Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small Steps...

The writing has continued these past few months but at a slower pace than ever before. I’m surprised, though, how I have trained myself to be more productive despite having less and less time. When I get the odd hour to work on a story, I do it. If I can snatch a couple of hours to do edits on my next book, I do the edits. Time is precious to me now, more so than ever, so I don’t have the luxury of goofing off and faffing about with stuff which is really just procrastination dressed up as something far more important and appealing. You know the stuff of which I speak…
Anyway, I recently received an advance from Wolfsinger Publications for my novella ‘The Hotel Galileo’. Such an amazing feeling, hard to describe, and I couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of…I don’t know, that maybe this is a bit more ‘serious’ now. A great but weird feeling. I am looking forward to the book release with barely contained excitement and anticipation. I’m already getting requests from work colleagues and fellow writers to keep a copy for them. Cannot wait to see the cover art…
My story ‘The Transmuted Engine’ is still under submission at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a pro-paying ezine. I am holding my breath on that one. As it happens, I am currently in the process of expanding the universe from that story into a full-length dark fantasy novel. I love fantasy, I really do. I enjoyed Terry Brooks’ Shannara books as a teenager, I love China Mieville’s Bas-Lag trilogy of books now, and The Lord of the Rings is my favourite movie trilogy of all time; but I’ve resisted writing a fantasy novel until now because I didn’t feel I had anything new or exciting to bring to the fantasy genre. However, it was a fellow writer who, whilst critiquing ‘Engine’, suggested I consider writing a novel set in the Tasia universe. I’m going to give it a go, and so far, early sketches are proving to be quite interesting and exciting.
I’m ready to start work on the third draft of ‘The Silver Sea’. This will be the hardest draft, I think, because it’s about the nitty-gritty. But the end is in sight for this one, and that is an encouraging thought.
That’s me for now. I hope all of you are getting the breaks you deserve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Dead of Night Awards

Yes, folks, it's that time of year again. Screaming Dreams are holding their annual Dead of Night Awards for Best Author and Best Artist. This is a list of authors/artists who have contributed to the Screaming Dreams ezine Estronomicon or to the eBook section in 2008. Voting closes on March 7th 2009. To cast your vote you can email the editor Steve Upham directly at: steveATscreamingdreams.com, replacing AT with @, and in the message include the name of the author and/or artist you wish to vote for. To see the full list of eligible author and artist names visit the Screaming Dreams website here:

If you vote for me I will love you forever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The new issue of ArkhamTales is online and available for free download. My story 'Inheritance' is scheduled to appear in a future issue. If you like Lovecraftian fiction, this magazine is for you.

Download it here: http://www.arkhamtales.com/

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Dark Love Story for Valentine's Day...

Madrigal

They met by moonlight in the shadows of the bone garden — a place of relative sanctuary in the old ruined city — and there lay down together, servant and princess, in the dust and the scattered remnants of ended lives. The boy, Stille, held his young lover close, drowning her in passionate kisses and limitless promises, for such was the capacity of his young heart that his love knew no bounds: he pledged to Almira his love for all eternity.
But Almira's father, King of the ruined city, discovered their affair from a servant's loose lips, and on the night of their next scheduled rendezvous, sent his men to the bone garden.
When the princess arrived she found only a small cloth sack with her name written upon the fabric. Inside was Stille's tongue, still bloody, still warm.
She wanted to cry out with sorrow and rage, but did not. Like Stille, she remained silent.
Almira knew that her father had ordered this. The king told her she was forbidden to ever see the boy again. And even if she did, he could no longer whisper his words of love to her. Their love affair was over.
Yet several nights later, the grieving princess found a familiar figure on her balcony. Her heart leapt for joy on seeing his beautiful face. She rushed forward to kiss him, but Stille held her back with a raised hand.
In her passion, she had almost forgotten how her lover had been mutilated.
The princess hung her head. Her father was right. She would never again hear Stille's whispered words of love...
But Stille had found a way.
The boy removed his cloak and lifted Almira's chin. By candle-light she saw twisted calligraphy sprawling across his entire body — a madrigal written on the fabric of his skin, a declaration of love that could never be silenced.

(This story first appeared in Antipodean SF in 2005.)