It seems a lot of my recent posts have been apologising for not being around very much. This one will be no different, it seems.
Still, I’m sure you lovely folks don’t exactly live your lives waiting for me to post my next little ditty, so no harm done.
Anyways, I hope you’re all well! It seems that this year has moved along at break-neck speed and I can barely turn around without whole weeks having scurried by. The Steampunk season, as it seems to be to me, is coming to a close, I think. At least in the North. Howarth has a charity Steampunk event in aid of cancer research this weekend which I’ll be attending and hopefully doing some good there. Leeds has its usual Christmas Market coming up as well as an event on the 29th of November (which I can’t remember where it is at the minute but I’ll be there, anyway). There is also a Steampunk craft fair in my own fair Doncaster on the 1st of December which you should all try to get to. It’s their first time so it’d be great to show them some support. I’ll certainly be there if only because it’s above the Salutation pub and the bar will be only a few steps away
And that will no doubt be very much done and dusted until after Christmas, I imagine. At least in my neck of the woods. But with a new year will come a lot of new, fun stuff. I certainly can’t wait for you all to meet Alan Shaw and join in on his adventures. I’m so excited that a wee just a little every time I think about it. I have reports from my excellent editor, Peter, that it’s well underway and the lion’s share of the edits might be done by the turn of the year. I’m really looking forward to reading his comments, as he always has a great insight, especially as a fan of Steampunk himself.
Other than that, I’m off to try and catch up with some more uni work. I seem to constantly be on the back foot this year and I need to get that sorted out.
Anyway, salutations, my friends.
Thanks for reading.
If you read my last post, you’ll know what I’m talking about here, so I’ll keep it short. The Steampunk Doncaster event has an indiegogo page which we’re hoping will help us to make the festival extra awesome in June this year. If you hit the hyperlinks above, you can see the campaign itself, so feel free to share or donate or scoff and look at something more interesting.
What you WILL be interested in seeing is the outtakes reel of me trying to make that damned video with the help of Toucan Media.!
It certainly had me rolling, watching myself make cock-up after cock-up. Take a look:
And if for some reason that video doesn’t work, you can Youtube it HERE.
Let me know what you think! And don’t forget to share
Thank for reading.
I don’t do this often, or at all, but I need your help.
As some of you may know, I’m the literary co-ordinator (Man of Words) for my local Steampunk Doncaster Festival. This year, on the 15th and 16th and June, we’ll be holding our very first event.
We’ve already got a stack of brilliant authors (including Jonathan Green, Anna Chen and the graphic novel writing duo of Moore and Rappion), a stack of brilliant crafters and tinkerers and an exhibit stacked with artists and sculptors. We’ll be based in Donacster’s Deaf Trust building, a huge old place with lots of history, and the main aim is to bring something to our local area be it artistically, or in terms of tourism in years to come.
Basically, we want to give back to the area we live in and love.
But here’s the thing. We can’t do it for free. Being a poor starving author, and the rest of the teeam being similar creative types, we’ve poured as much money as we can into the festival to make sure it happens. But there’s only three of us on the crew and we can do no more than we already have. The Deaf Trust building, being a registered charity, has cost a small fortune in itself. And that’s why we need you to visit our Indiegogo campaign.
We don’t expect you to donate your life savings, or anything at all, for that matter. But every single hit, share, Like and Tweet we can get, spreading the word, is a massive help. And that’s where you guys come in.
If you need incentive, I look an absolute fart in the campaign video (well worth a chuckle, I assure you). Here it is!
That’s pretty funny, right? What a doofus.
Anyway, please hit the page there and share your little hearts out. And encourage people you know to share it, too. We want to make this thing grow, year after year, and get better and better, so every little helps.
Thanks for reading guys!
That’s right, it’s finally official. Just about every waking moment of my existence has become embroiled in some kind of cog-based awesomeness in one manner or another.
The Steampunk Doncaster festival continues to grow at an exponential rate (and there’s still room for more to get involved!), particularly my own section, the Litarium where we now have not only a stack of author signings and workshops, but graphic novelists, poets, competitions and the like going on. Brilliant!
We’ll also be shooting a video for a kickstarter campaign which might help us cover the costs of some of those brilliant things that’ll be going on. As Steampunk Doncaster is a non-profit kind of thing, we’ve begged and borrowed all we can so far, but to make it extra special I’m afraid cash is necessary; if only for posters, leaflets and to get our hands on some cool prizes for the competitions. So keep your fingers crossed, everyone,a nd I’ll post the vid as soon as it’s done.
Elsewhere, work on my next novel continues. The Adventures of Alan Shaw has almost had its first full edit and will soon be ready for consumption by Inspired Quill and a few trusted honest folk to let me know if it’s utter tosh or not.
