So here we are again.
First of all, let’s start with some exciting news: I’m doing a reading and signing session for Morecambe’s Cancer Research shop on August 3rd between 6pm and 8pm. I’ll be reading two stories (probably A Different Morecambe and another that I’ve not decided on yet), as well as selling three chapbooks specially produced for the event (Marley’s Haunting and two others, dunno which ones yet), with 50% of all the profits going to the shop. I will also have hardbacks of Lost Places available, and a copy of the limited edition World Horror paperback of Lost Places will be raffled for one lucky bugger to win! Entry is free and refreshments will be available (on receipt of some kind of monetary donation – and given that there may be home made cupcakes available, the donation better be good!), and the shop will also be open for business and will have a selection of books, clothes, DVDs and other stuff for the discerning customer to buy. This is my first ‘solo’ event, and I hope to see some of you there! More details as I get them…
In writing terms, it’s been a slow couple of weeks, if I’m honest. Work on the novel is progressing well, and I’m well into it now. The world I’m creating feels like it’s unfurling at about the right rate, and I’ve taken the ‘more plot, less words’ advice to heart and and trying to keep things moving along swiftly. I’m ensuring that each chapter contains at least one major action scene, and one reveal (minor or major) about the world in which its set, and even though it’s not always the easiest balance to find or to write, I’m enjoying it. Feedback so far has been remarkably positive, which is also encouraging. Soon, I show the first three chapters to my wife…
One other piece of news: I’ve been invited to contribute to an anthology, and I’ve said yes. Now, I know I said I was concentrating on the novel for a while, but this sounds fun – basically, I’ve been asked to write a creature feature or monster story. Hurrah! As ever, timeframes are short, so once I have the current chapters of the novel sorted, I’ll break out and do the story. I haven’t decided what to do yet, but it should be fun… I also got some information relevant to another story (the one for the antho that may also feature TED Klein), so that needs doing sometime as well, although I do have a couple of months for that one. That story, in particular, I’m quite excited about doing and it feels like it’s shaping up nicely in my head -I’m wary of over-thinking or over-planning it, but I have what I think is quite a good story and an interesting central idea, plus a really, really good supernatural villain…watch this space!
Last thing: I’ve written a guest blog about writing for Simon Marshall-Jones’ Ramblings of a Tattooed Head blog, which is likely to appear in the next week or so…
Reviews: I haven’t done any for ages, have I? So here are some quick reviews:
Harper’s Island: 13 part TV show, basically an extended slasher movie. Well made, slick, good-looking and fun if ultimately empty of emotional content, this is definitely worth watching but don’t expect too much. The identity of the villain is a bit disappointing (despite him being played by an excellent actor), although a later twist is fun, and there are some good gore and suspense scenes. Recommended if you’ve got a few spare hours.
Mammoth Book of the Best of Best New Horror: I know I’m biased because I’m in this, but it’s great! Twenty high-class stories, my favourites of which were Tim Lebbon’s White and Lisa Tuttle’s My Death, although all are great (I even enjoyed Mark Samuels’ The White Hands, despite wondering if the recent developments between Mark and I might sour my reading of it – they didn’t, thankfully,and I can happily report that it’s a good, grand Guignol tale of grave robbing and terrors from beyond…).
The Wolfman (Extended Cut): It’s okay, but someone should have decided before they made it, were they making a horror film or a melodrama, because as it is, it sort of falls between two stools. del Toro is excellent but the rest of the cast are pretty much wasted, the special effects are okay (although the wolf transformations are no better than Baker managed in ’81 in An American Werewolf in London, and the CGI werewolves are obviously CGI and all the poorer for it). There are a couple of good scenes (the attack on the Gypsy encampment is well-managed, and del Toro’s icebath psychiatric treatment is genuinely chilling (no pun intended!)). Worth a couple of hours if you’ve got nothing better to do.
Right, that’s all I can be bothered writing at the moment. Back to your lives, Ladies and Gentlemen.