Showing posts from June, 2011

My books are now available for the Kindle

My books 'The Pirate Princess' and my collection of short stories, 'Beyond Twilight' is now available on Amazon for the Kindle:   (Beyond Twilight)  (The Pirate Princess)  (Copper Moon Rising- thanks to Peter Krause for the fresh artwork)

Science fiction is speculative fiction

I don’t like the term ‘science fiction’. Why? Well, I claim to be a science fiction writer but I would say while I know a little bit about fiction, I don’t know very much about science. Not off the top of my head, anyway. I could probably just about manage to turn on a Bunsen burner. I got a double B for Science in my GCSEs, but that was the last time I studied Physics, Chemistry or Biology to any great depth. If I write fiction where I need to know scientific principles or where science is applied or subverted in some way, then I need to do my research (luckily I am a trained researcher and that’s my job title). I’m not a qualified aeronautical engineer like Robert Heinlein, or a professor of biochemistry like Isaac Asimov. Most importantly, how do we define ‘science fiction’? If you ask most people this question, they will most probably picture a story that is set in space and/or some future time. There are numerous repetitive motifs in science fiction (much like dwarves, elves, an

The writing of Philip K Dick

Philip K.Dick is perhaps the wildest, most erratic and yet most original Speculative/Science Fiction writer of them all. For those of you who are more inclined to follow film/cinema than books, you might be interested to know that films such as ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘Minority Report’, ‘Paycheck’, ‘A Scanner Darkly’ and ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ amongst others are based upon his writings, and more of Philip K Dick’s fiction is likely to be adapted to film in the future. Some more loosely than others, of course. There are always difficulties in adapting written fiction for the screen, no less illustrated when considering the clunky nature of some of Dick’s titles: “Blade Runner” is based on the novel titled “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” while the original title of the short story that ‘Total Recall’ is based on was “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale’. The movie title comes from the name of the company ‘Recall’ in the original story, which uses technology to implant fa

Shortlisted in Contact Publishing's Page Turner Prize competition

My novella 'Staccato House' was shortlisted for Contact Publishing's Page Turner Prize competition. I came 7th overall and won a book as a my prize. I'm planning to rewrite and extend my novella entry 'Staccato House' into a novel.

The unknown artist

Unfortunately I do not know who the artist was who created the covers for my 'Copper Moon Rising' and 'Beyond Twilight' books. I found these images online in 2006/2007, saved them and made a note of the artist's web page URL and contact details as I thought they were perfect as covers for my self-published books. Unfortunately, I lost the URL of the artist's website. When it was time to self-publish in 2010, I spent hours searching on Google images with the original JPEG titles, but I could not find the images or the artist. I had set my heart on using the images and so I did, but if you are that artist, or you know who the artist who made those two book covers is, then please contact me! I would have asked your permission had I been able to find out who you were. Apologies.

Q & A

Some time ago I posted that I was going to do a Q & A to respond to fan questions. Thank you to all the people who asked me questions about my writing. I received several by e-mail, on facebook and verbally. Here are my responses, I've endeavoured to answer them to the best of my ability. Do you really think you could become a famous and successful writer? It's incredibly difficult but we can all dream! You need about 5 % inspiration, 45 % hard work and 50% of a thick skin that can accept rejection and properly assess your own work in order to improve it. It's really important not to give up. A short story or a novel might receive 100 rejections and the 101st could be successful...a lot of people would give up before the 50th rejection. J.K Rowling was rejected several times by publishers before her manuscript for the first Harry Potter novel was finally accepted. The importance of networking and knowing the right people and right avenues to go down and who to approa

Film noir, Marlowe and Chandler

I like detective fiction and I like reading Raymond Chandler. It's easy to admire his cynical hard-bitten private detective, Philip Marlowe. Sometimes I think Marlowe, the protagonist of Chandler's novels, speaks with Chandler's authentic voice and is a fictionalized version of Chandler's real-life personality too. The majority of detectives in modern fiction: in film, television and books, are influenced by the figures of Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade in American 20th century fiction (along with Agatha Christie's 'Poirot' and Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes' of course) Chandler partly invented the noir/film noir genre and this cool, hard-nosed, cynical but somehow heroic private detective who is a staple of such fiction. He has also spawned a legion of imitators, not to mention parodies and caricatures of the genre. Chandler himself was heavily influenced by the work of Dashiel Hammett and Hammett's own detective creation, Sam Spade. Ch