Wednesday 15th February, 2017

The Future Fire [External Link] achieved their goal!

Rugby has been entertaining!

I have been writing!

Oh, and – as you may remember – I have a book out. And I forgot to mention I’ve been cleaning up my notes on how the fur-skins world works again last weekend, so here’s the latest Order of Play post.

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
  • Wednesday 25th January, 2017

    Sorry for the silence, at least on the web-site.

    However, you’ll be happy to know I’ve been attempting to get my writing groove back. I had to abandon my fairies for their lack of good behaviour in mid-December last year. I managed to get about 22,000 words out of them before they went on strike, so I may come back to them when they’re feeling a bit more talkative.

    My current (1st draft) WIP is thematically if not actually linked to the “long” work before the fairies that I mentioned as Greenwood in the tags and The Knight’s Daughter as a working title. The current working title is The Wolf of Ravensholme and I’ve broken 10,000 words today – which means I’m still limping along at about 1,500-2,000 words a week but any progress is progress. And more greenwood-themed story ideas have been noted so, if they’re the stories that get the words flowing, expect to see many more greenwood tags over the next year or so as I grawl through them.

    That said, there will always be room for my Fur-Skins and Elkie Bernstein, particularly as Elkie’s third outing (Foll If You Think It’s Over) should be landing this weekend at Amazon. I’ll be putting out my published announcement as soon as she’s spotted but, to tide you over, here’s a reminder of the whole trilogy: The Collected Covers (with blurbs and links).

    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!

    Wednesday 30th November, 2016

    Despite almost complete silence on here for a month, I ain’t’nt dead, yet. I’ve just been forgetful about updates and easily distracted. Which is not to say that the current fairy-related WIP is going especially well (it’s very slow going) as I’ve mainly been procrastinating with the help of a number of games.

    However, we have (drum-roll please) a book cover for Elkie 3, Fool if You Think It’s Over, and I need to work out some related blog-posts. And possibly some kind of blog tour (anyone want to host?) or something. So please let me know if there’s anything you want adding to the list of Elkie Bernstein or Fur-Skins materials on site!

    Monday 28th December, 2015

    We’re almost at the end of the year and I managed to miss a whole bunch of posts since I sort of moved. I’m still in the process of moving things from one location to another, so blogging and such will pick up eventually in the New Year but not straight away. Anyway, “Happy New Year!” for Thursday night / Friday morning.

    What I Learnt About Writing in 2015

    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 = 6 (20, 2014)
    • Total pieces in circulation = 6 (8, 2014)
    • New pieces in circulation = 1 (2, 2014)
    • Rewrites = 0 (1, 2014)
    • Acceptances = 3 (2, 2014)
    • Published = 4 (4, 2014)

    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.

    So, I’ve been much less productive in terms of wordage this year. On the positive side, the publishing numbers include my second Elkie novel, A Pack of Lies, they don’t include completing the first draft on a novel, two novellas and a short story that have yet to go through more redrafting – and the Elkie novel I hope to have out in 2016 is still in draft form where I’d managed to get everything ready for my editor by the end of 2014 last year. And, as with European Monsters, I haven’t included editing African Monsters in this year’s figures.

    It’s been another year where life got in the way of any plans I might have had, with writing (and editing) slowed down by commitments from January to June in my previous job. In November, I started a new job that also required relocation. It has interrupted in some ways but has got me back on track in others in that I’ve been writing more in the available evenings. However, I had to take a step back with editing Africa Monsters – and my co-editor (Margrét Helgadóttir [External Link]) has done an excellent job of piloting things solo since October.

    Writer, Editor, General Dogsbody

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

    My act of trilogy following Elkie Bernstein through the Fur-Skins world is almost complete. 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf came out in 2014 and the follow up, A Pack of Lies came out in 2015. The third book, currently known as Fool If You Think It’s Over, should be getting redrafted in January. With a bit of luck, we should have everything in place for a Summer 2016 release.

    Although Fox Spirit Books has given the go ahead for a third book in the monster series (to be Asian Monsters) I’m stepping down for this year. The heavy lifting of contacting people comes around this time and I can’t commit time to it until I’m through my probationary period at the new job and have some familiarity with how much of my brain space it takes up. (Which only goes to show how awesome Margrét Helgadóttir is as she relocated with work last year and it barely impacted for her). I hope to come back into the Monsters project for 2017 but we shall see how things go.

    I’ve been working on my first non-Fur-Skins project for a while in 2015 and the first draft is (just about) complete. It’s highly likely that I will spend 2016 (and probably longer) getting it polished up and sending it out to possible new homes. The adventure, as they say, continues.

    The Ink Plan

    With moving, the Ink Plan has been changed – if nothing else, it’s unlikely to be the intended designer and I haven’t put any alternative plans in place as yet. However, I will be looking at my book numbers soon and making a donation to the NAS [External Link].

