Monday, 30 December 2013

2013, the year of the Purple Patch

It being the traditional time of the year for a bit of retrospection I think it is time to take stock and be amazed.

I've always played with writing but a couple of years ago I decided to step it up and show stuff to the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle. Lots of work later and much listening to those in the know finally led to me sending stories off to markets last year.

The usual, and expected, rejections appeared but I saw a couple of theme calls I liked and wrote for them. At the end of last year one got picked up by Sein Und Werden.

I was, to say the least, stunned.

Then, in January this year, another was picked up by Morpheus Tales. Then another about cake baking. In shock I started this blog, mostly to remind me that stuff was happening.

By the end of the Purple Patch I had five consecutive acceptances and was getting a bit on the smug side. Luckily I am back on the rejection wagon and being a little more realistic about my prospects.
All these acceptances had a theme attached that I wrote to and most of the rejections didn't. Clearly I need to stick with themed calls.

As the year moved on I saw these stories appear in print. Three out of five even paid me. This culminated in November with World Fantasy Con where I ran around with a copy of Caledonia Dreamin' trying to find everyone in it and get it signed.
I am continuously surprised to see my made up name in print and have been known to stare at the point on the shelf where they all live and grin until my face hurts.

The other writing first this year was submitting a novel for critting. I have never written something that long before and I am very pleased by how few hideous plotholes and clunkers were found in it.

In the next year I have to get at least two new short stores published (due to a hungover challenge at WFC) and finish off my re-work on the novel before making the decision to bin or annoy more people with it. This is on top of Eastercon in Glasgow, Worldcon in London, the Commonwealth Games and turning 40.

Thanks to you all for encouragement and I can only apologise for the constant searching for validation that this writing may point to.

Have a good Hogmanay and New Year when it comes and I hope you all enjoy 2014.

Monday, 16 December 2013

A "gift" for Christmas

A very good reason why I should never be allowed on the internet is that it gives me stupid ideas. Even worse, ideas based on other people's characters and so entirely unpublishable.

Probably the worst for you is that this does not stop me from writing the things anyway and, by way of a Christmas bit of silliness, posting it to this here blog.

Which is all a roundabout way of saying, if you follow the upcoming link you will get a story what I wrote last weekend because it would not leave my head.

The Marvellous Mechanical Time Trap Machine

So, happy festive whatnots and do not take this as indicative of the rest of the stuff.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Happiness personified

Me with my copies of Caledonia Dreamin' and Oomph. Mostly posting this so I can look back, remind myself that publication is a joyous thing and then get on with some tedious editing.

They're dead good books though, you should buy them.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


UPDATE: Now listed on Eibonvale's website here.

Now that I am almost recovered from the World Fantasy Hangover let me talk to you of cabbages and kings. Or possibly the single greatest thing that occurred to me there.

The release of Caledonia Dreamin'.

Caledonia Dreamin' is an anthology of Strange Fiction based on Scots words and I am immensely proud to be in it. I knew that what they were looking for was not my natural style and it was going to take some work but, with the help of many, it got there and sits rather shamefacedly alongside some excellent authors with some wonderful tales.

It was going to be touch and go whither it would be available for WFC and so the discovery of it in the Dealer's Room made me very happy. Then to find out it was in hardback as well, well I did get a bit over-excitable.

Anyhoos, I acquired a copy and spent large parts of my time at the convention hunting down the other authors in it and getting signatures. Not something I normally do, but for this first anthology I have ever been in, it seemed like the right thing to do.

The publishers have not yet updated their website to show it available, but it is showing on Amazon here and I will no doubt add other links once they make themselves available.

It looks lovely, it could be used to batter someone and, having read it over the weekend, it is really rather good.

What is less good is that I had to sign a few other copies,  where I completely failed and spelled my own name wrong. Blame the con bar and me being over-excited.

Monday, 4 November 2013

World Fantasy Con, or How To Drink Your Way To Fame

I'm on the train leaving Brighton and World Fantasy Con.
This is my first Fantasy Con and the po-faced nature of some of the publicity had made me worry it was a bit staid.
I could not have been more wrong.
I had a brilliant time. Every day was busy and every night long and drunken. I met and blethered at many lovely people, listened to big names say interesting stuff and even ate.

Top points being Brian Clemens, K.W. Jeter and the bar

All in an excellent time and I will certainly look at another Fantasy Con as soon as I have money and time

In the meantime I now have homework to get two stories published by WorldCon so, if you will excuse me, I have a Wikipedia article on bees to look at.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Writing Is On The Wall

Oomph, the anthology from Crossed Genres is released today. Available in both eBook and real, physical, smells funny and gathers dust, paper formats.

