A few of us are trying to breathe new life into the Britwriters blog (neglected for a time) so if you want learn a few things about British life from British writers (including their books), do pop along: http://wulfwaru.wordpress.com/ And oh…mine is the most recent post.
I’ll be back with more news soon. I’ve been in the writing cave, soon to be in the editing one, and I’ve been working on tidying and tweaking the website, among other things. All of which doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but are necessary ‘sometimes’ chores with occasionally fun elements thrown in.
I’ve just returned from a week in Cornwall where I experienced extremes of weather. One evening I was standing on the point of a cliff wearing a thin T-shirt in a warm wind (Bliss!) and then the very next day I found myself huddled and hidden in a raincoat wishing I had taken a warmer jumper. Of course, by the end of a long walk I realised the warmer jumper was unnecessary. I hate raincoats — they keep you dry and yet seem to leave you with a cold sweat during any form of exercise. Still, we were fairly lucky with the weather and had a wonderful and much needed break.
Nigel and Colin have to consider what’s happening to the weather and environment, in my latest release from Changeling Press, although their problem isn’t so much one of what to wear, but how to pass the time:
It’s the end of the world as Colin and Nigel know it.
Another Armageddon predicted, and Nigel has said if it truly is the end of the world, he’d like to do something he’s never done before. Colin’s choice is even simpler: he’d like to spend his last hours making love to the person he cares about the most. The trouble is that the person is Nigel, and even if he turns out to be willing, the man is a friend and his boss.
Now fireballs are falling, and what they said in the heat of a moment is going to put them to the test.
What if they do something Colin thought was well nigh impossible, and the world doesn’t end come morning?
You can read more of Well Nigh Impossible HERE.
All writers get moments when they feel like giving up. Hard to say why this is. A long wait for a response, a snarky comment at the worst possible moment, the longest winter that a person can remember… (Okay, that’s a factious remark by me on the freezing temperatures that just won’t seem to end and the long months of rain Britain had preceding it, but yes, even something like that grinds a person down to an all time low.)
Bad news can make other areas of life seem unworthy and for the writer sometimes their work takes the brunt. I’m not going to give up writing but I am aware I do need to attend to more than just one genre — I love to write as I read, meaning anything and everything, and getting to work on the Space, 1889 steampunk project last year was a proverbial deep breath of crisp air. It was also exhausting. The title currently out had to be turned over at very short notice, was the second story I worked on and my first ever co-authored book. The first piece will be out in a few months and required a good deal of research. Anyone reading the book will probably be amazed to see the list of research material. No doubt, it’s not immediately obvious from reading the story, and no reason should it be — the whole point of research is the reader shouldn’t necessarily know it’s there.
I’m straying a little, though. My point is that project reminded me of how I like to write all types of material and that we all need a rest. It made me hold back on some other decisions I’ve been trying to make.
I’m currently with three publishers who take romance, two of which specialise in erotic romance, and one who is a multi-genre publisher. Yet I’ve been considering approaching a fourth. I just don’t know whether I should. I don’t want to spread myself too thin, and yet any good publisher will tell you it’s best not to have all those lovely chocolate eggs we’re all thinking about gorging on this weekend laid by one hen in one tiny basket.
Publishers go under. Writing is like any business and sometimes people fall out with each other. There are differences of opinion. In short, any number of reasons a writer may one day wish to part ways with a publisher or vice versa. It’s good to have somewhere to go. Being with different publishers also spreads an author’s name around. And lets not forget, different publishers are open to different products. I have to make the best ‘business’ decision here. That’s choosing the right story and the right publisher, matching the right pair, and deciding whether I can spread the work or take on extra. I guess I’m just musing here. I know I have a decision to make, and no one can choose for me, and that this won’t be the first time or the last I have such choices to make. Still, I thought I’d mention it because writing isn’t all about the story — it’s about seemingly straightforward decisions having consequences, and sometimes even the writer can be so immersed in the story to forget that.
I’ve just added a new page to the site — I thought it might be dubious ‘fun’ to dissect one of my books and so I chose Snow Angel, partly because it’s been out for some time now (I didn’t want to choose anything new), and partly because it’s so wonderfully controversial. People love or hate Dean. Some love to hate him. Some love to love him. Not everyone understands him, but that’s the beauty of a writing a complex character.
Note: does contain spoilers so you may not wish to read, but you can find the truth about Snow Angel and Dean and Jay’s relationship by clicking HERE.
Categories: Website, Writing
James Herbert died yesterday and I had that jaw-dropping moment when one doesn’t want to believe the news
I know he’s a writer who had his share of mixed reviews. I also know many of my readers will be surprised that I read or even like the horror genre, despite my saying constantly that I read anything and everything. Besides, some horror writers aren’t, truly, writing what I call horror even if there’s a share of that among the pages. If you read what Herbert had to say about his own work some of his motivations and underlying themes would surprise many.
