Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Trees

I have only just stopped hugging my sides with laughter at the two local road protestors who climbed up a tree that wasn’t actually scheduled to be felled – so the engineers left them up there while they got on with felling the trees that were!!! I wonder how long it took them before they realised their mistake – and it’s been awfully cold of late as well!!

Anyway, some years ago I wrote a story about a group of road protestors. It was my first modest writing success, being commended in the short story category of the Yeovil Prize.

It’s been gathering dust on my hard drive and I gave up any idea of selling it some while back. But I thought I would dig it out and post it over on my website, as a tribute to those two guys, who, as far as I know might still be sitting in those cold, cold branches.

So pop over to my website, where I am proud to present – The Trees. (It’s under ‘short stories’) Enjoy.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Free Science Fiction

Guys - if you want some good free SF then pop across to the Escape Velocity Magazine website - they've just made issues 1, 2 and 3 available as free PDF downloads to celebreate some of their stories being nominated for the BSFA awards this year.

Still no firm date for Issue 4 (which will contain a story by yours truly here) but I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Tracking those Agents

It’s now a while since I posted that I was about to embark on the hunt for an Agent to represent Myth Making and I thought I would say a bit more about that whole process.

Ah, and a slow process it is too.

“Why’s that?” I hear you ask. “You just stick them in the post.”

And here is where I tear my hair and shout “NO NO NO!!”

You can’t just go and bung a dozen or so submissions in the post to the first names you find in the Writers and Artists Yearbook. You have to do your RESEARCH first – and that is what takes the time.

Take Myth Making for example, my children’s book aimed at kids aged 10+. Well for starters, not all Agents handle kids books. So why waste my time and theirs sending them something they’re not going to be interested in the first place.

But it goes deeper than that. Once I have an Agent’s name I check them out. Many have websites - a good place to start. If they list clients I check them out on Amazon. If not a quick google should turn up the websites of some clients. This then starts to give me a picture of what sorts of books these Agents handle. Have I heard of them? Who are their publishers? Does my book seem to fit with their lists? Are they a member of the Agent’s Association? And many many more.

All these questions take time to answer, but, once they’ve checked out then at last they go onto my list.

So if you’re an Agent reading my blog because you’re looking at Myth Making and you’re checking me out – then that means I checked you out first :-)

Monday, 12 January 2009

My Thoughts on Arkham Tales #1

The first issue of the new Weird Fiction magazine Arkham Tales was made available for free download back in November 2008, and, since I’m a huge fan of weird fiction, coupled with the fact that they’ve already accepted a story of mine for a future issue, I thought I ought to take a look.

The magazine is issued as a PDF download, and the first thing that struck me was the superb artwork on the covering page. But since my main interest is the content I shall move on.

There is a veritable feast of weird fiction in this issue with seven short stories and one novelette, which form an interesting blend of genres. The House on the Hill of Stars by Jeffrey Scott Sims, a haunted house story with a distinctly Lovecraftian feel to it, is exactly the sort of thing I was expecting and I wasn’t disappointed. Night Frights by Benjamin W Olson is a more conventional horror tale while MageRider by Mike W Barr is a story more in the fantasy genre, but one with a dark underbelly of deception.

Talking About Cet Baker by Derek Rutherford which opens this issue is a frightening tale of revenge that has alarming repercussions while Market Values by Jenny Schwartz explores corruption in the organ vending business.

I spotted Pickman’s Progeny by Robert Masterson listed over at the Predators and Editors Readers Poll, and with good reason. It is a beautifully written and powerful piece. However, my personal favourite has to be Animal Rights by Steve Calvert. There are some lovely touches of humour, which balance so well with an ending that I didn’t see coming.

Finally Until death, I Eat by Steve Bastedo made a cold shudder pass up my spine. A chilling parting shot and definitely not one for vegetarians!

All in all this is a cracking debut, so if you like your fiction good and weird, head over to their website and download it for yourself. And look out for Issue 2 next month!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

I've Been Tagged!!

Aww I’ve been tagged – thanks Rich!!

This is how it works: Display the award. Link back to the person who gave you this award. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. Put links to those blogs on your blog. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated. You can only answer in one word.
1. Where is your cell phone? Somewhere
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair colour? Dark
4. Your mother? Abroad
5. Your father? Deceased
6. Your favourite thing? Intrigue
7. Your dream last night? Intriguing
8. Your dream/goal? Published.
9. The room you’re in? Lounge
10. Your hobby? Writing.
11. Your fear? Betrayal
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Published.
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you’re not? Mean
15. One of your wish-list items? Time.
16. Where you grew up? Rural
17. The last thing you did? Eat
18. What are you wearing? Jumpers
19. Your TV? Off
20. Your pet? Hungry
21. Your computer? Old
22. Your mood? Content
23. Missing someone? Yes
24. Your car? Broken
25. Something you’re not wearing? Handcuffs
26. Favourite store? Waterstones
27. Your summer? Rainy
28. Love someone? Definitely
29. Your favourite colour? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Earlier
31. Last time you cried? Forgotten
And I will tag...

Emma, Liam, Jean, John, Crowe, JD, Kelly

Monday, 5 January 2009

2009 Writing Resolutions

A new year, and new opportunities – so what are my writing goals for this year? Here are my targets for 2009:

1. Find an Agent to represent Myth Making
2. Sell a short story to a SWFA pro market
3. Sell more short stories than in 2008 (more than 3)

4. Complete first draft of current WIP.
5. Enter the Yeovil Prize again.
6. Start putting reviews on this blog.

And do check out the Preditors and Editors readers poll – Ruins Metropolis has been nominated in the anthology category so if you’ve read and enjoyed it why not give it a vote.

Oh, and Happy New Year!!