Midnight Echo

Midnight Echo issue 4 is out! Go here and buy yourself a copy:


You won't regret it. 12 stories, 3 poems and some brilliant artwork. Jenny Blackford, Geoff Maloney, LL Hannett, Jason Crowe, Dan Braum and of course, me, as well as some others. I already have my contributors copy, and I have to say it is a very handsome publication and contains some great stories. The AHWA and Lee Battersby have done a very good job.

So if you fancy reading some great horror stories, and have a few quid to spare, pop on over to the link and buy a copy.


Just put the final word into the 75-and-a-bit k of the first draft of my novel. Woop! Of course, I'm talking about a first draft here, and some major redrafting must be done before I can even start thinking about beta readers, but right now I'm feeling happy.

What will authors sign at book signings when most of our reading is done on epaper?

As of today, your boy Fielding is at 60k on the 1st draft of his novel. I'm just at the big disaster that sets the end confrontation into motion, and frankly, will be glad when I'm finished!

In other news, I opened the local paper to see a piece on a young girl who lives down the road from me. She has just published the first in a trilogy of fantasy novels and will be hosting a local literary meet and greet at my favourite second hand bookshop. All very exiting, you might think, but I did a bit of digging, and, well, her 'published' book comes direct from Book Guild, a vanity press. I find it sad, really, especially as the article talks about her fight back from depression to get the book published. I hope she didn't have to pay too much, and I hope the book is well edited.

Me and my monster.

11k into the first draft and getting a little more than 1k written a day. I spent some preliminary time thrashing out a detailed chapter plan for the first section, and some notes for where I’m going, figuring that by the end of this first part I’ll be following the story, rather than leading it. So far, on plot. As far as I can tell, my estimate for a 90k first draft is looking inadequate. It looks like I’ve spawned a monster. Which suits me as I'm up on bricks at the moment.

Yeah? Yeah!

Yesterday my Doctor told me not to even think about using my broken hip for three months. So what can I do? Yeah, I think I’ll write a novel. That would be the decent thing to do, right? I know who it is about, what they are trying to get done, but I just can’t quite bring the big bad enemy into focus. I’ve been keeping a dream diary in the hope that he turns up there. He’s given me some clues, I think. And he is a he, I know that much, but I don‘t have his identity down just yet.

I have a story in Midnight Echo #4 this April:


I laughed out loud when my American first reader, who must not be familiar with one of England's largest sea side resorts (and who could blame her), complimented me on the naming of the setting for my story. “Blackpool is a superb name for your town. It really sums up the loss of hope and dejection that your main character feels on his road to redemption.”

Having visited Blackpool several times, this is very close to the truth.

In other news, I've retyped one story, written another and broken my hip.

Take care


powdered roundup of a year

A scrappy year, lots of unfinished stories, my writing skills not quite up to my ambitions, selling nothing but having a few close calls. Despite all that, I have a sense that I became a much better writer this year.

Next year I vow to write more, write better, and never give up.

Some good books I read this year:

The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglass Coupland
More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
Time Out of Joint - PKD

And that, briefly, is that. I hope you have a great new year and that 2010 brings much of whatever it is you want.

A strange dream

Last night I had a dream that Fred Pohl drove past me in the street riding a motorised wheelchair. I gave him a wave. And happy birthday to him, he was 90 the other day. What a legend.

In other news, happy birthday Hadley Rille books! I look forward to reading my copy of Origins.

And... I better go and write that story I started knocking around my head whilst out for my morning run.

Take care.


Obligatory self pity entry

I don't mind rejections, I see them as a badge of honour. But sometimes when I'm told that I've just missed out on getting that sale it seems to hurt more than when the rejection is impersonal and suggestive of a quick rejection. Today is one of those days where I seem to wind up thinking about the bad things more than the good things. Still, persevere my boy, keep butting that head against those doors and you'll get there eventually. I want a pro level sale before I'm thirty. That doesn't seem totally unreasonable.

In other news I'm enjoying Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress much more than I thought I would. My relationship with Heinlein has always been a little strained, but this one is a keeper. I still think Pohl's Gateway is far superior though.

Back to the WIP for me.