Author and Scriptwriter

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

Friday, 1 April 2016

Things Of The Week: 1st April 2016

Gardner, Bestwick & Sharma.
So, this week...

Last Sunday Cate and I went to Eastercon on a day membership with our friend Priya Sharma. Obviously it's more SF/Fantasy than horror, but it was well worth going to, and we got to catch up (briefly) with Ramsey and Jenny Campbell, and Sarah Pinborough.

Priya rocks the Gothic.
I also ran (all too briefly) into Mike Cobley and Martyn Taylor, long-time fellow ranters at the monumental bastardry of the Conservative Party, and to see the Q&A between Kari Sperring and Aliette de Bodard, who'd just won two BSFA awards for her work. (I managed to snag a copy of her first novel, House Of Shattered Wings, while I was there...) Later I bumped into the lovely Lydia Gittins, (former PR for Solaris, now PR for Titan Books) too, and got to chat with her for a good half-hour (but sadly, didn't get a chance to steal her pink coat. Pity.)

Me and a slightly blurred Nina Allan.
It was our first Eastercon, and Priya's first time ever on a panel (Sumptuously Gothic). She was a bit nervous, but did a great job. Hopefully she'll be doing many more in the future.

After the panel, we made off with Rosanne Rabinowitz in search of food, and accidentally kidnapped Nina Allan on the way (while Christopher Priest strolled back to the convention hotel without having noticed his other half had been shanghaied) for tapas at a Greek restaurant.

One of my resolutions this year has been to write more short fiction  - and, more to the point, to try
Rosanne Rabinowitz and Cate.
and write more short fiction that I'm really proud of. A lot of the stories I've written over the past couple of years has been to commission, and much of the rest has been... well, proficient enough in technical terms, but without the heart and soul that the stories I'm proudest of have had.

Too much of it has either been action driven, with characters who feel a little too 'stock', or go over old, safe ground. It felt, in the words of Austin Powers as though...

Earlier this week I wrote a story called 'And Ashes In Her Hair,' based on some story notes left behind by the late Joel Lane. When Joel passed away, he had the notes for a number of stories left over, and a number of writers are working with these notes to create stories for a tribute anthology. Writing 'And Ashes In Her Hair' felt like a step in the right direction, a move towards writing something real once more. I'm proud of it.

I've got (some of) my mojo back.

Logan Masterson.
On a less happy note, news broke a couple of days ago on the passing of US author Logan Masterson.

I'm afraid I didn't know Logan at all - we were Facebook friends but had never really interacted - but it was still shocking and sad to hear of his death. Especially when it emerged that culprit was an enemy that has claimed the lives of far too many men: depression.

As I said, I didn't know him - and there's little more contemptible than people who try to gain attention and sympathy by falsely claiming intimacy with somebody who's died - but from what I saw of his Facebook posts he was a decent man, someone with whom I think I would have enjoyed talking to had the chance arisen. Having suffered from (thankfully fairly mild) depression in the past, I know how horrible and debilitating it can be; it's not something I'd wish on anyone, and it's always deeply sad to hear about someone losing their battle with it. So here's a link to a piece by someone who did know Logan. There is also a memorial fund, to which you can donate here.

To anyone suffering from depression, I would just say: please, talk to someone. There is help out there. Try to find it. ESPECIALLY if you're a man. You are not lesser, or weaker, if you admit you are in pain.

Have a good weekend, all. Be well, and take care.

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