Author and Scriptwriter

'Among the most important writers of contemporary British horror.' -Ramsey Campbell

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

This Is Horror 2011. Plus, Squee.

The very nice This Is Horror website are doing awards. You can pop over there and vote. Purely by coincidence, Angels of the Silences is on the Best Chapbook shortlist. On the other hand, so is Nowhere Hall by the ever-reigning Cate, who's also nominated for Best Collection for Strange Men In Pinstripe Suits. So there. Go and take a look. It's a lovely website anyway.

In other news, my author's copies of The Faceless arrived today. I have been drooling. My digi-cam is on the fritz, else there would be pictures. Anyways, me is happy. Hope you are too.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Last Post

... before Christmas, anyway.

It's been a funny old year, but you've probably heard enough about that from me. Have a happy Christmas, Yule, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Diwali or whatever.

The year looks set to go out on a high note here, anyway. I received some very good news earlier this week, but can't disclose it just it. Watch this space for details.

Meanwhile, I got the news on Thursday that my story 'The Churn' will appear in a forthcoming issue of Black Static. So thanks to Andy Cox for that particular early Christmas present!

There are only two really good Christmas songs- that is, Christmas songs you can listen to all the year round. Here's one:

And here's the other:

Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

Well, today has been the last day of my rather long absence from my day job. Almost four months in all.

In a bizarre way, I think it's actually been one of the best things that's happened to me in a while. 2011's been a funny year; on the surface, things looked pretty good, and they should have been. I have good friends, I finally got a second novel commissioned... on the surface, stuff seemed good. But wasn't. I've been unhappy for some time, I think. The time off has given me a breathing space, a time to take stock, reflect and think about what I really want to do.

Writing, of course, remains a big part of it. I've written elsewhere about how I'm changing my approach to writing to make it less of a bloody ordeal and more of something fun, enjoyable, exciting, exhilarating... the way it used to be. In many ways, it's less of a new approach than an old one- going back to my roots.

Tomorrow, I start back. It's a phased return to work, so I won't be flung back in at the deep end. My employers have been pretty damn decent about it all, I have to say.

In a way, it's almost welcome, even though one of the conclusions I came to was that I'm going to have to change careers. (Me and the rat race are not made for each other. We never have been, but the bills have to be paid. I just lacked the gumption and self-confidence to believe I could do more.) Writing The Faceless gave me structure and a routine while I was off work. With that finished, it got harder to maintain that routine, and that's not a good thing. That way lies not going to bed till 4am and staying in bed till 1 in the afternoon. For me, that tends to mean nothing gets done, and I hate that.

I'll be going back for now, and I'll do my job to the best of my ability. But I'll also be studying part time for a counselling qualification. Oh, and writing. I think I finally know how to rewrite The Song Of The Sibyl into publishable form. And after that, there's a new novel or two to write.

And I'm going to have some fun as well. Another thing I realised this year: I've been putting my life on hold, letting work and writing consume my whole life. And that is not the way things are supposed to be.

So 2011 has been a funny year, a mixed bag- but one, I hope, that finally started to make things right again. I'm hoping that 2012- as long as that Mayan calendar bullshit is just that- will be a year where I'll build on what I learned here, and go on to new and better things.

Thanks to everyone who's listened to me moan and bitch, or given support or advice. It's been greatly appreciated.

So- tomorrow, back to work. Wish me luck!

Monday, 5 December 2011

The 'Orrifically 'Orrifying 'Orror Blog

I've been interviewed by the very nice Mr Shaun Hamilton for his and Emma Audsley's The Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog. I witter at great length about numerous things, including, of course, The Faceless. Feel free to go and have a shufti...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thin Men with Yellow Faces

My friend Gary McMahon and I are writing a story together!

It be called 'Thin Men with Yellow Faces' and so far there be just over 1,000 words to it. And I be talking like a pirate for no reason. Yaaaarrrr!


Gary suggested the collaboration and came up with the title, plus various notes; we batted ideas back and forth and I roughed out an outline to work from. We've each written a chunk; the ball's back in my court now.

Watch this space...