An evening of Halloween tales…

Prepare yourselves, dear readers, for a night of ghastly ghosts, shrieking spectres and furry things that go bump in the night…

The Badger’s Arms, Long Buckby, will be hosting a special evening dedicated to the dark, the macabre and the truly terrifying!

On the 31st October, the spookiest night of the year, I will be giving a reading of selected pieces of my most haunting works, along with excerpts of your favourite classic horror stories.

There will be gin! There will be pizza! And there will be horror!!!

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New Release!

41-Z4cB74RLI am delighted to announce that the new Corona Book of Science Fiction has been released! It features some brilliant stories from writers all over the world, including three from my very own home town of Rugby (there must be something in the water!).

You will find my own story, ‘The Constellationist’ at the back. It’s the epic story of a clone who crashes into a very rusty space ship. What she finds on board may just surprise you!

Want to find out what happens next? Check it out here:

Available online: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Corona-Book-Science-Fiction-stories-ebook/dp/B07H3X82M6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1540474316&sr=1-1&keywords=corona+book+of+science+fiction

Also available from Hunt’s Bookshop: https://www.huntsbookshop.com/

Book Launch Parties! And everyone is invited!

Want to be scared witless this Halloween? Then come on over and hear from the best new horror writers in town!

Thursday 26th October 2017

7pm, The Booksmith, Weedon Bec – Tickets in advance £7

Hear the story read by the author in full! Halloweeny nibbles and drinks too!

Flyer for book signing

Saturday 28th October 2017

11am-2pm, Hunt’s Bookshop, Rugby – FREE!

Grab yourself a signed copy from the authors!

Flyer Rugby

Writer’s Block: What Kind of Writer are You?

Fiction

So, I know a bit about writer’s block. More than a bit. After struggling with it for almost 5 years, you might say I am somewhat of a self-taught expert. I’ve tried every trick in the book: the elevator technique (where you put your characters in an elevator and ask them random questions), the perspective technique (where you re-examine your text from an alternative perspective or viewpoint), the distance technique (where you put your text down for a week and return with supposedly fresh eyes). I’ve read every article, every book, tried all the exercises – even meditated on the damn thing!

You see, I have been writing and tinkering with my first novel, on and off for almost 17 years now (I KNOW!!). And I have always felt that it wasn’t finished. Like the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, I was the proverbial artist that couldn’t leave. It. Alone.

And try as I might, I couldn’t catch a break when it came to completing it. I’ve written other pieces over the years, and each one seems to have a distinct end. Both literally and emotionally. I felt that those pieces were complete. They might not have always been perfect, but I could look back on them with happiness and not worry that I’d made a grammatical error or missed a typo.

But for me, nothing I had tried to break the block had really worked. That is, until I took a closer look at myself, and the characters that kept cropping up in what I wrote.

Over and over again, I saw the same motifs reoccurring; the flawed but beloved guardian, the heroine struggling to find a place for herself in the world, the archetypal hero that is loyal but prepared to sacrifice himself in a heartbeat.

And I started to wonder if these reoccurring characters where somehow fighting to get out of my subconscious and onto the page. Reappearing time and time again, saying something about me that I couldn’t articulate.

For many writers, we feel that writing is a part of us – something we can’t ever turn off, even if we aren’t physically writing it down. But how many of us ever really examine the true motives behind what we write? And what do these subconscious recurring characters tell us about the lens that we look back on our history with?

I started writing quite young. I always knew that my early works would have some issues relating to that. I mean, it’s hard to write convincing adult characters when you are only 13, right? But I never expected to intricately lace so much of my own history into my writing – and not even notice I was doing it.

A great teacher once told me that there are two types of writers: those that tell themselves a story, and have a great time doing it, and those that write for an audience, and don’t always enjoy it so much. I began to suspect that all this time I have been telling myself a story – albeit a weird and confusing fantasy story that I began 17 years ago! And all those subconscious characters were finding their way out of my head to tell it.

For example, take my epic hero who is utterly devoted to his friends – if you look at him through the eyes of a 13-year-old girl, you see that intense BFF relationship that so many teen girls have with their closest allies coming out in an idealised way.

Once I realised that my first novel was a sort of pseudo therapy that I had created without understanding it, a way that I could work through the traumas and triumphs of growing up, its pull on me seemed to release.

Overnight, the block was broken. I could happily, and honestly, close the book on my imperfect manuscript for good. Closing the chapter, so to speak, and opening a fresh one.

Just like that, I was writing again.

So, if you find yourself struggling and you’ve tried everything, then ask yourself what kind of writer you are? Are you fighting to tell a great story? Or are you really telling you own story?

Welcome to the New Look Website!

New year, new look!

We are kicking off 2017 with a brand new website refresh. All your old favourites will still be here – with a fantastic free library of poetry, flash fiction and great stories to entertain you. But now have our exciting new feature page called ‘Inspiration’.

There will be some great articles, images and fantastic creative ideas posted on here as the weeks go by, and if you have any brilliant ideas you would like to share, just get in touch using our brand new Facebook and Twitter buttons at the top of the blog.

So watch this space, and enjoy the new website!

I need your support!

51615Fantastic news! Last year I was approached by independent publishing label Cogsmith Publishing and asked to write a brand new steam punk story for their upcoming short story compendium.

The anthology, entitled ‘Airships & Automata’, features short stories by established and up and coming authors. It is collection of inventive short stories, by nine different authors, designed to stretch the imaginations of readers with an interest in steampunk.

If you haven’t come across steam punk before, it can be loosely defined as ‘science fiction inspired by the Victorian aesthetic’. Our stories also mention as a part of their narrative either automata or airships.

My story, ‘The Incredible Airship Circus’, tells the story of Pierre, a brilliant inventor whose past mistakes drive him to drink. But when an old friend turns up at his Airship Circus, beaten and dying, Pierre finds himself drawn into a dark and dangerous secret.

Cogsmith Publishing is a new small press publisher primarily interested in working within the steampunk genre. As a independent publisher, Cogsmith Publishing has started a crowd funder campaign to raise £700 for ISBN numbers for print and electronic versions of the book and to do an initial print run.

Each author will also be paid a percentage of the proceeds from this crowd funding project as royalty for their story, and for many of the authors, this will be their first commissioned work.

The campaign will run until the 22nd May 2016, and if you would like to pledge your support to the project, you can find the crowd funder page here:

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/airships-automata?utm_source=crowdfunder&utm_medium=dashboardmodel&utm_content=shareonfacebook&utm_campaign=marketing

In return for your support, you can receive first copies of the book (print or electronic) at a reduced price and even have the option to receive a hardback edition which will be only available in very limited numbers! ‘Airships & Automata’ bookmarks are also available as rewards too if you would like to offer a smaller pledge.

Find out more about Cogsmith Publishing:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraigSWright

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cogsmithpublishing

CP