You can find it here and I look forward to reading some excellent stuff on the lower end of the super hero spectrum.

Also, by way of a small plugette for the other things I have had published in the last glorious year, do please be looking to the right for them.

Cheers m'dears.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Return of the Pulp-O-Mizer

It turns out that anthologies are like buses. You wait for ages and then two turn up at once.

Today the TOC for Oomph got announced and so, by way of celebration, I've been farting around on the Pulp-O-Mizer site again.

So, coming soon in Oomph is;

and in Caledonia Dreamin';

Monday, 7 October 2013

Caledonia Dreamin'

Not posted here in a while due to mucking about with a novel length piece of nonsense and so not much happening.
(Actually, I've been watching too much Doctor Who in the run up to the 50th anniversary but I like to fool myself I have a reason for not writing so much short fiction at the moment)

Anyhoo, the reason I am here is that the rather wonderful cover for Caledonia Dreamin' has been shown to the world here

Isn't it gallus?

I'm really looking forward to reading this, so many interesting and new words from funny foreign places like Lanarkshire and Fife and the like.

But first, I must go and write more, just as soon as I have caught up with Doctor Who.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Mud, mud, glorious mud

Well lummee!

The purple patch is now looking like a small purple lawn as the fine people in charge of an anthology called Caledonia Dreamin have accepted my story.

Excitingly, the last plan I heard featured launching the anthology at World Fantasy Con, which I will be at, so I may get the chance to stand beside it and grin like a non-speaking Terrileptil.

In other news, I heard that the Crossed Genres anthology, Oomph. Is delayed due to ill-health. Hopefully everyone there is better now but rest assured, when it comes out, I will annoy you all about it.

Well, suppose I better go and write something new now. Preferably not something it turns out is due to be released as a film very soon.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Stolen ideas

So, I have had an idea knocking round my head for years. Imagine a city as a train, thundering round the world. Then imagine how the class system would develop.

Several years back I wrote a short story set on that train. It was suggested I might want to lengthen the story. So I turned it into a novel.

The first one I had ever tried.

I ummed and awed at it for ages, finally submitting it to GSFWC for critiquing in two weeks time. Then someone spots this trailer.

I must learn to write quicker.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Art of Cake Baking

Do you like cake?

Then you should go to Unspoken Water right now and buy issue four.

They have very kindly published a short by me on the subject of cake baking. I would tell you the title, but I have changed it so often I can't remember what it is now. Sharon tells me it is her favourite of the stuff I have so far done, but then it would not have been written were it not for her Great Gran. Thanks Mrs. Heath.

This also marks the first time I have been paid for writing something. The Creme Egg I bought with the cash was a fine reward, I can assure you.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Purple Patch Continues

I've been oddly hanging back on announcing this one (damn weirdy paranoia) but last weekend I had another acceptance, this time from some lovely people at Crossed Genres. They are putting together a superhero anthology and I felt it needed some mention of Nitshill Bowling Club.

It appears to be another step along my educational road as they talked of "Edits" which makes it all sound oh so much more real.

Anyway, this now, frighteningly, makes four on the bounce and probably means that Karma is going to destroy the next few attempts so hard the collateral damage will burn down a library.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Paid! Paid I tells you.

I've been paid!

I had this down as my "Thing to aim for before I am 40." Will have to think of something else to aim for in the next year now.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

The cracking cover for Morpheus Tales Apocalypse Special Read the first couple of stories so far and I've really enjoyed them.
By the way, they have a discount on today should you feel like purchasing.

But no matter how good that cover is, it won't stop me Pulp-O-Mizing my own one.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The 15th of December

Not technically out until Friday but to my great joy, Morpheus Tales have released their Apocalypse Special which includes my wee short, The 15th of December.
You can see a preview here and if it interests you can buy the ebook at Smashwords or the real thing at Lulu.

Warning, may contain beer and Norwich.

The Greatest Pulp Stories Ever Told

So yesterday I was introduced to the Pulp-O-Mizer and did spend far too much time making up silly pulp covers. So, by way of putting something up here, have a spoof for the story I had in Sein und Werden (their actual cover is much nicer)

And then, because I am having too much fun with it, have another one for the thing I am currently mucking about with.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

First Post

Hello and welcome.

Last week I had the great news that I was to get my second short story published in Morpheus Tales Following that I decided that, should I get a third story published, I would setup one of these here blog things to track these.

To my great surprise this point rolled around much quicker than I could have expected and the wise and good of Unspoken Water have accepted a wee story about the WI.

So here is the blog. I'm learning how these things work so let me know if I can do things better.