    What I Learnt About The Rest of Life

    Dora’s first year with the Hellhounds has been eventful, at least from her point of view. She’s managed a number of explorations and adventures that have involved climbing over walls (yes, really), forcing her way through fences and generally not coming when she’s called. However, she’s settled in with the other two just fine and she’s here to stay. Provided I walk her on a lead.

    As already mentioned, this year I relocated for a new job. I’m having to relearn a bunch of stuff I didn’t realise I’d forgotten in order to become a systems administrator (Linux-based, naturally). I’m also coming to terms with the fact that I may end up in Lancashire for the foreseeable future rather than Yorkshire. This may take some mental adjustment.

    Sunday 26th April, 2015

    This one’s a week of heads ups, again. Let’s start with the one I mentioned last week:

    Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2015

    #BADD2015

    You may remember Blogging Against Disablism Day from previous years (#BADD2013, #BADD2014). It’ll be rolling around again (#BADD2015 [External Link]) on May 1st – which is never an auspicious day according to folklore and legend, but so far it hasn’t mattered! My post will go live shortly after midnight (and this is the link in advance). It’s automated because I can’t guarantee that I’ll have time to organise stuff before toddling off to work in the morning. Expect the tweets, Facebook & Google plus plugs to turn up after work (5pm BST).

    If you follow the BADD link, you should also be able to find posts by a bunch of other people about disablism and disability. I will also be mentioning it again next weekend – after the fact – in order to make sure everyone gets a full round of attention. You can find my previous posts for #BADD2013 and #BADD2014 under my “Living Life” section along with (at the moment) a couple of other posts.

    Next thing up is two lots of Fur-Skins related news, specifically, Elkie-based.

    Firstly, 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf is the sponsor of Werewolf News, as of Monday 20th April. You can find Werewolf New’s post about it here: [External Link] They’re very pro werewolf but have kindly agreed to overlook that there’s a lycanthropic body count in my book!

    Second piece of news is that the second Elkie book, A Pack Of Lies, is on course to be released at Edge Lit in July. My publisher, Fox Spirit Books [External Link], has a joint session with Boo Books [External Link] for launches and readings – so guess who will (probably) be reading at Edge Lit.

    The next heads up is regarding another pet project of Adele Wearing, or Auntie Fox of Fox Spirit Books. She’s launched a great new blog / resource called The Finishing School [External Link] that is all about Martial Arts, written by various women in martial arts. I’ve been invited to write some blog posts on HEMA and, once I’ve actually sat down and written them, they should be appearing in the near future.

    Finally, you may remember me announcing my short story An Invisible Tide being published in The Future Fire [External Link]. Well, TFF did a run of mini-interviews with contributors and you can find mine on Facebook, here: [External Link]. There’s also one with the illustrator here (also on Facebook): [External Link]. And don’t forget I have some more background posted here.

    Sunday 1st February, 2015

    So, this week’s news in no particular order…

    Dora has her own page, now she’s officially part of the pack. She won’t be getting birthday celebrations like the other two but we will be giving her an adoption day on December 23rd. Which is the day she found me rather than the day she became mine in the eyes of the law. She’s had her first injection (she has to have the booster in a couple fo weeks, just like a puppy) and is now microchipped. All that’s left is to get her a tag for her collar so she can rattle around the house like the othe two.

    She is also living up to her namesake by getting into places she shouldn’t. Yesterday I had to tear some fencing down to get her unstuck from a neighbour’s garden. I shall be spending this week trying to get my fence fixed…

    Something you might enjoy hearing about more is that the follow up to 25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf has been officially accepted by my publisher, Fox Spirit Books [External Link]. So, A Pack Of Lies (title subject to changes or tweaks) should be out later this year. We’re aiming for May / June but it should be out in time for this year’s Edge Lit.

    And, yes, this meant a few minor changes on the Fur-Skins page to reflect the fact that Elkie’s story arc has official backing!

    Accessing The Future: The Story Audit

    Well, writing my edition of the “Accessing The Future Fiction” blog hop got me thinking. I’m not doing a lot to get dis/ability issues into my fiction (along with considering race, nationality, gender, sexuality, age, etc.) The inclusivity is something that I ought to work on, even if I do it with my usual, privileged, white + British + cis-gendered + heterosexual + able bodied + not … Continue reading

    25 Ways To Kill A Werewolf: On Titles

    The Sales Pitch

    25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf came out on Tuesday 12th August (Squeeee!) from Fox Spirit Books [External Link]. The paperback is available from Amazon (here: [External Link]).

    Ebooks are available from Amazon (here: [External Link]) and will be available from Spacewitch [External Link].

    The Background Posts: On Titles

    This is the first of (currently) four background posts for 25 Ways To Kill … Continue reading