Well, here we are again. Or, at least, here I am again; I have no idea if anyone else is there or not. Since my last post, I’ve received two pieces of valuable advice about blogging – don’t spend three paragraphs saying I can’t think what to write, and have a clear purpose in mind for the blog. With that in mind, I’ve decided that the blog is best placed as a home for all the writing-related occurrences in my life, with occasional sidetracks into reviews and recommendations. There – a sense of purpose and a clear(ish) remit decided upon, and it’s only twenty past 7 on a Sunday morning.
It’s been a good week for the writing. Yesterday, I heard that a story of mine has been accepted for inclusion in a new anthology. I can’t say much more than that at the moment, because the details of the anthology aren’t being released yet, but I can say that I think the story of mine is a good one and I’m proud of it. I’ve seen the proposed cover art and read stuff by some of the other contributors, and it’s shaping up to be a really good anthology which I’m sure will be well received and that I’m going to enjoy being part of. My story still needs some work to tweak and clean it up, so I’ll speak to the editor this week to sort that out with luck, and then that’ll be another tale bagged and tagged.
I’ve also been asked to contribute to an anthology of creature features! It’s exciting, because (much as I love creature features) I’ve never really tried to write one before and I’m not sure if I can. One of the things I’m most enjoying about having a moderate amount of success and positive critical response to my writing is that it’s throwing up lots of new challenges, which is keeping the writing interesting (for me at least!). I’m enjoying writing to other people’s rules, and responding to their suggestions when the story I produce isn’t quite right. It’s forcing me to right different things, which is great. So, can I write a creature feature? Hopefully, although the story that’s in my head is probably not what most people have in mind when they hear the phrase ‘creature feature’. We’ll have to see if it works out or not…
The work on the collection is going well – I have one story to complete and then Black Dogs and Lost Art is complete (apart from the editing, the foreword, the introduction, the story notes, the blurb collection, the publicity, the final decisions about which stories get included and the order they go in, and the audio version, the enormous number of good reviews, followed by the inevitable sale of all the stories to large Hollywood studies, general success and eventual authorial burn out and collapse). The outstanding story is a longer one, and I’m hoping it’ll act as one of the cornerstones of the collection. I’m aiming to have it done by the end of next month. If I’m efficient, of course.
I also have two other anthologies that have asked me to contribute, so I need to work on those soon – I have ideas for both stories, but I need to do some research so that they contain some realism. Well, so that they can be as realistic as horror stories ever are. Research is a newer thing for me as well – I normally just make stuff up, but both of these stories need something more than that. It makes them harder and longer to produce, but with luck the benefit of it is that they’ll be all the better for it.
I’m also in London this week to have discussions with a publisher about novels, but that’s more in the way of exploratory fumblings. It’s all very exciting, and I can’t help but get my hopes up, but I’m trying not to get too excited, as it may come to nothing. Fingers crossed, though.
And lastly, as part of my general duty to inform:
If you can be bothered, watch Midnight Meat Train – it’s fun but it’s not worth making a huge effort for.
Listen to the HP Lovecraft Historical Society audio dramas, because they’re great. And if you took my advice on this last week and have already listened to them, don’t worry – just go and listen to them again.
I’m still reading Let the Right One In, which is good so far but I’m reserving judgement on ’til I’ve finished it.
Read Mike Carey’s Felix Castor novels, they’re really very good indeed.