So, the weekend before last was Easter weekend and also my birthday weekend. I got sent home from work with the Birthday Bear for the weekend and Mousie got a postcard out of it.

    Sometime last week, I was also contacted by people behind the scenes at Satellite 5 [External Link]. I’ve had a membership since some time last year (but only just put up an event link here) and put my name forward to be involved in content. So, it looks like I’ve managed to talk my way into doing another HEMA-for-writers presentation!

    Just to round out the post and because I haven’t pointed you in that general direction for a while, don’t forget that I have some free short stories available on site. And Fox Spirit Books, my esteemed publisher, also has too: [External Link]

    Sunday 24th January, 2016

    OK. I’m officially settled in the rental property in Barnoldswick (Barlick to the locals). The main change being I have a broadband connection at this end. What this means is that I should start making regular posts here – although odd weekends will be skipped as I still have to sort out the house for sale in Thurnscoe. I will be get some more posts up on the Otherworld Gazetteer [External Link] for February 15th and I may even manage to put something together for The Finishing School [External Link] for Wednesday 3rd February. We shall see.

    In offline writing, I’ve finished Elkie 3 and it’s now circling the Fox Spirit [External Link] airport, waiting for its landing window. (There will, of course, be further work required on landing before reader-passengers are allowed on, if we’re going to carry on the analogy.) I’ve got the first draft of my first non-Elkie novel (in a while) out with beta readers and I’ve started the first draft of something else. I even managed to squeeze in the first draft of a short story and some redrafting of a couple of novellas that have been sat on my computer for a year or more. Things are moving on.

    Finally, come to London on March 3rd. (Please?)

    Other than that – more news as and when!