Wednesday 13th December, 2017

Welp, I took last week off from the website and forgot to report a few things the week before, so, you know, really doing well at this correspondence thing!

OK, so unreported but with a post on the website, Fox Spirit Books [External Link] have officially agreed to publish the Alex and Conn short stories next year. This means the collection, provisionally entitled Dogs & Wolves, is in a holding pattern and we’re waiting to hear when the next window for landing will be. More news as and when.

Although I’ve not done a similar post for them, I’ve got a number of short stories being looked at by the Other Side Books [External Link], who have already accepted The Knight’s Daughter. Michael S Collins, the editor there, put together a Christmas collection of ghost stories last year that included my story Let’s Stay Together (one of those stories that never got a background post). Anyway, that story and a few others that haven’t been seen in a few years are being looked at for Other Side Books. More news, etc, etc.

Main WIP, Feintheart ceased for a bit and I’ve done my first keyboard tapping over it for about a fortnight today. It’s only a few hundred words but it’s definitely the “I Aten’t Dead” sign as there’s more bubbling away with it, I just need to get the words to come out. As it’s tai chi tomorrow evening and the work’s Christmas party Friday, it’ll be Saturday before we see much more.

On the plus side, Under Smoke City [External Link] rattles a long quite nicely. I work on it in chunks of various sizes when I’ve got a half hour or so and I’ve got ahead enough that I’ll be releasing an extra passage on New Year’s Say. (Passage 4 was released on Monday, Passage 5 will come out on Christmas Day, Passage 6 was ready a little sooner than expected.) If you have time, please do go have a read. Each passage is equivalent to a couple of pages of A4, so it’s not a long read. And it’s free! And let me know what you think. And back me if you think it’s a worthwhile project. And get involved if you want to have a say in where it goes.

Accepted: Dogs & Wolves

Fox Spirit Books [External Link] has officially agreed to rehome the Alex & Conn short stories as a collection – working title “Dogs & Wolves” – in 2018. I’ll confirm publishing dates, etc, as soon as I have them!

As a reminder, the short stories are:

  1. Half-Breed (Short)
    Published: Twisted Tongue, Issue 11, 29/08/2008
    Podcast: Cossmass Infinities, Episode 5, 01/05/2010
  2. Heart’s Desire (Short)
    Published: Drops of Crimson, Volume 2, Issue 1, 01/11/2009
  3. Second Date (Short)
  4. Dog Handler (Short)
    Published: Title Goes Here, Issue 1.9, 02/09/2011
  5. The Grace of Wolves (Short)
  6. Three Swords (Short)
  7. The First Man (Short)
  8. The Last Kiss (Short)

Short story collection, horror / dark fantasy (in the Fur-Skins world)

Wednesday 5th July, 2017

I have been somewhat remiss in that I haven’t mentioned Edge Lit 6 and it’s coming up not this weekend coming but the weekend after. I shall be there (as member of the public and of the Fox Spirit [External Link] Skulk) and I’ve finally put up a link page for it.

Also coming up, and with a link page for significantly longer, I’ll be attending ChapterCon 2017 in Teddington (apparently that’s London) the last weekend in August. I also have some free reader tickets for that, so there’s a giveaway for those. I had originally posted that the giveaway would be for the whole of July but that’s a long time, so let’s make that until a fortnight today, eh? (Wednesday 19th July)

And, final update, option number one on last week’s list of projects won. Which I guess is why it came out number one on the list, although I didn’t actually think about it at the time. I am now about 4,000 words into a project that I have no idea how long it will turn out to be due to the weirdness of trying to capture a social media feed and make it sensible! As the working title is “Aurora”, I’ve now added that to the tags as it may come up a lot in the next few months to a year.

Giveaway: ChapterCon Reader Tickets

So, we’ve just less than two months to go until the ChapterCon event of the year (24th-26th August). If you haven’t been and looked already, you can find loads of details on the official website here: [External Link]

However, the bit important to our giveaway!

The way this event is being run means that Readers / the public are invited to attend on the Saturday (26th) and tickets are available for morning … Continue reading

Wednesday 7th June, 2017

Good news! The current greenwood WIP continues to clip along at a decent speed, for me, and I’m now 75% of the way through. As I’m aiming for 40,000 words, that means I’ve managed 30,000 – which sounds marginally less impressive.

Anyway, having not mentioned it for a while, you may remember I like shape-shifters. My pet monsters are werewolves (I suggest starting on the Fur-Skins page if you want to have a wander) but there’s always the possibility of other animals. So, if you want a story about a shape-shifter that isn’t connected to my fur-skins world, there’s one in the Fox Spirit free fiction section: [External Link] The title you’re looking for is “A Granted Wish”. Enjoy!

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!

Blogging Against Disablism Day 2017: Becoming A Girl Who CAN Say “No”

This post is part of Blogging Against Disablism Day 2017 (#BADD2017) [External Link]. If you liked this or want to see more posts on this subject, please follow the link!

Previous year’s posts can be found here:

Why is Saying “No” So Problematic?

I … Continue reading

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!