ThityFifth Time

November 15, 2009 at 8:38 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve hit a bit of a full stop.

Over the past two years, I’ve pretty much written solidly, producing story after story either for specific anthologies, to plug ‘gaps’ in the collection or just because I felt like writing them, but now all that’s stopped. I’ve not had any inclination to write recently, even when I’ve had the perfect opportunity to (on trains to and from work). It’s not that I’ve gone off writing at all (I’ve not – if anything it’s more important to me now than it ever was), or that I’m running out  of ideas (I’m not – my ‘to do/to complete’ list of stories is vast, and I had a really good idea for my next Sherlock Holmes horror story the other day for Charles Prepolec and Jeff Campbell’s next anthology), so I had to wonder why I’ve been so lazy. I’ve come up with two main reasons, which feel like they explain it (to me at least):

The first is that I think my brain needs a recharge. As well as the ‘real’ work I’ve had to do, there hasn’t been a point in the previous 24 months when I’ve not had at least one story on the go – even on holiday, when I wrote The Animal Game longhand. I’m wondering if this slow period is my brain’s way of consolidating everything I’ve learned, getting itself some breathing space, etc. I know it’s only short term – my excitement about writing the Sherlock story when I’ve worked out the details has reassured me about that – so at the moment I’m happy to let my head have a rest. My mojo will return soon, I’m sure of it.

The second reason is more difficult to be so chilled about – I think I’ve let some of the waiting get on top of me . I still haven’t heard back from Gollancz about the novel chapters I sent them, I’m waiting for responses to two anthology submissions, I’m in the middle of discussions about my cover and am waiting for the edits to the stories in the Ash Tree collection, etc – it’s not that any of these is a problem, because they’re not. Quite the opposite in fact – I’ve loved talking to Jason van Hollander about the cover and hearing how my stories have made him think, and can’t wait to hear Barbara and Chris’ thoughts on what work my stories may need. Even the waiting for responses to my  submissions is oddy exciting, because at the moment the stories are like Shroedinger’s Cat – in all possible states and therefore accepted! Once the rejection emails come, then those other states collapse, but for now there’s hope… It’s just that I’m not very good at eaiting! Before anyone starts, by the way, I do know that this is part of the author’s life, but the truth is I’ve only recently started to think of myself as an author (as opposed to simply someone who writes a bit). I simply need to find a way of dealing with the weight of these things (or at least, the waiting for them) so that it doesn’t affect the writing. I’m still learning, so bear with me. For now, I’ll let my brain chill and I’ll wait…

No reviews as such this week, but a comment: those of you who’ve read my previous blogs will know of the trouble I had with Ghostwriter Publications. Since leaving them, I’ve kept an eye on GWP, partly to see if my fears about it were real (they are) and partly because I’m still in touch with a number of the authors and I’d like to know what’s going on with/for them. This week, yet another of the GWP authors contacted me to ask me about my dealings with Neil, as he had not recieved payment for his story in Creature Feature. Even more worrying, he had not received his contributor copy of the book. Another of the authors told me that although he’d had a contributor copy, he’d not had any royalties, and both are no longer prepared to deal with Neil. A little bit of internet searching brought up the additional fact that people are so irritated with GWP that there’s even a comment about the company in Guy N Smith’s Wikipedia entry (in the Biography) section. I think the shame of this continues to be that if Neil and GWP did the job properly, it’s be a really good little venture, but at the moment it’s little more than a badly run pipe dream that appears to be turning sour. I’d still love it to turn around, in part because I’d love to read some of the novels that Neil advertised over a year ago and also because I’d like to see my friends’ work get the exposure it deserves. Oh well…

Right, that’s your lot. More next week, Lords and Ladies!

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