Showing posts from 2010

Tolkien and Lewis

Literary anecdote: There is a pub in Summertown,Oxford called The Eagle and Child (the bird and baby as it's known locally)where a number of writers used to meet and discuss their work as part of a group called the Inklings. It is said that JRR Tolkien started reading more of his book "Lord of the Rings" to the club,at which CS Lewis said "Not more fucking elves"

Ushna Sardar- "The Apple's Dark Curves"

My friend Ushna Sardar has just published her latest poetry collection. It is entitled "The Apple's Dark Curves". I highly recommend it. The artwork and poetry are excellent. You can find it here: Ushna Sardar- "The Apple's Dark Curves"

My books are on sale now!

A reminder that my books are available to buy from here The Pirate Princess can be bought for £5.58 _ This an exciting, graphic adventure story for adults and teenagers. Beyond Twilight can be bought for £7.99 _ Fourteen short stories of horror, science fiction, fantasy and suspense. Copper Moon Rising can be bought for £8.02 _ A fantasy epic of violence, sorcery, and intrigue Although paperbacks, all the books are of excellent quality and not too heavy reading so perfect for reading on the train and on holiday!

Vampire fiction- an excerpt/flash fiction

In the Dead of Night The house was perfectly silent. Nothing stirred. The girl slept peacefully on the bed. Her only movement was the flutter of her eyelids as she dreamed. The covers of the bed slowly rose a centimetre or two and then fell, as she breathed. The white drapes at the window blew gently into the room with the night breeze, like pale spectral ghosts. At that moment a shadow passed across the interior of the room, momentarily obstructing the white glimmer of the full moon. The girl moaned softly in her sleep. Her drowsing face creased into a frown, before becoming impassive again. It was as if her subconscious momentarily detected a threat, before it was hidden again. Scarlet eyes burned like lamps in the face of the dark intruder, as he silently flowed like a spreading pool of black ink into the bedroom. He was like a black storm cloud until his form slowly materialised and became more substantial. As he flowed toward her and looked upon the face of the sleeping gi


My sister is a budding amateur photographer, she has taken some very nice pictures which can be seen here:

The trouble with modern vampire fiction

It's time to lay my cards upon the table. I blame Anne Rice. It was she who inspired a lesser band of pale imitators, all of whom ignored the subtleties of her work and went straight for reproducing the angst-ridden supernatural melodrama. Due to Ms Rice, vampiric southern gothic is back with a vengeance. And all because Brad and Tom simpered with their handsome, pale faces in 'Interview with the Vampire' and Buffy kicked vampiric ass while falling in love with a 'nice' vampire called Angel. One of the best examples of the modern form of the genre is 'True Blood'. I started watching this series with high expectations. Unfortunately, I was left disappointed. 'True Blood' tries too hard. It's too self-consciously cool. It's more about sex, religion and the American South than it is about the vampire genre. The vampiric trope simply acts as a symbol for themes about relationships, alienation, family, persecution and evil. In the right setting

My second novel is published

I have an announcement to make- I have published my second novel 'The Pirate Princess'. It is available here to buy The Pirate Princess It is a rip-roaring adventure story. When their kingdom is invaded by imperial soldiers, Princess Ayesha and her brother escape to the sea to begin a new life upon the ocean waves. However, when they discover a secret treasure and are kidnapped by smugglers, they get more than they bargained for...particularly as pirates sail the high seas!

The Dark Tower

My attention was drawn to this recently: Stephen King- Dark Tower: film and tv adaptation I was stunned to read that TV and film producers are considering filming Stephen King's Dark Tower series in its entirety, by making 3 films and screening the rest as a tv series. I thoroughly enjoyed the books, although the Dark Tower is a very bloated, ambitious epic tale. Also, unlike many, I thought that King's ending was appropriate although after wading through seven novels I can understand people who felt that it was an anti-climax. However, I cannot even begin to imagine how they will film it, and how they will separate the different books into 3 films and a TV series and make it work. It's hard to even imagine people who are fans of King and these particular books managing to sustain their interest when the story is so splintered in this way.

