Thursday 29 May 2014

Quick Submission Challenge

5subbymidnight Submission Challenge

My submissions are dangerously low. I'm going for 5 submissions before midnight today. Who's with me?


Make five submissions before midnight. Everything counts: stories, reprints poems, subs to non-English markets, to any paying or non paying market you fancy.
The timer starts when you read this message. For those of you not reading it today.
if you like, post where you've subbed to in the comments.
Go. Go. Go 5subbymidnighters

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Writer's Journal

A posts looking at what I actually do all day (writing wise). 

Early Morning Writing. 

This morning for some reason, I woke at 5 a.m. Instead of going back to sleep, I got up and started writing. The house was so quiet. I got three hours of writing done before the school run. Marvelous. Also I don't feel that tired, either. While I'm not going to be getting up at that time everyday, I thought I might experiment with squeezing in extra writing time in the morning. 

10% Solution for editing. 

Morning Writing: I worked on short story that needed a final editing before submission. A detail needed adding, thanks to writer KC Ball, who answered my question on Facebook and told me about the left-hand solution when solving a maze. I removed 500 words to bring the story in at 3500 words. A good work for cutting is the Keith Rand's 10% solution. 

Research and the Writer. 

Day Writing: I worked on a new short story for 4.5 hours. This is for an new anthology 'School Kids and Sorcery' 

I have an unusual writing process, I think. For each story i download a lot of research, and that informs my story. I had an initial idea that I'd like to set the story in Romania. I'm English and a school set in England would have been a natural choice, but I'm guessing that the editor will get a lot of stories set in England and also in the USA. I downloaded 80K from Wiki on Romania, Romanian Folk Lore. I read through it. Quickly an idea came to me, using not vampires but another traditional Romanian creature. I wrote 500 words. This led me to another idea about including a reference to the Romanian Holocaust, more downloading occurred. I have the plot of he story and  a remaining 35K of research to read. (but some of it can be skim read). 

Writing Admin in the Evening

In the evening, I like to answer e-mails and do my admin and make short story submissions.  I spent about an hour reading a contract, writing a character bio and answering messages. I try to respond to editors requests within a few days. Then half an hour writing this blog post. 

So total words count for the day are  minus 500 words plus 500 words = 0. That's a lot of writing and research for 0 words. 

Onwards! What's your writing day like?

Friday 16 May 2014

Short Story Writer Interviews

If you like hearing about short story writing and writers, I recommend the Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's  Short Story Review. Facebook page here.

Bonnie's latest interview is with accomplished writer and editor Rachel Swirsky

Thursday 15 May 2014

Story Artwork

I love this Dark Expanse illustration by artist, Alex Schnarr. It's for my story 'Betrayl, Clear as Kanzai Glass." You can see the character creating glass art over a deep sea vent. 

I'm very pleased that Alex will be creating the cover for my upcoming Dark Expanse novel, 'As Good as Bad Can Get.' 

Saturday 10 May 2014

Congratulations Nicole Cushing on her Shirley Jackson Award

And congratulations to another of my writing friends, Nicole Cushing on her Shirley Jackson Award nomination for her novella Children of No One

"In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic."

All nominations can be seen here. 

Sadism, nihilism, poverty, wealth, screams, whimpers, sanity and madness collide in Nowhere, Indiana

For Thomas Krieg, Nowhere is a miles-long, pitch-black underground maze in which he's imprisoned dozens of boys for the past ten years—all in the name of art.

For two brothers, Nowhere is the only place they clearly remember living. A world unto itself, in which they must stay alert to stay alive. A world from which the only escape is death.

But for an English occultist known only as Mr. No One, Nowhere is much more...and much less: the perfect place in which to perform a ritual to unleash the grandest of eldritch deities, the God of Nothingness, the Great Dark Mouth.

You can find Children of No One here. 

Friday 9 May 2014

Congratulations to Rosanne on Shirley Jackson Award Nomination

Well done to my writing friend, Rosanne Rabinowitz whose novella 'Helen's Story' has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award.

"In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, The Shirley Jackson Awards, Inc. has been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic."

All the nominees can be seen here. 

Helen's Story is a great read:
"Contrary to rumours of her death, Helen Vaughan is alive and well and living in Shoreditch. Having learned a few things about painting from an ex-boyfriend, she s stirring up the art world with a series of erotically-charged landscapes depicting the strange events of her youth. Brought up by a man who regarded her as loathsome, shuffled between boarding schools and foster homes, young Helen only found pleasure in visits from a secret companion. She made one other close friend, a girl called Rachel who disappeared in full daylight. After that, Helen was left with her companion. He stayed with her on travels from rural Wales to the select salons and danker corners of London, to expatriate life in Buenos Aires and beyond. But he s kept away for several years. As she remembers her friend, Helen lays on each stroke of paint as if it can bring Rachel back or take her to where Rachel went. She paints to summon her companion once again, and show everyone what really lurks beyond the vanishing point. Some readers might have met Helen in Arthur Machen s classic novella The Great God Pan. Now she gets to tell her side of the story."

And can be found at amazon here.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Free Review Copies of Space Opera Anthology: Dark Expanse Surviving the Collapse

Editor Bill Snee is offering free copies of the Dark Expanse: Surving the Collapse in exchange for reviews: "I'm looking for people to read and review the ebook I released last month called Dark Expanse: Surviving the Collapse. I am requesting a 2 week turn around and have the book available in .mobi (kindle) and .epub formats. There are numerous free readers for both formats. Just drop me a note on facebook or send an email to Thanks again for all your support. Bill Snee"