And I’ve been making things again! As always, with festivals and the like coming up, I’ve been tinkering with some doodads for my outfit including some elbow pads (I’ve torn too many shirts falling off my velocipede) and a sidearm just in case things get a little bit hairy…
I’ll show you the final result sometime later in the week, I hope. Any ideas on improvements that you gusy might have are more than welcome
I’m also gearing up (hardy har) for my appearance at the Doncaster Turn The Page literary festival next week where I’ll be expected to string together coherent sentences for a whole hour infront of a crowd. Trying to figure out what people will be interested in hearing about from a little squib like me is baffling and I’ve had to turn to Twitter for suggestions. But not much has been forthcoming. Again, any suggestions are welcome! Otherwise the festival may be the last place I’m ever seen alive.
But that’s about all for now. Not a long post, but a succinct one, I’m sure you’ll agree. See you all soon!
Thanks for reading.
Hi everyone. Sorry I’ve not been around. I think I only missed one week’s actual blogging, but I’ve been slacking off for longer than that. Or, should I say, I’ve been busy. Busy busy busy.
Last week, for instance, I went on a ghost hunt. You heard. Me and an intrepid group of friends went to Knottingly town hall throughout the night to experience some ghastly goings-on. It ended up being extremely fun, and a little bit pants. But that was part of the fun. Wandering round in the dark with just our little group, torches in hand, creeping along like the Scooby Gang, was the best part of the evening. Although my inability to explain the table tipping comes a close second. If it wasn’t for the mediums and their total disregard for the laws of physics, I’d have been even happier (One fo them said that the grainy effect you see when you’re in the dark is “seeing the energy of the world”. Nothing to do with photoreceptors, apparently). But, I had my trusty talisman to protect me:
And this little group of gems to act as ectoplasmic cannon fodder should the proverbial shit “get real”:
Other than that, it’s been business as usual. Plugging Greaveburn, looking for places to do signings or just to turn up and do a jig (I’m quit the Jigenator, when I need to be). I’ve also applied for a couple of jobs totally unrelated to my current Nursing career. Gasp. That’s right, folks, I’ve gone for writing jobs. Jobs that will mean that I write for a living as well as for fun. This could be either empowering or catastrophic. I’ll let you know how it goes. Cross your digits for me.
Other than that, it’s been full steam ahead (pardon the pun) with my next novel. As some of you may know, it’s being tentatively named The Chronicles of Alan Shaw (or just Alan Shaw for short), and it will be my first forays into Steampunk when I actually know that it exists. Unlike when I wrote Greaveburn and I had no idea. I’m not saying that I have any more of an idea now, but at least I’m going in with my eyes open and goggles firmly in place. Anyway, new project, new writing-high. It’s going well. I’m approx 75k words in, and only half way through as a rough estimate. It’s going to be an epic, I hope, with lots of juicy tidbits and complications and (without giving too much away) tie-ins, hopefully. We shall see…
Ooooh, let’s see…what else? I’ve been introduced to David Lynch films by the aforementioned James. I know, I know. Where have I been, right? Apparently buried under a laptop-shaped rock. As we finished our ghost hunting endeavours at 4am, we decided on a movie marathon the next day which consisted of Lost Highway, Hook, The Crow, and Monsters Inc. Quite the eclectic mix there, but it was a blast. There was Haribo and pizza, and many-a discussion about what Lost Highway actually meant. I don’t think we got very far with that last part. But any excuse to watch Bill Pullman play an adult character is fine by me (We shall not forsake thee, Bill, for the crimes of Casper).
And that’s just a few reasons I haven’t been around. Others include decorating and starting my next Open University course, but they’re boring ones.
Don’t forget, folks, that the Greaveburn Competition closes at midnight tonight. There have been some great entries (even a saucy one) and I’ll post the winner next Saturday. If you’ve been slacking and haven’t entered yet, get on it! A few late entries will be forgiven because I’m not a totalitarian author by any stretch of the imagination, so there’s still chance.
Have a good week!
Thanks for reading
I’ve been promising this to you all for a loooong time now. But I’ve finally put the finishing touches to my Steampunk costume for the Weekend at the Asylum convention in Lincoln. And so, since I owe you loverly readers a huge thank you for supporting me over the last couple of years, for buying your copies of Not Before Bed, for commenting on here, retweeting on Twitter and ’liking’ my Facebook page, here is your reward…
You get to see me in a bowler hat…
So what do you think? Punky enough for ya?
I’m a tri-virgin when it comes to cosplay, conventions and book signings, so the Asylum Weekend should be a really…interesting…experience. I’m so nervous about selling and signing Greaveburn, it’s unbelievable. But hopefully, surrounded by my fellow Steampunks, I’ll feel right at home in my costume.