Truth is, I ‘grew up’ on horror books. My teen years were romances (usually Mills & Boon because that was what my friends were reading), Herbert, King, and Steinbeck. LOL. You can’t get more varied than that. I’m serious when I say my library is eclectic. I suppose in a sense he was also a success story — well known and British. The young writer in me couldn’t help being a little envious.
So much happened to me throughout those years. Both I and my life went through so many changes. What I read during that time is blended with all the other memories.
So my small tribute is a simple one: many, many thanks for the memories, James.
A good write up by the Telegraph about his work and life:
When I’m silent, I tend to be working hard. I’m pleased to announced Changeling have taken a short work of mine — fine, they only publisher ‘shorter’ works but this is at the lower end of the range at 10K — called Well Nigh Impossible. More info coming soon as this has a planned May release.
I’ve two other works queued for edits this year — one for the Space 1889 project, and one is my companion book to Acting Out available at Musa. Hard Pressed will be released late this year.
In the meantime, I’m just trying to write as the muse takes me, although that plan isn’t working so well. I’m aware of a few publishers breathing lightly on my neck. It’s nice to be wanted, but hard work too.
On the home front, I feel we’ve finally got the house exactly as we want it for a good long while, which is linked to my writing as it means I can relax. There are a few maintenance jobs, but then there always are. We have some fence panels to replace etc., as soon as the weather is warm enough, and I do hope it’s warm enough this year. I’m so ready for spring I cannot articulate how much. Inside the house, one major difference is we changed the colour in the living room ‘again’ but you know you must finally have the right colour when you can’t stop looking at the walls. The room now feels peaceful, which is good news for all, as it’s exactly what I need.
The biggest news first is that I’m very pleased to announce that Changeling have accepted a m/m romance of mine entitled Well Nigh Impossible. It’s a short work (10K) that is about to go into the edit process and should be out sometime in May. I’ve a couple of other books queued up for editing with publishers and am currently working on drafts for other things.
On the home front I’m finally well again and have been doing some decorating, tidying and sorting out around the house. There was good method to my madness — it needed doing and having everything finally organised takes a strain off so I have more time to dedicate to the call of writing, and also to have some time to relax. We probably have the house exactly how we want it for the first time since we moved in. Changing the colour in the living room has made a huge difference. I’m feeling much happier. It that activity was also a good well to get well again. I’ve not got to try to get my fitness level up again — we’re going to the coast at least a couple of times this year and I want to be able to enjoy long walks up and down those hills without struggling. It’s amazing how a bad case of flu and a chest infection can knock you for six. And, of course, my fingers are getting plenty of exercise tapping away at the keyboard. I’d better get back to the writing…
Forgive my long silence. I’m rather on hiatus, partly from being unwell for a month (flu of the kind where your skin hurts, chest infection, sore throat and non-existent voice) and partly because of a couple of extreme ‘life’ stresses. My publishers have kindly pushed me down the lists for edits and given me time to find my feet again. I’ve not even been writing, although I am trying to get back into the habit, which is almost as slow a process as getting well has been. In short, I’ve not had much to smile about, but I’ve just received my first smile of the year.
My Steampunk adventure co-authored with Andy Frankham-Allen, Mundus Cerialis: Space 1889 & Beyond has been called ‘an absolute pleasure to read’. You can read the full review by going to The Traveler’s Steampunk Blog.
I’d really like to wish you all a Happy New Year and I do. Unfortunately, for me, it’s turning into the year I’d rather forget from the start.
Firstly, I’ve been sick. Flu. All through Christmas, my birthday and New Year’s. Chest infection, the works. Woke this morning from dreaming I’d been in an accident. Turns out I was just ‘locked’ from sleeping in one position, and from having ribs so bruised from coughing they are at the point where they’re even cramping now. Antibiotics are warring with the germs inside me and there’s been no way I could read, let alone write.
On top of this a relative died at one of the worse times — when physically it’s hard to deal with as well as emotionally. I also have something else hanging over my head right now — let’s just say it’s one where bureaucrats don’t understand the needs of the people and certainly not of the individual. Until this is resolved my life is essentially on hold because I have too much worry on my plate.
This all means I’m having to put the year on hold, all the plans I had. I’ve let the publishers know I’ve run into difficulties. First light I can see is end of Feb., so all I can do is hang in there, plan for the worst, hope for best, look ahead, and then try to forget and put all the worry and upset behind me. So the chances are there won’t be much if any updates until then. You’ll have to forgive me, but I already hate this year. Hope it’s better for my readers out there.
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas, or whatever they’re celebrating this time of year.
If you’ve had more egg-nog than is good for you and want a bit of quiet reading then you could always pop along to the ERATO BLOG and read about all the research I had to do for my latest Musa release: The Teacher.