People come to creative writing in different ways and at different times in their lives. In my case, I remember being quite creative in primary school but how that was drummed out of me in high school. Then many years later, I began researching a particular family story and became fascinated by the social history of the Scottish mining communities. In this second decade of the 21stcentury when people often take the NHS for granted and think that a mobile phone is a dire necessity, I knew I had a story worth telling. But how to tell it? Local and family histories have limited appeal whereas novels reach a wider audience. So that’s what I did – I set about writing a novel which unfolded day after day to my constant amazement. I am presently half way through a third novel but have also turned to shorter pieces…
My latest work, a 12,300-word novelette, out now on Amazon, . If you are minded to review it, I’d be happy to send you a free copy – just drop me a line with your contact details.
Caitlin is woman ostracised by her village because they believe her to be a witch. When her blind son disappears one day, she believes he has been abducted and goes on a perilous journey, crossing the boundaries between this world and the land of faerie, encountering dangers and both real and supernatural. Aided by her former familiar, the malevolent wood sprite, Straif, and an old lover, she comes to learn a shocking truth that she could never have imagined.
I’ve been remiss with the blog lately, but busy(ish) elsewhere. So I thought I might share some of the stuff I’ve been doing with, and for, other people.
First, a couple of things for Adventures in Scifi Publishing. Most recently I reviewed Gene Wolfe’s latest novel, A Borrowed Man. I had mixed feelings about it, but I was also intrigued by the novel and it has seriously made me consider a re-read at some stage, which is not something I do much of as a rule. I suppose that tells you something about the book.
Second, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Matthew de Abaitua following my review of his amazing novel, If Then. It was my first time as a solo podcaster for AISFP, and Matthew was an absolutely fascinating guest. I hope you will consider taking time to check out the interview and/or read my review of his novel…and indeed, rushing out to buy If Then.
Finally, my review of the best anthology I’ve read in ages, The Monstrous, edited by Ellen Datlow. If you’re not scared already…you will be.
I mentioned I would be doing a staged release of The Kendrick Chronicles for Kindle. Well, Book 2: Kali’s Kiss, is out now. I hope you will consider picking up a copy or telling your friends and social networks about it. Expect Book 3 soon. I also plan to release the three books as a collection at some stage, too.
I am doing a staged release of the e-book versions of The Kendrick Chroniclestrilogy: Bone Machines, Kali’s Kiss and Babylon Slide. They were all published as audiobook originals by Blackstone Audio, Inc., but this is their first release on Amazon Kindle.
Out now, $1.99 (or equivalent in other currencies) from Amazon worldwide.
I will be covering: story creation, creating characters, dialogue, short and long forms of story, and more, plus elements of style for different genres – those who attend can choose their preferences. First season, 10 weeks. The objective is that everyone will complete at least one short story (2,500 to 5,000 words) and peer discussion on the work. I also aim to put the stories into an ebook anthology.
A while back, Black Fox Literary Magazine got in touch to invite me for an interview. I was, of course, delighted that they had sought me out and asked such interesting questions. I especially enjoyed the one about whether any monkeys were involved.
You will find the interview on the Black Fox. I hope you will consider giving feedback, asking questions and generally supporting this excellent publication.
My friend, Jacquie, writes some pretty twisted thrillers (I mean that in a good way). She’s offering her short story, The Yellow Cottage, for free right now.
And do check out her new collection, Predator or Prey. Definite shades of Tales from the Crypt with a touch of O.Henry surprise endings.
Jacquie offers tons of great content on her website, like writing tips and much more. She’s a big supporter of indie writers, and she regularly showcases the ones who catch her eye. You can also sign up for her free newsletter.
The third novel in my Kendrick Chronicles crime series, Babylon Slide, is released as an audiobook on 1 February, 2015. The narrator is the wonderful John Lee. You can hear a sample of the book on Blackstone Audio’s library edition page right now. The book will be available next month through all the usual channels, such as Downpour.com, Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble and elsewhere.