Why I’m Not Doing Nanowrimo This Year

For the second year running, I am not joining the magnificent, brave and crazy people that give up their Novembers in the pursuit of a novel. Continue reading Why I’m Not Doing Nanowrimo This Year

The Dog And Pony Show, or Three Things You Can Do To Help Out Untruths

The one thing I’ve noticed about the wacky world of self-publishing is the sense of engagement that rapidly develops between author and audience. This has to happen. The writer can’t afford to be aloof from his or her readership. The buffer zone that an agent and publisher puts in place just isn’t there. 

That’s part of the fun of the self-pub game, but it does mean that word-slingers like me have to extricate ourselves from our cocoon and get out and engage with people. As we tend to skew introvert, that’s kind of tricky, and if you’re a shy retiring flower like me, it’s difficult not to feel like some kind of huckster or hawker when all you’re trying to do is make people aware of the worth and value of your work. 

With that in mind, let’s get on with the sales pitch. 


Continue reading The Dog And Pony Show, or Three Things You Can Do To Help Out Untruths

How I Wrote A Book

Ok, relax. This is not going to be one of those posts where I talk about the inspiration, background and hilarious stories behind the tales on my new ebook, Untruths, in exhausting detail. That would be dreadful.

Instead, I wanted to answer the question quite a few people have already asked: how difficult is it to get an ebook published? 

The answer is, of course–it depends.

Continue reading How I Wrote A Book

So I Wrote A Book

A little over thirty-six hours ago, I took a deep breath and clicked the big yellow button on Amazon’s Direct Publishing site. The one marked SAVE AND PUBLISH. Wheels span for a moment in the guts of my Blackbook. Then a congratulatory notice pinged up, and a book that I had spent a day’s work and fifteen years writing was on its way to the Kindle Store. 

Big news, Readership. You can buy some of my writing on Amazon. 

Continue reading So I Wrote A Book

End Of The Century – X&HT Read LOEG: Century 2009

A common complaint levied at Moore and O’Neill’s League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen books, especially in the later stages of the story that are chronicled in the Century stories, is their impenetrable metatextuality. 

It’s really easy to tie yourself in knots when you discuss LOEG. I mean, just look at that first sentence. Impenetrable metatextuality? Good grief. Way to lose an audience. Let’s try this again. In English. 

Continue reading End Of The Century – X&HT Read LOEG: Century 2009

Print Works: Habibi, Ashes and dire digital downloads

Now, I loves me the ebooks. The Kindle I snagged for last year’s birthday is going strong, and stuffed full of goodness. It’s revolutionised the way I acquire and consume digital long-form fiction–oh, ok, how I buy and read books.

And yet, when it comes to comics and graphic novels, I’m resolutely and unrepentantly old-school. If it ain’t on print, I don’t want it. A lot of that, I guess, is down to the kind of comics I like to read. I’m no fan of masks and capes, and Marvel and DC for the most part leave me cold. I can’t remember the last time I bought a comic – either the flimsy glossy American pamphlet or good old sheddy English newsprint. It’s trade paperbacks and graphic novels for me, at. I’d much rather read a story all at once rather than wait for it to eke out on monthly 22-page instalments.

Continue reading Print Works: Habibi, Ashes and dire digital downloads

A New Phase part 3: UKZDL


In a fine example of what TLC likes to call my tendency to overextend, I have signed up as writer to yet another website. At this rate, I will be doing the whole internet by this time next month. We are apologises in advance for the subsequent droop in kwalitee.

The new endeavour is a gig on a new zombie site, UKZDF. Stands for United Kingdom Zombie Defence League. There’s an element of ARG and role-play in here – head of the League, “Sarge” Rob May (an X&HTeam-mate of long standing, I might add) has spent a long while working out the best places to set up a defensive perimeter should the zombie plague hit Reading (hint: don’t do a Romero and hide out in the Oracle). But the site also seeks out and celebrates the best in zombie culture.

Up on the site at the moment, we’re looking at the upcoming launch of Dead island, which looks to be the zombie game of the year. There’s an interview with the producers of the Walking Dead, and a review of the first two in a great new series of books by Mira Grant, Newsflesh.

Oh, yes, and a brief history of the zombie in popular culture pre-Romero, which is my first contribution. Sarge has been good enough to give me my own section, so keep an eye out for weekly blather from me. It’s early days, but the site already looks good, and there’s some interesting people lined up to contribute. If anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll forward your names onto Sarge.

In the meantime, read and enjoy. It’s a dead cert.