Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Quite a busy month on the quiet! Two new eBook releases, a new contract signed, two short stories subbed, final stage re-writes on two novels, a family camping trip, and...other stuff.

Stayed at a campsite near Dumfries, southwest Scotland, for three days. There were eight of us in all, and only two tents. Boys in one tent, girls in the other, plus one labrador apiece. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep, but the location was great--right next to the beach--and the weather stayed uncharacteristically fine. One crazy excursion involved my brother and I clambering over coastal rocks to get back to our beach. Before we knew it, the rocks had become a cliff face and we were hanging on by our fingertips, unable to go back. After an hour of precarious Sylvester Stallone antics, we had no choice but to scramble down to the water and wade the rest of the way through freezing, chest-high waves. No, we weren't dressed for that.

But we'll never forget it.

My short horror story, Val and Tyne, was released by Damnation Books as part of their inaugural book launch on September 1st. They utilised a very unique pricing method. All prices started at five cents and, with each purchase, increased in five cent increments, until they reached the full list price. Most of them are still available for under a dollar, so you should head on over for some serious bargains. My story is a black comedy horror involving movie makeup effects, zombie re-animation, and plenty of macabre Hollywood touches. I had a great time writing it. Hopefully I can get around to doing a full horror novel soon. I have soooo many ideas waiting.

Uncial Press released my debut time travel novel, The Basingstoke Chronicles, as an eBook. My editor Judith B. Glad and I worked hard to find a balance between old-fashioned (Victorian) and modern style prose. I have to admit it was too wordy at first--as if I was trying hard to be Edgar Rice Burroughs or H Rider Haggard--but now it reads exceedingly well. Brisk and smooth. Jude deserves a huge thank you for that! Nice to see Basingstoke is selling well on Fictionwise. In fact, it's been in the top five sci-fi bestsellers for weeks now, something I've never achieved before.

The big news this month is my contract with Samhain Publishing. Their Space Opera Anthology submission call drew three times the expected number of entries. In the end they picked just four stories, one of which was The Mythmakers, my first attempt at space opera. It's not only a dream come true to be published at Samhain, it's a testament to how much I've improved as a writer since I started in 2007. And there's a long way to go yet.

I received the cover art and returned the final draft for Charlie Runs Rings Around the Earth, my short sci-fi novel due out December 7th at Lyrical Press. It's pure action adventure from the first orbital racing scenes to the startling climax on an alien planet. Not a great deal in the way of re-writes for this one--I must have turned in a pretty good first draft. My regular readers will eat this story up, and hopefully Charlie can make some noise around Christmas.

I submitted two new short stories to e-zines. The Gauntlet is provocative sci-fi, Happy Meal is a fun horror. Both were under 3,500 words. It felt good to bring a couple of long-in-the-offing ideas to fruition, and I'm curious to see how they do. Both have a more fast and loose style than I'm used to.

A sci-fi mystery novel I finished this summer, well, never quite lived up to my initial vision. I'd planned to make it a fun erotic romance in a sci-fi mystery setting. It became something else, though, when I chickened out of the steamy stuff. I really liked the end result--an entertaining detective mystery on a lunar colony--but that initial vision kept nagging me after I was done. So I've taken steps to rectify the problem...namely, bringing in my favourite erotic comedy writer to "sexify" the story. I'll make a real announcement when we're further along, but right now I'm pysched that she'd even consider my proposal, let alone jump in with both high heels. I can't wait to see what gems she comes up with!

Phew! No time to mention books read or movies watched this time. It's getting late. Promise I'll do a full-on end of year film post soon, before the awesomeness that is Avatar blows our collective minds in December.

Till then, be safe!


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