Beyond Twilight- my short story collection

I recently published a short story collection, comprising 14 original stories and entitled 'Beyond Twilight'. At the end of the book, I wrote an Afterword detailing how I came to be inspired to write many of the stories. I reproduce it here for those that are interested: Death Head I wanted to write an opening story for this collection that was a bit tongue-in-cheek from my point of view but I also created a sense of atmosphere for the stories that would follow. This is the companion piece for the ‘Verity Jamieson’ story’. I just thought of the concept for the story after reading about rock musicians like Marilyn Manson and Norwegian death metal bands that were into Satanism and alternative cultures. I did online research about bands I liked when I was an undergraduate and postgraduate student. I like rock music, but I don’t like Marilyn Manson or death metal. Epiphany The idea for Epiphany came from a dream that I had. The dream was simply that of a man and a woman in

My first two books are published

I've published my first two books with Lulu: a fantasy novel entitled 'Copper Moon Rising' and my collection of short stories, 'Beyond Twilight' 'Beyond Twilight' is a collection of stories in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and suspense genres. 'Copper Moon Rising' is the story of three boys: a runaway orphan of royal blood, a sorcerer’s apprentice and a young fisherman in a primitive world. Their lives are endangered by a fragile political situation within their society, and the ambitions of alien masters revered as ‘gods’. When their world’s rulers begin to fight for power and influence in the kingdoms, it leads to tragedy and civil war.

Writing Challenge Success

The flash fiction piece 'Fox-Curse' which I have posted here, won a writing challenge in the 'Imaginative Skulls' group on the Red Bubble online artists community! It's the first time my creative work has won any kind of award and I'm really flattered and delighted that I won :-)

A Hair's Breadth (a nuance)

I am here, in the confines of my well-made suit. I follow the others: all dressed the same, wearing the same uniform that is our second skin. We arrive at the appointed time, we meet at the appointed time, we leave when we are ready. I watch the clock and its hands ever-ticking, I wait like an animal about to pounce on its prey. Now it is time to go. I pass through the crowds like a ghost. We meet in a collision of souls. Our eyes are blinded by the artificial light, and our lungs are poisoned by the toxic air. My environment is a superficial reality. The auspicious glass fronts of the buildings gleam like mirrors, but I cannot see beyond. You try to hold me, but ours is a chemical attraction. Why do we repel each other? Now others meet us on their path toward the light.

Fox-Curse (a nuance)

I am sipping the drink. A bitter taste… one last cup of sorrow. I sit before the woman of flame. I see an oval face floating in front of me, surrounded by a halo of hair. Hair that is as red as dry autumn leaves. Her green eyes stare accusingly at me, those terrible eyes that burn with witch-fire. Vengeance will be hers. My sight is blurred and I descend into darkness before I know what is happening. I awake. I open my eyes, and yet I see nothing. I open my mouth, and I gasp for air. I take a long sharp, drawn-out breath. Instinctively, I push out my hands, and hit something solid. A barrier, that is above me and around me. I am constrained. I try to move my feet, but I cannot. I am pressed into a tight, unyielding space of darkness. I am trapped. With the comprehension of my state comes demonic panic. I scream for help, but I am running out of oxygen. It does not help. Already I am breathing in sharp, shallow gulps. I desperately thump the solid matter above and scratch until my

Inspiration in Dreams

The other day I had that wonderful experience that I keep a notebook on my bedside cabinet before - a vivid dream that was remembered immediately upon waking. I awakened with a feeling of jangling nerves and anxiety, a legacy from my slumbers. I reached for my notepad, and scribbled the events and figures of the dream down- eager to record the details before they vanished in a cloud of morning smoke. I was blessed with a clear narrative and vision of what could be a new short story or novel. It is a moment that all writers hope for, a dream of a dream.

