Hi. How are you all? Been a while, right? If you follow me on that social media thing, then you’ll know that I haven’t just disappeared off the face of the planet. If X&HT is your only resource for Robsy goodness, then, well, things have really been on the quiet side.
And to be honest, that’s been deliberate. The last 12 months have brought fairly big changes to my life, and I’ve been taking some quiet time to think things through creatively.
That includes podcasting, which I’ve now stepped away from almost completely. This migt seem counter-intuitive, given that ‘casting is The Thing, and along with my lovely Leading Man Clive Ashenden I have a good few years of experience in the field under my belt.
The thing is, I was just never comfortable doing it. I can’t really extemporise comfortably off the top of my head, and the amount of prep and post work that a single episode of The A To Z required was getting to me. I began to skip sessions, put in regular breaks, and tried shuffling the format to keep things fresh. Nothing worked. In the end, I made the hard decision to pull the cord.
I know this is disappointing news for the ten or so people that listened regularly (I have enough ego to realise that if the podcast had been remotely popular then I may well have found the courage to carry on and seek out some of that sweet advertising dough) but on the whole, I really don’t miss it. Clive pops up occasionally on Movie Heaven, Movie Hell, which I do urge you to listen to.
I do very occasionally chat on the Verse Publishing Write-Up. So if you’re not completely sick of the sound of me, you can check in on that.
Meanwhile, the wordsmithery ticks along. I do a lot of work with my local writing group Reading Writers. I’m working on a new anthology with Verse, a balls-out horror title called The Black Abyss.
And I’ve found a couple of spots to get some wordery out into the public eye. I’ve contibuted to a fanzine launced by the inestimable Danny Smith called The Gig Of My Life. It was put together in response to the Manchester MEN bombing, all profits -going to support charities for victims of the tragedy. The notion is to talk about a truly memorable live music experience. Mine is based around this moment. It’s available in wood-pulp and pixel, and you can snag your copy right damn here.
My involvement with The Inkslingers also continues apace, with the launch of our latest anthology, Tales From A Car Boot Sale. Based on the simple notion of the strange things you can find at these most Englsih of bizarre bazaars, there’s a strong vein of horror and fantasy running through the stories. In mine, I air out a couple of characters I’ve had in my head for a while, and set them loose in a field in Devon. Profits for this one benefit cancer charities, and it’s a bit of a bargain, in my humble opinion. Hie the to Amazon for your ebook.
2017 has been a hiatus year for me, while I try and figure myself out creatively. I’ve been forced to re-examine and abandon old habits, and really look at Writing Rob with fresh eyes. That has been, I won’t kid you, uncomfortable. But hopefully, I’ll come out of the other side of the process with a bit more perspective and restored vigour. Thank you all for bearing with me while I work out exactly what I’m supposed to be.