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!

    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!

    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]