Monday, 31 March 2014

How I Write Short Stories Interview

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam interviews me on her blog.

Here me ramble on about short stories and how I write them.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


I've really been enjoying HabitRPG. This is a online time management app, but here's the clever part it takes the form of a role playing game. 

So when I do my tasks like writing, submitting a story etc, cleaning the house, doing my 10K steps I get rewarded with experience points, gold and treasure. 

It's free to play, although there are option to buy more goodies for a small fee ( $5). I've been so productive all week, and that's because I want to see my little fella advance. 

Ah, the things that can motivate you. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Publication Day for Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse

Now available on and

I've got three stories in the Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse anthology: 'Jump', 'Betrayal, Clear as Kanazi Glass' and my personal favourite: 'They Cannot Scare Me With Their Empty Places'

I'm pleased to be sharing the table of contents these writers:
  1. “Castles in the Sky”” by Nancy Fulda
  2. “Dominoes Falling” by Alex Shvartsman
  3. “The Ten Suns” by Ken Liu
  4. “Betrayal, Clear as Kanzai Glass” by Deborah Walker
  5. “The Price of Escape” by David Walton
  6. “Hellfire Unleashed” by Simon Kewin
  7. “Breaking Down” by Michael Haynes
  8. “They Cannot Scare Me With Their Empty Spaces” by Deborah Walker
  9. “A Small and Secret Freedom” by Matt Mikalatos
  10. “Lightspeed Back to You” by David Wayne
  11. “Escape from Planet Error” by Michael Greenhut
  12. “Jump” by Deborah Walker
  13. “Loud for All the Stars to Hear” by Alex Kane
  14. “To Soar on Winds of War” by David Wayne
  15. “Fires of Night” by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
  16. “Gorlack the Destroyer’s All You Can Eat Adventure” by Robert L. Russell
  17. “Ghost Ship” by Nancy Fulda
  18. “The Shadow Conspiracy” by Nancy Fulda

The Dark Expanse is an online RPG game: 

Dark Expanse© is a free-to-play, real-time, massive multi-player online strategy game of galactic conquest. Local commanders develop their resources, improve their planets, colonize new worlds, research new technologies and build space fleets while defending their territory and conquering enemy worlds. Choose your friends and allies carefully because mutual offensive, defensive and navigational capabilities can be achieved through combining forces with other commanders.

I and some other fine authors have been writing stories set in the shared world. This anthology collects some of those stories.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Anthology Call for Dieselpunk

Guidelines here. 

"taking original submissions for The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunkto be published by Constable & Robinson in the UK and Running Press in the US in 2015.Stories can be emailed here. The deadline is August 1st, 2014. You will be notified soon after the deadline if your work is accepted or rejected. Pay rate is five cents a word to eight cents a word.

If you need to know what dieselpunk is, it's a subcategory of steampunk, essentially, covering the 1920s through the 1950s, including the Roaring Twenties, the Depression, World War II, and even a little beyond that, but here's the thing: I want material from all over the world, I don't want a white-washed representation of this theme." 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Writing Bad Habits: The Lure of the Shiny

It's the 11th of the month. I've been working hard, but I realised today that I haven't completed much this month.

I've been busy, with my novel, with edits and admin for sold short stories, with a crazy submissions challenge with my writer's forum, that's true. But the real reason that I haven't completed as much as I'd like is the lure of the shiny.

Oh, I could first draft all day. I love starting new stories. Only this morning I started another short story, that I thought might make a good sub to a new Mythos anthology.

This has to stop! This blog is part shaming document part working document. Here's what I've been up to this month:

The Good: ie The Finished. 
  1. Asimov Story Intro non fiction 500 words
  2. 'Thrash' fantasy 1000 words
  3. 'Brass and Bone' adaptation fantasy 1300 words
  4. 'When We Were in Thrall to Venus' science fiction/literary 1000 words

The Bad: ie The First Drafts.
  1. Mother Mythos dark fantasy 500 words
  2. Wide Shining in the Remote horror 3000 words
  3. Sea Spider science fiction 2000 words
  4. The Dame with Silver in Her Veins fantasy 4000 words
  5. Child of Pearl fantasy 6200 words
(edited to Bold the ones I mange to finish 20/3)

Don't be off put by the word counts. Remember I have a lot of time to write each day, plus it takes me a long time to convert first draft into finished work.

It's not as bad as I thought, I have managed to get 4 works completed.. I do work with more than one story at a time. But if I let it, this first drafting habit of mine would get out of hand. It's a good job I keep my eye on these things, otherwise, I'd just first draft all day and everyday.

All those bad stories have lost their sparkle, except for Mother Mythos, which I started today. I think I should just start at the bottom and work my way up. Maybe working on two stories at a time.

Do you have any bad writing habits? What's your strategy to combat them?