In other news…work on the cover art for Greaveburn has begun. In the course of a couple of days our cover artist, Ravven Kitsune, has managed to go from my sketchy brief to a piece of work which is truly breathtaking. When I saw the prelims, I made a little squee of excitement. I can’t wait to show it to you all. Watch out for the big reveal coming VERY soon!
Thanks for reading.
Oh yes, it’s the weekend, and we all know what THAT means. It’s blog post time! I figured I’d do a general catch up post this week since I’ve been attempting to be useful with my post subjects lately and I don’t think it suits me
First of all, lets drop in on Greaveburn. The edits are pretty much done now, I think. My marketing Womble, Lea, is doing the last read through (first read for her). So I should have a polished final product and some juicy comments on the content headed my way pretty soon. Hope she likes it. Hell, I hope YOU LOT like it, too. But we’ll cross that Rickety Bridge (check Greaveburn out to explain that reference) when we come to it.
We’re still looking for a cover artist as far as I know. The last couple of people who were slated for the cover haven’t come through with a product. Who knew that this could be the hardest part of getting a book out? At first I thought it would be the writing, then the editing, then the finding a publisher, but al that pales into comparison to getting someone to do a suitably creepy image for the cover. We’ll keep at it, anyway, and you loverly readers will be the first to find out what it looks like when we’re done. But that aside, I think we’re still on for an August release date. Every time I think about it, I get this odd mix of sensations. Pride, excitement, finger-knawing fear, performance anxiety. You name it, I’ve got it.
In other news, the marketing drive has begun. I’m hitting Twitter pretty hard with teasers, you might have noticed an uptake in the posts on the blog of late and (insert drum roll) I’ve started a Facebook Page! I’ve avoided doing it until now but the time has finally come. It shows my timeline from first pen on paper to present day, trials and tribulations, blog posts and the few successes I’ve managed to scratch together along the way. It’s worth a quick look if you have time. Lots of pretty pictures etc. And if you feel inclined, please Like it. I don’t want to be a Like-whore, but every little helps in getting Greaveburn noticed. It’s much appreciated, as always.
What else? Well, the writing has taken a back seat at the minute as I’m revising for this year’s OU final exam. The last time I did an exam was…dear lord, about a decade ago. I’m pooping the proverbial bricks. I think after this I’ll be sticking to making things up.
My Steampunk outfit for the Weekend at the Asylum convention in Lincoln is coming along nicely. Got my goggles this morning. For a budding Steampunk, this is a very important time. Think about the first time a Trekky gets their pair of plastic Spock ears and you’re in the right arena. I’m starting to really look forward to this convention and meeting all the awesome folks there. Expect photos. Lots of photos. Preferably without me in them!
This has been a brief but wonderful interaction. Expect greater things next week, folks. I’ll think of something…
Thanks for reading
Since hitting the Steampunk genre running, and becoming a full-on obsessive, it’s been a hobby of mine to find the little pockets of enthusiasts around the UK. These people, after all, will hopefully become my readers when Greaveburn hits the shelves this summer. And ever since I started my search, it has never ceased to amaze me how incredibly creative people can be.
The beauty of Steampunk, in my opinion, is how it encourages people to create, build, imagine and fashion all manner of doodads and thingumies. Etsy is, of course, the best way to find out about the hundreds of talented folk who make trinkets, gadgets, costumes and things-with-no-name. With these folks in mind, I think it’s only fair that I share the wealth of what I’ve found with you. Starting with The Dark Power.com.
Now here’s someone who takes their creating seriously! Not only does Dark Power make the most impressive creations, but they have even won awards for their Steampunk short film Beast of the Air! Take a look:
Good, eh? I wouldn’t mind one of those guns for when I go shopping in ASDA. Can’t wait to see them tackle the book trailer for Greaveburn! (Hint hint, Dark Power, if you’re reading this :D)
Have a look HERE for more of their gadgets and gizmos .
Moving on to another tinker-type, I’d like to draw your attention to The Little Steampunk Shop. Chock full of things that you can actually BUY, alll handmade and utterly cool-looking. If you need some Whatsits for your next Steam-theme endeavour, this is where to get them! Here’s just a couple of things that caught my eye:
There’s all manner of jewelry, modded USB sticks, clockwork insects and mice, lamps…By Jiggins, I’m salivating! With payday on the horizon, and my Steampunk outfit nearly ready, I think I’ll be visiting The Little Steampunk Shop again very, very soon.
It seems that while our American comrades love their Steampunk, there’s much love in our own fair country for some Neo-Victorian shinanigans, too. I can’t wait to meet some of them at the Weekend at the Asylum Steampunk Convention in September. It’s going to be an absolute riot!
Thanks for reading.