Sunday 22 January 2012

Captain Clone at Ray Gun Revival

If you want to crit my Kelda Blog go here. Thanks. 

My story, Captain Clone, is up at Ray Gun Revival. It's a space adventure exploring the theme of authenticity, and featuring tentacled aliens and Rioja. No prizes for guessing my favourite wine.

There's a kind comment suggesting that a reader would like to see more of the story featured in this world. Now, there's a good idea.

Monday 16 January 2012

Ever Tried to Run Before you Could Walk?

There's an interesting post from David B. Coe on writerly ambition on the Magical Words blog. Interesting to me, particulary because I had just come to the opposite conclusion.

I may have mentioned that I consider myself a natural short story person. But this hasn't stopped me from having a stab at the longer length. I want to be able to do both. In an encouraging turn of events I am managing to write at a 10K-20K length. (I'll get there in the end.)

But novel length is still proving difficult. Recently, after reading a best selling urban fantasy, I came to the conclusion that my novel attempts were too ambitious: too many point of views, too much dancing in the time flow, too much metaphysics (metaphysics answer the big question about life. I mean what's it all about, really)?

So, I've come up with a wheeze to attempt a straight-forward first person, linear science fiction novel, with only a sprinkling of metaphysics and a smattering of sex, sort of urban science fiction.

So, I guess the trick is to match your creative ambition to your skill level, or just beyond it. What do you think readers? Do you push yourself creatively speaking? Ever tried to run before you could walk?

Tuesday 3 January 2012

The Travelling Theatrical Tour: Inspiration

I'm hosting my very first guest blogger, and I've started with a bang. I'm delighted to introduce Cate Gardner. Cate is a writer of very fine weird fiction who has been making rather a splash lately. Her chapbook 'Nowhere Hall' was a sell out, gathering excellent reviews along the way. Her short story collection Strange Men in Pinstriped Suits, and her recent novella Barbed Wire Hearts were published to similar acclaim. Her short stories have been published in lots of places that I want to be published in like Fantasy, Shock Totem, Postscripts. . . . 

And her new book Theatre of Curious Acts, is published today. And I'm the first host on her blog tour. Isn't that great? But this isn't about me, it's about Cate, who's talking about inspiration. 

(That's rather apt as my last post was about inspiration too. In my case I get inspired by random children's toys, Cate is rather more professional about the issue.)  

First off, many thanks to Deborah for inviting me onto her blog as part of a tour to celebrate the release of my book Theatre of Curious Acts. As Deborah is an inspiring individual, I thought that a post about inspiration would be apt. So here goes…

Do you have a book of words?
Or better yet a book of titles?

Do you hear marvellous things that you think would make for super titles, but then you move on and forget what you heard? Or perhaps what you saw? Write it down.

People often tell me that my story titles are good. It's a little intimidating because now I'm afraid to call a story something like THE RAT even if one of the characters is an evil, despicable rat of a person, because I feel people expect more. Intimidating and a heck of a compliment.  Of course, those folk may be mad. In fact, I know some of them very well and they are indeed… Well, let's just say they dally with fairies.

So do you have a book of words?
Or a book of titles?

If not, get one. Buy the prettiest, or the meanest, notebook and keep a note of things. Before you know it, you'll be plucking inspiration for both stories and titles with ease (okay, almost with ease). Or, you may even find yourself weaving a story to fit a fabulous title. Is that cheating? I don't care if it is as long as I'm writing.

Start scribbling in that notebook now…

And in case you're wondering, yes, that's how Theatre of Curious Acts, my tale of Great War soldiers and the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, was born. I had a title and I had some soldiers I wanted to manipulate. You can find more about the book  at