Copper Moon Rising - an update

I am still in the process of chipping away at the uneven edifice which is 'Copper Moon Rising'. After the initial full draft, which was completed in early 2009, I decided upon a complete rewrite and redrafting of the novel (after I'd had a break). The novel is in three parts, and I finished the first part in March this year. After April was interrupted by illness, I've made some progress with Part Two, which is an extension of the middle part of the novel and is essentially a first draft. I still need to complete the rewrite and redrafting of Part Three too. If I'm optimistic, hopefully I can finish it in June/July but I suspect I may have to wait until September- wish me luck, anyhow!

Tropic of Cancer

I saw two very interesting television programmes recently. The first was 'Tropic of Cancer', a travelogue presented by Simon Reeve. He followed the imaginary geographic line of the Tropic of Cancer around the world, visiting various countries and meeting the people there. He started in Mexico and went from there to the Bahamas, before crossing to the African continent and visiting the Sahara and travelling from there to Libya. He then proceeded to travel through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, India, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Taiwan before finishing in Hawaii. There were so many issues arising from the programme- social problems, poverty, ecological and environmental problems. Most shocking was the moment when, at the end of the programme, Reeve visited a beach in Hawaii which was utterly polluted with litter and rubbish that had been washed up from the Pacific. Most of the litter was plastic, as plastic does not degrade but simply breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces

Publication update

I've sent a synopsis and three chapters of 'Copper Moon Rising' to the Darley Anderson Literary Agency- fingers crossed! I'm also sending some of my short stories to 'Black Static' and 'Interzone' magazines- hope to have positive feedback soon...


So it goes like this... "We do not accept e-mail submissions" "We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or work from new writers. We currently have a backlog of huge swathes of material, so we probably aren't going to be free for...oh, a few years" Please submit your work on golden parchment and handwritten with a quill in 1.5 font, and in the blood of a phoenix...

Beyond Twilight complete

My collection of short stories, 'Beyond Twilight' is now finished and I'm investigating the possibility of publication. It comprises thirteen short stories of horror, fantasy, science fiction and even satire. I'm also now working on the final draft for 'Copper Moon Rising'. Good news at last!

Period of silence on my part was not appreciated

There has been a silence for almost three weeks, this has been due to the unfortunate occurrence of illness! I had almost forgotten what it was like to be ill, until the beginning of this month. It is probably the most ill I have been since childhood. I developed tonsilitis, complicated by the fact that I did not initially realise that was what it was. I thought it was a spring flu that I would shake off naturally. When my voice went and swallowing was like feeling razor blades at the back of my throat, I realised that I would have to go to the doctor. The initial medication was not powerful enough, and I still had dehabilitating symptoms. Finally, on Monday I was referred to hospital and put on a cocktail of drugs which would hopefully do the trick. Now I am in the midst of this super-course, and felt well enough to return to work. This has thrown a spanner in the works in terms of the Copper Moon rewrite and finishing off some short stories, but hopefully I will be able to get ba

Thirteen Thanks Alton Towers! Time for a title change methinks...

The Skin of My Teeth

My friend Ushna has published two books of her poetry, 'The Skin of my Teeth' and 'Dog's Breakfast'. Her work can be bought here: She's an exceptionally talented poet, script writer and artist, well worth a read!

Creative update

I'm aware this is my first post for almost three weeks, apologies to my limited number of followers! I have been working on several projects since December, and I have finally reached the first stage of fruition. I've completed first drafts of 13 short stories, and they will make up a collection entitled, appropriately enough 'Thirteen'. In a future blog post I will list the titles, to keep you all tantalised. Aside from those stories which have made the initial list for the collection, I was also working on three other stories. 'Rosebud', 'Beyond Twilight' and 'Moonlight Bay'. They won't be in. I started work on all three but I dropped them for different reasons. 'Rosebud' and 'Moonlight Bay' I think can be novels. I started writing and I realised that the stories can be extended in length and the story is better if its fully developed in this way. I've added them to my bank of novel concepts. 'Beyond Twilight'