Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Time and Space to Write

In her brilliant book, Becoming a Writer (published some seventy-five years ago but still relevant today), Dorothea Brande spoke about two of the most important things a writer needs: the time and the space to write. Well, for me, time has always been a precious commodity, but as a father of four studying for a degree and working full-time there really isn't a lot I can do about that; I grab time when I can and make the most of it. When it comes to space, I've always struggled, too. I have no study, not even a shed or a roomy closet. At the moment, all I have is a tiny desk in the corner of the bedroom where I rest my laptop of an evening and try to produce good words. But it's not really conducive to the production of inspired work.

Now, things have changed.

Thanks to a family friend I now have a study in her house, and it's a beautiful house. Surrounded by gorgeous flower-filled gardens and a view of the bay that is quite stunning, Peace Cottage is the ideal idyll for the writer. The study is spacious and airy with plenty of light, and I am surrounded by library shelves filled with the most amazing old books. Inspiration is all around me.

Today I spent my first afternoon there and produced over two thousand words, a chapter and a half of my new book (the follow-up to The Hotel Galileo). I'm going back tomorrow for the whole day and I can't wait. At last, a place to go, a peaceful refuge for a cluttered mind. Peace Cottage. I think it's going to be a wonderful summer...

Friday, April 24, 2009

British Fantasy Awards 2009 - The Long-list

I recently joined the British Fantasy Society and as a fully paid-up member I am now eligible to vote in the society's distinguished awards. The long-list is extremely long this year, so long in fact, that the BFS have produced a downloadable PDF of all the nominees which can be found at the BFS website by going here: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/

I am very pleased to see Allyson Bird's first collection Bull Running for Girls (which I raved about a few blog entries ago) receive not only a recommendation for Best Collection, but her story 'The Caul Bearer' has also been recommended in the Best Short Fiction category. I sincerely hope she does well in both categories and goes on to make it onto the shortlists. This won't be possible, of course, without lots of votes. Well, I know where I will be casting mine, but if you are a member and haven't yet made up your mind, then I would recommend taking a peek at Ally's work. You won't be disappointed. You can purchase the papaerback edition of Bull Running for Girls at the all-new Screaming Dreams website (http://www.screamingdreams.com/) at the special reduced rate of £6.99 plus free P&P. You will also find 'The Caul Bearer' available for free download there. Good luck, Ally, and happy reading everybody.

Great also to see that Screaming Dreams has been nominated in the PS Best Small Publishing Award and Steve Upham's excellent ezine Estronomicon is nominated in the Best Magazine category. As expected there is strong competition in all categories and it will be fascinating to see who makes it to the final shortlsists. Exciting, too, to be able to play a small part in choosing them.

Now, where are those voting forms...?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Hotel Galileo

The Hotel Galileo, my first published book, is scheduled to be released next month, and here is a preview of the fantastic cover art by artist Marge Simon.

You can view more of Marge's wonderful artwork here: www.margesimon.com

The Hotel Galileo will be available from May 2009. Check out the publicity page at the Wolfsinger Publications website: http://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/TheHotelGalileo.html

"Sherlock Holmes meets Star Trek meets 28 Days Later" - Rhonda Parrish, editor of Niteblade Magazine

"The Hotel Galileo is well-plotted, fast-paced. A Roaring Twenties-style mystery set aboard a space liner, which will leave you wondering 'Whodunit' the moment you crack open the pages." - Lawrence Dagstine, author of Fresh Blood (Sam's Dot Publishing)